13 Wonderful Health Benefits of Guava Leaves

 13 Wonderful Health Benefits of Guava Leaves

Guava (Psidium guajava) is a pear-shaped delicious common fruit cultivated in many tropical and subtropical regions. It is widely consumed fresh and also in processed form (beverages, syrup, ice cream, and jams). It is one of the least chemically treated fruits as its shelf life is better than most of the exotic fruits. Multiple health benefits of guava can surely tag it as a Super Fruit. Just like the fruit, the GUAVA LEAVES are just as medicinally useful as the nutritional powerhouse fruit they grow with. The leaves of the guava tree are full of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory agents and antibacterial property that can have significant health benefits, from treating stomach troubles to chronic diseases like cancer. 

Benefits of guava leave -12 health benefits

BENEFITS OF GUAVA LEAVES:

Like the fruit, guava leaves are also packed with beneficial substances like carotenoids, polyphenols, and flavonoids which are very effective in treating different diseases. (1) Scientific studies have documented the healthful qualities of the superfruit Guava’s leaves as given below: 

Helps in Losing Weight:

Obesity is being an epidemic that can cause many health problems such as diabetes and heart disease. Guava leaf contains a flavonoid called Quercetin which can inhibit fat cell formation. They do this by inhibiting complex starches from converting into sugars. Typically, the sugar is metabolized by the liver where it gets turned into fat and then secreted into the blood. This is what contributes to weight gain. The active ingredients in guava leaves have the peculiar ability to stop the absorption of carbohydrates by the body, which can decrease the amount of sugar and calories the body absorbs, thus helping in weight loss. (1,2,3)

Helps in reducing the risk of Heart Diseases: 

Guava leaf helps to lower the level of cholesterol and also helps in lowering blood pressure. Regularly taking guava leaves for months can help reduce low-density lipoprotein or LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglycerides without any side effects and increases “good” HDL cholesterol. Quercetin, present in guava leaf, has a strong antioxidant effect on the body. It reduces oxidative stress caused by free radicals inside the body. Thus, quercetin stops LDL formation. LDL is responsible for causing atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular conditions. According to research, if you drink guava leaf tea for three months then it can lead to a reduction in LDL / bad cholesterol & triglycerides without any bad effect on the good cholesterol and thus reduces the risk of heart diseases. (4,5)

Helps in reducing Diabetes Type 2: 

Studies found that guava leaf extract improved blood sugar levels, long-term blood sugar control, and insulin resistance. Guava leaf extract has a phytochemical called Catechin which controls the blood glucose level or in other names, it has a hypo-glycaemic effect on the body. Tea made of guava leaf can effectively lower blood glucose in diabetics by decreasing the alpha-glucosidase enzyme activity. Also, it averts the absorption of sucrose & maltose by the body, thus lowering blood sugar levels. 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. (5,6,7,10)

Benefits of guava leave- good for diabetes,hypertension and weight loss

Helps in Preventing Cancer:

 Studies have found that one of the best benefits that may be found in guava leaf is anti-cancer activity. It has been proved that guava leaf can reduce the risk of several types of cancer such as gastric, breast, oral and prostate cancer. According to a research report in the Journal of Medicinal Foods, the antioxidant effects of guava leaves can counter the oxidative stress and inflammation that can lead to cancer. The anti-cancer property is mainly due to the antioxidants present in guava leaves such as quercetin, lycopene, and Vitamin C. Those components can induce apoptosis or self-killing activity of cancer cells according to a study which published in 2011. (11,12,1,13,15)

High Lycopene content inhibits the production of Androgen, the male hormone responsible for the growth of cells in some types of prostate cancer, according to a 2012 study published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research. Guava leaf extract has anti-cancer and anti-tumor properties due to the presence of compounds, like lycopene, quercetin, and vitamin C, which work as antioxidants to neutralize free-radical damage in the body. 

According to a study published in the journal Food Chemistry in 2011,  the plant extract when consumed leads to apoptosis of gastric cancer cells.(14) In a study published in Journal Cancer Letters 2006, essential oils in Guava leaf slow cancer activity in patients with stomach cancer, due to rich concentration of nerolidol, caryophyllene, beta bisabolene, p-selinene, aromandreno, tannins, beta-sitosterol, leucocyanidins, and triterpenoids. 

Helps in treating Diarrhoea and Dysentery:

To treat Diarrhoea and Dysentery, guava leaves were often chewed and eaten. It has anti-microbial properties. Diarrhea is a condition due to a bacterial infection of Staphylococcus aureus. The study reported that guava leaf has strong antibacterial compounds such as tannins and essential oil which very effective to fight against S. Aureus infection and inhibit those bacteria growth. The guava leaves can also be boiled with water and the strained extract can be taken as a medicine 2-3 times a day till the problems of Diarrhoea & Dysentery disappear. (1 ,16,17)

Helps in Fighting Dengue fever:

Guava leaves are very helpful in curing dengue fever. Drinking guava leaf extract raises the number of platelet count in blood and helps in fighting back from Dengue. If, we boil 8-9 pieces of guava leaves with 5 cups of water until it becomes half and then strain and cool it. This mixture is very helpful for dengue patients. (18)

Acts as a Pain Reliever:

Taking guava leaf extract daily may help decrease the experience of pain due to different reasons. Often women suffer from Dysmenorrhea (painful symptoms of menstruation like stomach cramps). Guava leaf extract may reduce the pain intensity of menstrual cramps. Guava leaves are also believed to reduce uterine cramps. Arthritis causes tremendous joint pain. The quercetin in guava leaves has a significant effect to reduce the pain of arthritis. 

