Bayabas is a somewhat hairy plant reaching a height
of 8 meters. Young branches are 4-angled. Leaves are opposite, oblong to elliptic, and 5 to 1 centimeters long, the apex being pointed, and the base usually rounded. Peduncles are 1- to 3-flowered. Flowers are white, 3 to 3.5 centimeters across, with
in-curved petals, coming out solitary or two to three
in the leaf axils. Numerous stamens form the attractive part
of the flower. Inferior ovaries develop into round or obovoid green fruits 4 to 9 centimeters long,
turning yellow on ripening and have edible, aromatic, seedy
- Widely distributed throughout the Philippines in all islands and provinces.
- Common in backyards and settled areas.
thickets and secondary forests at low altitudes, ascending to at least 1,500 meters.
- Introduced from tropical America.
- Thoroughly naturalized.
- Pantropic in distribution.
- Phytochemical screening yielded alkaloids, flavonoids, glycosides, polyphenols, reducing compounds, saponins and tannins.
- Leaf products have isolated more than 20 compounds, including alkaloids, anthocyanins, carotenoids, essential oils, fatty acids, lectins, phenols, saponins, tannins, triterpenes, and vitamin C.
- Leaves contain a fixed oil (6%) and volatile oil (0.365%).
Fixed oil, 6%; volatile (essential) oil, 0.365%; eugenol; tannin 8-15%;
saponins; amydalin; phenolic acids; malic acid; ash, aldehydes.
- Fruit contains "glykosen" 4.14 to 4.3%, saccharose 1.62 to 3.4 %, protein 0.3%, etc.
- Bark contains 12 to 30% tannin. Roots are also rich in tannin.
- Contains catequinic components and flavonoids.
- Major constituents of leaves are tannins, ß-sitosterol, maslinic
acid, essential oils, triterpenoids and flavonoids.
- Chloroform-methanol extracted lipids of guava seeds was 9.1% on a dry weight basis. Analysis yielded 12 fatty acids, with a pattern similar to cottonseed oil. Protein content of seeds was 9.73% on a dry weight basis.
- 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 India, water decoction of leaves used for treatment of jaundice.
- 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
- 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.
• Assessment of two medicinal plants, Psidium
guajava L. and Achillea millefolium L., in in vitro and in vivo assays:
Study on the cytotoxicity and mutagenicity of the plants provide info
on its safety for use as therapeutic agents. (1)
• Antihypertensive / Antidiarrheal: In the study, P guajava leaf extracts was more active than D mespiliformis in their antagonistic effects on caffeine-induced calcium release from the sarcoplasmic reticulum of rat skeletal muscle. Results might explain their use as antihypertensive and antidiarrheal
agents in traditional medicine through an inhibition of intracellular
• Antidiarrheal / Quercetin: Quercetin is a main active constituent. Spasmolytic and antidiarrheal effects are attributed to quercetin-derived, flavonoids and glycosides.
• Anticestodal: Anticestodal efficacy of Psidium guajava
against experimental Hymenolepis diminuta infection in rats : The study showed anticestodal efficacy and supports folkloric medicinal
use in the treatment of intestinal-worm infections in northeast India. (5)
• Hypoglycemic / Hypotensive: The leaf of Psidium guajava is used extensively in African
folk medicine. The study shows that the aqueous leaf extract of P. guajava
possesses hypoglycemic and hypotensive properties and provides pharmacological
credence to the folkloric use of the plant for type-2 diabetes and hypertension
in some rural African communities. (6)
• Microbicidal / Antidiiarrheal: Microbicidal
effect of medicinal plant extracts (Psidium guajava Linn. and Carica
papaya Linn.) upon bacteria isolated from fish muscle and known to induce
diarrhea in children: Study concludes that guava sprout extracts is
a feasible treatment option for diarrhea caused by E coli or S aureus-produced
toxins, with quick curative effect, easy availability and low cost.
• Antimicrobial / Leaves: Aqueous extracts of leaves have shown antimicrobial activity against
Shigella spp., Vibrio spp., S aureus, B-strep, E coli, P aeruginosa
and B subtilis.
