Feijoa, botanically known as acca sellowiana or pineapple guava is an evergreen shrub native to South America in the Myrtaceae family. These small trees are commercially cultivated in California for their sweet and aromatic fruits. In addition, some people grow them for ornamental purposes. Feijoas bring forth wide, white petal flowers with bold, red centers resembling fuchsia blossoms, which are the focus of this article as they have medicinal properties.
[Note: The Right Flowers is not a medical site. Knowledge of and information about the therapeutic benefits and applications of flowers, while known through the ages, does not constitute medical advice. If you are having health issues, you should consult with a physician.]
Feijoa flower medicinal benefits include:
Treating inflammatory bowel disease
Feijoa is great for treating inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. While ulcerative colitis affects the large intestines, Crohn’s disease affects any part of the digestive system. Studies show that feijoa extracts are capable of managing the symptoms and effects of inflammatory bowel disease which make this plant a handy remedy against the condition.
Feijoa extracts have been shown to have anti-cancer capabilities on hematological cancer cells. Studies show that these extracts do not have toxic effects on normal myeloid progenitors. This suggests that feijoa has compounds that specifically target tumors without causing adverse effects on normal cells. When feijoa extracts were purified, fractionalized and analyzed, flavone was identified as the active compound with anti-cancer properties.
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When extracts from feijoa flowers and fruits were tested against Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria using broth dilution test on blood leukocytes of humans, it was discovered that extracts from this shrub held the potential of inhibiting the growth of bacteria.
Feijoa has anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties. It also contains critical vitamins and minerals which make it a great immunity booster. Since acca sellowiana has high vitamin C concentrations, it helps in stimulating the production of white blood cells which are the first line of defense for the body against internal and external threats.
Studies show that feijoa has anti-depressive properties. The study, conducted on animal subjects, indicated that extracts from the plant have high folate content which is ideal for treating depression. Folate deficiency is closely linked to high chances of developing depression as folate assists in neutralizing a metabolite known as homocysteine.
Vitamin C, a common component in feijoa, is a water-soluble antioxidant commonly known as ascorbic acid. Antioxidants are great for getting rid of free radicals in the blood which reduces the effects of oxidative stress from the lining of arteries. This prevents the build-up of plaque which can lead to heart problems.
Just like most people, you probably thought feijoas are only great for their sweet guavas or for ornamental purposes, but now you know that their flowers can be used for medicinal purposes too.