The Healing Power of Rainforest Herbs

What a natural medicine expert says about soursop and cancer

If natural medicine Leslie Taylor is right, soursop — or graviola, as some call it — is a miracle herb that all cancer patients should be consuming as part of their plan to get well.

Taylor is a cancer survivor herself, and after beating leukemia in her 20s she set out to study the extensive catalog of plants found in Amazon rain forests to uncover their medicinal uses that have been

In her book The Healing Power of Rainforest Herbs she summarizes soursop’s medicinal use as follows:

  • Kills cancer cells
  • Relieves depression
  • Slows tumor growth
  • Reduces spasms
  • Kills bacteria
  • Kills viruses
  • Kills parasites
  • Reduces fever
  • Reduces blood pressure
  • Expels worms
  • Lowers heart rate
  • Stimulates digestion
  • Dilates blood vessels
  • Stops convulsions


Soursop dosage from naturopath Leslie Taylor:

Taylor says that the dosage using soursop leaves for any of the conditions above is as follows:

Infusion (Soursop Tea)

1 cup 3 times daily (see also our free soursop tea guide)

Tincture (Concentrate made from soursop leaves or fruit)

2-4 ml 3 times daily.

Note: A tincture is a liquid extract of an herb that you take by mouth. It is a liquid concentration of the useful chemical constituents and medicinal properties of a plant. The liquid is usually alcohol, vegetable glycerin, or even apple cider vinegar. Learn more about how to make a tincture here.

Capsules (powder in capsule form):

2 grams x 3 times daily


Why you should consume soursop when fighting cancer

In her book and on her web site Taylor wrote:

“Many active compounds and chemicals have been found in graviola, as scientists have been studying its properties since the 1940s.”

The research on soursop/graviola has been focused on a plant chemicals called Annonaceous acetogenins.

These natural compounds can be found in sourop’s leaves and stems. It is also present in its bark, fruit, and seeds.

Taylor, who’s book was published in 2005,  said: “Three separate research groups have confirmed that these chemicals have significant antitumorous properties and selective toxicity against various types of cancer cells (without harming healthy cells) publishing eight clinical studies on their findings.”

These  acetogenins are selectively toxic for tumor cells “at very low dosages —as little as 1 part per million.”

Taylor explained that four studies published in 1998 specified the chemicals and acetogenins in soursop / graviola have the strongest anti-cancerous, anti-tumor and anti-viral capabilities.

She also said: “Mode of action studies in three separate laboratories have recently determined that these acetogenins are superb inhibitors of enzyme processes that are only found in the membranes of cancerous tumor cells.”

This explains why the acetogenins are toxic for cancer cells, but they are not toxic for healthy cells.

If you are familiar with soursop research then you may have heard about a laboratory research study conducted at Purdue University, in West Lafayette, Indiana.

A lot of this research was funded by The National Cancer Institute and the National Institute of Health (NIH).

Purdue University and its researchers have filed at least nine U.S. and/or international patents on their work around the anti-tumor and insecticidal properties and the related uses of the acetogenins they studied.

Purdue University revealed that (see this 1997 Purdue announcement) several of the Annonaceous acetogenins were “…not only are effective in killing tumors that have proven resistant to anti-cancer agents, but also seem to have a special affinity for such resistant cells.”

How cancer cells become drug resistant

Here is how that works: Cancer cells that are not killed by chemotherapy drugs can become resistant to the the anti-cancer agent. This process is called multi-drug resistanceCancer cells can create a pump within their walls that pushes anti-cancer drugs out of the cell. They stops them from being killed by these agents.

Only a small percentage of cancer cells in any given individual (approximately 2%)  may develop this defence mechanism. But they can replicate and become multi-drug-resistant tumors.

Research on acetogenins reported that the compounds were able to disable these intercellular pumps. This killed multi-drug-resistant tumors.

How soursop anti-cancer compounds work

The researchers at Purdue researchers said that the acetogenins block the transfer of ATP, which is where a cell gets its energy from. Starve them of an energy source and cancer cells will not grow or reproduce. They cannot run their pumps and defend themselves. Sothe result is that they eventually die.

Normal cells rarely develop this kind of internal pump. They don’t require a lot of energy as a consequence. Therefore they are not impacted by ATP inhibitor compounds. Purdue scientists said that 14 different acetogenins show effective ATP-blocking properties (several of these are found only in soursop).

