Onhealthmeup.com - Guava leaves are just as medicinally useful as the nutritional powerhouse fruit they grow with. The leaves of the guava tree are full of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory agents, antibacterials, and even tannins that can have significant health benefits, from treating stomach troubles to chronic diseases like cancer.
Just like the popular tropical fruit can be made into beverages, jams, and other foods, its leaves can too. They can be brewed to make a tea, for example, which releases beneficial substances like vitamin C and flavonoids like quercetin. Scientific studies have documented the healthful qualities of the superfruit’s leaves. But do you know that guava leaf is also able to cure diabetes to normalize blood sugar level?
Guava leaf extract helps with blood sugar levels
Teas made with guava leaves have been used in folk medicine in tropical countries around the world as a treatment for diabetes for hundreds of years. The first clinical tests of guava leaf as a treatment for type 2 diabetes have only recently been conducted by medical researchers in Japan.
The January 2010 edition of the journal Nutrition and Metabolism reports that a study of twenty hospitalized type 2 diabetics found that taking guava leaf extract, which in this case is a highly concentrated form, lowers the post-prandial (after-meal) blood sugar levels by about 17 mg/dL (0.94 mmol/L).
The way the guava leaf extract works is by interfering with the action of the enzymes alpha-amylase, maltase, and sucrose, which break out the maltose and sucrose sugars from the carbohydrates in food. Alpha-amylase is a particularly fast-acting digestive enzyme that is secreted by your mouth, so the action of guava leaf extract is particularly useful in controlling the post-prandial increases in your blood sugar levels.
Japanese researchers have also investigated the long-term use of guava leaf extracts by overweight type 2 diabetics who were over the age of 40 years.
The study found that guava leaf is so-so for lowering blood sugars, but potentially very useful for reducing insulin resistance. The reason blood sugar levels go down a little and blood insulin levels go down a lot, is that cells are transformed from highly insulin resistant to much less insulin resistant... without changes in diet or exercise. Even better, the study showed that long-term use of guava leaf extract lowered total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, and increased concentrations of a hormone called adiponectin, the signal from fat cells to the brain that further eating is unnecessary.
Insulin resistance is the underlying cause of type 2 diabetes, but a healthy eating plan is still required. Regular use of this extract, however, will change your appetite so that dieting is easier as both your blood sugar and HbA1c's levels go down. Guava leaf teas and extracts are available in Health Food Stores that have a Herbalist on site, a Herbalist or from online retailers.