Guava Is What Keeps the Doctor Away In Poor Countries

guava still up on a tree

Scientific name: Psidium guajava 
English name: guava
Philippine name: bayabas

Guava is known in many parts of the world as “the poor man’s apple.” It is what keeps the doctor away in many poor countries. The guava tree bears sweet, tangy and crunchy fruits which are delicious when eaten raw or when made into jams and jellies.

Traditional Herbal Uses in the Philippines:
• Anti-diarrheal—I grew up being made to drink a decoction of guava leaves whenever I had diarrhea. It is really effective and I now use it to my own children.
• Antiseptic– I and my siblings were taught to just mash a clump of bayaba leaves and apply it on our minor wounds and scratches. My mother also taught me to use guava leaf decoction as a vaginal antiseptic after childbirth. I personally find it far more effective than the doctor-prescribed ones.
Traditional Herbal Uses in Other Countries:
• Tikuna Indians use the decoction of guava bark and leaves to cure diarrhea, vomiting, sore throats, vertigo and menstrual problems. The leaf decoction is used to treat oral problems such as bleeding gums, bad breath and vaginal antiseptic. Guava flower decoction is used for eye problems such as conjunctivitis.
• In Latin America, many parts of Africa and almost all countries in Asia, guava is a popular antidiarrheal herb.
Clinical Studies:
On Anti-diarrheal Property–Guava has high levels of quercetin, a flavonoid which relaxes intestinal muscles thereby inhibiting bowel contractions. In addition, lectin chemicals in guava bind to E. coli, the causative factor of most diarrhea cases, thereby stopping diarrhea at its very cause. There are actually many substances in guava which exhibit antimicrobial properties against a wide range of diarrhea-causing microorganisms. It is the duo of antispasmodic and antimicrobial action which makes guava such an effective treatment for diarrhea.
On Antiseptic Activity–There are many substances in guava which have demonstrated broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity against a wide array of germs such as bacteria, fungi, yeast, ameba and malaria. This explains its effectiveness as a cure for wounds, skin infections and ulcers.
On Cardiovascular Toning Activity–In Brazil, clinical studies show that daily consumption of guava fruits lowers LDL cholesterol and improves HDL levels. This is attributed to the high antioxidant, fiber and potassium content of guava.
Preparation and Dosage:
Antiseptic/astringent:
1. Wash guava leaves in running water.
2. Boil a cup of leaves in 3 cups of water for 10 minutes.
3. Strain, cool and store in a covered container.
4. Use the solution as a mouthwash, wound antiseptic and vaginal antiseptic.
Anti-diarrhea:
• Wash guava leaves and chop coarsely.
• Boil 6 tablespoons of guava leaves in 18 ounces of water.
• Drink ¼ cup of the solution every 3 hours.

Any good memories you have with guava?  Other than being a delicious fruit of course.

Photo Credit: http://freewallpaper.in

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