The scientists also revealed that 13 of the 14 acetogenins tested were more potent against MDR breast cancer cells than all three of the standard drugs (adriamycin, vincristine, and vinblastine) used as controls.

Will extracts from soursop follow the same drug development path as Taxol?

Taylor suggests that research into sourop seems to be following the same path as Taxol, a well known cancer drug. Researchers discovered an anti-tumor capabilities of the bark from the Pacific Yew tree. From that work, Taxol was developed. This process, Taylor wrote, “took 30 years of research by numerous pharmaceutical companies, universities, and government agencies before the first FDA-approved Taxol drug was sold to a cancer patient.”

With graviola, it has taken researchers almost 10 years to successfully synthesize (chemically reproduce) the main antitumorous chemical, annonacin. These acetogenin chemicals have a unique waxy center and other unique molecular energy properties which thwarted earlier attempts, and at least one major pharmaceutical company gave up in the process (despite knowing how active the natural chemical was against tumors). Now that scientists have the ability to recreate this chemical and several other active acetogenins in the laboratory, the next step is to change the chemical just enough (without losing any of the antitumorous actions in the process) to become a novel chemical which can be patented and turned into a new patented cancer drug. (Naturally-occurring plant chemicals cannot be patented.) Thus far, scientists seem to be thwarted again—every time they change the chemical enough to be patentable, they lose much of the antitumorous actions. Like the development of taxol, it may well take government agenies like the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute of Health to step forward and launch full-scale human cancer research on the synthesized unpatentable natural plant chemical (which will allow any pharmaceutical company to develop a cancer drug utilizing the research as happened with taxol) to be able to make this promising therapy available to cancer patients in a timely fashion.

In the meantime, many cancer patients and health practitioners are not waiting… they are adding the natural leaf and stem of graviola (with over 40 documented naturally-occurring acetogenins including annonacin) as a complementary therapy to their cancer protocols. After all, graviola has a long history of safe use as a herbal remedy for other conditions for many years, and research indicates that the antitumorous acetogenins are selectively toxic to just cancer cells and not healthy cells—and in miniscule amounts. While research confirms that these antitumorous acetogenins also occur in high amounts in the fruit seeds and roots of graviola, different alkaloid chemicals in the seeds and roots have shown some preliminary in vitro neurotoxic effects. Researchers have suggested that these alkaloids might be linked to atypical Parkinson’s disease in countries where the seeds are employed as a common herbal parasite remedy. Therefore, using the seeds and root of graviola is not recommended at this time.

The therapuetic dosage of graviola leaf, (which offers just as high of an amount of acetogenins as the root and almost as much as the seed) is reported to be 2-3 grams taken 3 or 4 times daily. Graviola products (capsules and tinctures) are becoming more widely available in the U.S. market, and now offered under several different manufacturer’s labels in health food stores. As one of graviola’s mechanisms of action is to deplete ATP energy to cancer cells, combining it with other supplements and natural products which increase or enhance cellular ATP may reduce the effect of graviola. The main supplement which increases ATP is a common antioxidant called Coenzyme Q10 and for this reason, it should be avoided when taking graviola.

Graviola is certainly a promising natural remedy and one that again emphasizes the importance of preserving our remaining rainforest ecosystems. Perhaps—if enough people believe that the possible cure for cancer truly is locked away in a rainforest plant—we will take the steps needed to protect our remaining rainforests from destruction. One researcher studying graviola summarized this idea eloquently: “At the time of preparation of this current review, over 350 Annonaceous acetogenins have been isolated from 37 species. Our preliminary efforts show that about 50%, of over 80 Annonaceous species screened, are significantly bioactive and are worthy of fractionation; thus, this class of compounds can be expected to continue to grow at an exponential rate in the future, provided that financial support for such research efforts can be found. With the demise of the world’s tropical rain forests, such work is compelling before the great chemical diversity, contained within these endangered species, is lost.”

How to change your mindset to cure yourself

Healing your body and ridding it of a disease, like cancer, or any life threatening condition, needs to include a healthy mindset. It is critical in a strategy to get well.

If you are battling cancer or are working with a family member or friend to help them fight then you sould

  1. See your doctor or primary care practitioner and access the best expertise to fight your disease with knowledge, science and the latest medicine.
  2. You should change your diet and eat well, consuming only healing, natural foods. And start consuming supplements like soursop fruit or soursop leaves as tea.
  3. And then you should get to  work on your mindset.

