The nutritional value of Guava (Psidium guajava L.) fruit is well known throughout the world. It’s usually used as food and processed as juice and jam. Apart from the fruit, many chemical and pharmaceutical companies use numerous parts of the guava tree. Among these, guava leaves has been used extensively and found to possess numerous medicinal values. There is a myriad of health benefits of guava leaves, from curing diabetes to boosting digestion to hair growth, these leaves are simply amazing for your health.
Recent research revealed the amazing health benefits of guava leaves that can cure as well as prevent several diseases. It contains bioactive compounds like alkaloids, carotenoids anthocyanins, vitamin-C, and triterpenes which are reported to have antioxidant, hepatoprotective, anti-allergy, anti-microbial, anti-cancer, cardio-protective, anti-cough, anti-diabetic, and anti-inflammatory activities.
So today we will take a look at the nutritional facts and amazing health benefits of guava leaves in this article.
Nutritional Facts of Guava Leaves
Guava leaves are rich in several important nutrients. Here are the nutritional facts of the leaves as published in the International Journal of Advanced Science and Research.
- Carbohydrate: 7 mg
- Protein: 16.8 mg
- Vitamin C: 103.0 mg
- Vitamin D: 14.80 mg
- Iron: 13.50 mg
- Calcium: 1660.0 mg
- Potassium: 1602.0 mg
- Magnesium: 440.0 mg
- Phosphorus: 360.0 mg
Health Benefits of Guava Leaves
Here are the 10 amazing health benefits of guava leaves
1. Treats Diarrhea
The foremost common and popular traditional use of guava leaves is to treat diarrhea. Recent laboratory studies support the ethnomedicinal antidiarrheal activity of guava leaves especially. These include its ability to hinder diarrheal pathogens, its effect on intestinal motility, gastric emptying, and a decrease in the frequency of defecation.
Extract of guava leaves at 5% and 10% concentrations reported being effective against bacterial diarrheal pathogens Shigella flexneri and Vibrio cholera. The leaf has also been reported to have antihelminthic action and can destroy parasitic worms.
Guava leaves are beneficial to treat vomiting, nausea, and to reduce stomach pain as well.
So, whenever you have diarrhea, boil a handful of guava leaves in a glass of water, make a decoction and drink like tea. You can also cure the disease by drinking ½ cup of raw juice of guava leaves.
2. Treats Malaria and Dengue fever
In folklore medicine, when there is fever “teas” is prepared from a mixture of herbs including guava leaves. Besides, a decoction of guava leaves mixed with pineapple and honey is used to treat malaria. A recent ethnobotanical survey reported that guava leaves are used by the rural communities of Bagamoyo district, Tanzania, for control of mosquitoes which are the vector for the parasite.
Laboratory studies support this traditional use of guava leaves which are reported to have antiplasmodial activities against Plasmodium falciparum that causes malaria.
Guava leaves are also very helpful in curing dengue fever. The leaf extract can increase the number of platelets in the blood. To treat any kind of fever, just boil 8-9 leaves of guava in 5 cups of water until it reduces to half. Then refrigerate it. Drink thrice daily.
3. Treats Respiratory infections
Leaves of guava are used as a remedy for cough by several ethnic groups of México, Malaysia, South Africa, as well as the Monpa ethnic group of Arunachal Pradesh, India. In North Sikkim, India, raw young leaves and tender shoots of guava are used to treat sore throat and cough. Guava leaves are also used in Tanzania for the treatment of tuberculosis and HIV-AIDS.
Laboratory investigation for the anticough activity of aqueous guava leaf extract reported that the frequency of cough decreases by 35% and 54% at doses of 2 and 5 g/kg, respectively. Leaf extracts were found to be effective against different respiratory pathogens such as Cryptococcus neoformans, K. pneumonia, Moraxella catarrhalis, Mycobacterium smegmatis, and S. Aureus.
Guava leaves are rich in iron content. Iron is very helpful in relieving cough and cold as it helps get rid of mucus. It also cleanses the respiratory tract, throat, and lungs.
4. Treats Oral/dental infections
In Andhra Pradesh, India, leaves of guava are used in mouth ulcers, while in North Sikkim, raw young leaves and tender shoots of guava have been used for toothache and mouth ulcers. Guava leaves are also widely used by the traditional healers of Cameroon for treating dental infections.
The potential of guava leaf in the treatment of periodontal diseases has recently been established. Guava leaf extract has been reported to show antibacterial activity against oral pathogens such as Streptococcus oralis, Streptococcus mitis, Streptococcus mutans, and Lactobacillus casei.
Studies reported that the extract of guava leaves is effective in dental caries and dental plaques. The aqueous leaf extract of guava was found to effective against oral pathogens Streptococcus sanguinis, Streptococcus. mitis, and Actinomyces sp., that causes dental plaque.
