How to Dry Home Grown Guava Leaves for Tea

By Ann Wolters

Women talking with coffee

Guava leaves have been known since ancient times to cure diarrhea and dysentery. They have also been used to treat nausea, vomiting, menstrual pain, sore throats, coughs, swollen gums and ulcers in the mouth. In the United States guava leaf extract has found its way into various herbal formulas including those for promoting weight loss, curing diarrhea and regulating bowel movements. You can easily dry your own guava leaves for tea. Then, brew guava leaf tea by boiling one dried leaf in 4 1/2 cups of water. Add some orange peel if you wish.

Cut mature organic guava leaves without any blemishes. Use a pruning sheers to harvest medium-sized leaves when the tree is just beginning to form buds. This is when essential oils in the leaves are present in the highest concentration.

Wash guava leaves in cold water. Shake off the excess water and place the leaves in a single layer on drying screens or trays. Make sure you don’t crowd the leaves, and keep them out of direct sunlight. If using trays, turn the leaves every day.

When leaves are brittle and dry enough to shatter, condition them, advises the University of Missouri Extension. Conditioning, a way to evenly distribute the remaining moisture in dried herbs, requires one or more large nonporous containers. Fill the containers no more than two thirds full, cover them and put them in a warm dry place.

Mix the leaves in containers daily. If you see any condensation on the lid, return the guava leaves to drying racks to finish drying. Then start the conditioning process over again. Check for spoilage, and toss the leaves if you notice any signs of mold.

Mix the containers for 10 to 14 days, looking for condensation and spoilage daily.

Store dried guava leaves in small quantities in airtight containers. Keep the dried leaves at low temperatures in low humidity, away from sunlight. For best results, use dried guava tea leaves within 1 year.

Tip

You may also use a dehydrator to dry your guava leaves. A conventional oven is not recommended because it is difficult to maintain a low enough temperature for proper drying.

References

About the Author

Ann Wolters has been a writer, consultant and writing coach since 2008. Her work has appeared in "The Saint Paul Almanac" and in magazines such as "Inventing Tomorrow" and "Frontiers." She earned a Master of Arts in English as a second language from the University of Minnesota.

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