Failure to do #3 is a missed opportunity to use massive and highly effective tool that can be used to fight your disease and and heal your body, and cause real measurable healing.

You see, behind everything you do, and everything you are, is your beliefs. Your mindset is critical in the healing process. And optimizing it to heal and get well again requires some very specific steps.

So here is how to change your mindset to cure yourself.

How to change your mindset to cure yourself

The New York Times bestselling book Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds, lists nine key factors cancer fighters should take to cure themselves, aside from the traditional methods of Western medicine or after its failed them.

Dr. Kelly Turner, who wrote the book, studied the cases of 1,500 cancer survivors in 10 countries. She discovered that they miraculously cured themselves by doing the following:

  1. Radically changed their diet
  2. Took control of their health
  3. Followed their intuition above all else
  4. Used herbs and supplements under a doctor’s supervision
  5. Worked on releasing negative emotions
  6. Worked on being positive
  7. Embraced social support
  8. Deepened their spiritual connection
  9. Found a strong reason for staying alive

Only two items on the above list – changing your diet and taking natural supplements – are physical. The rest of the items have to do with emotional support and shifting your mindset.

Why mindset is critical to healing

Thought and action are initmately connected. This is scientific principle. Have a thought like “I’m hungry” and you will go eat something.

So when you’re sick and your thoughts are positive, and you’re genuinely excited about your future, you will take more positive actions to heal your body. More positive actions will predictably lead to positive health results.

The challenge around changing your mindset is how to do it. It’s less obvious than following a guideline like “embrace social support” or “eat natural unprocessed foods”. Shifting your mindset it can be bit more complex. Here are the most effective ways to release negative emotions and encourage positives feelings.

How to release negative emotions

Have you ever experienced a knot – a painful build up of lactic acid – in a muscle after physical fitness? Press on the that knot, apply heat or cold to it and the tension releases. You feel better. That’s similar to the way negative emotions are stored in the body.

Negative emotions, such as: Resentment, sadness, anger, jealousy, get held in your nervous system like a knot in the body. This oftens happens when you don’t process the emotion properly at the time the event occurs. So the emotion gets suppressed and held versus released.

Imagine you’re playing a sport with a team of your peers. You jump, land and injure your ankle. You want to cry it’s so painful but you’re also embarrassed. So you hold back your tears. You laugh instead. This is how an emotion is sidestepped and stored versus being naturally felt, processed and moved out of the body.

The first step in releasing any negative emotion is to notice it. The easiest way to figure out what emotions and situations are putting stress on your body is to ask yourself these questions:

  • What haven’t I been able to get over from my past?
  • What is my emotional home and why do I keep going back to it? (Once again it’s likely linked to a painful event in the past)
  • Who haven’t I been able to forgive?

There are many ways to release negative emotions. At the root of all these methods is connecting your body to your mind, bringing yourself to those negative emotions and past events and feel what you felt. The way to emotional freedom is through the emotion not around it.

Here are the most effective ways to release negative emotions:


Your brain doesn’t know the difference between imagining doing something and actually doing it. The simplest way to release negative emotions is to close your eyes and bring yourself back to past events you haven’t been able to get over. Experience those events as vividly as possible. Feel what you felt.

Then, consider all sides of the event, and from the perspective of other people. Bring loving emotions into the event. Distort the picture in your mind by making it black and white or bringing white light into it.

Do whatever you need to do to see the event in a positive light and with empathy. Visualize all the good things that have come out of that past event even if it was painful.

You may need to do this multiple times. Try to alter the picture in different ways until you find what works for you.


Many types of meditation are helpful at healing and relaxing the nervous system. Meditation is specifically powerful for practicing forgiveness.

When meditators being monitored by brainwave machines focused on people they needed to forgive their alpha waves were at their peak.

To release negative feelings towards others and situations, focus on an image of the person or situation and work on bringing in empathy and forgiveness.

It might help you to see the person you’re trying to forgive as a baby. See them growing up and being harmed by the world or other people. See that they may have done something to hurt you but that it was not intentional. It was a result of their conditioning.

Carve out a daily meditation time, 20 minutes a least to work on breathing and quieting your mind and working through your negative emotions.


Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a mind and body therapy that corrects energy flow to the body, which gets disrupted by negative thoughts and emotions.

Using EFT, negative emotions can be processed and released when you do a simple two step process of: 1) mentally tuning into a negative event or feeling and 2) tapping specific meridian points on the body with your fingertips to correct the energy flow.

While it may seem odd, the process is highly scientific. Chinese medicine discovered the meridian system 5,000 years ago. The meridian system is your body’s invisible energy flow.

When you connect to a negative thought and disrupt your body’s energy flow, you can easily correct it by physically touching meridian points on your body to loosen the energy. Think of it like releasing lactic acid and knots when you get a massage.

Story writing

A simple way to release negative emotions that are connected to past events is to write a story about them. Write out the situation as if you were there. Use emotional language. Get all your negativity out on paper.

Then, read the story out loud. Read it to yourself in a mirror or to someone you trust. Read the story over and over. Eventually, you’ll find that the story becomes just that. A story. It loses its emotional sting. You easily get over the situation and can move forward.

Brainspot Therapy

This is very effective for correcting athletic blocks. For this type of therapy you’ll need to seek out a brain spot practitioner. They will sit across from you and ask you talk about a negative event or person. While you do this, they will look at your eyes. They will be able to see your eyes fixate on a specific area. They will have you hold your stare in that are while you continue to talk.

Where your eyes go is directly connected to the area in your brain where the memory tied to that emotion is. When you talk through the situation, you process and release the emotional knot around the stored memory.

How to thinking positively and feel positive emotions

If you want to work on changing your mindset to heal your body, it’s not just about releasing negative emotions, it’s also about growing more positive thought connections. Here are the most effective ways to do that.

Control your focus

What you focus on causes what you feel at any given moment. If you close your eyes and focus on a favorite pastime, food or person, you’ll feel good. If you focus on something you hate, you’ll feel bad.

In both scenarios, you’re either stimulating happy chemical pathways or negative emotional pathways in your brain. So to build a more positive mindset, focus on positive things more.

As soon as you notice you feel bad or you can see you’re focusing on negative things, take control. Close your eyes and focus on as many good things as you can. Get into it. Do this whenever you need to.

You’ll start to train your brain to go to positive thoughts more naturally and easily.

Engage in frivolous fun

When is the last time you had fun for the sake of having fun? Go have fun. Frivolous fun is fun without a purpose. Pastimes and hobbies such as: Gardening, painting, playing sports, laying on a beach, pottery, writing, going on a roller coaster, playing video games, are critical and especially when you are sick.

When you have more fun you’re brain increases the flow of happy chemicals. Fun will become a routine and feeling good will become your emotional home.

Physically activate your happy chemicals

Frequently engage in physical activities that get your happy brain chemicals flowing. Here are some simple ways to do that:

  1. Gentle aerobic activity such as biking, swimming, dancing, jogging
  2. Yoga
  3. Touch another human. Give some hugs to someone you love or cuddle to release oxytocin in your brain
  4. Hot or cold therapy. Do cryotherapy or go in a sauna. Even just sitting in the sun can be great for altering your mood.

Shift your language

What you say out loud and internally is critical. You can think more positively by choosing new words. For instance if you say “I’m pissed off”, the emotions tied to the words will cause your anger to increase. Simply expressing yourself with a new choice of words can dampen the emotions around it. Instead you could try: “I’m not pleased about this”.

Start to monitor your language and make slight changes. This will help you thinking more positively.

Mindset as a key healing strategy

These methods above have one factor in common: They address the root of the illness equation. When you focus on changing in your mindset as part of the healing process, you’ll be amazed at the mental and physical results you’ll produce.

With a healing mindset, you will have some direct outcomes. The following are adapted from an article at

You will:

  • have more willpower to follow a prescribed diet
  • experience less anxiety about the process of healing
  • experience more confidence in the healing plan you develop with your medical and health advisors
  • have fewer cravings for food or things you do that hurt or stall your healing
  • enjoy greater feelings of well-being, even if you are still unwell and not yet healed.
  • also experience faster recovery from flares and setbacks

Get serious about your emotional health, and take control of the way you think. Work through your negative emotions and above all else have fun and feel good as much as possible. Now is the time to be with the people you love and do the things you love while you treat you mind and body with kindness. And from that you will get well.

