Widely grown in Central and South America, southern Asia and Australia, guava is a type of tropical shrub with many nutritional uses. Known for its dark leaves and white flowers, its fruit is often described as being similar to a lemon in taste, although not as bitter. Guava leaves can be adapted to for many different uses.
Guava leaves for nutrition
The use of guava leaves as a herbal remedy goes back centuries. When the leaves are fresh they have been used by indigenous peoples from areas as diverse as Mexico and the Amazon rainforest to chew as a pain relief. Ground down and mixed with water they have effective at cleaning out cuts and abrasions. When added to boiling water and then strained, the tea produced has become a medicine tocounter diarrhoea.
It is now appreciated that guava leaves contain many beneficial compounds, such astriterpenes, flavonoids and phenols, as well as being rich in an anti-oxidant known as quercetin. Analysis has also shown that guava has antimicrobial qualities, which are effective in combating diarrhoea. Because this condition is caused by germs that colonize the lining of the intestinal tract, these elements in guava have a direct result in tackling their activity. Tea made from guava leaves can help to lower blood glucose levels. Studies have demonstrated that the tea inhibits alpha-glucosidase enzymes, and it is the suppression of high glucose levels that is critical in combating type 2 diabetes.
As well as treating toothache, guava tea has been used to deal with other conditions affecting the mouth, such as ulcers, as well as sore throats and laryngitis.
Tea made from guava leaves has also proved to be effective at dealing when used as a topical treatment of soft tissue and skin infections. One study demonstrated that the components of the leaves promoted anti-bacterial properties, preventing infections from getting into surgical wounds, as well as protecting other areas of soft tissue infections.