Fresh, pink, delectable guavas are a tropical fruit that has always had a place in the sun. But it looks like the humble guava leaves aren’t far behind! Traditional medicinal systems like ayurveda have always recognized guava leaves’ potential, using them to tackle illnesses ranging from diarrhea and cough to gum and ear problems.
Natural remedies can help fight hair woes. But if you’ve had more than your regular share of bad hair days, it’s also important to dig deeper and fix the underlying cause, whether it’s a hormonal problem, a nutritional deficiency, improper scalp care, or harsh hair treatments.
Scientific research also validates that guava leaves have antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties and even the potential to combat conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and obesity.1 But beyond these, if it’s guava leaves’ role in hair care that’s caught your attention, you have reason to be happy. Here’s why guava leaves may be a worthwhile addition to your haircare regimen:
1. Combat Hair Loss
Concerned about hair loss and thinning hair? Oxidative stress may play a role in hair loss and guava leaves are rich in antioxidants that can fight oxidative stress.2 Research also indicates that guava leaves contain an anti-inflammatory flavonoid known as quercetin which has been found to help tackle and even prevent alopecia areata, a condition that damages your hair follicles and causes small bald patches to develop.3 4 5
Moreover, one animal study found that oral consumption and topical application of a guava leaf extract increased hair growth in people who were experiencing hair loss due to chemotherapy. It was observed that in the control group which was exposed to radiation but given no treatment, maximum hair follicles were in the telogen phase of the hair cycle (where hair is shed). Meanwhile, in the group treated with guava leaf extract, maximum hair follicles were in the anagen or growing phase.6
How to use: To prepare guava tea, boil a couple of teaspoons of chopped up fresh or dried guava leaves in a cup of water for around 10 minutes. Strain the decoction and apply on hair once cool. Rinse after 15–20 minutes. Reinforce this routine by having a cup of guava tea every day.7
2. Get Rid Of Dandruff
Are you troubled by dandruff flakes and an itchy scalp? Try this age-old remedy from Sri Lanka – a paste of guava and Ceylon olive leaves. One study found that this traditional remedy resulted in a significant reduction in symptoms like scalp itching, white scales, inflamed scalp, and hair fall. Over 70% of the participants showed a marked improvement in their condition and 40% were completely free of dandruff. The researchers suggested that guava and Ceylon olive leaves may work synergistically through anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties and also stimulate the immune system to get rid of dandruff.8
How to use: Grind guava leaves and Ceylon olive leaves into a thick paste with a little water. Apply it to your scalp and let it sit for 30 minutes before rinsing it off. Apply this remedy on alternate days for a month to clear dandruff.
3. Fight Premature Graying
A guava leaf infused hair oil is often recommended for premature graying. While this has not been scientifically studied, research has found that quercetin, the flavonoid present in guava leaves, can be beneficial for tackling premature graying. One study found that it stimulates the production of melanin, the pigment which gives hair color, in hair follicles.9
How to use: How about trying a hair oil that includes not just guava leaves but other hair-friendly ingredients like curry leaves and amla to banish those grays! To prepare the hair oil, boil 5 guava leaves, 20 curry leaves, and 1 chopped amla in 200 ml of pure coconut oil till they’re thoroughly fried. After it cools, strain this oil through a muslin cloth and then store it in a dark-colored glass bottle. Apply once a week.10
|↑1||Metwally, A. M., A. A. Omar, F. M. Harraz, and S. M. El Sohafy. “Phytochemical investigation and antimicrobial activity of Psidium guajava L. leaves.” Pharmacognosy magazine 6, no. 23 (2010): 212.|
|↑2||Trüeb, Ralph M. “Oxidative stress in ageing of hair.” International journal of trichology 1, no. 1 (2009): 6.|
|↑3||Alopecia areata. National Institutes of Health.|
|↑4||Joseph, Baby, and M. Priya. “Review on nutritional, medicinal and pharmacological properties of guava (Psidium guajava Linn.).” International Journal of pharma and bio sciences 2, no. 1 (2011): 53-69.|
|↑5||Wikramanayake, Tongyu Cao, Alexandra C. Villasante, Lucia M. Mauro, Carmen I. Perez, Lawrence A. Schachner, and Joaquin J. Jimenez. “Prevention and treatment of alopecia areata with quercetin in the C3H/HeJ mouse model.” Cell Stress and Chaperones 17, no. 2 (2012): 267-274.|
|↑6||Gavatia, Narayan P., Mukul Tailang, Bhaskar K. Gupta, Eman A. Subhey, Alkesh K. Lokhande, and Narendra Vyas. “Therapeutic potential of Psidium guajava and its polyherbal formulation on chemotherapy induced alopecia.” JPharm Res 4 (2011): 1082-83.|
|↑7||Tietze, Harald. Living Food for Longer Life. B. Jain Publishers, 2002.|
|↑8||Pramodani, M. P. N., and W. J. Wickramarachchi. “A clinical study to evaluate the efficacy of Elaeocarpus serratus and Psidium guajava leaves paste in the management of Dandruff.” (2016).|
|↑9||Takekoshi, Susumu, Kentaro Matsuzaki, and Kanae Kitatani. “Quercetin stimulates melanogenesis in hair follicle melanocyte of the mouse.” Tokai J. Exp. Clin. Med 38 (2013): 129-134.|
|↑10||D’Souza, Charmaine. Kitchen Clinic: Good Health Always With Charmaine. Random House, 2013.|