Psidium guajava

Earth Medicine Special Report: Guava from David Bruce Leonard on Vimeo.

Plant name: Psidium guajava

Family: Myrtaceae

Common names: Guava, Kuawa, Puawa, [Hawai’i] Ku’ava [Samoa] Kuava [Tonga] Tuava [Marquesas] Kautonga [Niue] Guayaba [Bolivia] Sawintu [Aymara] Saylla [Quechua] Amba [Nepal]

Properties: Neutral, astringent. Fruits are sweet

Western Functions: Astringent

Energetic Functions: Stabilizes and binds, clears damp heat, harmonizes the middle burner, stops sweating, stops bleeding.

Indications:

  • Astringes, sedates and harmonizes the middle burner: Nausea and vomiting, digestive pain from hot or cold conditions, sea sickness, motion sickness. [Hawai’i, Samoa]

  • Astringes and stabilizes the lower burner: Diarrhea from either hot or cold conditions [Universal] Hot or cold vaginal discharge, painful menstruation [Samoa] cholera [Nepal] premature labor, miscarriage (use not recommended) [Cook Islands, Samoa]

  • Clears damp heat: Small leaves and buds chewed for bad breath, [Universal] mouth ulcers, [Belize] thrush, sore throat [Hawai’i]fevers [Trinidad]

  • Stops sweating: A secondary herb for excess sweating due to qi or yin deficiency.

  • Topical for rashes, bleeding, non healing sores, injuries, eye strain, conjunctivitis. [Belize, Samoa, Hawai’i] To close the pores after a facial. [Hawai’i]

Part used: Whole Plant.

Habitat: Where ever it damn well pleases.

Preparation: Generally infused. All parts of the plant except the ripe fruit are astringent.

Caution: I do NOT recommend using this herb in pregnancy. Extreme caution in acute diarrhea. Be sure the pathogens are expelled before astringing.
Creates hyperglycemia in large doses, caution in topical infections. not with edema.

Research:

  • Hot water extract in vitro against Sarcina lutea, Staphylococcus aureus, Mycobacterium phlei. Antifungal fresh leaf water extract against Ustilago maydis and U. nuda. One guava fruit has 2-5 times as much vitamin C as an orange.

Notes:

  • A pest in Hawai’i, creating mono stands and crowding out native species.

  • Up to 10% tannin content by dry weight

  • New mothers bathed in warm infusion of guava leaves [Cook Islands]

  • ¬†For inflammation of the joints and nerves. [Bolivia]

  • Pick from the uphill side of the road to avoid plant contamination from automoblile runoff. Or better yet avoid roads altogether.

  • It is VERY effective at stopping diarrhea, sometimes it’s too good. Caveat emptor.