Bayabas (Guava) as Herbal Medicine
“Guava” in English. A Philippine herbal medicine used as antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, antioxidant hepatoprotective, anti-allergy, antimicrobial, anti-plasmodial, anti-cough, antidiabetic, and antigenotoxic in folkloric medicine.
– Widely distributed throughout the Philippines in all islands and provinces.
– Common in backyards and settled areas.
– In thickets and secondary forests at low altitudes, ascending to at least 1,500 meters.
– Introduced from tropical America.
– Thoroughly naturalized.
– Pantropic in distribution.
– Antidiarrheal, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antioxidant hepatoprotective, anti-allergy, antimicrobial, antigenotoxic, antiplasmodial, cardioactive, anticough, antidiabetic, antiinflammatory, antinociceptive.
– Bark and leaves are astringent and vulnerary.
Leaves, bark, fruit, flowers, roots.
Edibility / Nutrition
– Well known for its edible fruit.
– Fruit can be eaten raw or canned, jellied, juiced or powdered.
– Ripe fruit is eaten as vegetable and used as seasoning for native dishes, like sinigang, etc.
– Very high in vitamin C (80 mg in 100 gm of fruit) with large amounts of vitamin A.
– In the Philippines, the astringent, unripe fruit, the leaves, bark cortex, and roots – though more often the leaves only – are used in decoction for washing ulcers and wounds.
-Fresh leaves used for wounds and toothache.
– Decoction or infusion of fresh leaves used for wound cleaning to prevent infection and to facilitate healing.
– Warm decoction of leaves for aromatic baths.
– Decoction of bark and leaves used for diarrhea.
– For diarrhea, boil for 15 minutes 4 to 6 tablespoons of chopped leaves in 18 ounces of water. Strain and cool. Drink 1/4 of the decoction every 3 – 4 hours.
– Bark used internally for chronic diarrhea of children and adults – half an ounce of the bark or root bark in six ounces of water is boiled down to 3 ounces, and given in teaspoon doses. Also used for prolapsus ani of children.
– Decoction of rootbark also used as mouthwash for swollen gums.
– Root-bark has been recommended for chronic diarrhea.
– For toothache, chew 2-3 young leaves and put into the tooth cavity.
– In Mexico, decoction of leaves used for cleaning ulcers. Ground leaves used as poultice. Leaves also used as remedy for itches. Fruit also used as anthelmintic.
– In Uruguay, decoction of leaves used as vaginal and uterine wash, especially in leucorrhea.
– In the West Indies, decoction of young leaves and shoots used as febrifuge and for antispasmodic baths. Infusion of leaves used for cerebral affections, nephritis, and cachexia. Pounded leaves used locally for rheumatism; extract used for epilepsy and chorea.
– In Costa Rica, decoction of flower buds used for diarrhea and to improve blood flow.
– For gum swelling, chew leaves or use the leaf decoction as mouthwash 3 times daily; chewed leaves.
– For skin ulcers, pruritic or infected wounds: Apply decoction of leaves or unripe fruit as wash or the leaf poultice on the wound or use the decoction for wound cleansing. It is also popularly used for the wound healing of circumcision wounds.
– Guava jelly used as heart tonic; also for constipation.
– Ripe fruit is used as aperient.
– Water in which the fruit is soaked used for diabetes.
– For nosebleeds, densely roll the bayabas leaves and place into the nostril cavity.
– As vaginal wash, warm decoction of leaves as vaginal wash (after childbirth) or douche.
Leaf extract used in skin whitening products.
Toothbrush au-natural: Bayabas twigs, chewed at the ends until frayed, used as alternative for toothbrushing with whitening effect.
Wood is suitable for carpentry, turnery, fuel or charcoal.
A favorite rural use for tool handles.