Psidium guajava L.

Nota de alcance

DIVERSIDAD GENÉTICA Y MEJORAMIENTO DE PLANTAS MEDICINALES= Medicinal plants and improvement of medicinal herbs:

The genetic and morphological variability of 17 guava (Psidium guajava L.) genotypes from the States of Nayarit, Chiapas, Morelos, Zacatecas, Michoacán, Tamaulipas and Veracruz in México, and from Brazil, were evaluated. The genotypes were studied by obtaining RAPD (Randomly Amplified Polymorphic DNA) patterns. Of 226 bands evaluated, 84.07 % were polymorphic. The cluster analysis of RAPD detected a maximum genetic similarity of 91.3 % among the genotypes MOR9 and MOR10 from Morelos, and a minimum similarity of 41 % between the genotypes JROS22 and PAL8 from Michoacán and Brazil, respectively. Of the 40 morphological variables measured, ten of them make a strong contribution to the genotypic variability: longitude of petioles of small and big leaves, angles of the 3rd rib of small and big leaves, angles of the 5th rib of small and big leaves, forms of small and big leaves, bend of traverse section of small and big leaves. The dendrogram generated of 15 guava genotypes by utilizing morphological traits and the Ward method of cluster and euclidian distances, showed that genotypes are grouped according to their geographical origin. This result agrees with the groups formed by utilizing RAPD markers.

Nota de alcance

PARTE UTILIZADA= Used part: Raíces, ramas, hojas, flores, frutos.

ACCIÓN FARMACOLÓGICA= Pharmacological action: Contra la diarrea infantil. COMPOSICIÓN QUÍMICA: Se han reportado los siguientes compuestos en diferentes partes de Psidium guajava: amritósido (cumarina), alfa- y beta-amirina, arabinosa, ácido arjunólico, aromadendreno, ácido asiático, ácido protobásico, beta-bisaboleno, ácido bráhmico, delta-cadineno, calameneno, oxalato de calcio, canfeno, beta-cariofileno, casuarinina, 1,8-cineol, ácido-trans-cinámico, curcumeno, alfa- y beta-copaeno, p-cimeno, daucosterol, ácido elágico y sus derivados, eugenol, ácido gálico, farneseno, guaijaverina (flavonoide), guavina A,B,C,D, leucocianidina, alfa-y –beta-humuleno, (+)-limoneno, gama-muuroleno, pedunculagina, ácido maslínico, lupeol, quercetina, alfa- y beta-pineno, beta-sitosterol, stachiurina, strictinina, telimagrandina I, ácido dihidroxiursólico, alcaloides: zeatina nucleósido y zeatina ribósido; guajava pectina, cedrol, guaiol, longifoleno y nerolidol. El fruto es rico en vitamina C. Otros compuestos registrados en las partes aéreas de esta planta son: ácido cinamoil-grandiflórico, ácido-ent kaur-16-eno-19-oico y estigmast-22-en-3-01. Los frutos son ricos en vitaminas B1 y B2 (Cruz, 1982; Matos, 1989), También se encuentran en las hojas y cáscaras aceite esencial, flavonoides y alcoholes sesquiterpénicos y ácidos triterpenoides (Hegnauer, 1969).

ZONA GEOGRÁFICA= Geografical zone: América tropical y subtropical, Brasil, Argentina, Paraguay. 


Parte empleada: hoja.
Usos: cabello y colitis.
Preparación: preparar un té con las hojas o el fruto y tomar como agua de tiempo.


Psidium guajava (Myrtaceae), known by the vernacular name of guayaba or guava, has been widely recognized by mankind as a major edible and medicinal plant throughout Africa, Tropical Asia, Central and South America. The use of the leaves as an anti-diarrheic agent is probably the most widespread, and has prompted several pharmacological studies in order to  validate this traditional use. Further research has also focused on the antimicrobial, hypoglycemic, antiinflammatory, hepatoprotective, and central nervous system activity. Altogether, the results obtained not only suggest that P. guajava may be one of the most thoroughly studied medicinal plants native to the tropics, but have also made it a highly reputed and recognized agent with regards to primary health attention in several regions of the World.