Kay Walker is the co-owner of, and the creator of

soursop cancer research

Soursop and cancer research

A summary of all the cancer research on soursop and its tumor-fighting properties

Soursop, also known as guanabana, graviola, cherimoya, custard apple, and Brazilian paw paw, is a little-known fruit that grows in the rainforests of Africa, Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and South America. It comes from an evergreen tree (Annona muricata) where all parts have medicinal uses – the roots, bark, leaves, and fruit. 

The soursop cancer fighting  topic has recently made headlines. Medical research shows that compounds in the superfood can shrink and inhibit tumors. Here is all the most up-to-date information about this life-changing fruit.

Disclaimer: We present this information to help you make informed decisions. But at no time do we advocate that you change or discontinue treatment as prescribed by your doctor based on information in this article. We have provided sources to information gathered here and we recommend you use them to make up your own mind.

Active ingredients in soursop

The soursop is a large, heart-shaped edible fruit that grows in clusters on the Annona muricata. It is bright green in color, with small spikes on its skin. The active ingredient in the soursop fruit is thought to be annonaceous acetogenins, a phytochemical or plant compound. People can eat the sweet white pulp of the fruit plain or make it into smoothies, fruit drinks, sherbets, candies, shakes, syrups, and beverages.

The fruit has a sweet, citrusy flavor somewhere between a strawberry and a pineapple. People in countries where the Annona muricata grows naturally have used the soursop fruit for years for medicinal purposes.

Annona muricata and cancer treatmentAccording to the National Cancer Institute’s drug dictionary, annonaceous acetogenins is a family of polyketides that naturally occur in the plant family Annonaceae.

NCI states that the phytochemical isolated from various species of the plant family have potential antineoplastic and antimicrobial activity – meaning that they can bind to and block the activity of an enzyme that’s overexpressed in cancer cells’ plasma membranes (ubiquinone-linked NADH oxidase). In layman’s terms, annonaceous acetogenins can inhibit cancer cell growth and induce tumor cell death.

Research on soursop’s anticancer effects

According to a 2015 journal article in Contemporary Clinical Dentistry, “Cancer: Forbidden Cures?” researchers are primarily interested in the soursop because of its “strong anticancer effects.” Author S. G. Damle remarks on the interest of the fruit’s anti-tumor effects, and says the plant is a “proven cancer remedy for cancers of all types.” The article says that patients can use soursop as a broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent for infections, as well as for lowering blood pressure and treating depression and stress.

In “Graviola: A Systematic Review on Its Anticancer Properties” by European University Cyprus School of Medicine authors Patrikios Ioannis, Stephanou Anastasis, and Yiallouris Andreas, the authors discuss the connection between phytochemicals and easing various diseases, including cancer. The article states that the Graviola, along with its roots, leaves, and seeds has beneficial properties in alternative medicine. It cites many sources that indicate annonaceous acetogenins as the main active ingredients in soursop, and other published data that point to soursop’s ability to inhibit a variety of cancer cells, including:

Compounds in the fruit, leaves, stem, or bark of the soursop have anticancer characteristics that promote programmed cell death on cancer cells without harming healthy, normal host cells. This marks a great departure from traditional cancer treatments, which do not differentiate between which cells live or die. Studies show that annonaceous acetogenins found only in the Annonaceae family kill the malignant cells of 12 different types of cancer.

How does soursop fight cancer?

Based on medical research, soursop works to fight and inhibit malignant cancer cells in a variety of ways. When applied to breast cancer cells in a medical research study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, researchers found that the phytochemicals in the soursop promoted programmed cell death, or “apoptosis,” in pathways relating to the cancer cells. It decreased breast tumor growth in nude mice lab tests, while also inhibiting the expressions of two types of breast cancer cells – ER-cyclin D1 and Bcl-2. Extracts of the fruit inhibit the growth of overexpressing human cancer cells without interrupting non-tumorigenic breast cells.

Another study of the soursop fruit leaves from 2014 found that the leaves had “significant effects on cell survival potential” on colon cancer cells. The extract of the soursop leaves induced programmed cell death using reactive oxygen species while down-regulating anti-apoptotic proteins. This process released cytochrome c, which activated the trigger of programmed cancer cell death through DNA fragmentation. The soursop inhibited cancer cells while leaving healthy cells intact and unaffected.

In BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, seven researchers conducted a medical study to determine the cancer-fighting effects of soursop extracts on human promyelocytic leukemia cells, or HL-60 cells. The results of the study concluded that all extracts tested did in fact inhibit the rapid reproduction of HL-60 cells in a “concentration dependent manner.”

How soursop kills leukemia cancer cells

The study discovered that the fruit inhibited the growth of leukemia cancer cells by disrupting matrix metalloproteinase (MMP), generating reactive oxygen species (ROS), and arresting the G0/G1 cell cycle. Other ways the soursop interrupts different types of cancer cells include inhibiting tumor mobility and cellular metabolism, down regulating the expression of cancer-related factors, and stopping tumors by inhibiting growth of cancerous cells.

What could soursop mean for the future of cancer medicine?

Dozens of medical research studies on soursop-derived compounds since at least the early 1970s have found evidence of the soursop’s ability to stop and fight cancer cells, thanks to the active ingredient annonaceous acetogenins. Studies on mice and humans have come to the same conclusion again and again – annonaceous acetogenins can and will have inhibited cancer cell growth and lead to programmed cancer cell death. Despite the large number of laboratory studies with cancer-fighting results, there are still doubts about the soursop’s capabilities in the industry.

Lack of research on how soursop extracts work on humans

Doubts stem from lack of research into exactly how the soursop’s extracts work on humans. As scientists develop their understanding of how annonaceous acetogenins work to fight cancer, the world can expect more information and possible acceptance of the soursop as a cancer-stopping superfood. If studies on the soursop continue in the same vein as they have for almost 50 years, there is high hope that the fruit of the evergreen tree will become an accepted potential cure for cancer – one that serves as an alternative or complement to existing cancer treatments.

Other medical uses for soursop

Known positive effects of the soursop exist without relation to cancer treatment. People have used the soursop to treat hypertension, arthritis, stomach problems, fevers, and infections (parasitic and bacterial). Soursop is known to ease endocrine system issues and to support healthy activity of the ovaries, prostate glands, thyroid, pancreas, kidneys, gall bladder, liver, and intestines. It also acts as an effective sedative. Anti-cancer properties are the latest believed benefits of the soursop, despite the topic currently being up for debate.

Dissenting opinions about soursop and its anticancer potency

As much as the research cited in this article is based on legitimate science and research, there are some organizations that disagree with the premise that soursop has anticancer properties. There are as follows:

  • “There is no evidence to show that graviola (soursop) works as a cure for cancer.” – Cancer Research UK
  • “…as yet, there have been no large scale tests on humans and there is no credible evidence to support claims that graviola is an effective cure or treatment for cancer” –
  • “The fruit from the graviola tree is a miraculous natural cancer cell killer. UNDETERMINED.”

The bottom line:  Eat your soursop or drink your soursop tea

Existing knowledge based on in-depth medical and scientific research studies supports the fact that extracts of the soursop can in fact inhibit the growth of cancer cells, potentially preventing, fighting, and even curing cancer. More research is necessary to identify the exact mechanisms of how soursop extracts work, as well as clinical trials to test and verify its potential as an anti-cancer agent. However, as of today, enough studies have shown anti-cancer properties in soursop to encourage thousands of people around the world to start introducing this fruit into their diets.

As excitement over the potential cancer-fighting properties of the soursop grows, the fruit and its extracts are becoming more easily available on the market. It is now easy to order farm-grown soursop fruit online and purchase related products such as organic soursop leaves for tea. People living in tropical climates with easy access to soursop fruit have consumed the fruit and its byproducts for centuries, accepting it as a superfruit that has beneficial properties for almost the entire body. Soursop is rich in vitamins and nutrients, as well as several antioxidants – not to mention the potential anti-cancer elements.

The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of the active ingredient in soursop fruits may be a real-life cure for cancer. The acetogenins found in the soursop are completely unique to this plant and widely studied as a treatment for multiple types of cancer. Perhaps the most exciting part about the discovery of soursop’s anti-cancer properties is that it leaves healthy cells untouched. As researchers learn more about how annonaceous acetogenins kill cancer cells, expect to hear more about this amazing “miracle” superfood. Soursop may be the key to curing cancer once and for all.

Sources for this article:

Cancer patient

Can soursop cure cancer?