• Guava Extracts and Radiolabelling:
Study showed aqueous PG extract could present antioxidant action and
affect membrane structures in ion transport altering radiolabelling
of blood constituents with Technitium (Tc99m) and precautions applied
to nuclear medicine procedures on patients using guava extracts. (8)
Study of extract of leaves of PG showed to possess antidiabetic effect
in type 2 diabetic mice model, the effect in part, mediated via the
inhibition of PTP1B (protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B). (9)
Study showed that PG leaf extract possessed trypanocidal properties
attributed to broad antimicrobial and iron chelating activity of flavonoids
and tannins. Iron chelation was suggested as a effective way of killing
Study showed P guajava extracts to be efficacious in preventing tumor
development by depressing Tr cells (regulatory). (11)
• Antioxidant / Leaves:
Study of methanolic extract of PG leaves showed in vitro free radical
• Radical Scavenging: Study showed extracts from distilled water, 65% ethanol and 95% ethanol with significant dose-dependent effects on scavenging hydroxyl radicals and inhibiting lipid peroxidation. Flavonoids may be one of the antioxidative components. (12)
Antiproliferative / Anticancer / Leaf Oil: A
study on the antiproliferative activity of essential oil from 17 Thai
medicinal plants on human mouth epidermal carcinoma (KB) and murine leukemia
(P388) cell lines. In the KB cell line, Psidium guajava leaf oil showed
the highest anti-proliferative activity, more than 4x more potent than
vincristine. The results suggested the potential of Thai medicinal plants
for cancer treatment. (13)
Spasmolytic: A morphine-like spasmolytic action involving the inhibition of acetylcholine release and the transmural transport of electrolytes and water has been reported as possible modes of antidiarrheal action of P guajava leaf extracts. The extract also inhibited the growth of causative agents for enteric fever, food poisoning, dysentery and cholera.
Antispasmodic: In a
study of acute diarrheic disease, a phytodrug developed from guava leaves, standardized with its quercetin content, exhibited a decrease in the duration of abdominal pain. (15)
Antioxidant / Hypocholesterolemic: A study done to determine the effects of guava consumption on antioxidant status and lipid profile in normal male youth showed a significant increase in level of total antioxidants and reduced oxidative stress and also increase the level of HDL cholesterol significantly. (16)
Anti-Ulcer: Study showed rats pretreated with P guajava extract from fresh tender leaves showed antiulcer activity in aspirin-induced gastric ulcer model with a significant reduction of ulcer index, pepsin activity, free and total acidity, volume and mucus content of gastric juice. (17)
antioxidants and reduced oxidative stress and also increase the level of HDL cholesterol significantly.
Antibacterial: Study evaluated the antibacterial activities of aqueous and ethanol-water extracts from leaves, roots and stem bark of P. guajava. The AE of leaves roots and stems were active against gram-positive bacteria Staphylococcus aureus and B. subtilis and virtually ineffective against E. coli and P. aeruginosa. The EW showed higher activity than the AE. (19)
• Leaves Extracts / Differences in Hypoglycemic Potential: In a mice model, study showed the water soluble, edible alcohol, and edible alcohol-soluble extracts of wild Psidium guajava leaves may have different hypoglycemic potential. (20)
Hepatoprotective / Leaves: Study in male and female rats showed the aqueous extract of P. guajava leaves may be hepatoprotective (not hepatotoxic), with hematopoietic potentials. (21)
Anticancer Activity / Review: Review of a limited number of studies revealed guava extracts may have anti-cancer activity. One study tested guava fruit extract against a proliferation of cancer cell lines. One study in mice used a combination of bark, leaf, and root extract to inhibit growth of B16 melanoma cells. (23)
Corrosion Inhibition / Mild Steel: Study evaluated the corrosion inhibition behavior of an extract of guava leaves towards mild steel in HCl media. Results showed the extract has good inhibition efficiency (IE) and acts as a mixed-type inhibitor. As extract concentration increases, IE also increases. (25)
Hepatoprotective / Leaves: Study evaluated the hepatoprotective activity of P. guajava in CCl4-, paracetamol- and thioacetamide-induced liver injury. Results showed significant reduction of liver enzymes and bilirubin. Higher doses prevented increases in liver weight. (27)
