The peach tree, prunus persica, is a tree of the Rosaceae family considered by Asian tradition the tree of immortality. In addition to this, the peach tree is also the symbol of spring and rebirth when, during the flowering period, it is covered with wonderful pink flowers, represented by artists and painters in their works and an amazing attraction for tourists from everywehere. But peach is also a powerful natural remedy when flowers and leaves are used in the form of infusions and decoctions. You can find both the leaves and the peach flowers in the best-stocked herbalists and online. Let's now see their uses.
Peach leaves have a hypoglycaemic action, this means that they are able to lower blood sugar levels (Shirosaki et al, Biol Pharm Bull, 2012). Not only that, traditionally peach leaves are used to contrast constipation. In fact, scientific researches have validated this use by observing that the remedy shows laxative properties and that these are due to substances soluble in water (Gilani et al, J Ethnopharmacol, 2000). You can then prepare an infusion of peach leaves, useful against constipation. Bring a liter of water to the boil, remove from the heat and add 10 leaves, leave to brew for 10 minutes then filter and drink one cup a day in the morning. Ask your doctor for advice if you are taking medications to control blood sugar.
Peach blossoms are a precious source of antioxidants and the topical application of their extracts has proven to be able to mitigate the damage of UV rays and to promote collagen activity (Kwak et al, Nutr Res Pract, 2018). You can prepare a decoction of flowers to be used for compresses in order to soothe dermatitis, sunburn, itching and inflammation. In a saucepan, pour a liter of water and add a spoonful of dried flowers. Bring to a boil and simmer for a couple of minutes, remove from heat, filter and let cool down. Soak a gauze in this decoction and use it for external applications on the part to be treated.
Peach flowers and leaves, warnings
A clarification should be made on the use of these natural remedies. Peach leaves and flowers contain, in minimal quantities, prussic acid, which is poisonous, as also reported by the well-known herbalist Messegue in the book My herbarium. However, as underlined by Messegue, if you stick to the recommended doses there are no problems.