Guava (Psidium guajava) is a tropical tree native to Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Mexico. Its fruit is oval with a yellow-green color while its leaves are long and vibrantly green.
Though its fruit is most popular in the West, its leaves are also high in nutrients and antioxidants. In fact, many cultures use guava leaves as a traditional medicine for various ailments.
Although guava leaves are commonly marketed as a weight loss aid, you may wonder whether scientific studies support this idea.
This article tells you whether guava leaves aid weight loss.
Numerous websites claim that guava leaf tea helps you lose weight. However, no scientific evidence backs this claim.
What does the research say?
To date, no published studies show that drinking guava leaf tea or consuming guava leaves promotes weight loss.
While some rat studies suggest that guava leaf extract aids blood sugar and cholesterol levels, these results can’t be applied to humans and don’t directly involve weight (
Some people claim that guava leaves’ antioxidants, including catechins, quercetin, and gallic acid, boost weight loss by fighting oxidative stress, which is linked to weight gain (
However, guava leaf tea provides a very small amount of these compounds. Furthermore, no research ties antioxidant intake from these leaves to weight loss.
Replacing sugary beverages with guava tea
You may lose weight if you replace high sugar beverages like energy drinks or soda with guava leaf tea. A diet high in added sugars is associated with greater weight gain and belly fat (
What’s more, hot guava leaf tea — or any tea — may boost fullness by taking up volume in your stomach. Plus, it’s low in calories and takes longer to drink than many sugary beverages, which may help keep you full (
Yet, the same can be said of any tea. Specific studies on guava tea are lacking.
Though drinking guava leaf tea may help you feel full, no research directly links guava leaves to weight loss.
If you want to try guava leaves, it’s best to consume them as tea, as the leaves are inedible.
Here’s how to make guava leaf tea using dried guava leaves.
- Add 1–2 teaspoons (2.5–5 grams) of dried guava leaves to a tea infuser.
- Add 1 cup (240 mL) of boiling water.
- Steep for 5–10 minutes.
Alternatively, you can make tea from fresh guava leaves.
- Wash 5–10 fresh guava leaves under cold running water to remove any dirt or residue.
- Boil 2 cups (475 mL) of water on the stove, then add the leaves.
- Reduce the heat and simmer for 10–12 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and pour the liquid into a strainer over a wide cup or bowl.
- Discard the leaves.
You can find dried or fresh guava leaves in specialty health stores.
It’s best to consult your healthcare provider before trying guava leaf tea due to its potential effect on blood sugar levels. What’s more, you should avoid guava leaf extract, as its safety and side effects are unknown (
You can easily make guava leaf tea at home using dried or fresh leaves, though it’s recommended that you speak to your healthcare provider before trying it.
Guava leaves are widely said to boost weight loss, but these claims aren’t backed by any scientific evidence.
While you may lose weight if you replace high sugar beverages with guava leaf tea, this has to do with its low calorie count — not guava leaves themselves.
Until more research is available, it’s best to enjoy guava leaf tea for its flavor instead of relying on it for weight loss.