5. Treats Skin Infections
Guava leaves are used for the treatment of scabies and various skin-related ailments by many indigenous groups. Laboratory studies support this antibacterial activity of guava leaves against bacterial isolates like Proteus mirabilis, Streptococcus pyogenes, E. coli, S. aureus, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Guava leaves have been demonstrated to be effective in patients with surgical wounds, burns, and skin and soft tissue infections. The beneficial effect of extract of guava leaves on atopic dermatitis and skin lesions has also been demonstrated. Due to its anti-bacterial properties, guava leaves relieves the problem of frequent acne and pimples on the skin.
The paste of guava leaves is very effective in detoxing the skin. You can get a young look by making a pack of guava leaves and applying it to the skin. For this, grind guava leaves and make a paste. Mix curd in this paste and apply it on the face. Wash the face with normal water after applying this pack for 15-20 minutes. It improves the skin of the face.
Including guava leaves in your diet increases the number of antioxidants that help fight free radicals and protect the skin from any kind of damage.
6. Lowers Blood Sugar and Cholesterol
An ethnobotanical survey reported the use of guava leaves as a remedy for diabetes in many parts of India. Several animal and human studies too reported the significant antidiabetic potential of the guava leaf extract, without any side effects.
Long-term administration of leaf extracts increases the insulin level, glucose utilization, and the activity of hepatic enzymes. A guava leaf tea (Bansoureicha) is now commercially available in Japan which contains aqueous guava leaf extract and is approved as one of the Foods for Specified Health Uses.
If you drink guava leaf tea for 10-12 weeks then it will reduce blood sugar level without increasing insulin production. This tea with every meal will surely benefit pre-diabetic and diabetic patients. An increase in triglycerides and cholesterol is closely associated with insulin resistance. Recent research indicates that Guava leaf tea improves insulin resistance, and thus hypertriglyceridemia and hypercholesterolemia.
7. Cardiovascular and hypertensive disorders
Guava leaves have been used in the treatment of high blood pressure in Nigeria, Cuba, and Togo. Aqueous extract of the leaves showed cardioprotective effects and a significant reduction in blood pressure and heart rates in hypertensive animals.
Clinical trials of guava leaf extracts also reported lowering serum total cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure, with an increase in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol in treated patients.
Guava leaves contain vitamin C, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium which helps in maintaining blood pressure normal. The reason behind this is that minerals like potassium have a thinning effect on the internal blood vessel walls, which prevents the vessels from narrowing and ultimately helps maintain blood pressure normal. Besides phytochemicals present in guava leaves helps in reducing bad cholesterol and blood pressure, the two main reasons for cardiovascular diseases and stroke.
Further, Guava leaves contain Vitamin B complex which helps in improving blood circulation to the brain, which stimulates cognitive function and relaxes the nerve.
8. Beneficial for Women’s health
Guava leaf extract is used in many folklore medicines to treat conditions such as painful menstruation, miscarriages, uterine bleeding, and premature labor in women.
Several research studies too documented the beneficial effect of the leaves for various women’s health issues. The leaf extract was found to be beneficial against menstrual disorders, uterine hemorrhage, and menstrual pain as well.
9. Relieves pain
Guava leaves have been used traditionally for the treatment of various inflammatory ailments including rheumatism. In India, pounded leaves have been used for rheumatism.
Studies recorded the leaves to exhibit anti-inflammatory activity in induced edema in rats. The methanol extract of guava leaves when given orally, has also been reported to exhibit antipyretic activity in induced hyperpyrexia in experimental mice.
Moreover, due to the high concentration of calcium and phosphorus, guava leaves are useful against diseases such as osteoporosis, hypocalcemia, hypophosphatemia, etc.
10. Beneficial for hair
Guava leaves are widely used in hair growth. It is rich in vitamin B and vitamin C which nourish the follicles and support hair growth. Vitamin C helps to boost collagen activity which helps hair grow out faster and healthier.
To get the nutrition of the leaves on your hair, first, boil them well in water and then filter the water. After the water cools, massage it into the roots of the hair for 20 minutes and then wash it. The vitamins and minerals in it will make your hair rich in nutrition.
How to Use Guava Leaves
Guava Leaves Tea
- 10-15 fresh guava leaves
- ½ teaspoon normal or green tea leaves
- 2 cups of water
- Honey or Jaggery
- Take the leaves and wash the leaves thoroughly with water.
- Take a saucepan, pour 2 cups of water and let it boil.
- Then add the guava leaves and let it boil for 5-7 minutes.
- Add ½ teaspoon normal or green tea leaves for colour and flavour.
- Boil for another 5-7 minutes and strain the water.
- Add 1tsp honey or jaggery as sweeteners.
Guava Leaves Facepack
- A handful of guava leaves
- 2 teaspoons rosewater/Lemon Juice
- Fuller’s earth (if you have oily skin)
- Blend the guava leaves in a grinder and make a paste.
- Sprinkle the rose water or lemon juice on the paste.
- Apply it to your face and wash it off after 15 minutes.
Many stores sell dietary supplements that contain guava leaf extract. You can take it directly, but follow instructions for use as in the label. A variety of guava dietary supplements are also available to purchase online.