Guave Trees
guava tree
(Image credit: EgyptianStudio)

Guava is a popular tropical fruit tree. The fruit is delicious eaten fresh or in a host of culinary concoctions. Not only is the tree known for its fruit, but it has a long-standing tradition of use as a medicinal remedy for numerous ailments. The bark is especially valuable due to its high content of tannin, proteins, and starch. There are many homeopathic medicines available containing guava. Before you try these, however, you should know how to use guava tree bark safely and consult with your doctor prior to dosing.

What to Do With Bark from Guava

Herbal remedies are making a comeback as the pharmaceutical industry increases prices and side effects from approved drugs become known. Many natural remedies have the ability to replace harsh pharmaceutical drugs, often without excessive dependency and alternate effects. However, it is always best to talk to a knowledgeable professional prior to self-dosing with any product. Guava bark remedies may contain such side effects as constipation and other adverse reactions in combination with diabetes and antidiarrheal medicines. Preparing natural concoctions yourself should be frowned upon. This is because any natural remedy has very specific preparation requirements and improper practices can open up a pathway of toxicity and potential harm. Many guava bark remedies are readily available on the internet and in natural health stores. This begs the question, what to do with bark from guava? Anecdotal evidence and modern health practitioners claim it is useful in the treatment of certain ulcers and diarrhea. It may also be helpful in alleviating sore throat, stomach issues, vertigo, and even to regulate menstrual periods. These claims have not been vetted by the FDA, so caution is advised.

Guava Tree Bark Uses

The bark is harvested, dried, and crushed for use in medicines. It is then decocted or infused as a tea. Modern medicines are encapsulated for easier dosing, or it can be found in powders, liquids, and tablets. Excessive dosing can cause extreme purging and be fatal in some cases. Ingestion of the decoction should only be done under a physician or herbal professional's guidance. It is best to use professionally derived supplements for maximum safety. Certain trials are considering its use as an antifungal, antibacterial, and antiseptic. Soaking the crushed bark, straining it, and using it topically is generally considered safe. Guava tree bark is an effective astringent, helping with acne and other skin conditions. All parts of the plant contain oxalic acid, which can cause a stinging sensation and should be used in moderation topically. Direct ingestion can promote swelling of the tongue and mucous membranes, especially in sensitive individuals. Again, caution should be taken when using the plant internally. The antibacterial properties of the bark make it useful to treat cuts, wounds, abrasions, and ulcers. The high Vitamin C content of the plant is also apparent in the bark and has good antioxidant properties. These can help fight free radicals in skin, leaving the complexion refreshed and renewed. Cosmetic guava tree bark uses abound and are generally considered safe in all but the most sensitive individuals. Disclaimer: The content of this article is for educational and gardening purposes only. Before using or ingesting ANY herb or plant for medicinal purposes or otherwise, please consult a physician or a medical herbalist for advice.

Bonnie L. Grant

Bonnie Grant is a professional landscaper with a Certification in Urban Gardening. She has been gardening and writing for 15 years. A former professional chef, she has a passion for edible landscaping.