Guava is a traditional remedy for a variety of health conditions. Research suggests that guava fruits and leaves may have several benefits.
Guavas are tropical fruits with yellowish-green skin and grow on the trees of Central America. The Latin name for the common guava tree is Psidium guajava.
Guava leaf tea is used by people as a treatment for diarrhea in several countries, including India and China. In other countries, such as Mexico, people have traditionally used the pulp of the fruit to heal wounds.
Type 2 diabetes
Guava leaf tea can help prevent high blood sugar and improve symptoms in people with type 2 diabetes. A review of the evidence from clinical trials and animal studies suggests that guava leaf tea may help improve insulin resistance and lower blood sugar levels. These benefits may result from compounds in guava leaf extract that help moderate glucose absorption after a person eats a meal.
Taking supplements that contain guava leaf extract can reduce menstrual cramps. The results of one study suggest that taking guava leaf extract supplements may relieve menstrual pain in women with primary dysmenorrhea. Participants who took 6 milligrams (mg) of the extract each day experienced less period pain than those who took ibuprofen or a placebo.
Guava leaf tea is a traditional remedy for diarrhea in many parts of the world. Evidence from animal studies suggests that the leaf extract may have the potential to treat infectious diarrhea. One study investigated the use of this extract in mice with infectious diarrhea. The infection cleared more quickly in the mice that consumed guava leaf extract than in those that did not. Researchers noted that guava leaf extract shows promise as a treatment for this disease.
Another study found that guava leaf extract helped control diarrhea in chickens with Escherichia coli infections. However, scientists must conduct more research to confirm these findings in humans.
Drinking guava leaf tea can help people fight the flu. In a test tube study, guava leaf tea showed promise as an antiviral agent for treating influenza. The researchers found that the tea inhibited the growth of the virus that causes the flu.
The antiviral effect of tea may be due to the flavanols in the leaf, which are a natural antioxidant. Confirming the effects in humans will require further investigation.
Consuming guava leaf extract can help lower high blood pressure. A test-tube study conducted found that the extract had an antihypertensive effect on rat tissues, meaning it could have the potential to lower blood pressure.
This effect may be due to the antioxidant properties of the leaf extract. Antioxidants can lower blood pressure by helping to expand blood vessels.
However, scientists need to conduct more studies to determine whether guava leaf extract can lower high blood pressure in humans.
Some animal research suggests that guava leaf extract may benefit people with osteoarthritis. One study found that consumption of the extract protected against cartilage destruction in rats with induced osteoarthritis. However, researchers have yet to confirm this effect in humans.
Guava leaf extract may play a role in treating cancer. Results from a 2014 test-tube, animal, and computer study suggest that compounds in the extract may inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Researchers believe the effect may occur because compounds in the guava leaf act as selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs). SERMs are a class of drugs that doctors use to treat cancer. They work by preventing cancer cells from multiplying. However, scientists must conduct human clinical trials to better understand the potential of these compounds to fight cancer.
Guava fruit is a nutritious and healthy food that is rich in several important nutrients. According to the Department of Agriculture, 100 grams (g) of raw guava fruit contains:
- 68 calories.
- 14.32 g of carbohydrates.
- 8.92 g of sugars.
- 0.95 g of fat.
- 5.4 g of dietary fiber.
- 417 mg of potassium.
- 228.3 mg of vitamin C.
- 624 international units of vitamin A.