Origen: La guayaba es oriunda de la América ropical.

Alivia afecciones digestivas, antidiarreico, diminuye la infección en el intestino grueo; favorece la expulsión de gases gastrointestinales, disminuye el vómito; controla los problemas hepáticos, favorece la curación de úlceras; combate a las amebas; laxante; alopepsia; aliviar la congetión respiratoria. 

Distribución Amazonas, Cuzco, Huánuco, Junín, Loreto, San Martín, Ucayali. Cultivado en América Tropical.


Antidiarreico: el cocimiento de la corteza y cogollos. Se toma una cucharada tres veces al día. Preparar 15-20 g de hojas hervidas en un litro de agua durante tres a cinco minutos; se toma un vaso dos o tres veces al día.
Edema: hervir 10-15 g de corteza en un litro de agua durante tres a cinco minutos; se toma un vaso dos o tres veces al día. Se deja reposar. Tomar tres o cuatro tazas al día. Tiene propiedades diuréticas.
Disenteria: beber una taza de cocimiento de 15 gr de corteza en un litro de agua, tres o cuatro veces al día.
Hemorragias: hervir cinco g de la corteza en dos tazas de agua. Se toma una taza en la mañana y otra en la tarde.

Astringente: macerar en aguardiente durante tres días 200 g de hojas trituradas; tomar una cucharadita, diluida en un vaso de agua, tres veces al día.
Odontalgias: se mastican las hojas frescas.
Parasitosis intestinal: infusión de cinco g de hojas frescas por taza de agua. También se pueden dejar macerar siete hojas frescas, en dos tazas de agua. Se toma una taza tres veces al día.

Antidiarreico: se come el fruto maduro y fresco.

Nota de alcance (en)

Tropical America: South of Mexico or Amazonas.

In Venezuela, the species is very frequently cultivated.

Historical background
The species is mentioned by the Spanish chroniclers in the first years of colonization as a plant which supplies food and medicine (GUPTA 1995). In Venezuelan documents the plant has already been mentioned in 1578 (VELEZ & VELEZ 1990).

Ethobotanical and general use

Nutritional use
The edible part of the plant is the fruit. Eaten raw it has a sour-sweet and  aromatic taste due to the etheric oil which is localized in the secretory cavities beneath the epidermis. More frequently the fruit is eaten cooked in the form of preserves, jam, marmalade or jelly. In this form, the guava has a taste and consistency similar to that of the European quince whose flesh also contains stone cell groups giving it a granular texture. The stone cell groups can also be recognized in the marmalade under the microscope, thus serving as a characteristic of identification (ROTH 1973: Vida y usa de los frutos, p. 141, Fig. 35). As both fruits, the guava and the quince, are rich in pectic substances, a form of cheese can be made of them; this cheese is solid and can be moulded. Refreshing drinks as well as cookies and cakes can also be made out of the pulp (see also ROTH 1973 'Vida y uso de los frutos', Fig.35 and the recipe p. 118).

Economical utilization
The yellowish bark is applied to tan skins and to dye cotton and silk. The wood is of a reddish-yellow colour being compact, heavy, strong and durable; the fiber is fine. However due to its small diameter (20 em), it is used only locally. The species is furthermore grown in coffee plantations as a shade tree. It is likewise planted as an ornamental tree. The leaves put under the bed serve as an insecticide.

