soursop tea

Graviola Tea Questions and Answers

This is your ultimate guide to graviola tea. Note that graviola tea is the same as soursop tea and the term is used interchangeably.

This is your ultimate guide to graviola tea. If you have a question about graviola tea, then send us a question and get an answer back via email using the link at the bottom of the page.

Soursop Tea Questions and Answers

Here are our most asked questions about graviola tea (sometimes referred to as soursop leaf tea) and their answers:

1) What is is graviola tea? Is it the same as soursop tea?

Graviola tea – which is the same as soursop tea (soursop is also called graviola), is a preparation of dried soursop tree leaves. Shredded soursop leaves are soaked, or steeped, is hot or boiling water, resulting in a slight greenish beverage that is quite pleasant and soothing to drink.

2) What does graviola tea look like when prepared correctly?

Soursop tea can vary in color from a lime green color to a dark brown. The color will get darker the longer the leaves are steeped in hot water.

3) What does graviola tea taste like?

Graviola tea has a mild herbal flavor that, to some people, tastes like a cross between green tea and vanilla. It is not bitter, but it can get stronger the longer the leaves are steeped.

4) Is graviola tea made of graviola fruit?

No soursop tea is made from shredded or ground dried leaves from the soursop tree. Typically the leaves are plucked from the soursop tree, air dried, and then sold whole or shredded or in some cases, they are ground into coarse powder (like matcha tea). Sometimes it is put into tea bags for convenience.

5) What kinds of graviola tea products are there?

Graviola tea comes in a variety of different products: They include:

  • Whole graviola leaf
  • Shredded dried graviola leaf
  • Graviola leaf (ground) sold in single-serve tea bags.
  • Graviola leaf powder.

5) Where can I buy graviola tea?

You can buy soursop tea from most online retailers, in health food and supplement stores, and at Soursopstore.ca (Canada) and SoursopStore.com (USA)

6) Does graviola tea contain caffeine?

There is no caffeine in soursop tea. Read more here.

6) How many calories are in graviola tea?

Soursop tea typically contains zero calories, unless other ingredients or additives are added. Soursop fruit contains 148 calories per cup. Read more here.

7) How do I prepare graviola tea?

soursop tea preparation guide

You can download a free copy of our soursop tea preparation guide which explains how to prepare soursop tea for cancer patients as well as for people who want to consume it for other uses, including casual consumption.

8) How often should you drink graviola tea?

Experts say a cup each day that contains one to two tea bags (or 2-3 whole soursop leaves)  is ideal for those that want to consume soursop as a health tool. Y

This soursop/graviola tea guide may be useful.

8) Can graviola tea cure cancer?

The medical community reports there is no fully conclusive evidence that soursop can cure cancer.

There is an often-quoted study published by Purdue University that shows it has cytotoxic (cell-killing) effects.

Click to read more about the soursop research findings

Full clinical research (studies on people) on soursop and its anti-cancer effects would have to be conducted to show conclusive proof.

Regardless, people who consume soursop tea and fruit as an anti-cancer remedy have issued testimonials praising the health value of consuming soursop.

Again, these claims would need to be supported by further medical research to be proven true by the medical community.

9) Can graviola tea help fight bacterial infections?

There have been lab studies that soursop extracts have an anti-microbial effect. See one such study here posted in the Journal of Clinical and Scientific Research 

10) Can Graviola tea be used against viral infections such as herpes?

Graviola (soursop)…”is considered an alternative treatment for herpes, but the supporting evidence is still not complete. A 2012 study showed anti-herpes activity with graviola in the laboratory.

12) Does graviola have anti-inflammatory effects?

MedicalNewsToday.com (MNT) reports that: “According to a 2014 study on rodents, graviola has anti-inflammatory properties that may relieve pain. The study’s researchers supported graviola’s use as a folk remedy for pain and inflammatory conditions.”

MNT also reports: “According to a 1999 study, graviola extract may have antiviral effects against herpes simplex 2 virus (HSV-2). HSV-2 is responsible for most cases of genital herpes outbreaks. In vitro, graviola was toxic to HSV-2 cells. In vitro means outside a living body.”

See more here.

13) Can graviola lower blood pressure and blood sugar 

It is suggested that soursop has blood-sugar reducing and blood-pressure-lowering effects. According to CancerResearchUk.org, “Studies on animals found that graviola (soursop) may lower blood sugar and blood pressure. Talk to your doctor first before taking graviola if you have diabetes or high blood pressure.”

14) What is the active ingredient in graviola tea?

Graviola is rich in antioxidants, which it is believed help keep people healthy. They include tannins, saponins, phytosterols, flavonoids, anthraquinones.

It also contains phytochemicals called annonaceous acetogenins (AGEs), which studies show have cytotoxic properties. This means it can kill cells, including cancer cells in tumors.