Antihyperglycemic / Unripe Fruit Peel: Study evaluated the glycemic potential of an aqueous extract of unripe fruit peel in STZ-induced diabetic rats. Results showed normal, mild, and severely diabetic rat models had hypoglycemic and antidiabetic effect. (28)
Analgesic / Antipyretic / Dried Leaves: Study of an ethanol extract produced significant reduction of pyrexia in yeast induced hyperpyrexia and hot plate latency assay. Analgesic activities were observed in early and late phase of formalin induced paw licking tests in rats. (29)
Anti-Epileptic / Leaves: Study evaluated the anti epileptic activity of a leaves extract of P. guajava in seizure induced by maximal electroshock and pantaloon territorialize. Results showed the leaves extract at higher and medium doses produced highly significant and sustained increases in onset of convulsions and decrease in rate of convulsion. Activity may be due to presence of flavonoids and saponins. (30)
• Effect in Hyperactive Gut Disorders / Diarrhea and Gut Spasm: Study evaluated the mechanisms responsible for its use in diarrhea and gut spasm. A crude extract showed protection in castor oil-induced diarrhea model, similar to loperamide. In isolated rabbit jejunum preparations, crude extract showed potent effect against high K+ than spontaneous pre-contractions, similar to verapamil. Results indicate the crude extract possesses Ca++ antagonist-like constituent/s to explain its inhibitory effect on gut motility. (31)
Antibacterial / Leaves and Essential Oil: Study evaluated essential oils and various leaf extracts of P. guajava for antimicrobial effect. Of the bacteria tested, Staphylococcus aureus strains were most inhibited, with the methanol extract showing greatest bacterial inhibition. Essential oil extract showed inhibitory effect against S. aureus and Salmonella spp. (32)
Antibacterial / Infectious Diarrhea: Study evaluated crude decoction and quercetin for antibacterial effect on virulence of common diarrheal pathogens viz. colonization of epithelial cells and production and action of endotoxins. Decoction of P. guajava showed antibacterial activity towards S. flexneri and Vibrio cholerae, with decreased production of E. coli labile toxin and cholera toxin. Its spectrum of antidiarrheal activity is not due to quercetin alone. (33)
Antibacterial / Antifungal / Leaves and Bark / Skin Disorders: Study evaluated the effects of P. guajava on organisms responsible for skin disorders. P. guajava solutions of leaf and bark extracts were effective in inhibiting growth of Staphylococcus. aureus and S. epidermis, and fungi Mentagrophytes gypseum and Trichophyton mentagrophytes. Tetracycline as control showed significantly stronger inhibition, which may be due to the fact that it is a pure chemical vs the crude extracts of P. guajava solutions. (34)
Wound Healing Potential / Cytotoxic Effects: Study evaluated the wound healing potential in vivo and cytotoxic effects in vitro of P. guajava leaf extract and commonly used corticosteroids. In vitro, the extract caused a decrease in cell viability and growth compared to control and corticosteroids. In vivo, the extract caused acceleration of wound healing. (35)
Periodontal Disease / Adjunctive Therapy: Study evaluated the potential of P. guajava in the treatment of periodontal disease. Review suggests therapeutic potential of guava as adjunct in treating periodontal disease. (36)
Gastroprotective / Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury: Study evaluated a leaf extract for gastric secretory and protective properties on ischemia-reperfusion (I-R) induced gastric mucosal injury in rats. Results showed gastroprotective properties attributed to stimulation of mucus secretion by the guava extract. (37)
Antibacterial / Wound, Skin and Soft Tissue Infections: Study evaluate crude
aqueous extracts of leaves against bacteria associated with surgical wound, burns, skin and soft tissue infections. Results showed potent inhibitory activity against growth of pathogenic Proteus mirabilis, Strep pyogenes, E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus and P. aeruginosa. (38)
Hepatotoxic and Hepatoprotective Disease / Erythromycin Induced Liver Damage:Study of aqueous extract of leaves on erythromycin-induced liver damage in albino rats showed hepatoprotective activity at lower dose and hepatotoxic property at higher dose. (39)
Anti-Trypanosomal Activity / Leaves: Study evaluated ethanolic extracts of leaves for anti-trypanosoma and cytotoxicity activity in bloodstream species of Trypanosoma brucei brucei (BS427) and HEK293. Results showed inhibition of growth of T. b. brucei, with selectivity index comparing favorably with pentamidine and diminazne. (40)