20 Ways to Use Avocado Seeds
Creative Uses for Avocado Pits
You won't believe the amazing ways that avocado seeds can be used. You can create jewelry, dye fabric, make shampoo, and use them in many other fun craft and kitchen projects.
Avocados are one of my favourite foods, and when they're in season we go through dozens per month.
Since I love re-using things creatively, I decided to find out if it was possible to use the seeds. It turns out you can! Below, you'll find twenty fun, healthy, and creative ideas.
1. Indelible Ink
Historically, extracts from avocado pits were used as inks and food dyes.
- Put the seed in a heavy plastic bag and crush it using something heavy like a hammer or a brick.
- The milky liquid that comes out will turn red or black when exposed to the air.
- Dip a calligraphy pen or a thin paintbrush into this liquid and use it to write or paint on a sheet of paper.
2. Germination Experiment for Kids
Children love getting their hands dirty and learning through hands-on activities. Sprouting an avocado seed is a great homeschool or classroom project to teach students about germination. The process is simple:
- Fill a small jar with water
- Wash the seed
- Insert four toothpicks into it
- Suspend it over the jar so it touches the water
- Place in a sunny area and wait about six weeks for it to sprout
3. Traditional Enchilada Sauce
Dry and grate the pit to make a traditional North Mexican enchilada sauce that tastes really authentic. Leave a clean avocado in a cool, dry place for 5-7 days, then grate it into small bits (a food processor really helps). Add this to your sauce before baking. About 1 1/2 teaspoons should do the trick—any more, and the dish may end up tasting too bitter!
If drinks are more your thing, blend the raw pit into a smoothie or juice to benefit from all its nutrients and add a wonderful creaminess to the texture. Use half a pit for every two-person serving (a whole one serves four). My favourite combinations are avocado (fruit and pit), cucumber, and green apple. It also tastes good mixed with mango, pineapple, and ginger.
Health Benefits of Avocado Seeds
There is a long tradition of using the pits for various medicinal purposes.
- They are chock full of antioxidants— more than most other fruits and vegetables—so don't just throw them away! The pits contain more than 70% of the antioxidants found in the entire fruit. Antioxidants boost the immune system and help prevent cardiovascular disease, regulate high blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and prevent strokes.
- The pits and skins contain high levels of antioxidants like catechins and procyandins that act as anti-inflammatories. They reduce joint pain, swelling, stiffness, and loss of joint function associated with arthritis.
- They also have lots of antioxidant phenolic compounds that can play a significant role in preventing various degenerative illnesses, tumor growth, and cardiovascular disease. They may also help reduce inflammatory conditions, diabetes, and boost immunity.
- They even have insecticidal, fungicidal, and anti-microbial properties.
- Like green tea, the seeds contain polyphenols, which are micronutrients that may play a role in the prevention of cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
- They have more soluble fiber than almost any other food, which is great for high cholesterol, bowel inflammation, and diarrhea. In South America, they're used to treat dysentery and other issues in the GI tract.
- The pit is very high in potassium. The younger (less ripe) the fruit is, the higher its levels of potassium. It also contains significant levels of phosphorous, but not as significant as the potassium.
- They contain a condensed flavonol that may prevent tumor growth.
- They are great food for your hair and skin. Those antioxidants can help rebuild collagen, repair damage caused by free radicals, and improve the appearance and texture of your skin.
5. Avocado Seed Tea to Treat a Stomach Ache
Treat a sore belly by drinking a hot tea made with the pit. Halve the seed and drop it in a cup of boiling water for 10 minutes, then drink this infusion slowly.
Another way to make the tea is to dry the pit and break it down using a spice blender. Add a tablespoon of this powder to a cup of hot water and drink it slowly.
6. Ease Toothache
Cut off a piece of the pit and apply to a sore tooth to ease the pain. Gargling with the cooled tea (recipe above) can also help.
7. Soothe Itchy, Sore Skin
Smash the seed and infuse it in olive oil for a week. Once filtered, this oil can be applied to itchy, sore skin.
8, 9 & 10. Decorations and Ornaments
- Dry several seeds and use them to make a wind chime. Paint each one with a different pattern and colour and add glitter, shells, or other interesting decorations. Then, follow these instructions to make your one-of-a-kind, almost-free wind chime. Another great activity for kids!
- Carve out a hollow in the pit using a very sharp knife, then bake and varnish it. Once it's finished, it makes a lovely holder for tea-light candles. If you eat a lot of avocados, you'll soon have enough to decorate your whole house with these attractive, eco-friendly candle-holders.
- Dry and bake the seed, then attach a craft hook to the top. Thread a ribbon through the hook and paint it with something Christmas-y so you can use it as a tree ornament.
11. DIY Face Scrub
Making a natural face and body scrub is easy. Simply grind up a dried pit in a food processor or cut it into pieces and use a spice blender.
Next, mix in one mashed banana and one tablespoon of coconut or almond oil.
Apply to skin and gently exfoliate before rinsing well.
12. Grow an Avocado Tree
Sprouting the seed is easy (see #2 on the list above): Within weeks you'll have a beautiful plant to brighten up your house. With its dark, glossy leaves, an avocado houseplant will look great on the kitchen counter, in the bathroom, outside on the deck, or wherever you decide to put it.
If you're planning on planting the tree outside, you should know that avocado trees do best in fairly warm temperatures (60-85°F) with moderate humidity. The tree won't tolerate freezing temperatures, but certain varieties thrive in places like California and Florida.
