Guava is a shrub which gives delicious fruit packed with a lot of nutrients. It has green bark and produces pear-shaped fruit. Its height ranges from 4 to 20 feet and usually grows in areas with moderate to warm temperatures and avoids cold and frosting temperatures.
It was originally found in Mexico and the continents of North and South America; from there it spread to Asia, especially Indo-Pak and East Asian countries such as Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, etc., and finally reached Europe.
Cultivation of guava:
It is cultivated by using techniques of grafting, cutting and also from seeds. The new plant takes about 14 months to emerge from the soil and then at once begins to grow taller and taller, after about two years it begins to bear fruits regularly and continues to give fruit for the next 40 years.
There are many varieties of this fruit, of which three are most commonly used and are named as:
1. Lemon Guava
2. Strawberry Guava
3. Apple Guava
Apple Guava is the most commonly used in the world which is red inside. In terms of guava production, India is the first country in the world, while Pakistan stands fifth in rank.
This plant thrives in areas where the air is hot and receives high rainfall. The weather in Pakistan is very suitable for this. It can also be easily grown in homes.
The tree can grow up to 20 feet tall and has medicinal value. Its fruit, leaves, wood and tree bark all are beneficial.
Benefits of Guava fruit:
1. Guava fruit contains a lot of antioxidants which improve the cells in the body (those billions of tiny cells that make up the whole body) and control cancer-causing free radicals, lower cholesterol, strengthen the heart and improve blood flow.
2. Guava contains a large amount of fibres, which improve the digestive system, relieve constipation, and improve appetite.
3. It contains a higher amount of Vitamin C which has wound-healing properties. It has more vitamin C than oranges. If anyone wants to boost immunity, guava would be a better option than oranges.
4. Antioxidants and many other vitamins present in the fruit are good for skin and hair.
5. Guava seed oil is used to reduce skin wrinkles and acne, besides, the fragrance of guava fruit is also used in shampoos.
Benefits of Guava leaves:
1. Its leaves are washed and boiled in water to make tea. This tea prevents diabetes and has proven to be great for diabetics. In Japan, the government has officially approved its clinical use. Drinking it after regular meals usually gives good results.
2. Its tea has also been shown to be great for preventing cancer. It contains two powerful antioxidants (Lycopene and Favonoil) that have been shown to help with breast cancer in women, prostate cancer in men and oral cancer in both.
3. Guava leaves are anti-viral and anti-bacterial which means it gives you relief from fever, cold and cough not only this, it has proven to be effective against dengue virus fever as well.
4. Guava leaf extract is a natural anti-diarrheal medicine. Yes, it makes your stomach stronger and also prevents cholera. It contains medicinal ingredients that kill the two main cholera-causing bacteria (Staphylococcus aureas, E.coli).
5. Its tea is also the best in reducing menstrual pain.
Drink one cup for four to six weeks in a row to get the best results.
6. Leaves extract can also be used as a mouthwash. Boil its leaves and add a little salt to it. Take this natural mouthwash, now rinse with it and see, not only will your breath smell fresh, but its anti-inflammatory action will kill the bacteria present in your gums.
7. Guava leaves are also used to reduce toothache. Take some leaves and press them under the aching tooth and see the results.
8. Grind its leaves and boil them and when it starts to turn brown, turn off the stove. Strain the water and use it for pimples on your skin.
9. It also helps to reduce joint pain.
Benefits of Guava Tree Wood:
1. It is very strong and durable, so in Nigeria, it is processed and used for roof timbers.
2. It makes excellent firewood and charcoal.
3. It is used to make smoked meat in barbecue and gives a strong woody and lightly fruity flavour to the meat.
4. It is also used to make handles for different tools and frames because of its excellent wood quality.
5. The bark of the tree is used to make various medicines, powders and cosmetic materials.
Guava and fruit fly:
One of the biggest enemies of guava fruit is the fruit fly. It has an ovipositor which is used to lay eggs inside the fruit and within a couple of days, maggots are formed. If these fruits are eaten mistakenly, they will not affect the stomach and will be digested like normal meat.
Try to separate the damaged fruits from the healthy ones and fruits that have fallen on the ground should be buried properly by digging a hole in the ground so that more larvae do not come out and spoil the whole fruit of the tree. Spray Diptrix to prevent further attack of the fruit fly.
Another method is to take vinegar (try apple cider vinegar), mix it with a little unscented dishwashing liquid and put it in a plastic container with a hole in the lid and tie it to the tree. The fly will mistakenly consider it as a fruit and will lay an egg inside it.
When buying guavas, do not buy overripe guavas and those with black spots may contain maggots.
However, this plant has proved to be a pest many times. In the forests of Brazil, especially on the island of Hawaii, the strawberry guava species has spread so much that it has consumed the food and water of many other plants and put about a hundred species of plants in danger of extinction.