By: Rogia al-Shafee
KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - Guava, the tree whose fruit is characterized with a strong appetizing smell is grown everywhere in the Sudan (no matter the soil or the weather). This evergreen tree is also characterized with a host of health benefits whether in the fruit itself, its leaves or even its bark.
Also one other unusual trait of the guava tree is that it continues to bear fruit all the year round.
The guava is very rich in a lot of nutritional and medical substances. It contains the ((likobin)), usually present in red pulp guava. This substance guards the body against cancer and a number of other diseases. Boiled guava leaves are used in the treatment of coughs, colds, diarrhea and other stomachaches, tooth pain and wounds. The boiled leaves are also diuretic and can destroy renal tract stones. The leaves are also used in leather tanning and in the dyeing of textiles and other industrial products.
Guava seeds enter into the processing of cheese, ketchups, guava extract and other commercial products. The guava bark contains a costive substance that helps with diarrhea in children and dysentery.
The guava low sugar content renders it very suitable for diabetics, compared to other fruits.
Skin wise the guava helps moisten and brighten the skin, thanks to its high content of A.B.C vitamins and water that protects the skin from a lot of problems.
Guava helps with weight loss because of its content of low calories. For that reason it is ideal for slimming, without compromising the vitamins inside the human body. Guava also helps reduce the harmful HDL blood cholesterol and increase the useful LDL cholesterol. The fruit is also known to regulate blood pressure.
Types of guava vary according to pulp color, grading from white to red and from the skin surface that is waxy soft to rough. Guava fruits also vary in size and taste. These variations are present even in a single variety. That is because many of Sudanese varieties are obtained through seed multiplication. Sudan grows 36 varieties of guava, seed or none-seed types.
Sudan’s most known guava varieties are: Shendi, Pakistani (white varieties) and Sudani, Shambat, Sinja, Basateen and Gannib (red varieties). Sudan also grows the light yellow or red Kamleen guava variety, cloned from the native Sudanese guava. The yellow acetic low sugar Kummithri is also grown in Sudan.
In addition to its cultivation nationwide, guava is also grown inside homes everywhere in the Sudan. Many of Sudan’s lyric composers have written songs likening the sweetness of their loved ones to that of the guava tree. This is also very common in what is known as ‘girls songs’ composed and sung by girls in wedding parties and other happy occasions.
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