Leaf of Life: What Is It, How to Use It, and How to Grow It
Leaf of Life, Medicinal Herb
Leaf of life is a medicinal herb that is:
- native to Madagascar
- very common in Jamaica
- a popular houseplant
- has become naturalized in tropical and subtropical areas
It is widely used as an herbal remedy for many different types of ailments, especially bronchial conditions.
Its scientific name is Kalanchoe pinnata, and it is also known as Bryophyllum pinnatum and Cotyledon pinnata.
These are its common names:
- Air Plant
- Cathedral Bells
- Miracle Leaf
- Life Plant
- Leaf of Life
- Love Bush
- Live Forever
- Goethe plant
Where Is It Found?
This plant can be found in:
- the Caribbean
In Jamaica, it can be found everywhere. Some people plant it in their flowers gardens for easy access. It also makes a very decorative addition to the garden.
The leaves can be picked and stored for days without withering.
How Do You Use Leaf Of Life?
I personally use it as alternative remedy for any type of respiratory condition, and I always receive great results. Recently I had a bout with bronchitis, and this leaf of life was very beneficial in my healing.
The leaf of life plant has the following properties:
How to take this remedy:
- An herbal tea made from this herb is useful to treat conditions such as shortness of breath, kidney failure, menstrual problems, asthma, coughs, bronchitis, as well as chest cold.
- It is said that you can chew the leaves to extract the juices by adding salt.
- The crushed medicinal leaves of this herb will bring relief from insect bites, bruises, boils, and also skin ulcers.
- A poultice of the crushed leaves can also be applied to the outer body for sprains, pains, as well earaches.
- Placing the back of the leaves on open sores, cuts and wounds will promote healing, stops bleeding as well as prevents infection.
- In certain countries, especially Puerto Rico, the fresh juice of this medicinal herb may be squeezed into the ears in regards to infections and can also be squeezed into the eyes for all eye problems.
- The stem as well as the leaves can be placed in water and taken daily to rid the body of mucous and waste matter.
- The fresh leaves of leaf of life can also be eaten raw as a medicinal remedy for asthma, bronchitis and intestinal problems.
- The leaf of life is said to be good for high blood pressure as well.
heals and prevents ulcers
a few leaves
Infusion: 1 cup twice daily
Juice: applied topically
constricts blood vessels
2-3 times daily
How To Dry and Preserve Leaf of Life for Tea
Always consult with a qualified herbalist or medical professional before introducing a new herbal supplement into your regimen. Proper dosing strength and dosing frequency should be monitored by a qualified specialist. Check for side effects with current medications and any contraindications that may exist with preexisting conditions before proceeding.
How To Make Leaf Of Life Tea
To make an easy and quick cup of leaf of life tea:
- bring one cup of water to boil then add 3 leaf of life leaves; let simmer for 3 minutes.
- remove from heat and allow to sit for 2 to 3 minutes.
- remove leaves from the tea, pour in cup and sweeten with 1 to 2 teaspoons of organic honey.
If you are making more than one cup, increase serving size of boiling water and amount of leaves added.
Chest Cold Remedy
- Warm 3 leaves and juice them.
- This should yield 2-3 tablespoon of leaf of life juice.
- Add a pinch of salt.
- Take one tablespoon three times a day for as long as needed.
Poultice for Skin Ulcer, Sprains, and Insect Stings
- Grind 7 fresh leaves into a poultice.
- Apply the poultice evenly to the affected area.
- Apply a fresh poultice twice a day, morning and night, as often as needed.
Cough Mixture for Cold, Coughs, and Chest Congestion
- Warm 13 fresh leaf of life leaves over a fife.
- Rub the leaves between your palms until they become juicy.
- Squeeze the juice into a small pot. This should yield at least 6-8 tablespoons of juice.
- Add the juice of 3 limes and 2 ounces honey to pot.
- Simmer on a low flame for 5-7 minutes.
- Remove from flame and allow to cool. Store in a bottle.
- Take one tablespoonful every three hours for two weeks.
- Skip one week and repeat, if necessary.
Have You Tried Leaf of Life Tea?
Warning & Important Notes
Leaf of life should not be consumed during pregnancy! The information above is not medical advice for diagnosing, treating, or curing any specific disease, illness, or syndrome. It is important to consult with a physician or licensed health care provider prior to engaging in any aspect of alternative/holistic medicine. The information above is intended for educational purposes only and should be used at the sole discretion of each individual.
UPDATE: What Leaf of Life is Called in Different Parts of the World and What it is Used For
- Xiuzhen, Yan, Lee Kuohsiung, and Yamagishi Takashi. "Isolation and Identification of Cytotoxic Compounds From Bryophyllum Pinnatum." Chinese Journal of Cancer Research. December 1992. Volume 4, Issue 4, pp. 1-3.
- Robertson, D. "Jamaican Herbs: Nutritional and Medicinal Values." 1982.
- Taylor, Leslie. The Healing Power of Rainforest Herbs: A Guide to Understanding and Using Herbal Medicinals. 2005. Square One Publishers.
- Ojewole, John A.O. "Antinociceptive, Antiinflammatory, and Antidiabetic Effectfs of Bryophyllum Pinnatum Leaf Aqeuos Extract." Journal of Ethnopharmacology. Volume 99, Issue 1, 13 May 2005, pp. 13-19.
- Honychurch, P.N. Caribbean Wild Plants and Their Uses. 1986. Macmillan Caribbean.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2017 Gina Welds Hulse