Soursop fruit is a superfruit for health

Soursop fruit is a superfruit for amazing health

.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.

soursop punch

Soursop Punch Recipe

soursop punch recipeThe best soursop punch recipe: This delicious chilled soursop punch is a crowd pleaser that will wow anyone that likes tropical punch drinks, especially fans of pina coladas.

Ingredients for soursop punch

  • 1 soursop fruit, peeled and cut into chunks (or use this vacuumed sealed soursop in a jar)
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar (or to taste)
    • Optional: substitute sugar for 1.5 tbsp agave nectar
  • 1 1/2 cups full fat milk (preferred) but you can use 2% or 1% milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

How to make this soursop punch recipe

  1. Chop soursop into small pieces.
  2. Press soursop pieces through a fine-mesh strainer with the back of a spoon and into a bowl to remove the juice from the fruit.
  3. Whisk the milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg into the soursop juice. Make sure the sugar is fully dissolved.
  4. Pour the punch into a pitcher.
  5. Refrigerate until punch chilled for at least 30 minutes.

Soursop punch adult twist: For an adult version add 1.5 oz of rum or vodka to a serving with crushed ice.

NEXT: Try this soursop smoothie recipe

Nerve cell

Soursop toxicity

soursop impact on nervous systemWhat is the toxicity of soursop

The presence of the alkaloids anonaine and annonacin has been reported in soursop fruit (also known as Guanabana and Graviola). Annonacin that has been found to possess in vitro anticancer activity. It can arrest cell growth. It can also cause apoptosis, which is death of cells that occurs as a normal and controlled part of an organism’s growth or development. There is evidence it can impact the MCF-7 breast cancer cell line.

Muricine and muricinine

The alkaloids muricine and muricinine are found in the bark of the graviola tree from which the fruit grows. Muricinine is believed to be identical to reticuline. Reticuline is one of the alkaloids found in the drug opium. Experiments in rodents suggest it has a potent central nervous system depressing effects. It is the precursor of morphine and many other alkaloids.

An unnamed alkaloid occurs in the leaves and seeds. The bark is high in hydrocyanic acid. Small amounts are found in the leaves and roots. There is a trace in the fruit. The seeds contain 45% of a yellow non-drying oil which is an irritant poison, causing severe eye inflammation.

It can disrupt the human nervous system if over-consumed.

history of soursop

History of Soursop

The history of Soursop spans back to 1526, when it was one of the first fruit trees carried from the North American continent across the Pacific to southeastern China, and Australia. It was also brought to the western shores of Africa.

Soursop was noted by Spanish historian Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo y Valdes in 1526 as a plentiful fruit. And, soursop has been grown in Florida for over a century.

Soursop in Florida

It was listed by the American Pomological Society as a Florida fruit in 1879. You can sometimes find it in home gardens. Cuban soursop began selling to Key West, Fla., in 1887 for 10 cents to 50 cents each.

The soursop fruit is  not quite as big as the enormous jackfruit, but still it is hefty. It measures four to 12 inches wide and as much as six inches long.

A single fruit may weigh up to 15 pounds. The tree it grows on can reach to 30 feet in height.

Found in tropical and subtropical climates, it is usually oval or heart-shaped and can be strangely curved. It can grow oddly thanks to  issues with insects during growth. Soursop has a spiny skin that’s not edible and is dark green until mature when it becomes yellowish green in color.

It has a the same type of scent and flavor to the pineapple but it has a bit of a lingering musky flavor as well. The pulp is an off-white color. It is also granular fibrous and very juicy. It grows in segments where there is an oval, smooth, hard, black seed, about 1/2 to 3/4 inch long containing anywhere from a few dozen to 200 or more seeds.

Soursop in Grenada and Trinidad

The island of Grenada produces particularly large and perfect soursop fruit. Exporters regularly deliver them by boat to the market of Port-of Spain because of a shortage in Trinidad.

Soursop in Colombia

In Colombia, where the soursop is generally large, well-formed and of high quality, this is one of the 14 tropical fruits recommended by the Instituto Latinoamericano de Mercadeo Agricola for large-scale planting and marketing.

Soursop is one of the 14 tropical fruits that the Instituto Latinoamericano de Mercadeo Agricola noted as having strong demand for large-scale planting and marketing.

Soursop in Venezula and Costa Rica

Soursop is also produced throughout Venezuela, which provides the supply for the processing plants where the frozen concentrate is manufactured. Strained pulp is also produced commercially in Costa Rica.

Soursop Smoothie Recipe

Soursop smoothie recipe

Want to make a delicious healthy soursop smoothie? It’s easy. All you need to do is follow the recipe below.

Ingredients:

How to make a soursop smoothie

  1. Remove the skin from the soursop pulp.
  2. Remove the soursop seeds.
  3. Add the water to the soursop pulp.
  4. Squeeze in the juice of the half lime.
  5. Blend the ingredients.
  6. Enjoy!

Serves 1 to 2

Double up the recipe for larger portions or to serve more

Soursop sweetening tip

If your soursop is a little tart and you like it sweeter, try adding 1 tsp of agave nectar into the mix.

Soursop smoothie recipe on video

Watch the recipe below produced by OrganicHawaii.org to see how this is done step by step, (without the sweetening step).