Guava leaf tea of Psidium guajava Linnaeus is commonly used as a medicine against gastroenteritis and child diarrhea by those who cannot afford or do not have access to antibiotics. This study screened the antimicrobial effect of essential oils and methanol, hexane, ethyl acetate extracts from guava leaves. The extracts were tested against diarrhea-causing bacteria: Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella spp. and Escherichia coli. Strains that were screened included isolates from seabob shrimp, Xiphopenaeus kroyeri (Heller) and laboratory-type strains. Of the bacteria tested, Staphylococcus aureus strains were most inhibited by the extracts. The methanol extract showed greatest bacterial inhibition. No statistically significant differences were observed between the tested extract concentrations and their effect. The essential oil extract showed inhibitory activity against S. aureus and Salmonella spp. The strains isolated from the shrimp showed some resistance to commercially available antibiotics. These data support the use of guava leaf-made medicines in diarrhea cases where access to commercial antibiotics is restricted. In conclusion, guava leaf extracts and essential oil are very active against S. aureus, thus making up important potential sources of new antimicrobial compounds.
Guava leaves; Psidium guajava Linnaeus; Methanol extract; Antibacterial activity; Essential oils; Plant remedy