Species: P. guajava
Common name: Guava, Amrud
Description: A small tree with spreading branches, the guava is easy to recognize because of its smooth, thin, copper-colour bark that flakes off. The leaves, aromatic when crushed, are evergreen, opposite, short- petiole, oval or oblong-elliptic, leathery, with conspicuous parallel veins. Faintly fragrant, the white flowers, borne singly or in small clusters in the leaf axils. The fruit, exuding a strong, sweet, musky odour when ripe, may be round, ovoid, or pear-shaped, and thin, light-yellow skin, frequently blushed with pink.
- Fruits are eaten as such or canned, preserved spiced or made into jam, butter, marmalade, pies, ketchups and chutneys. Are one of the richest source of Vitamin C. Dehydrated guavas may be reduced to a powder which can be used to flavour ice cream, confections and fruit juices, or boiled with sugar to make jelly, or utilized as pectin to make jelly of low-pectin fruits. Seeds yield a fatty oil. Leaves contain an essential oil which is used as flavouring.
- In Malaysia, the leaves are used with other plant materials to make a black dye for silk. In South East Asia, the leaves are employed to give a black colour to cotton; and in Indonesia, they serve to dye matting.
- Leaves used as an astringent for bowel troubles; also used for tanning. Decoction of bark given in diarrhoea. Fruits tonic, cooling, and laxative, useful in colic and bleeding gums. The leaf decoction is taken as a remedy for coughs, throat and chest ailments, gargled to relieve oral ulcers and inflamed gums; and also taken as a vermifuge, and treatment for leucorrhoea. It has been effective in halting vomiting and diarrhoea in cholera patients. It is also applied on skin diseases. A decoction of the new shoots is taken as a febrifuge. The leaf infusion is prescribed in India in cerebral ailments and nephritis. A combined decoction of leaves and bark is given to expel the placenta after childbirth.
Image Credit for Guava Fruit