.Please note: This article refers to soursop graviola and guanabana. These three words refer to the same tree and fruit. A soursop fruit is the same thing as graviola fruit and guanabana fruit. Same goes for references to the soursop tree.
If you have visited Mexico, the islands of the Caribbean, or the northern countries of South America, then you have almost certainly seen a soursop tree and soursop fruit growing on it as a large spiny green oval.
The soursop tree is an evergreen tree known to scientists as Annona muricata. The taste of the soursop fruit is a delicious combination of strawberry and pineapple, with sweet and citrus flavors (see more on the fruit’s taste).
This intriguing flavor hays resulted in making soursop a favorite among locals, and famous among those seeking its curative powers.
It is also grown in Africa, and can also be found in Southeast Asia. ouy can even find it in central or south Florida. However, it is most popularly grown for consumption as a garden fruit, and in some places is as common as the apple or maple tree is in the north.
The soursop fruit – also called graviola fruit or guanabana fruit (and various other names), is only one type of Annona. Other types include the jackfruit.
The soursop fruit’s soft pulp and fiber can be used for beverages, desserts, smoothies, and candy, as well as a many medical applications, which we will discuss below…
Amazing health benefits of soursop fruit
While the flavor of soursop fruit makes it a much sought-after food, the uses for it are numerous:
- The fruit has rich vitamin and nutrient content, including vitamin C, vitamin B, and several antioxidants.
- Soursop juice can be used topically on skin.
- Pulverized seeds and graviola leaves can also be used as natural remedies. It can be turned into a healthy tea.
Graviola can control parasites
The anti-parasitic nature of soursop has made it a popular treatment in rural areas of Latin America and South America, especially in areas that parasites flourish. A tea brewed from graviola leaves cut from the tree, can be used to remedy gastrointestinal upset.
Soursop fruit’s anti-inflammatory properties
Joint pain and inflammation caused by gout or arthritis can be remedied by rubbing soursop on the afflicted area. The anti-inflammatory compounds found in soursop can speed healing. They can also sooth pain and improve flexibility. Soursop leaves can be used to treat headaches, insomnia, cystitis, liver problems, diabetes, hypertension and as an anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and to treat dysentery. The boiling the leaves (to create a tea or salve) can be used to fight parasite, rheumatic and antineuralgic effects when used internally, while the cooked leaves, applied topically, fight rheumatism and abscesses
Relief of breathing issues
If you are struggling with a cough, cold, or other forms of the respiratory ailment, then soursop’s anti-inflammatory properties can help to clear out your airways, relieve congestion, and soothe irritation. Soursop helps loosen or reduce excess phlegm and mucus. Reducing inflammation in the nose and lungs, can also help relieve congestion and speed up healing.
Soursop and insomnia
Soursop tea has been used as a stress relieving strategy for centuries. Anti-inflammatory and soothing properties of soursop make it effective when treating stress and anxiety. Stress hormones can interrupt normal metabolic cycles, and impact sleep patterns. If you suffer from insomnia or restless sleep, then consider drinking soursop tea to help remedy the problem.
Skin health and soursop seeds
The seeds of the soursop fruit can be pulverized into a powder, and made into an astringent. (An astringent is a chemical compound that can shrink or constrict body tissues.) This can help reduce lines and wrinkles in the skin. Soursop seeds used this way can help neutralize the appearance of age spots and skin blemishes. Apply the soursop seed paste to the affected areas of skin to help it become healthier. This also helps ward off bacterial and microbial infections.
Soursop and cancer
Soursop and its cancer-fighting properties is well known in areas where it is grown. Its is especially known for its antioxidant activity, which comes from acetogenins, quinolones and alkaloids. These compounds have been linked to treat or prevent cancer. They can also be used to reduce the size of tumors.
Extensive research has been conducted on the unique compounds in soursop called acetogenins, which are unique to the Annonaceae plant family. They have been widely studied as an alternative cancer treatment. They can apparently cut off blood flow to foreign or non-normal cellular growths, and have already been positively associated with treating breast, pancreatic, prostate, and lung cancers.
However, doctors say use and consumption of soursop is not a replacement for cancer treatment. Many soursop devotees swear by its apparent anti-cancer properties. You should seek medical advice in using natural remedies in conjunction with medical intervention.
Boost immunity with soursop fruit
Soursop can help strengthen your immune system. Add soursop fruit via hot or cold beverages, or in desserts. It will help improve overall health. The fruit stimulates production of white blood cells. Its antioxidant content also helps to reduce free radicals and conditions that cause a variety of chronic diseases.
Soursop can improve gut health
Being rich in vitamin C, soursop was used for many years as a natural remedy for scurvy and dysentery. The juice of the soursop fruit can also be a very effective diuretic, to clean the gut and remove toxins and salts from the body. The anti-inflammatory components, including the alkaloids and quinolones, can reduce parasites in the gut. It can help alleviate pain or irritation in the stomach or colon.
Soursop as a painkiller
Soursop can be applied topically applied to wounds and injuries. It can help with external pain relief. It also works internally to relieve pain and to help speed healing. The sedative and anti-inflammatory elements of this amazing tropical fruit make graviola a great remedy for pain internally and externally.
Word of caution about soursop
While these traditional applications of soursop fruit, leaves and seeds can be powerful and effective, the overuse can have some negative impacts as a result of toxicity. Overuse can result in nerve ailments.
If you start to use soursop to help treat an ailment, particularly if you use it to fight cancer, it is important to consult with your primary health practitioner. Speak to your doctor, oncologist, naturopath and other health professionals. They can help you to used properly and in combination with other treatments to help you get well.