The botanical name of Guava or Amrood is Psidium guajava. It belongs to the plant family Myrtaceae.
Its common types include Apple guava, Yellow-fruited cherry guava Strawberry guava, and Red apple guava. It does not require excessive use of chemicals or pesticides as used in the case of grapes and other exotic fruits. Guava is one of the least chemically treated and sprayed fruits.
Guava is a small tropical tree that grows up to 35 feet tall. The leaves of guava are rich in flavonoids, particularly in quercetin. It contains polysaccharides, vitamins, essential oils, minerals, enzymes, proteins, sesquiterpenoid alcohols, and triterpenoid acids, alkaloids, glycosides, steroids, flavonoids, tannins, and saponins. It also contains lutein, sesquiterpenoid alcohols, and triterpenoid acids.
Guava fruit is higher in vitamin C than citrus (80 mg of vitamin C in 100 g of fruit) and contains appreciable amounts of vitamin A as well. It is a good source of pectin which is dietary fiber.
The plant is cultivated from the west coast of Africa to the Pacific region including India and China. Guava Berry is an important tropical fruit that is mostly consumed fresh. The fruit contains several small seeds and consists of a fleshy pericarp and seed cavity with pulp.
The tree is easily identified by its distinctive thin, smooth, copper-colored bark that flakes off, showing a greenish layer beneath. The branches are crooked, bringing opposite leaves. The flowers are white, incurved petals, 2 or 3 in the leaf axils; they are fragrant, with four to six petals and yellow anthers. The fruit is small, 3 to 6 cm long, pear-shaped, reddish-yellow when ripe. Guava is considered a poor man apple of the tropics.
Guava is also used as medicine all over the world. In Latin America and Mozambique, leaves are used for diarrhea and pain in the abdomen.
- In South America leaves are used as infusions for the treatment of Diabetes mellitus and hypertension.
- In China, leaves are used for diarrhea, antiseptic, and Diabetes mellitus.
- In the Philippines, it is used for the treatment of ulcers, wounds, and diarrhea.
- In India leaves and shoots are used to get rid of worms, in treatment of antispasmodic, in rheumatism, and in treatment of convulsions.
Information about Guava
Mexico and extends all over South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. It has been used widely and known in Peru since Columbian times.
- It can grow in all the tropical and subtropical areas of the world but prefers dry climates.
- In countries like Mexico and the Caribbean, Africa and Asia used Guava as traditional medicine.
- In Colombia and Mexico leaves are used as decoction and poultice for the treatment of diarrhea, gastroenteritis, dysentery, rheumatic pain, wounds, ulcers, and toothache.
Medicinal Uses of Guava
- It can be used in diarrhea where it acts as antidiarrheal.
- It can be used in gastrointestinal diseases like dysentery.
- It acts as an anti-inflammatory agent.
- It can be used in diabetes, hypertension, and dental caries.
Chemical composition of guava:
It contains various components like α:pinene, β:pinene, limonene, menthol, terphenyl acetate, isopropyl alcohol, longicyclene, caryophyllene, β:bisabolene, cineol, caryophyllene oxide, β:copanene, farnesene, humulene, selinene, cardinene and curcumin, isolated flavonoids and saponins from the leaves and it’s combined with oleanolic acid. Nerolidiol, β:sitosterol, ursolic, crategolic, and guayavolic acids.
Nutritive Value of Guava
- Calories 77-86g
- Moisture 2.8-5.5g
- Crude fiber 0.9-1.0g
- Protein 0.1-0.5
- Fat 0.43-0.7
- Ash 9.5-10
- Carbohydrate 9.1-17mg
- Calcium 17.8-30mg
- Phosphorous 0.30-0.70mg
- Iron 200-400 I.U.
- Carotene (Vitamin A) 0.046mg
- Thiamin 0.03-0.04mg
- Riboflavin 0.6-1.068mg
- Niacin 40 I.U.
- Vitamin B3 35 I.U.
- Dietary fiber-22%.
- Protein- 5%.
- Calories- 3%.
- Vitamin C- 381%.
- Vitamin A- 12%
- Potassium 12%.
- Copper 11%.
- Manganese 8%.
Medicinal Properties of Guava
Guava is used as anti-microbial as it used against Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhi, Staphylococcus aureus, Proteus mirabilis, and Shigella dysentery. Its leaves and bark have antimicrobial activity. The leaves of Psidium guajava are rich in tannin and has anti-septic activity. Leaves also contain large amounts of tannin, riterpernoids (crateogolics, guaijavolic, oleanolics, and ursolic acid).
Guava is Nutritious
Its fruit contains Vitamin C, Vitamin A, iron, calcium, Maganese, oxalic acid, malic acids, phosphoric acid. single common guava (P. guajava) fruit contains about four times the amount of vitamin C as an orange.
Guavas contain both carotenoids and polyphenols – the major classes of antioxidant pigments – giving them relatively high potential antioxidant value among plant foods.
Guava is a good source of copper. Copper helps to regulate metabolism by helping to control hormone production and absorption.
As it contains vitamin C it helps in the treatment of scurvy.
Guava contains only 38 calories. It provides energy and the nutrients needed to get through the day without increasing the number of calories.
Guavas contain 21% of Vitamin A which is essential for maintaining a healthy mucous membrane and skin.