Medical use
Leaf The leaf has a high tannin and Vitamin C content. It is said to be astringent (tannin), antibacterial, antiinflammatory, anthelmintic, antiseptic, antidiarrhoeic, antiemetic, carminative, spasmolytic and tonic. Locally applied, it cures afflictions of the skin, asthma, inflammations of the tongue, and scrofula. Leaves are used as a cataplasm against swellings and obstruction of the spleen. As a bath, it cures scabies, itching, cutaneous diseases and ulcers. As a footbath it is used for swollen feet. A handful of leaves, boiled for 10 minutes in 1 1 water is used for compresses against varices. An infusion has stimulating and antispasmodic effects. It is also taken against indigestion, dysentery, diarrhoea and liver disorders. A tea of the leaves is taken for heat, diarrhoea and dysentery. Tea also helps against diabetes. A decoction of the leaves (and bark) is taken orally against diarrhoea, dysentery, colics, vomiting, diseases of the skin (fistula, ulcer, pyodermia, abrasion, tinea), leucorrhoea, diabetes, haemorrhage, swellings and urethritis. 30 g leaf, fruit or bark are boiled in 1 1 water to prepare the decoction. Young shoots. Young shoots are applied as a tonic for the hair to combat alopecia and to cure tes. colds. Leaf buds. Leaf buds help against fever and diarrhoea in the form of a tea. Bark. Bark is rich in tannins and is therefore astringent. It has antiseptic, antiinflammatory, anthelmintic, antimicrobial, spasmolytic, carminative and tonic effects. A tea or decoction of the bark helps against feverish diseases, dysentery, stomach aches, gastritis, diarrhoea, leucorrhoea and cough. A decoction is also taken against amoebas and as an emmenagogue. Externally, the decoction is used as a vaginal irrigation, a lavage of ulcers, a gargle for infections of the mouth and throat. Wood. Wood is also occasionally used against diarrhoea. Root. The root is astringent and helps against dysentery, it is antispasmodic, antiparasitic and resolving. Against oedema, a decoction is taken twice a day for a prolonged time. As a mouthwash the root is good for the gums. It is also recommended for stomach and skin. The cortex of the root is given to children to cure diarrhoea. Flowers. A decoction is used as a mouthwash against aphthous ulcer in the mouth. An infusion helps against irregular menstruation. A decoction taken internally is applied as an emmenagogue, against amoebas, and for measles (WILBERT 1996). Fruit. The fruit has a high tannin and vitamin C content. Fresh fruit (one red fruit a day) is taken for Basedow's illness. Fresh fruit which is almost ripe has antidiarrhoeic and antidysenteric effects. Ripe fruit is laxative. Green fruit in decoction cures diseases of the urinary tract and haematuria. Fresh green fruit cures tonsillitis. A tea of the fruit is taken for dysentery. Dry fruit is used for haemorrhoids. The green fruit is astringent (tannin), acts as a digestive, is antipyretic, cures inflammations and alleviates respiratory congestion. Seeds. Pulverized, the seeds help against diabetes

Method of use
The distinct organs can be used in the most varied ways. Fruit is eaten raw, either unripe (antidiarrhoeic and antidysenteric) or ripe (laxative). Green fruit cures haematuria and diseases of the urinary tract. Seeds are pulverized to cure diabetes. Flowers as an infusion or decoction are taken internally as an emmenagogue and against amoebas. A decoction serves as a mouthwash to cure ulcers. Roots in decoction are used against oedema, dysentery and diarrhoea. As a mouthwash the decoction is applied to cure the gums. Bark in decoction is taken orally against fever, dysentery, diarrhoea, leucorrhoea, cough etc. Externally, the decoction serves as a vaginal irrigation, a gargle or a lavage. Leaves are applied locally as a compress or cataplasm to cure diseases of the skin, swellings, inflammation, asthma etc. A bath cures  scabies, itches and the like. A footbath is used for swollen feet. An infusion has stimulating and antispasmodic effects. A tea is taken against diarrhoea and dysentery. A decoction taken orally cures all diseases which can be controlled by the healing forces of the plant. Against diarrhoea, leaves, flowers, unripe green fruits, bark and root are ground together, mixed with water and taken fresh.

Healing properties
The following curative effects are ascribed to the plant: Astringent, antibacterial, antimycotic, antiinflammatory, spasmolytic, antiscorbutic (vitamin C), antibiotic (against Trichomanes vaginalis), anthelmintic, antidiarrhoeal (unripe fruits), antileucorrhoeic, aphrodisiac , liver protecting during infections, against ulcers, vomiting, stomach aches, and dysentery.

