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!
My Intro to Guava Leaf Extract
Truth is though, from all the studies I’ve read so far, and from what I can tell sifting through article after article online, plants have lots to offer aside from just “nutrition.” Guava leaf isn’t the only plant to have seemingly amazing and unbelievable effects, but it is the only one that I’ve had any sort of personal relationship with.
In trying to prepare to write my first book, and to get back to writing after about five years hiatus, I read a book about Ginseng. In this book, “The Book of Ginseng, and other Chinese Herbs for Vitality” by Stephen Fulder, the differences between the Eastern and Western models of health and well-being are explored. He states that “while Western medicine can provide many cures for obvious disease, it is incompetent in dealing with…states of chronic sub-health. This is the practical consequence of defining health as the absence of sickness” (45). In Eastern, or Chinese medicine, “Diseases arise through imbalances, health through equilibrium, and medicine and its drugs are essentially adjustive and restorative” (44).
Western medicine has become very adept at dealing with disease once it presents itself, and pharmaceutical companies are at the helm of drug discovery process for this method of healing. Natural products have long been a focus for many pharmaceutical companies, often with promising outcomes. Drug discovery from medicinal plants led to the isolation of early drugs such as cocaine, codeine, digitoxin, and quinine, in addition to morphine. Many of these early drug discoveries are still in use (Kinghorn 2005).
A continuing issue for these pharmaceutical companies remains however: drug discovery through natural products can be both costly and time-consuming, due to the complex nature of the chemical compounds found in plants. In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, competition between pharmaceutical companies to come up with novel classes of drugs prompted them to find a way to speed up the drug discovery process. This led to the breakthrough development of high-throughput screening (HTS), which in turn led to what the industry calls ‘blitz-screening,’ in which a drug can be tested in three months’ time.
Because medicinal plants are structurally complex, chemists often prefer not to work with them because it is difficult to prepare as many natural product analogs as synthetic chemicals in the same amount of time. Even with these limitations, drug discovery from natural products continues; in the areas of cancer and infectious disease, for example, 60% and 75% of new drugs, respectively, originated from natural sources between 1981 and 2002. Between 2001 and 2005, 23 new drugs derived from natural products were introduced for the treatment of disorders such as bacterial and fungal infections, cancer, diabetes…the list goes on. In both 2001 and 2002, approximately one quarter of the best-selling drugs worldwide were natural products or derived from natural products (Butler 2000). Despite the success of natural products as a source for new drug leads, however, many large pharmaceutical companies have downgraded or even terminated their natural product research programs (Lam 2007), in part because of the lack of profitability and quick turnover rates cited above.
During much of the 20th century, medicinal plants were regarded with skepticism and the practice of herbal medicine went into decline. Plants were viewed mainly “as a potential source of pure chemical compounds for the development of medicine” (Gurib-Fakim 2006). Perhaps this trend will begin to turn around as the benefits of plants are gaining recognition worldwide.antibacterial, blood glucose levels, Diabetes, diarrhea, drug, drugs, eastern medicine, guava history, Guava Leaf, herbs, impoverished countries, medicinal plants, pathogens, type, Type 2 diabetes, Western medicine