15) Does eating graviola fruit or drinking the tea have any side effects?

Over-consumption of large quantities of graviola and long-term use can induce side effects including:

    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Nerve damage and movement problems
    • Neuropathy that leads to Parkinson-like symptoms, such as tremors or stiff muscles.

15) Can I drink graviola tea sweetened with sugar, honey or other sweetener

Yes, graviola tea can be sweetened with sugar, honey or other sweetener. The fruit is often used as part of desserts and sweetening soursop products can enhance their flavour.

That said, it is recommended by health professionals that those with cancer reduce their sugar consumption. Read more here.

16) Where can I ask a question about graviola not answered here? 

Send an email to [email protected]. We will do our best to answer your questions. This will help us improve this post.

Fresh soursop (top)and Freeze Dried soursop (bottom)

Freeze Dried Soursop – Everything you wanted to know

Freeze dried soursop is a rare and usually food product indeed. As more and more people discover the wonderful benefits of soursop fruit and soursop leaves they start wondering what other foods come from the tropical fruit tree. The answer is freeze dried soursop fruit.

So what is freeze dried soursop fruit?

It is the soursop fruit pulp dried using a desiccating process called freeze-drying.  A low-temperature dehydration process is used on food products to remove water – it involves freezing the product, lowering pressure, then removing the ice by sublimation (ice turns into gas). This is in contrast to dehydration using heat to remove water. The freeze dried end product is pieces of soursop pulp that look like popcorn or chips. It is dry, crunchy, and sweet. But yet the freeze-drying process retains 99% of the nutrients compared to the fresh product.

Why do people eat foods made from the soursop tree, including its fruit and leaves?

The most famous compounds found in the tree. It is called acetogenin compounds (AGEs). Acetogenins block nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, which is part of the membrane of cancer cells. Soursop has high concentrations of AGEs, found is in its fruit, stems and leaves.

Soursop fruit also contains many minerals, including calciummagnesium, and iron. In one cup of the fruit (or about 1/8 of a cup of freeze dried soursop) provides 46.4 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C in one cup of soursop pulp, which is over half the recommended daily amount for adults. For context, women need 75 mg of vitamin C per day, and men need 90 mg.

Advantages of  freeze dried soursop fruit

One of the challenges with soursop fruit is that it only grows in tropical and sub-tropical climates. You might see a soursop tree in Florida in the U.S., but even then it’s rare. The tree is very sensitive to temperature so if it gets cold enough to see frost on the ground then it means that a soursop tree will not thrive in that environment even if the rest of the year temperatures are in the 80s and 90s (25 to  35 C).

soursop fruit on tree

Soursop fruit on a tree in Malaysia

So the fruit has to be grown in the tropics. However, that means it is grown in South America, the Caribbean, and equatorial Asia (like Malaysia) and Africa. Soursop is a large fruit and it is heavy with water. It also has a thick green spiny skin. So shipping it in its fresh form can be expensive.

The advantage that freeze dried soursop fruit has is that the water is removed in the freeze drying process. Freeze-drying process and so it is light like a chip and crunchy too. So it is much cheaper to ship.

Where can I buy freeze dried soursop fruit?

You can buy freeze dried soursop fruit from specialty food suppliers like SoursopStore.com in the U.S. and from SoursopStore.ca in Canada.

soursop leaves

Soursop leaves and fruit on a farm in Malaysia

If you have ever wondered how soursop grows, here’s documentary evidence from a visit our family made to the farm where we have been buying soursop leaves and soursop tea bags for more than three years for our stores at soursopstore.com (USA) and soursopstore.ca (Canada).

You’ll see below that soursop is both a large green fruit and the tree it is grown on. Some people call it graviola. The graviola tree and graviola fruit is the same thing as soursop. Just a different name. Same fruit and same plant.

Here is a gallery of our visit to the farm which is located in south Malaysia in the hills of Johor province. Across the strait is Singapore.

 

Soursop tea

soursop tea | graviola teaSoursop Tea health benefits

Soursop tea is made from the leaves of the Graviola tree. Both the leaves and the fruit may provide a staggering number of health benefits according to natural medicine practioners.
They include:

  • Prevents the spread and initial development of cancer
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Boosts the immune system boost
  • Skin protection
  • Accelerates weight loss
  • Improves digestion
  • Treatment and reduction of internal and external inflammation.
  • Sleep aid to help with insomnia

Does soursop tea has any side effects?

Generally, drinking soursop tea moderately, should not produce any adverse effects.

For as many benefits as there are for drinking soursop tea, this seemingly amazing health-giving drink can cause adverse effects if over-consumed. Some soursop tea drinkers have reported:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Digestive discomfort
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • Early labor (childbirth)
  • Fatigue (though this is why it helps with insomnia)
  • And some neurotoxic impacts.