Baby shower gift
Once you've grown your mini avocado tree from a sprouted pit, why not give it to new parents as a newborn gift? Celebrating new life by planting a tree for a baby is a very thoughtful and ancient tradition.
13. At-Home Massage
Avocado seeds are smooth, hard, and just the right size for a DIY foot massage. Collect several and place them in a shallow bucket or large bowl. Then you can roll your feet over them to help work out some of that tension.
If you're a bit more adventurous, why not try using them to massage someone you love. Either use the pits to gently rub the person's back or warm them up for a DIY hot-stone massage.
14. Avocado Pit Shampoo
Commercial shampoos are full of toxic ingredients and are also super expensive. Luckily, making a frugal and effective hair product is easy with avocado seeds. This shampoo thickens and softens hair, and they say it also helps reduce graying. I've used this shampoo for years and can definitely recommend it.
- Wash and dry three pits
- Using a vegetable grater, grate them into a pot
- Add six cups of water and bring to a boil
- Simmer for about 30 minutes. Let cool
- Strain into a bottle or jar
- Combine three cups of this infusion with 2 oz. natural shampoo
You're now ready to wash your hair! Keep the rest of the water in the fridge to mix with shampoo as needed.
15. Avocado Seeds are Aphrodisiacs
Make a love potion using avocado pits.
An old woman from a Caribbean island told me about this traditional aphrodisiac. To make it, score a pit by making tic-tac-toe like patterns with a knife and place it in a litre of wine. Let it sit and infuse for a month before taking out the seed and serving.
If you dare, offer a glass to your sweetheart, but start off slow! The drink is said to be very effective.
16. Make Jewelry
Once dried and baked, avocado seeds turn a beautiful dusky pinkish-brown colour. You can buy gorgeous pit pendants, necklaces, earrings, brooches and more on websites like Etsy. But why not try making your own?
It uses a product that would otherwise be thrown out, which makes it a cheap craft project. You can be sure to make a one-of-a-kind item that no one else has.
Check out the links below to see tutorials for making avocado pit jewelry.
Avocado Seed Jewelry Tutorials
- Avocado Seed Art and Jewelry | Rosaherzberg's Blog
A collection of hand-carved avocado pocket sculptures inlaid with semiprecious stones, shells, and beads. Carved avocado seeds with cowry shell, grass (fertility) seeds, bamboo, and glass beads, inlaid with amber.
- Transform Avocado Stones into Beautiful Pendants | The Tera Warner Blog
A step-by-step class on making beautiful avocado stone pendants — add your own special crystals. Raw beauty!
- Jewelry Made from Avocado Seeds
New ways to look at the everyday items in our lives are all around us. Art can be made out of virtually anything. My avocado seed ladybug brooches are just one example of how amazing a simple seed can be!
17. Natural Avocado Pit Fabric Dye
Use the seeds to make a natural, pink fabric dye. There are two methods:
- The quick way is to simply boil your textiles with the pits and skins for around 45 minutes. That will give you a very pale pink dye with little effort.
- For a deeper and more effective dye, you'll need several pits, avocado skins, ammonia, and a few days to let the mixture ferment. For detailed instructions and pictures, check out this link.
Keep the pits and skins in the freezer until you collect enough to make your dye.
18, 19, & 20. Outdoor Fun and Games
- Dry several seeds, then bake and varnish them to protect against moisture. If you're feeling fancy, paint them with metallic silver paint. You're now ready to play bocce, lawn bowling, or pétanque.
- Dry three of them and use them as juggling balls
- Enlist the help of friends to collect a bunch of them. Invite them over for an avocado garden party where you eat avocado dishes and play giant games of Chinese checkers, solitaire, or checkers.
Bake your avocado pit to help it last longer and give it a beautiful rose colour.
More Uses for the Pit
Since I first wrote this article, it's been shared by thousands of people. And some of them have been kind enough to share more ideas with me for using up avocado pits. Here are a few of my favourites:
- Cover them with gold leaf and use as paperweights or placeholders
- Set one over a decorative jar filled with water, and attach a personal note. This is a great housewarming gift.
- Grate the pit then mix with vegetable or olive oil and some vinegar or lemon juice. You can use the resulting mixture as wood furniture polish.
Do Avocado Pits Keep Guacamole Green?
Many people leave the seed in the middle of a bowl of guacamole, believing it will keep it bright green. This has been shown to be a myth.
As oxidization is the culprit behind brown guacamole, anything that reduces the surface area exposed to air will prevent browning. This is why guacamole with a pit in it will be greener around the seed than at the edges of the bowl. It's not the pit that's doing it, though: You could substitute the seed with any other object like a boiled egg, sliced vegetables, or a piece of bread for the same effect. If you really want to reduce oxidization, cover the whole thing with wax paper so that the paper is pressed against the surface of the guacamole.
However, if you think adding a pit to a bowl of guacamole looks nice, go for it! That way when you have guests, you can use the opportunity to educate them about oxidization. What a great conversation starter!
How often do you eat avocados?
Questions & Answers
How long will the seed last after I have crushed it up to add to my food?
The seed oxidises and turns dark brown very quickly. You should use it within a day or two.
To dry for carving how long are they baked?
It depends on the size of the seed, how dry it is already, and the humidity of your house. It takes me about 30 minutes.
When you make avocado water for shampoo, could you also not use that water to water your indoor plants ?
Yes, great idea! Just start with a small amount to make sure your plant likes it.
Can I chew a raw avocado seed ?
It's not toxic, but it tastes terrible! To cover the bitter taste, you can blend the raw seed into a fruit smoothie.