Guava Antibacterial Ointment

Technology Generator

Institute of Herbal Medicine
National Institutes of Health, University of the Philippines Manila
Project leader: Cecilia C. Maramba-Lazarte, MD, MscID, MScCT

The Problem
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), skin disease is one of the top 50 causes of deaths in the Philippines in 2018. Examples of skin diseases prevalent in the country are the following:

  • Pyoderma Pyoderma is a bacterial skin inflammation encountered most frequently in tropical countries where heat and humidity further contributes to infection growth. The infection is caused by bacteria such as the beta-homolytic streptococcus and staphylococcus which may also lead to serious complications such as cellulitis, lymphangitis, and suppurative lymphadenitis.
  • Eczema Eczema is a common skin problem which causes red, itchy and scaly skin. In severe cases, the skin may even weep and/or bleed. Although it is commonly experienced by children, the disease can affect persons of any age.
  • Scabies Scabies is an infectious skin condition which can spread from person to person through close physical contact. Resembling an eczema, the infection is caused by mites burrowed beneath the skin which results in itchiness and the occurrence of pimple-like rashes.
Skin diseases may be treated through the use of topical creams, ointments, oral medications, and through injections, depending on the patient's condition. Some patients may need to be admitted in hospitals which may lead to costly hospital fees.

The Solution
Commonly known as the guava plant, Psidium guajava has been traditionally used to treat wounds and prevent infections after circumcision or childbirth. Deriving from this practice, the UP Manila-Institute of Herbal Medicine was able to formulate and develop a natural antibacterial solution for bacterial skin infections called Guaviderm. As it is locally developed, the Guaviderm is projected to be significantly cheaper than its competitors in the market.

Based on the clinical tests conducted by the UPM-IHM, the Guaviderm ointment contains quercetin compounds which can kill skin pathogens such as the Streptococcus and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which are normally resistant to common antibiotics.

The Guaviderm can be used for the (1) treatment of localized superficial skin infection, (2) prevention of wound infection following minor surgical or cosmetics procedures, (3) prevention of wound infection in minor wounds/injuries/abrasions to the skins, (4) treatment of secondarily infected eczematous dermatitis, and (5) treatment of secondarily infected scabies lesions.

The guava leaves used for the development of the ointment are sourced from Los Baños, Laguna. Through its production, the project team hopes to provide the local farmers a new cash crop and activate the supply chain of a locally-produced natural antibiotic for the Philippine pharmaceutical industry.

Product Development Stage
Phase 1 of the clinical trial is currently ongoing. The project team intends to license the product to local pharmaceutical companies after the completion of Phase 3 clinical trial.

Contact Person
Cecilia C. Maramba-Lazarte, MD, MscID, MScCT
Director, Institute of Herbal Medicine
National Institutes of Health, UP Manila
Email Address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel No. 526-4248