According to Indian folklore, “it is believed that the leaves of this plant [guava] can cure jaundice within three days” (305). The use of guava leaves is reported to be widespread in the Mangalore district of Karnataka, in Southwest India, for the cure of jaundice. Scientists in the area decided to verify the use of guava leaves for jaundice and other liver diseases by conducting a study on the hepatoprotective (liver protection) properties of guava leaves.
The study on the hepatoprotective effects of guava leaf extract was conducted at the Krupanidhi College of Pharmacy in Bangalore, India. Researchers collected fresh leaves from guava trees in the Koramangala area in Bangalore. They crushed them, and boiled the leaves in water for one hour. They filtered out the solids, and evaporated the water, leaving a powdered guava leaf extract. Rats were used as study subjects.
Analysis of the extract showed that it contained carbohydrates, tannins, flavanoids, saponins, steriods, protiens and amino acids.
Researchers found that the extract showed good liver protective activities; the effect produced by the higher doses of guava leaf extract (500mg/kg) was similar to that produced by Silymarin, a well-known hepatoprotective agnet. Furthermore, the guava leaf extract prevented an increase in liver weight in rats, something Silymarin does not do.
“In conclusion,” the researchers stated, “the aqueous extract of Psidium guajava Linn. leaves [guava leaves] showed good hepatoprotective activity in CCI4 induced acute and chronic liver damage, PCM induced liver damage and TAA induced liver necrosis. The hepatoprotective activity may be due to the antioxidant effect of the plant” (310). In other words, guava leaves can help protect the liver. Guava leaf tea or guava leaf extract seems to be able to help prevent damage, or help to treat damage already done.
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