|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
Common names: Apple Guava, Common Guava.
Common Hindi name: Amrood.
Plant: Evergreen shrub or tree.
Leaves: 5-15cm long. Tough, dark, opposite, simple, elliptic to ovate.
Flower: White, with five petals and numerous stamens.
Fruit: 3-12cm in diameter. Round to pear-shaped.
Native to Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America and northern South America.
The whole fruit is edible, from seeds to rind, but many people choose to cut out the middle which contains hard seeds embedded in the surrounding pulp. The pulp is sweetest and most delicious in the center, with the outer layer being sour and gritty like young pears, while the peel (fruit) is sour in taste but richest in phytochemicals; it is usually discarded but can be eaten as an enriched source of essential nutrients and polyphenols.
The fruit is also often prepared as a dessert. In Asia, fresh raw guava is often dipped in preserved prune powder or salt. Boiled guava is also extensively used to make candies, preserves, jellies, jams, marmalades, and juices. In Asia, a tea is made from guava fruits and leaves. In Egypt, South Africa, and Central America, guava juice is popular. Red guavas can be used as the base of salted products such as sauces, constituting a substitute for tomatoes, especially for those sensitive to the latter's acidity.
Guava wood is used for meat smoking in Hawaii and may be used to barbecue.
Guavas are often considered superfruits, being rich in vitamins A and C, omega-3 and -6 polyunsaturated fatty acids and especially high levels of dietary fiber.
Common guava has diverse and dense nutrient content, including extraordinary richness of vitamin C (228 mg per 100 g).
Guavas contain both major classes of antioxidant pigments -- carotenoids and polyphenols, giving them relatively high dietary antioxidant value among plant foods.
The roots, bark, leaves and immature fruits, because of their astringency, are commonly employed to halt gastroenteritis, diarrhea and dysentery, throughout the tropics. Crushed leaves are applied on wounds, ulcers and rheumatic places, and leaves are chewed to relieve toothache. 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 an emmenagogue and vermifuge, and treatment for leucorrhea. It has been effective in halting vomiting and diarrhea 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, nephritis and cachexia. An extract is given in epilepsy and chorea and a tincture is rubbed on the spine of children in convulsions. A combined decoction of leaves and bark is given to expel the placenta after childbirth.
Guava is a very common cultivated fruit throughout the tropics. However, we often tend to ignore its beautiful fragrant flowers.
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