Guava leaf, like many other herbs, has an amazing array of qualities, and it seems to be able to do amazing things. It can stop diarrhea and has saved many lives across the world. Especially in impoverished countries, and in regions where modern health care is either not accessible, or it is not affordable (or both). There are constituents in guava leaf that attack pathogens. It’s antibacterial. Guava leaf can regulate blood glucose levels. It can help make you thin! It can even allow you to drink as much as you want and not have (many) repercussions the next day!
Many of you have been writing to ask how to make guava leaf tea, so I figured I would make it a new post. There are two methods available when making medicinal herbal teas: Infusions and Decoctions. Infusions are made by starting with boiling water, and letting the herbs soak for 10-20 minutes. To make an herbal decoction, you add your herbal material to cold water, heat it to boiling, then simmer for 20 minutes or more. Decoctions are more often used with root and bark material because medicinal qualities are more difficult to extract.
For guava leaf tea, you can use either method – to ensure the maximum amount of phytochemicals are extracted, simmer for a minimum of 10 minutes. If using dried leaves, add a couple teaspoons per each 8oz water to start, then alter to personal taste. If using fresh leaves you need to add more (maybe 2-4tsp), as the leaves will not be as concentrated and still contain a great deal of water.
These methods may be used for a variety of medicinal teas, but be sure to research your ingredients. Guava leaf has not been shown to have any toxicity, so making a very strong guava leaf tea is ok. The same cannot be said for all herbs. As always, make sure to discuss all herbal uses with a medical professional to asses medication interactions and health concerns.
Cheers to your health, everyone, and I appreciate your comments and questions. Keep them coming!
Originally inherited from the Aztec in Mesoamerica, guava leaves have a long history in Guatemala as a useful, and sometimes lifesaving, tool for battling diarrhea and intestinal discomfort. They are listed alongside 15 other plants in “Plants used in Guatemala for the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders,” published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, in 1993.
This paper “reports the in vitro studies [studies done in a petri dish] of the activity of 16 plant extracts against pathogenic enterobacteria (31). The researchers start out with a list of 408 plants; they narrow the list down to 34 plants which are deemed worthy of further study. Of these 34 plants, 16 are chosen for “confirmation” of antibacterial activity against E coli, Salmonella enteritidis, and Shigella flexneri pathogens. Guava leaf (Psydium guajava) turns out to be one of three plants (out of the 16) that inhibits growth of all three kinds of bacteria.
For a majority of these plants, the most effective extraction agent for antibacterial activity is ethanol. Ethanol extract, acetone extract, and n-hexane extracts of each plant are tested and compared for effectiveness. For guava leaf, the acetone extract proved most effective for antibacterial activity.
In Guatemala, guava leaf is used for diarrhea, dysentery, stomach pain, leucorrhea (a condition of unusual vaginal discharge), and a variety skin infections.
To access this article, please click here.
Aqueous extract of Psidium guajava L. budding leaves (PE) has been shown to possess anti-prostate cancer activity in a cell line model. We examined whether its bioactivity could be conserved either in the presence or the absence of synthetic androgen R1881. In both cases, PE was shown to inhibit LNCaP cell proliferation and down-regulate expressions of androgen receptor (AR) and prostate specific antigen (PSA). The cytotoxicity of PE was shown by enhanced LDH release in LNCaP cells. The flow cytometry analysis revealed cell cycle arrests at G0/G1 phase with huge amount of apoptotic LNCaP cells after treatment with PEfor 48 h in a dose-responsive manner, which was also confirmed by TUNEL assay. From the results of decreased Bcl-2/Bax ratio, inactivation of phosphor-Akt, activation of phosphor-p38, phospho-Erk1/phospho-Erk2, the molecular action mechanism of PE to induce apoptosis in LNCaP cells was elucidated. Compatible with the in vitro study findings, treatment with PE (1.5 mg/mouse/day) significantly diminished both the PSA serum levels and tumor size in a xenograft mouse tumor model. Conclusively, PE is a promising anti-androgen-sensitive prostate cancer agent.