Guava Information, Medicinal Uses and Health Benefits

Botanical name of Guava or Amrood is Psidium guajava. It belongs to plant family Myrtaceae.

Its common types include Apple guava, Yellow-fruited cherry guava Strawberry guava and Red apple guava. It does not require excessive use of chemicals or pesticides as used in case of grapes and other exotic fruits. Guava is one of the least chemically treated and sprayed fruits.

Guava is a small tropical tree that grows up to 35 feet tall.  The leaves of guava are rich in flavonoids, particularly in quercetin. It contains polysaccharides, vitamins, essential oils, minerals, enzymes, proteins, sesquiterpenoid alcohols and triterpenoid acids, alkaloids, glycosides, steroids, flavanoids, tannins and saponins.  It also contains lutein, sesquiterpenoid alcohols and triterpenoid acids.

Guava fruit is higher in vitamin C than citrus (80 mg of vitamin C in 100 g of fruit) and contains appreciable amounts of vitamin A as well. It is a good source pectin which is dietary fibre.

Plant is cultivated from the west coast of Africa to the Pacific region including India and China.  Guava berry is an important tropical fruit that is mostly consumed fresh. The fruit contains several small seeds and consists of a fleshy pericarp and seed cavity with pulp.

The tree is easily identified by its distinctive thin, smooth, copper colored bark that flakes off, showing a greenish layer beneath. The branches are crooked, bringing opposite leaves. The flowers are white, incurved petals, 2 or 3 in the leaf axils; they are fragrant, with four to six petals and yellow anthers. The fruit is small, 3 to 6 cm long, pear-shaped, reddish-yellow when ripe. Guava is considered as poor man apple of tropics.

Guava is also used as medicine all over the world. In Latin America and Mozambique leaves are used for diarrhoea and pain in abdomen.

  • In South America leaves are used as infusion for treatment of Diabetes mellitus and hypertension.
  • In China, leaves are used for diarrhoea, antiseptic and Diabetes mellitus.
  • In Philippines it is used for treatment of ulcers, wounds and diarrhoea.
  • In India leaves and shoots are used to get rid of worms, in treatment of antispasmodic, in rheumatism and in treatment of convulsions.

Information about Guava

Origin

Mexico and extends all over the South America, Europe, Africa and Asia. It has been used widely and known in Peru since Columbian times.

Habitat

  • It can grow in all the tropical and subtropical areas of the world, but prefers dry climates.
  • In countries like Mexico and Caribbean, Africa and Asia used Guava as traditional medicine.
  • In Colombia and Mexico leaves are used as decoction and poultice for treatment of diarrhoea, gastroenteritis, dysentery, rheumatic pain, wounds, ulcers and toothache.

Medicinal Uses of Guava

  • It can be used in diarrhoea where it acts as antidiarrheal.
  • It can be used in gastrointestinal disease like dysentery.
  • It acts as anti-inflammatory agent.
  • It can be used in diabetes, hypertension and dental caries.

Chemical composition of guava:

It contains various components like α:pinene, β:pinene, limonene, menthol, terpenyl acetate, isopropyl alcohol, longicyclene, caryophyllene, β:bisabolene, cineol, caryophyllene oxide, β:copanene, farnesene, humulene, selinene, cardinene and curcumene, isolated flavonoids and saponins from the leaves and its combined with oleanolic acid. Nerolidiol, β:sitosterol, ursolic, crategolic, and guayavolic acids.

Nutritive Value of Guava

  • Calories 77-86g
  • Moisture 2.8-5.5g
  • Crude fiber 0.9-1.0g
  • Protein 0.1-0.5
  • Fat 0.43-0.7
  • Ash 9.5-10
  • Carbohydrate 9.1-17mg
  • Calcium 17.8-30mg
  • Phosphorous 0.30-0.70mg
  • Iron 200-400 I.U.
  • Carotene (Vitamin A) 0.046mg
  • Thiamin 0.03-0.04mg
  • Riboflavin 0.6-1.068mg
  • Niacin 40 I.U.
  • Vitamin B3 35 I.U.

Nutrients

  • Dietary fiber-22%.
  • Protein- 5%.
  • Calories- 3%.
  • Vitamin C- 381%.
  • Vitamin A- 12%

Minerals

  • Potassium 12%.
  • Copper 11%.
  • Manganese 8%.

Medicinal Properties of Guava

Guava is used as anti-microbial as it used against Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhi, Staphylococcus aureus, Proteus mirabilis and Shigella dysenteria. Its leaves and bark have antimicrobial activity. The leaves of Psidium guajava are rich in tannin and has anti-septic activity. Leaves also contains large amounts of tannin, riterpernoids (crateogolics, guaijavolic, oleanolics and ursolic acid).

Guava is Nutritious

Its fruit contains Vitamin C, Vitamin A, iron, calcium, Maganese, oxalic acid, malic acids, phosphoric acid. single common guava (P. guajava) fruit contains about four times the amount of vitamin C as an orange.

Guavas contain both carotenoids and polyphenols – the major classes of antioxidant pigments – giving them relatively high potential antioxidant value among plant foods.

Guava is good source of copper. Copper helps regulating metabolism by helping to control hormone production and absorption.

As it contains vitamin C it helps in treatment of scurvy.

