- First Aid
Guava Leaves: How to Treat a Cut Without a Medical Kit
I grew up in a poor country where people made do with what's around them.
The tip you are about to read is something I learned while growing up in the Philippines. It is by no means endorsed by the medical field, but I've personally used the technique and have heard of others using it with great success.
Regardless, be advised that you should use what I'm about to divulge at your own risk.
You've been warned.
No Medical Kit? Use Guava Leaves!
As a child growing up in the Philippines, my friends and I would spend hours playing outside. Back in the days, there were no such things as video games to hold us inactive.
So I and my friends were very active. We would build our own scooters from wood, nails, and wheel bearings. We would create little axes from slices of metal cores from an unusable power transformer.
Occasionally we would injure ourselves from our activities. One very memorable event was when a few of my friends and I played with slices of a metal core from an old transformer, and made little axes out of them.
The piece of metal was in a shape of the letter E. We would take the top and bottom horizontal parts of the metal E and bend it around a wooden stick. The middle horizontal part would then remain sticking out. That is what we sharpened; and that was how we ended up with an axe.
In playing with these little metal axes, one of my friends hit my left hand between the middle knuckle and the pointer finger knuckle. The result was a bleeder of a cut.
Mind you we were less than 8 years old back then, but we knew well enough to deal with this in the field--without a medical first aid kit!
What did we use you ask? Well, in the neighborhood, there were plenty of guava trees. The leaves of the guava tree are known for their medicinal qualities of preventing infections. So I gathered some guava leaves, chewed on them until the leaves were in the consistency of putty. I then put enough of it to completely cover the cut.
The bleeding stopped, and the cut eventually healed with no infection! Note that the metal cores we were playing were not very clean!
Some Proof Guava Leaves Work
As I noted before, I lived and grew up in my younger years in the Philippines. There, most people are poor, and as such have to make do with what is around them.
One of the rites of passage of boys growing up is getting circumcised. Again people were poor, and as such didn't really go to doctors to get circumcised. Instead, they would go to the local town person who did this and he would perform the circumcision.
WARNING: What I'm about to describe might bring very graphic things to mind, so if you'd rather not get to squeamish about things, skip to the conclusion.
Anyway, here we go...
The circumcision operation didn't involve anesthesia. The closest thing to it being considered an operation is the use of alcohol to help keep the cutting tools clean.
Patients would wait and chew guava leaves. When their turn came, they would take their pants off. The local surgeon (I'm not even sure if this is the proper term for this guy) would then have them sit and would somehow get a hold of the foreskin on which he would deliver the cutting blow.
The patient would then be asked to quickly put the chewed guava leaves on the cut, and a cloth dressing is then applied over it to cover and help apply pressure to it.
Most patients never got infection; and for those who did, it was mainly due to neglect of periodically cleaning their dressing.
This tip only applies to minor cuts/gashes that aren't life threatening. I learned it long ago as a poor kid running and sometimes getting cuts along the way. Someday just the right condition will make this tip handy.
If you or someone near you gets a cut, and If you happen to be in an area where guavas are plenty, then you are in luck. Guava leaves have excellent anti-infection effect when chewed and placed on a minor cut or non-life threatening gashes.
I have personally used it in my youth, and those who perform circumcisions for poor people in the Philippines have used it for decades.
Keep guava leaves in mind the next time you are on vacation where they are plenty; you may be able to help someone with a cut/gash when a medical kit isn't handy.