It is the richest source of dietary fiber as its fruits and seeds act as laxatives. It helps in proper digestion and proper excretion.
Guava has vitamins B3 and B6. Vitamin B3 (niacin) can increase blood flow and stimulate cognitive function. It helps in the nutrition of the brain and acts as a nerve tonic. It helps in increasing concentration.
Guava in Diabetes
Diabetes mellitus is the most common disease. It affects more than 100 million people worldwide and in the next 10 years, it may affect about 5 times more people. In India, the prevalence rate of diabetes is 1-5%. Guava has anti-diabetic activity. It helps in a significant reduction in blood glucose, urea, body weight, liver glycogen, and serum cholesterol.
In Diabetes, it is seen that they have early glycation and end products are formed which further causes complications in diabetic patients. Guava helps to inhibit such a glycation process.
Guava is an excellent anti-low-density lipoprotein. It helps in the prevention of heart disease and other degeneration of nerves.
Guava in Heart Diseases
Heart disease can be easily managed by the use of guava. Guava leaf extract is used in the treatment of myocardial (layer of the heart) injury. Leaf extract of guava has cardioprotective effects.
Guava leaf extract is used in the treatment of myocardial (layer of the heart) injury. Leaf extract of guava has cardioprotective effects. It helps in regulating blood pressure.
It is useful in the treatment of plaque as it contains a flavonoid compound, quercetin-3-O-alpha-arabinopyranoside(guaijaverin) and it acts as an antiplaque agent.
It helps to reduce cholesterol in the blood. It prevents thickening of the blood and maintains the fluidity of blood.
Guava is Good for Liver
The liver is the main organ of the body. It controls various activities in the body. It protects against various harmful drugs and chemicals. Thus, it helps in the detox of the body.
Leaves of guava have a hepatoprotective effect. It helps in the healing of a liver injury.
Psidium guajava contains quercetin and therefore it may be used to protect the liver from toxic injury.
Guava is Antioxidant
Free radicals are produced as a by-product of metabolism. These molecules Heart disease can be easily managed by the use of guava.
Guava acts as an antioxidant as it contains ascorbic acid which is a powerful antioxidant present in guava leaf.
Flavonoids are natural phenolic substances present in Psidium guajava that can act as antioxidants in biological systems.
Guava is Antimutagenic
Guava leaves have antimutagenic effects and help in the treatment of cancer. Cancer is one of the most dreaded diseases of the 20th century and spreading further with persistence and increasing incidence in the 21st century. The essential oil extracted from the leaves of Psidium guajava was highly effective in reducing the growth of human mouth epidermal carcinoma and leukemia.
It is rich in lycopene which is a powerful antioxidant that can reduce prostate cancer risk.
Guava helps in the prevention of tumors. Jacoumaric acid (isolated from guava seeds) was evaluated for its antitumor effect, it was found to significantly reduce the incidence of tumors.
Guava leaf oil acts as an anti-proliferative and used in modern medicines in reducing the growth of cancer cells. It has the ability to inhibit the growth and metastasis of cancerous cells. It helps in prostate cancer, breast and oral cancers.
Guava in Abdominal Diseases
According to research, water and chloroform extracts of guava are found to effective in the treatment of typhoid. It is very effective in the treatment of infantile diarrhea caused by rotavirus.
Guava seeds are used for the treatment of constipation as it has dietary fiber in these seeds.
Guava for Reproductive Health
Leaves of guava have beneficial effects on sperm production and quality. It is very helpful for infertile males with oligospermia and non-obstructive azoospermia.
It is very good for pregnant women as it prevents neural tube defects. Pink guava helps to protect the skin against UV rays.
The decoction of leaves of the guava is used for vaginal and uterine problems.
Guava in Dental Care
In Southern, Nigeria twigs are used as chew sticks as it contains saponins, tannins, flavonoids, and alkaloids. It is seen that chewing sticks when used without toothpaste are very efficient, effective, and very reliable for cleaning teeth. It makes teeth strong, clean, fresh and no dental plaques are seen as it prevents dental decay.
The juice of guava leaves is very helpful in curing toothaches, swollen gums, and oral ulcers. It helps in the healing of wounds.
Use of Guava in Diseases
Guava leaf extract is beneficial in the treatment of acne, as it has an anti-inflammatory effect.
Leaves of guava are used in fever. Leaves are used as an ingredient in the preparation of fever teas. They are also used as a part of the potherb used in steam treatment for malaria.
The stem bark extract contained anthraquinones, flavonoids, seccoirridoids, and terpenoids which are useful in the treatment of malaria.
Its flowers are used as a poultice for conjunctivitis.
It helps on loose bowels and reduces the symptoms of diarrhea. It contains carotenoids and potassium which strengthen the digestive system.
It improves eyesight as it a good source of Vitamin A. It can slow down the occurrence of cataracts, macular degeneration and improves the health of the eyes.
It is very good for the skin as it improves the texture of the skin, as it contains an abundance of astringents. It helps to tighten muscles. It has detoxifying properties and helps in the glowing of skin. It is very good against premature aging, wrinkles, and other skin related problems.
It helps in weight loss, improves the skin.
It prevents cold, constipation, and scurvy. It helps in boosting the immune system.