By: Pallavi Vathiar. Practicing Clinical Nutritionist, Mumbai.
Many of us know about the benefits of guava fruit but we might not be aware of the fact that even its leaves have several medicinal properties and thus offers many health benefits. The chemicals in guava leaves like carotenoids, polyphenols, flavonoids & tannins can be very effective in treating different diseases.
Guava leaves are very helpful in curing dengue fever. Guava leaf extract can raise the number of platelets in the blood and is not at all poisonous. Boil 8-9 pieces of guava leaves in 5 cups of water until it becomes half. Then strain and cool it. Give a cup of this concoction to dengue patients thrice a day.
Psidium guajava leaf extract has been tested in vitro and showed to inhibit the growth of dengue virus (1)
One study in 19 people noted that drinking guava leaf tea lowered blood sugar levels after a meal. The effects lasted up to two hours and another study in 20 people with type 2 diabetes found that drinking guava leaf tea reduced blood sugar levels after a meal by more than 10% (2). Drinking guava leaf tea for 10-12 weeks then it will lower the blood sugar levels without raising insulin production.
Women experience stomach cramps during menstrual and guava leaf is said to be helpful to ease the pain. A study in 197 women who experienced painful symptoms found that taking 6 mg of guava leaf extract daily resulted in reduced pain intensity. It appeared to be even more powerful than some painkillers (3). Guava leaf extract is also thought to help relieve uterine cramps (4).
Guava leaves has antioxidants that destroy free radicals, which usually damages the skin. In this way it protects your skin from ageing and also improves skin tone & texture. One test-tube study found that guava leaf extract was effective at killing acne-causing bacteria — likely due to its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties (5).
Guava leaf extract has been linked to lower blood pressure, a decrease in “bad” LDL cholesterol, and a rise in “good” HDL cholesterol. A 12-week study in 120 people found that eating ripe guava before meals caused an overall decrease in blood pressure by 8–9 points, a reduction in total cholesterol by 9.9%, and an increase in “good” HDL cholesterol by 8% (6).
Many studies also support the benefits of guava leaf extracts, which are taken as dietary supplements. Together, guava fruit and leaf extracts may boost your heart health, digestion, and immune system, in addition to other benefits.