Why Buy Guava Leaf Tea: Anti-Diabetic Effects and Other Health Benefits
Guava – botanically known as Psidium guajava – is an evergreen, fruit-bearing plant with dark elliptic leaves. The potential health benefits of the guava fruit have received a lot of press in recent years, but also fresh guava leaves and herbal infusions made from dried guava leaves deserve their own spotlight.
In subtropical areas around the world, crushed fresh guava leaves as well as guava leaf tea made from the dried foliage of this tropical plant have been used by herbalists and practitioners of traditional medicine to treat everything from diabetes and diarrhea to toothaches, sores in the mouth and swollen gums.
In some parts of the world, folk healers have also recommended crushed guava leaves as a topical remedy for wounds and scrapes.
The purpose of this article, however, is to shed light on some of the potential health benefits of guava leaf tea that have actually been addressed in modern scientific studies. At the end of this article, you'll also find tips on where you can find guava leaf tea.
Antioxidant Powerhouse Drink
A Singaporean study published in the January 2002 issue of the journal Food Chemistry ranked 27 fruits in terms of their antioxidant capacity, and the guava fruit took fifth place after sapodillas, strawberries, plums, and star fruit. But guess what – also guava leaves have been shown to possess strong antioxidant properties! In fact, according to a study published in the journal Food Chemistry in 2007, the antioxidant effects of guava leaf extracts may be even stronger than those of dried guava fruits. These antioxidant effects were attributed to the presence of phenolic acids, such as ferulic acid, in the guava extracts.
As you may know, antioxidants scavenge free radicals which in turn are highly reactive molecules that can cause damage to your body at the cellular level. The damage caused by free radicals can ultimately lead to degenerative diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's disease, and macular degeneration.
Guava Leaf Tea Has Anti-Diabetic Activity – at Least in Mice
Juice made from the fruit of the guava tree has been shown to exert hypoglycemic effects both in mice and humans. But recent research shows that also guava leaves have anti-diabetic properties, suggesting that the Chinese herbalists who have been recommending guava tea to diabetics for years may have been onto something. A study published in the November 2008 issue of the journal Phytotherapy Research investigated the effects of guava leaf extracts in rats with type 2 diabetes and found that the administration of guava leaf extracts resulted in a significant reduction in the rats' blood sugar levels. However, as this study was carried out on rats, not humans, further research is needed to investigate the potential health benefits of guava leaf extracts in people with type 2 diabetes.
Antibacterial Effects Against Staph A
Staphylococcus aureus (Staph A) is a common cause of skin infections (such as pimples, boils, impetigo, and cellulitis folliculitis), respiratory diseases (such as sinusitis), and food poisoning. Skin colonization with Staph A is also common in people with atopic eczema, with over 90% of eczema sufferers carrying Staph A on their skin.
A laboratory study published in the November 1999 issue of the Journal of Ethnopharmacology reported that extracts of dried guava leaves effectively inhibited the growth of Staph A, so if you are looking for a natural remedy for a mild Staph infection, drinking guava leaf tea might be worth a try. To maximize the antibacterial effects of your tea, you might want to sweeten it with a bit of honey: many honeys, including Scottish heather honey, chestnut honey, Australian eucalyptus honey and manuka honey, may also help fight Staph A, laboratory studies suggest.
Where to Buy Guava Leaf Tea
In China, guava leaf tea is sold in many shops as a natural / complementary remedy for diabetics. But for people outside of China, finding guava leaf tea in the stores may prove to be challenge. If you're looking to buy guava leaf tea in the UK or US but have no luck in finding it in the health food stores (look for it in the section that covers anti-diabetic remedies for people with diabetes or pre-diabetes) or Chinese supermarkets in your region, check out the impressive range of guava teas on Amazon by clicking here.
(Note: If one of the reasons that got you interested in guava leaf tea in the first place is the fact that it is caffeine-free, then make sure you buy pure guava leaf tea rather than a tea blend that may contain caffeine.)
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