Prickly pear fruit has long been known in traditional medicine for treating a number of diseases such as ulcer, dyspnea, and glaucoma, as well as liver conditions, wounds and fatigue. Prickly pear cactus is a rich source its bioactive compounds such as vitamin C and vitamin E, polyphenols, carotenoids, flavonoid compounds (e.g., kaempferol, quercetin, and isorhamnetin), taurine of flavonoids and other antioxidants (quercetin, kaempferol). Traditional Mexican Indian tribes have used prickly pear extract for nutrition and medicine for 1000’s of years. Realize part of what gives prickly pear cactus its properties are the harsh conditions it grows in. Very few plants survive in these conditions. Medicinally, prickly pear cactus has been used to heal superficial wounds, insect bites, and minor cuts. have shown notable antioxidant activities.
The anti-inflammatory properties significantly reduce the oxidative stress in patients and may prevent chronic disease. It has also been shown to be a free radical scavenger, protecting cell membranes and organs. It has been also shown to have favorable effects on LDL cholesterol. The anti-inflammatory effects of prickly pear cactus have been used to treat arthritis and inflammation. Even more, athletes have used prickly pear cactus to combat delayed onset exercise soreness (DOMS) and to speed recovery. Prickly pear cactus may also be helpful in treating diabetes by stabilizing blood sugars. Finally, prickly pear cactus may help hangovers from drinking alcohol, especially if taking prior to drinking.