Guava leaves are among the most versatile and nutrient-dense plant parts in the world, boasting a diverse range of compounds and potential health benefits.
What Are Guava Leaves?
Guava leaves are the leaves of the guava plant, which bears the scientific name Psidium guajava, and they are one of the many medicinally useful portions of this plant. Guava leaves contain many different polyphenolic compounds and other antioxidants, such as flavonoids, tannins, and saponins, as well as eugenol and various active compounds. The fruit and the bark of the guava tree often get the most attention, but the leaves can be used in many ways for natural healing remedies. This plant is native to Mexico and other Central American countries, where it is a critical part of cultural, culinary, and medicinal traditions.
Guava leaves can also be used in many different ways; some people choose to crush the leaves and use the extracted juices in their hair masks to stimulate hair growth. Steeping the dried leaves in hot water can also produce a beneficial tea that is packed with antioxidants. Chewing and eating the leaves directly can be used as a gastrointestinal aid while crushing the leaves can also produce a topical anti-inflammatory salve when mixed with other carrier oils or cosmetic products.
Benefits of Guava Leaves
The major benefits of guava leaves include the following:
- Preventing hair loss
- Lowering cholesterol levels
- Reducing allergic reactions
- Improving skin appearance
- Weight loss
- Reducing the risk of diabetes
- Preventing diarrhea
- Aid in digestion
- Treating tooth-aches
- Aid in dengue fever
- Preventing prostate cancer
Let us discuss them in detail below.
By crushing guava leaves, you release many of the active ingredients and antioxidants in the juice, which can stimulate hair growth and prevent inflammatory conditions on the scalp that can lead to premature hair loss.
The active ingredients in guava leaves have the peculiar ability to stop the absorption of carbs by the body, which can decrease the amount of sugar and calories the body absorbs, thus helping with weight loss.
A recent animal study in the BioMed Research International journal found that guava leaf extract has great potential to cut blood sugar levels and oxidative stress as well as improve the inflammation in the diabetic subjects.
Gallic acid and the other catechins found in guava leaves are able to help suppress the total cholesterol levels in the body, which can help to prevent atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular conditions.
Diarrhea and Dysentery
In traditional use, guava leaves were often chewed and eaten to prevent diarrhea and dysentery, thanks to the antimicrobial properties of the leaves. You can also boil the leaves and remove the extract, then drink the mixture for 2-3 days until the symptoms disappear.
In addition to countering microbes and other bacteria in the gut, guava leaves can also stimulate the release of certain gastric enzymes that can speed digestion and improve nutrient uptake in the body.
Drinking guava leaf tea is an excellent way to reduce inflammation in the respiratory tracts, and speed the recovery from conditions like bronchitis by suppressing the desire to cough.
The leaves of the guava plant can help to prevent microbes from gaining a foothold in your mouth, which can protect against toothaches, cavities, and other oral diseases that can produce tooth pain.
The proven anti-inflammatory abilities of these leaves, particularly when brewed into a tea, can soothe any inflammation or irritation in the throat.
One of the side effects of eating guava leaves is an increase in platelet levels, which can help to fight back against the symptoms of Dengue fever, making it a vital herbal remedy in some parts of the world.
Although additional research is needed, a research report published in the Journal of Medicinal Foods shows that the antioxidant effects of guava leaves can counter the oxidative stress and inflammation that can lead to prostate cancer.
A number of studies have shown that supplementation with guava leaves is able to improve sperm count and boost fertility.
Wounds and Infections
When guava leaves are crushed and made into a salve, it can be applied directly to wounds, which will not only speed healing but also prevent infections from taking hold in those areas.
Acne and Black Spots
A popular addition to cosmetic products, guava leaf juice is known to reduce inflammation on acne breakouts and suppress the rise of blackheads on the face.
The many flavonoids, tannins, and other antioxidants in guava leaves make it an ideal remedy for premature aging, as it can reduce the appearance of wrinkles and age spots, and increase skin elasticity.
Where to Buy Guava Leaves?
If you live in tropical or subtropical areas, they are available at most markets and health food stores. However, in temperate regions or areas without guava trees, you can purchase them in bulk from apothecary stores, Etsy, and other online distributors. Guava leaves are also sold in tea leaf format and can be purchased in most places that sell tea, herbs, and health supplements.