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Introducing Andiroba With The Principles Of Functional Medicine From Toronto


In our functional medicine Toronto practice, patients often uncover surprising yet potent methods to address their health concerns. Some of these strategies are even derived from medicinal treasures found in the Amazon rainforest!

This unique rainforest contains a plethora of medicinal plants, and it is estimated that 25% of pharmaceuticals used in Western medicine have foundations that link back to plants from this area. Despite the astonishing diversity of plant species, only a small amount has been subject to research. But as the wealth of knowledge develops about these plants, it can be determined that these herbal medicines may be primed for promoting optimal wellness

One example is the andiroba plant oil, which has been praised for its therapeutic effects. It’s regularly used by Amazonian indigenous communities for its therapeutic properties, such as helping to relieve cuts, scrapes, and body aches due to arthritis. The andiroba tree has garnered enough attention that, “Various healing constituents in these plants have prompted researchers to examine them with a view to determine their potential wound healing activities,” confirms a piece from Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

In this article, the Toronto Functional Medicine Centre (TFMC) sheds light on the medicinal benefits of andiroba. While the leaves and bark offer distinct medicinal properties, it’s the oil extracted from the andiroba fruit and seed that holds significant potential. From its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties to its use in promoting skin health and alleviating muscle pain, andiroba oil may serve as a versatile natural remedy. 

Feel free to reach out to us for personalized herbal medicine advice or guidance on how to use andiroba oil! In the meantime, read more about this oil below. 

What is andiroba oil?

    • Andiroba is one of the 80,000 plant species found in the Amazon rainforest. Fun fact: This rainforest is known as the “world’s largest medicine cabinet”! 
    • Andrioba oil is extracted from a tree called Carapa guianensis. This tree belongs to the Meliaceae family and produces seeds that are “… rich in triacylglycerols with high contents of unsaturated fatty acids, such as oleic, palmitic, stearic, and linoleic acids,” a Current Research in Toxicology article describes. It also contains 300 types of limonoids, which are unique bioactive compounds with various medicinal properties.  
    • Andiroba is also called andiroba-saruba, bastard mahogany, Brazilian mahogany, iandirova, carapa, cedro macho, crabwood, or crabwood oil. It’s conventionally used by Amazonian cultures as a natural insect repellent and tonic for disease conditions. 
    • Andiroba oil is admired by Brazilian folk medicine practitioners and studied by modern labs for its nutrients (i.e. vitamins and minerals) and healthy fatty acid derivatives. Scientific evidence has demonstrated this ingredient to help improve skin and oral health, reduce inflammation, and promote wound healing with antimicrobial properties.  
    • This oil can be topically applied onto affected skin (i.e. to help alleviate dryness or joint pain). 

Examples of andiroba oil’s health benefits

    • May be supportive as an anti-aging medicine tool: According to a Journal of Oleo Science article, “The seed oil of andiroba … was found to promote collagen synthesis in normal human dermal fibroblasts.” In particular, it contains specific antioxidants called tocopherols and carotenoids. Antioxidants are crucial for fighting free radicals, which tend to cause age spots, wrinkles, and saggy skin. When amalgamated into your skin-care regiment, andiroba oil could help revitalize your skin condition. Because it also contains emollient properties, it can hydrate your skin, thereby promoting plumpness to fine lines. 
    • May promote wound healing: The herb has been evaluated by labs for treating wounds. As reported by an article from Oncotarget, andiroba oil has shown to offer “acceleration in healing process…resulting in the complete closure of wounds.” Because the herb is capable of enhancing collagen production, it may potentially reduce the chances of forming scars from deep scrapes. As we explained earlier, crab oil also houses antimicrobial properties, so it may contribute to preventing wound infections. 
    • Acts as a natural anti-inflammatory: Limonoids from andiroba oil have been shown to promote impressive anti-inflammatory reactions in lab studies. When rubbed on as a topical treatment, it can penetrate the skin and help manage chronic pain (i.e. muscle and joint pain). Its anti-inflammatory properties can also help manage a range of skin conditions, including irritations brought on by eczema and psoriasis.

Achieving optimal health is a distinct health journey for each individual. If you want to learn how to use andiroba oil or other natural ingredients, contact us for a personalized approach to wellness. Additionally, you can check out our latest post on some surprising facts you never knew about functional medicine from Toronto

About our functional and integrative medicine practice

Planning health goals is a personal subject matter – this is why we offer customized treatment plans for TFMC patients based on functional and integrative medicine principles. We can tailor health optimization treatments for various conditions, including concerns associated with cellular health, autoimmune conditions, nutritional deficiencies, irregular periods, hormone imbalance, cardiovascular disease, weight loss, and digestive issues. 

Between lifestyle factors, environmental exposures, and genetics, everyone has a unique body. A treatment that may work for one person may not necessarily lead to desirable results for another. What we do during consultations to patients is take ample time to get to know you! By understanding the components of your individuality and applying functional medicine testing, we can start to unravel the root cause of your health concerns. Then, we tailor a wide variety of therapies to address your current symptoms, while treating the source of your health issues. Treatment modalities that can be included in your treatment plan may include Western medicine (conventional medicine), naturopathic medicine, holistic nutrition, Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture, hormone optimization programs, herbal medicines, and more. 

You can also have intravenous therapy added to your treatment plan, which is something we offer in our IV Lounge. These adjunctive therapies are prescribed by our clinicians, and when they’re combined with functional medicine therapies and healthy lifestyle choices, they can improve your quality of life. 

We can help steer you toward optimal wellness by addressing your current health issues. Let’s meet to determine if andiroba oil is suitable for your needs! Please contact the Toronto Functional Medicine Centre today to request your first session – call 416-968-6961

Disclaimer: The information in this article is designed for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. This information should not be used to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting a doctor. You should always consult with a health care practitioner before relying on any information in this article or on this website. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of information you have read from the Toronto Functional Medicine Centre website or other affiliate media. 



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