Guyabano Leaves Decoction | Personal Insights

Just want to put in my “two cents’ worth” about guyabano tea.

In March this year, my “balae” succumbed to end-stage cancer of the lungs. Being Filipino, his wife/family had wanted to try all sorts of herbal teas/concoctions that friends/relatives told them about, hoping for a “cure”. One was tea from fresh guyabano leaves that a neighbor provided generously. My balae kept a cup of the guyabano tea by his bedside and took sips throughout the day, whenever he could muster the resolve to tolerate the taste. I tried it myself; it was bad-tasting. Perhaps if the leaves had been dried before they were boiled, the taste would have been more palatable.

At any rate, I highly doubt that the guyabano tea did him a lot of good in the end; his illness was already too far advanced. That guyabano has health benefits, I believe, because there are a lot of plants out there that are good for our bodies. But to rely only on a particular plant for a complete cure, is, I think a bad idea. Plants only have the ability to work with our bodily systems to help them function normally/optimally. I am not an MD, just a BSHE graduate with nutrition background, but this makes sense. And if your body is already very sick before you begin any herbal treatments, you cannot expect miracles. I think the wise thing to do is to supplement medications prescribed by your MD with herbal teas, BUT ONLY IN CONSULTATION with the MD.

Some plants may have contra-indications for some medicines, like grapefruit is not recommended to be taken with medicines for high blood pressure. Of course, one would need to eat huge amounts of grapefruit before it becomes risky, but patients still get the warning printed on their medicine bottles because of the availability/popularity of grapefruit juice here.

Then again, there is always the placebo effect. Because a patient has a firm belief that taking that plant supplement will cure him, it just might!
To take herbal teas for the pleasure of drinking a soothing drink that may have benefits, is okay. My husband and I do this ourselves; hot tea after dinner is sooo good!

The US Food and Drug does not regulate herbal teas/supplements the way they regulate pharmaceuticals, and it’s mainly because there are not that many conclusive trials/tests to prove their efficacy, only popular beliefs based on traditions that have been passed down through generations in many cultures of the world. Actually, pharmaceutical companies have begun focusing on this traditional folk medicine that are plant-based to create new medicines with those desired results.

But as in everything else, moderation is key.

Insights written and submitted by: Cristina(Boots) Lee

guyabano leaves striked by sunlight

 


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