The leaves of the guava plant also help in reducing Toothaches and take good care of the oral cavity. The guava leaf extract prevents the growth of microbes inside the mouth and thus protect against toothaches, cavities, and other oral diseases that can produce tooth pain. (19,20,211)

Benefits of guava leave- good for beauty treatment

Helps in fixing beauty problems:

Guava leaves have antioxidants that destroy free radicals, which usually damages the skin. The strong antioxidant effect of guava leaves protects the skin damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals can be harmful to skin, as it damages the skin cell and initiates aging. 

Consuming guava leaf tea regularly can keep skin firm and young. Guava leaf contains anti-bacterial and anti-inflammation properties which reduce skin itching. Just crush the leaves and rub to itchy skin to get this benefit. 

Having acne on the face is quite embarrassing. The anti-bacterial component present in guava leaf can get rid of P. Acne, the bacteria which cause acne. The anti-inflammatory components in guava leaf reduce redness and inflammation on the skin. 

It also suppresses the rise of blackheads on the face.

Guava leaves are very rich in nutrients as well as antioxidants, thus help in promoting healthy hair growth. Guava leaves make hair soft and lustrous and also increase its volume.

By crushing guava leaves, 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. (19,1)

 Keeps Digestive System strong:

Guava leaf extract may benefit digestive health. guava leaves stimulate the release of certain gastric enzymes that can speed digestion and improve nutrient uptake in the body. [8] 

Guava leaves are also good for the liver:

The liver plays an important role in the detoxification process of the body. Guava leaves have a hepatoprotective activity that can cure liver injury induced by paracetamol consumption. It also has a strong effect to protect the liver from some enzyme which can damage liver cells such as aspartate, aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, and bilirubin. (1)

Helps to treat Bronchitis:

Bronchitis is a condition in which the bronchus of the respiratory system being infected. 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. [9]

Helps to treat Sore Throat:

The anti-inflammatory abilities of guava leaves, particularly when brewed into a tea, can soothe inflammation or irritation in the throat. 

Helps in Sperm Production:

Consumption of guava leaf tea or supplementation with guava leaves have a potential effect in increasing the sperm count in males and thus improves man fertility and helps in conception.

HOW TO MAKE GUAVA LEAF EXTRACT:

Guava leaf extract is usually used for traditional medicines. Here is the process to make guava leaf extract:

  • Take 4-5 washed and cleaned leaves
  • Boil the leaves with 1litre of water
  • Let it boil for few minutes and then strain it
  • Bring it to the room temperature and it is ready to consume (Can add honey to enhance the taste)

Guava leaves can also be used in many different ways. One can choose to crush the leaves and use the extracted juices in their hair masks to stimulate hair growth (collagen formation). Boiling the leaves in hot water and then straining them can also produce a beneficial extract that is packed with antioxidants. Chewing and eating the leaves directly can be used as a gastrointestinal aid while crushing the leaves and mixing with other carrier oils or cosmetic products can also produce a typical anti-inflammatory ointment.

Benefits of guava leave-leaf infused tea

HOW MUCH GUAVA LEAF EXTRACT SHOULD BE CONSUMED

The recommended daily intake is 100 ml guava leaves extract water for once in two days. Including this regularly in our diet improves body health. Guava leaves can also be consumed by mixing it with tea. Then, there is also another alternative to consume guava water, which is making it as tea. Following is the process of making Guava Leaf tea:

  • Dry some young guava leaves and then crushed into powder
  • Add one tablespoon of guava leaf powder along with tea leaves to one cup of hot water
  • Let it brew for 5 minutes and strain it

Drink guava leaf tea regularly, once a day to enhance health. 

The Bottom Line

Guavas are called super fruit as it is delicious and packed with nutrients. This tropical fruit is low in calories, loaded with fiber, and an excellent addition to a healthy diet. Along with the guava fruit, the rich nutrient content of the leaves makes it even more useful. Many studies support the benefits of guava leaf extracts and recommend to include in daily diet. Together, guava fruit and leaf extracts may boost our health, digestive system, and immune system, in addition to other benefits.

Purbasha Chatterjee

About Purbasha Purbasha is M Sc. in Dietetics and Community Nutrition Management. While studying she has got real time experience of working with cancer patient in Thakurpukur Cancer Hospital, West Bengal. Also, have the experience to work as a trainee dietitian in Westbank Hospital. Apart from this she also has the exposure in the field of Community Nutrition. She has worked hand in hand with the community workers in CINI specifically for the betterment of pregnant, and lactating mothers and their children.

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