Chemical contents
Among many other substances, the following contents were found: coumarins, alkaloids, pectins, vitamins C, A, B1 and B2, iron, phosphorus, calcium oxalate, beta-sitosterol, guaiol, eugenol. In leaves and bark, there are essential oils (in the secretory canals), flavonoids, sesquiterpenic alcohols, triterpene acids, complex tannins, polyphenols, eugenol. The tannins give the astringent taste. Vitamin C has antiscorbutic effects, a narcotic-like principle is responsible for the spasmolytic effects.


Uses: malaise, local pain, dysentery, diarrhea, intestine, heartburn, burning, colic, throat, immunity.                                                 

Origin: Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Caribbean, Chile, China.        


Parts Used: leaves.                   

Uses: diarrhea, vomiting.                                                 

Origin: Barzil.          


Bark: Bark is boiled and the water drunk as an anti-diarrheal, by the Guyana Patamona.

Stem and Leaf: Young stems, bark and/or leaves mixed for an antidiarrhoeic decoction.

Stem: Bark is boiled with the bark of Punica granatum and Mangifera indica and drunk to treat diarrhoea. Bark mixed with cashew bark for dysentery remedy. Bark infusion for ringworm. In NW Guyana, bark used as treatment for diarrhea.

Leaf: Used with leaves of Monstera obliqua to soothe ulcers of leishmaniasis; mixed with Solanum leucocarpon leaves for an antidiarrhoeic; astringent. Decoction for stomach pain. Juice of young leaves used to treat skin spots. Young leaves are boiled and the water drunk as an anti-dysenteric, by the Guyana Patamona.

Leaf: Used to trest diarrhea in NW Guyana. Fruit: Green fruit is eaten to relieve diarrhea. Juice of the young fruits is drunk also as an anti-dysenteric or for “bad-belly”, by the Guyana Patamona.


Leaf and Fruit: Used in the treatment of diabetes.

Nota bibliográfica

1) OLIVEIRA SIMOES, Claudia María, et al. Plantas da maedicina popular no Rio Grande do Sul. Porto Alegre : UFGRS, 1986, pp.86-87.

2) 270 (doscientos setenta) plantas medicinales iberoamericanas. Santiago de Bogotá : CYTED-SECAB, 1995, pp.413-420.

3) PÉREZ, D.T. ; SOLANO, J.P.L. Genetic variability in cultivars of guava (Psidium guajava L.) [Variabilidad genética en cultivares de guayabo (Psidium guajava L.)] Revista Fitotecnia Mexicana. 2007, vol.30, nº4, p.391-401.

4) ALONSO, Jorge ; DESMARCHELIER, Cristian. Plantas medicinales autóctonas de la Argentina : bases científicas para su aplicación en atención primaria de la salud.  Buenos Aires: L.O.L.A, 2005, p. 246.

5) South American medicinal plants : botany, remedial properties, and general use / I. Roth, H. Lindorf. Berlin ; New York : Springer, c2002. -- p. 492.

6) Geraldini , Isanete, Journal of Ethnopharmacology v. 173, 2015 . -- p. 383-423

7) Robertt, A., et al.. Medicinal Plants of the Guianas (Guyana, Suriname, French Guyana)/Smithsonian NMNH. cited online: 17-08-2017

8) Plantas medicinales de La Matamba y El Piñonal, municipio de Jamapa, Veracruz/ Escamilla Pérez, Blanca Edith; Moreno Casaola, Patricia. INECOL: Mexico, 2015, 99p.

9) Plantas medicinales autóctonas de la Argentina. Bases científicas para su aplicación en atención primaria de la salud / Jorge Alonso y Cristian Jorge Desmarchelier. - 1a ed. - Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires: Corpus Libros Médicos y Científicos, 2015.

10) Quesada Hernàndez, Alonso/ Herbario nacional de Costa Rica. Costa Rica: Arena Trans Amèrica, 2008. - p. 61

11) Mejía, Kember; Rengifo, Eisa /Plantas medicinales de uso popular en la Amazonía Peruana.-- Lima : Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional, 2000. -- p. 286

12) DeFilipps, Robert A.; Krupnick, Gary A. / PhytoKeys, v. 102. - - p. 1 - 314,  2018.

Psidium guajava L.
Término aceptado: 15-Nov-2007