Most of these side effects are a result of allergies or excessive or over-consumption of the tea. It is always wise to speak to your doctor of naturopath about potential risks or adverse reactions you may encounter with soursop tea.

What Is Soursop Tea?

In botany, the study of plants, soursop is known as Annona muricata. The tree is native to tropical regions of the Americas. The fruit, known to Spanish speakers as guanabana, can weigh more than five pounds.

While you can make chilled beverages from the pulp of the fruit, for tea, only the leaves are needed. This fruit has received a great deal of attention in recent years due to its apparent effects on cancerous activity in the body, but research is still ongoing for safety and efficacy of this tea. These effects of soursop are attributed to the presence of alkaloids, acetogenins, other antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, calcium, iron, potassium, gentisic acid, and anonol.

Benefits Of Soursop Tea
Drinking soursop tea is a good idea for those suffering from hypertension, low immunity, inflammation of the skin, acne, obesity, low metabolic rate, indigestion, constipation, and anemia, as well as those who have been diagnosed with cancer and others at a high risk of developing cancer.

Cancer
In the past decade, some remarkable research and claims about soursop tea’s ability to cure and prevent cancer have been made. This is largely due to the presence of acetogenins, a powerful group of antibiotics that have been found in this fruit. So far, the studies have shown positive results in connection to throat, lung, breast and cervical cancers, as well as leukemia. These effects range from shutting down the energy production capacity of cancer cells to causing apoptosis in these mutated cells.

Heart Health

High potassium levels and active compounds in soursop tea help to lower blood pressure by a significant amount. For people with hypertension, this is an excellent way to lower strain on the heart and reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes.

Digestion

The good balance of vitamins and minerals, as well as anti-inflammatory compounds, can help aid the digestive system and prevent conditions of constipation, indigestion, cramping, bloating and diarrhea. The presence of calcium also helps the body uptake iron more effectively, while the antimicrobial effects of this tea will help balance the microflora environment of the gut. However, in excess, this tea can cause additional stomach upset and digestive problems.

Circulation

The high level of iron found in soursop tea helps to stimulate the circulatory system and boost energy throughout the body. Iron is a key component of red blood cells, which bring energy to organ systems and tissues, speeding up repair and optimizing metabolic activity.

Guanabana leaves can be harvested from the graviola tree, a tall tropical evergreen tree that grows 15 to 18 ft (5 to 6 meters) in height.
  
The guanabana leaves produces a large heart-shaped edible guanabana fruit that is 6 to 9 inches long. The inedible skin is yellowish green in color. Inside is white flesh dotted with 3/4 inch black or brown seeds.

You can find the fruit in most of the warmest tropical areas in South and North America including the Amazon, the Caribbean and Mexico. It also grows in south Florida.
 
It can also be found in local markets in the tropics.  Sometimes guanabana fruit is referred to as soursop, custard apple, custard pear, paw paw, or sometimes Brazilian cherimoya.
What is the guanabana fruit used for in the kitchen?

Guanabana fruit is excellent for making drinks, ice creams and and frozen desserts. Though it can be slightly sour and acidic, as it ripens , it can be eaten raw.
 
All parts of the graviola tree aru used in natural medicine, including bark, leaves, roots, fruit and seeds. Different properties and uses are attributed to the different parts of the tree.
 
What is guanabana used for in natural medicine?

The guanabana fruit and fruit juice can be eaten to treat worms and parasites, to cool fevers, to increase mother’s milk after childbirth. It is also used to treat diarrhea and dysentery.
 
The crushed guanabana seeds are used to treat internal and external parasites and worms.
 
The graviola bark, leaves and roots can be used as a sedative, as an antispasmodic, to lower blood pressure and to calm nerves. A guanabana leaf tea is consumed for those purposes.
 
History of guanabana in regional natural medicine

Guanabana has a long rich history of use in herbal medicine, and among indigenous peoples in the tropics.
Peru

You find  that a tea from the guanabana leaf is used for mucus reduction in the Peruvian Andes. The crushed seeds of the fruit are used to kill parasites. In the Peruvian Amazon the bark roots and leaves are used for diabetes and as a sedative and antispasmodic.

Guyana

Indigenous tribes in Guyana use a leaf or bark tea of guanabana as a sedative and heart tonic.
Brazil

In the Brazilian Amazon, the guanabana leaf tea is used for liver problems and the oil of the leaves and unripened fruit is combined with olive oil. It is used externally for neuralgia, rheumatism and to treat arthritis pain.

Jamaica and Caribbean islands

In the Caribbean, especially in Jamaica, Guanabana fruit and its juice has long been used to treat:
fevers
parasites
to bring in mother’s milk.
to ease diarrhea.
And, to treat cancer
Plus, the bark or leaves can be used as an antispasmodic, as a sedative, and to soothe nerves. It is also used for heart conditions, coughs, difficult childbirth, asthma, asthenia, hypertension and to clear parasites.