Friday, March 27, 2009

Psidium guajava L.

English Name : Common guava, Guava, Round guava, Apple guava

Family : Myrtaceae

Origin : Tropical America

A shrub or small tree to 10 m high, occasionally to as much as 20m, roots are shallow. Bark smooth, light reddish-brown, with pubescent 4-angled young branches, bark peels off in large flakes, exposing greenish layer beneath; trunk normally attains a diameter of about 25cm, but can reach 60cm, has a 'bony' appearance. Leaves opposite, ovate-elliptic or oblong-elliptic, acute-acuminate, pubescent beneath, often rather brittle, prominently nerved, lateral nerves 10-20 pairs; blades mostly 7-15 cm long and 3-5 cm wide, rounded at base, dull green, downy on the underside, aromatic when crushed. Flowers hermaphroditic, solitary or 2-4 together in leaf axils, rather large (2.5 cm wide); peduncle about 1-2 cm long, pubescent; calyx 4-5-lobed (anthesis, not before) about 6-8 mm long, petals white, 10-15 mm long, fugacious, usually 4 or 5, obovate, slightly concave, stamens numerous (c. 200-250), white, about as long as petals; style 10-12 mm long, stigma peltate. Fruits globose, ovoid, or pyriform, whitish-yellow or faintly pink, sweet-sour pulpy, many-seeded (100-500/fruit), 2.5-10 cm long; pulp granular-juicy. Seeds yellowish, reniform.

Parts Used : Plant, leaf, root, shoot, bark and fruit

Herb Effects
Astringent (roots, bark, leaves and immature fruits); taken as an emmenagogue and vermifuge (leaf decoction); febrifuge (decoction of the new shoots)

Active Ingredients
Methionine (plant); alanine, alpha-humulene, alpha-linolenic acid, alpha-selinene, arginine, ascorbic-acid, aspartic acid, benzaldehyde, beta-bisabolene, beta-carotene, beta-ionone, beta-pinene, beta-selinene, cinnamyl acetate, citral, citric acid, delta-cadinene, fructose, gallic acid, glutamic acid, glycine, histidine, isoleucine, lactic acid, limonene, linoleic acid, lysine, myristic acid, niacin, oleic acid, oxalic acid, palmitic acid, palmitoleic acid, pantothenic acid, pectin, phenylalanine, riboflavin, stearic acid, thiamin, threonine, tryptophan, tyrosine, valine, xylose (fruit); arjunolic acid (root); aromadendrene, avicularin, beta sitosterol, calcium oxalate, caryophyllene oxide, oleanolic acid, quercetin, ursolic acid, xanthophyll (leaf); ellagic acid, leucoanthocyanin, myricetin, tannin (bark).

Medicinal Use
Commonly employed to halt gastroenteritis, diarrhea and dysentery (roots, bark, leaves and immature fruits); applied on wounds, ulcers and rheumatic places and chewed to relieve toothache (crushed leaves); taken as a remedy for coughs, throat and chest ailments, and leucorrhea, applied on skin diseases, gargled to relieve oral ulcers and inflamed gums, and for halting vomiting and diarrhea in cholera patients (leaf decoction); in cerebral ailments, nephritis and cachexia (leaf infusion); in epilepsy and chorea (leaf extract); given to expel the placenta after childbirth (decoction of bark and leaves).


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