Guava is a famous tropical fruit with an interesting taste and high nutrient content. The fruit comes from a small evergreen tree of the Myrtaceae family which grows well in tropical countries. Today, the tree that originally came from Central America is widely cultivated in many parts of the world in many of its varieties. While many people around the world consume the fruit as a food, not a lot of people understand that the fruit is not the only part of the plant which is high in nutrients.
It’s not only the fruits that are the edible part of the tree, but also the leaves. For a long time, people have been using the leaves for a traditional remedy against many common diseases. Some people would simply crush the leaves and mix it with water before taking them, some will chew the leaves and swallow them, but probably the most popular method is boiling the leaves as a tea and applying the crushed leaves topically. In countries like Mexico and some parts of South America, brewing guava leaf to make a tea is pretty common.
1. Boosts Intestinal Health
Guava leaves are most popular for their potential to treat diarrhea. This is because of the natural phytochemicals in guava leaves, especially anthocyanins and carotenoids which are antioxidants and flavonoids. These compounds have natural antibacterial, antiviral, and antiparasitic properties. Just like antibiotic medication, these compounds help the body by killing harmful pathogens that cause diarrhea.
The effectiveness of guava leaves for diarrhea treatment has been known for centuries by people who use guava leaf tea as a common folk remedy. However, in 2008, a research report was published in an issue of Spanish-language publication “Revista Do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de Sao Paulo.” In the study, the scientists wanted to examine how effective guava leaves were in dealing with bacteria that caused diarrhea. The scientists concluded that human subjects who received treatment in the form of guava leaf extract experienced faster recovery from diarrhea compared to others who didn’t. The study was also confirmed by a report published in the 2010 issue of “Chinese Journal of Integrated Traditional and Western Medicine.”
2. Boosts Cardiovascular Health
A healthy cardiovascular system is a driver of a healthy life. Cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attack, are the leading cause of deaths across demographics around the world. Fortunately, it is possible to reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases by making a lifestyle change. Regularly taking guava leaf tea may also help your quest of maintaining a healthy heart. According to some clinical studies and laboratory research, drinking guava leaf tea is good for cardiovascular and circulatory systems.
In the 2005 publication of “Methods and Findings in Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology,” a study about the effect of guava leaf tea on cardiovascular health was written. The study used laboratory animals as test subjects. The animals had high blood pressure at the beginning of the study. After feeding the animals with guava leaf extract, the researchers measured the heart rate and blood pressure of the animals and compared them to a control group. The researchers witnessed reduction in both markers, showing that the leaf extract is effective to reduce symptoms of cardiovascular ailments such as hypertension
3. Lowers Cholesterol
Besides reducing the levels of blood pressure, guava leaf tea may also help with unregulated cholesterol levels. High levels cholesterols contribute as the risk factor to many serious diseases, including heart attack, stroke, and arteriosclerosis. This is because guava leaf tea might improve the levels of blood lipid. A study published in the 2010 paper of “Nutrition and Metabolism” investigated this. Based on the study, human subjects who received guava leaf extract treatment got their blood cholesterol levels lowered. There was also a reduction the number of triglycerides, although the scientists claimed that further and bigger studies and experiments needed to be conducted on the matter.
4. Prevents and Treats Diabetes
Are you prone to diabetes because of the multiple risk factors that you can’t avoid? You should avoid foods that are high in sugar or carbohydrates in order to suppress the risks. However, in times when it’s just not possible, you can drink guava leaf tea as the flavonoids and some other compounds present in the tea will stabilize your blood sugar even after you consume high-carbs foods. The study published in the journal “Nutrition and Metabolisms” reviewed several studies that discovered and investigated how the guava leaf tea help diabetic people to stabilize their blood sugar level. Some substances in the tea inhibit enzymes that turn carbohydrate into glucose. Since the carbs in the digestive tract aren’t converted into glucose, the level of blood sugar doesn’t spike. The review also reported some trials that were conducted in Japan to test the possible anti-diabetic properties of guava leaf tea. The result showed that regular drinking of the tea helped to lower the level of blood glucose after eating foods that are high in carbohydrate.
5. Controls Obesity
Losing weight is the goal of many people, especially those who are suffering from obesity. It is not only a matter of aesthetics but also health problems. Unfortunately, some people are obese because of metabolism problem, as in their body doesn’t metabolize the calories in the right way. Drinking guava leaf tea may potentially be the solution. The leaves are high in fiber but low in glycemic index, making them effective as a weight loss supplement. It is done by preventing the starches to turn into sugars. Sugar is worse than complex starches because typically it’s the liver that will metabolize it and turn it into fat instead of used as an energy. When the complex starches aren’t converted into sugar, your weight loss program will work more effectively.
The leaf doesn’t have to be chewed directly to get the benefits, the extract and the tea can simply provide the same result.