Guava contains only 38 calories. It provides energy and the nutrients needed to get through the day without increasing the number of calories.

Guavas contain 21% of Vitamin A which is essential for maintaining healthy mucous membrane and skin.

It is richest sources of dietary fibre as its fruits and seeds acts as laxative. It helps in proper digestion and proper excretion.

Guava has vitamin B3 and B6. Vitamin B3 (niacin) can increase blood flow and stimulate cognitive function. It helps in nutrition of brain and acts as nerve tonic. It helps in increasing concentration.

Guava in Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus is most common disease. It affects more than 100 million people worldwide and in the next 10 years it may affect about 5 times more people. In India prevalence rate of diabetes is 1-5%. Guava has anti-diabetic activity. It helps in significant reduction in blood glucose, urea, body weight, liver glycogen and serum cholesterol.

In Diabetes, it is seen that they have early glycation and end products are form which further causes complication in diabetic patients. Guava helps to inhibit such a glycation process.

Guava is an excellent anti low-density lipoprotein. It helps in prevention of heart disease and other degeneration of nerves.

Guava in Heart Diseases

Heart disease can be easily managed by use of guava. Guava leaf extract is used in treatment of myocardial (layer of heart) injury. Leaf extract of guava has cardio protective effects.

Guava leaf extract is used in treatment of myocardial (layer of heart) injury. Leaf extract of guava has cardioprotective effects. It helps in regulating blood pressure.

It is useful in treatment of plaque as it contains flavonoid compound, quercetin-3-O-alpha-arabinopyranoside(guaijaverin) and it acts as antiplaque agent.

It helps to reduce cholesterol in the blood. It prevents thickening of blood and maintains fluidity of blood.

Guava is Good for Liver

Liver is the main organ of body. It controls various activities in body. It protects against various harmful drugs and chemicals. Thus, it helps in detox of body.

Leaves of guava has hepatoprotective effect. It helps in healing of liver injury.

Psidium guajava contain quercetin and therefore it may be used to protect the liver from toxic injury.

Guava is Antioxidant

Free radicals are produced as by product of metabolism. These molecules Heart disease can be easily managed by use of guava.

Guava acts as antioxidant as it contains ascorbic acid which is a powerful antioxidant present in guava leaf.

Flavonoids are natural phenolic substances present in Psidium guajava that can act as antioxidants in biological systems.

Guava is Antimutagenic

Guava leaves has antimutagenic effects and helps in treatment of cancer. Cancer is one of the most dreaded diseases of the 20th century and spreading further with persistence and increasing incidence in 21st century. Essential oil extracted from leaves of Psidium guajava was highly effective in reducing the growth of human mouth epidermal carcinoma and leukemia.

It is rich in lycopene which is powerful antioxidants that can reduce prostate cancer risk.

Guava helps in prevention of tumour.  Jacoumaric acid (isolated from guava seeds) was evaluated for its antitumour effect, it was found to significantly reduce the incidence of tumours.

Guava leaf oil acts as anti-proliferative and used in modern medicines in reducing the growth of cancer cells.  It has ability to inhibit the growth and metastasis of cancerous cells. It helps in prostate cancer, breast and oral cancers.

Guava in Abdominal Diseases

According to research, water and chloroform extracts of guava is found to effective in treatment of typhoid. It is very effective in treatment of infantile diarrhoea caused by rotavirus.

Guava seeds are used for treatment of constipation as it has dietary fiber in these seeds.

Guava for Reproductive Health

Leaves of guava has beneficial effects on sperm production and quality. It is very helpful for infertile males with oligospermia and non-obstructive azoospermia.

It is very good for pregnant women as it prevents neural tube defects. Pink guava helps to protect the skin against UV rays.

The decoction of leaves of the guava is used for vaginal and uterine problems.

Guava in Dental Care

In Southern Nigeria twigs are used as chew sticks as it contains saponins, tannins, flavonoids and alkaloids. It is seen that chewing sticks when used without toothpaste are very efficient, effective, and very reliable for cleaning teeth. It makes teeth strong, clean, fresh and no dental plaques are seen as it prevents dental decay.

The juice of guava leaves is very helpful in curing toothaches, swollen gums and oral ulcers. It helps in healing of wounds.

Use of Guava in Diseases

Guava leaf extract is beneficial in treatment of acne, as it has anti-inflammatory effect.

Leaves of guava are used in fever. Leaves are used as an ingredient in the preparation of fever teas. They are also used as a part of the pot herb used in steam treatment for malaria.

The stem bark extract contained anthraquinones, flavonoids, seccoirridoids and terpenoids which is useful in treatment of malaria.

Its flowers are used as a poultice for conjunctivitis.

It helps on loose bowels and reduce the symptoms of diarrhoea. It contains carotenoids and potassium which strengthen the digestive system.

It improves eyesight as it a good source of Vitamin A. It can slow down occurrence of cataracts, macular degeneration and improves the health of the eyes.

It is very good for skin as it improves the texture of skin, as it contains abundance of astringents. It helps tightening of muscles. It has detoxifying properties and helps in glowing of skin. It is very good against premature aging, wrinkles and other skin related problems.

It helps in weight loss, improves the skin.

It prevents cold, constipation and scurvy. It helps in boosting immune system.

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