6. Treats Gastric Cancer
The extract of guava leaf is very potent that it may be what the medical world needs to treat patients with stomach cancer. Guava leaves contain antitumor and anticancer properties because they’re high in good substances like lycopene and quercetin. Moreover, guava leaves are also high in vitamin C, which is a very potent antioxidant that can prevent and neutralize the damage that is caused by the free radicals in the body. According to a study published in the 2011 issue of “Food Chemistry,” consuming the extract of guava leaf will lead to an apoptosis or a situation where the cells of gastric cancer just attack one another. The cancerous cells will gradually die and the patients can easily recover from it.
Guava leaf tea is effective to treat many types of cancer, including breast cancer, oral cancer, and prostate cancer. However, patients should not just take the herbal treatment without following medical procedures to get rid of it.
7. Preserves Oral Health
Dental problems can be very expensive to treat. One of the most common dental problems in dental plaque which can be difficult to avoid even if you regularly brush your teeth every day. Guava leaves have some anti-plaque properties that can be effective at preventing this oral problem. Herbal remedy enthusiasts recommend crushing and turning guava leaves into a paste as a treatment to treat and prevent plaque. The anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties will also reduce bacterial infection on gum and mouth. Besides avoiding plaque, oral ulcers, and gum inflammation, you can constantly have a clean and fresh breath. Besides using the leaves as toothpaste, you can also simply chew the leaves or make a mouthwash at home by boiling some leaves in the water.
8. Boosts Immune System
The leaves of guava are rich in vitamin C, making them perfect to combat various diseases by improving the immune system. You need to have a strong immune system If you want to have a strong defense against bacteria, viruses, and other microbes that can cause a lot of diseases. The vitamin helps the immune system by attacking the virus’ nucleic acid until the virus is destroyed. Vitamin C is one of the strongest antioxidants that fight free radicals, too. When free radicals are neutralized from your system, your body’s immune system will be better equipped to defend against microbial infections.
9. Lowers The Risk of Prostate Tumor
Besides gastric cancer, the antitumor and anticancer properties of the leaves of guava can also work to fight other types of cancer, including prostate cancer. This benefit is due to the combination of different antioxidants and compounds with anticancer properties like quercetin, vitamin C, lycopene, and various polyphenols. These compounds neutralize free-radicals that are the cause of cancer. A study published in the 2010 issue of journal Nutrition and Cancer discovered that the extract of guava leaf can reduce the risk of prostate cancer in men. Regular intake of guava leaf tea is recommended for this.
10. Improves Vision
Guava leaves contain vitamin A which is very important for a good eyesight. Vitamin A protects the cells in your eyes, strengthen the muscle, and clear your cornea. As a result, your vision will be sharper and healthier. Moreover, it can also prevent night blindness as the disease occurs because of the deficiency of vitamin A.
Besides vitamin A, the vitamin C in the guava leaves also promote better functioning of retinal cells and support the function of the capillaries. Consuming the leaf tea regularly will help you prevent the development of macular degeneration and cataracts that are common vision problems that happen among older people.
12. Treats Dengue Fever
In some tropical countries, guava leaves are very useful to deal with dengue fever, which can be a common contagious season-based disease. The use of guava leaves in improving the condition of patients suffering from dengue fever is due to its ability in improving the number of blood platelets. Moreover, it is done in a safe and non-toxic way.
In addition, guava leaves also contain antioxidants that can improve the immune system and help the body to kick out the parasites from the system. The abundant amount of vitamin C also helps speed up the healing.
12. Treats Acne and Blackheads
Skin problems like acne and black or whiteheads can be very annoying because it can ruin an appearance. Layers of makeup have to be put on the skin if you want to look flawless while your skin is under attack of acne. Fortunately, treating acne and blackheads can be done in a simple and affordable manner. Just use mashed guava leaves as a face mask regularly or apply topically to your acne. The antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties will soothe the acne, clean up the clogged pores, and relieves allergic reactions. Your skin will be acne and blackheads-free when you do this regularly,
13. Preserves Youthful Skin
The antioxidant properties of guava leaves also mean that it can be your best ally to stop aging. Antioxidants scavenge the free radicals that are responsible for symptoms of aging such as dark spots, wrinkles, fine lines, and sagging skin. Drinking guava leaves tea every day will preserve your skin’s elasticity and improve the tone. You can also use guava leaf face mask to tighten your skin.
14. Promotes Male Fertility
Guava leaves can also improve fertility among men by increasing the sperm count. According to a recent study conducted by the researchers at the Universtiy of Lloringhas, guava leaves extract contains properties that can stimulate sperm production. The study that was published in the African Journal of Medicine used Wistar rats as test subjects. Those who were given guava leaf extract experienced a significant improvement in sperm count compared to the other control groups. Although more studies need to be conducted on human subjects, this demonstrated a very promising benefit.
15. Stimulates Cognitive Functions
Drinking guava leaf tea regularly may also maintain your brain health and cognitive functions. Your focus will be sharpened and your attention span can be prolonged. The leaves are rich in vitamin B3 and B6 which stimulate blood circulation to the brain area, improving alertness, memories, and mood. The vitamin C and other antioxidants provide nutrition to the brain and stimulate your mental functions. Moreover, the potassium also helps the electrical conductivity between neurons in the brain, which is vital for your memory ability.