Can soursop cure cancer like this cancer cell

Cancer cell close-up view

The debate about soursop as a cancer cure

Soursop has a long history of being used to fight cancer naturally. People who live in tropical climates and have readily accessible soursop fruit (guanabana) that’s grown locally. The tree is often found in people’s backyards.

The fruit tree’s leaves has long been used to make soursop tea. The raw fruit is also eaten daily in an effort to treat their cancer to beat the disease.

Caribbean Islanders similarly relate to soursop the way people from the Middle East relate to Black Seed Oil, which is said to “cure everything except death”.

If you ask any Caribbean islander, most know someone who has consumed soursop fruit, leaves or related graviola byproducts to cure cancer. Western medicine does not wholly support these claims, saying there is no absolute evidence that graviola or soursop works as a cure for cancer.

The claims are anecdotal, but there is some science that is showing promise to prove that soursop is a definitive cancer killer.

The science of soursop’s cancer fighting reputation

Claims that soursop – or graviola as some call it, or guanabana in Spanish – is an all natural cancer fighter has some basis in science and lab research.

The anti-cancer claims associated with soursop come from more than 20 laboratory studies. They have shown soursop extracts to be effective against killing a range of cancer cell lines, including:

  • breast cancer
  • lung cancer
  • colon cancer
  • prostate cancer
  • liver cancer
  • pancreatic cancer
  • skin cancer.
  • And many more types of cancer.

The studies show that soursop may have the ability to kill malignant cells in 12 different types of cancer. The active ingredient is thought to be a type of plant compound (phytochemical) called annonaceous acetogenins.

(Note that guanabana, soursop and graviola are all common words for the scientific name of the plant Annona muricata).

Although test-tube and animal research demonstrates that graviola may be an anti-cancer agent, there have been no clinical trials or studies in humans, and therefore the use of graviola for cancer treatment remains controversial and subject to much debate.

Researchers have examined graviola leaves, bark, seeds and fruit. What scientists do know is that soursop contains many active compounds and chemicals which have healing properties.

The curative magic of phytochemicals

At the heart of the cancer research is an examination of a compound group known as phytochemicals.

The phytochemical of interest to researchers is called asannonaceous acetogenins. Studies show that annonaceous acetogenins has potent anti-tumor properties. It exhibits selective toxic properties against tumor cells. Further clinical studies also demonstrated the powerful anti-cancerous, anti-tumorous, and antiviral properties of annonaceous acetogenins.

Recent studies have found that natural compounds of graviola, acetogenins have superb properties to inhibit the enzyme processes that are specifically present in membrane of cancerous cells. Through this mechanism of action they are toxic for cancerous cells and don’t create toxicity in healthy cells.

However, a word of caution,  no studies have yet been conducted with humans to show that soursop consumption is indeed an effective cancer inhibitor. That said, animal studies have shown extracts from the leaves can have anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antidiabetic, antiulcer and antiviral effects.

Proof of soursop’s curative powers could come from clinical trials where cancer patients are treated with the fruit compounds. No have been conducted to date.

This may also interest people seeking wealth:

can Soursop kill these cancer cells

Soursop’s tumor killing abilities

Purdue University published a promising news article in 1997, that showed that Annonaceous acetogenins are effective in destroying tumor cells. And, it has the ability fight cells that have shown resistance to other anti-cancer agents.

The National Cancer Institute has also explored the toxic effects of Graviola against cancerous cells in a plant screening program in 1976. They discovered that the graviola stem and leaves demonstrated active toxic effects against cancer cells.

In various vitro clinical trials, specific phytochemical acetogenins have been found in Graviola.  They have selective toxic effects against various cancerous cells like:
  • lung carcinoma cell lines,
  • prostate adenocarcinoma
  • breast tumor lines
  • liver cancer cell lines
  • pancreatic carcinoma cell lines
  • colon adenocarcinoma cell lines
  • and multidrug resistant breast adenocarcinoma.
Other clinical findings by Taiwanese scientists show that at very low dosages, annonaceous acetogenins from graviola exhibited highly toxic effects particularly to ovarian, breast, cervical, bladder and skin cancer cell lines.

In laboratory studies, graviola extracts can also kill some types of liver and breast cancer cells that are resistant to particular chemotherapy drugs.

What’s the bottom line? Can soursop cure cancer?

It appears that consuming soursop may help cancer patients fight their disease, even if scientists have yet to definitively prove it.

How to fight cancer with soursop

Where to buy graviola or soursop products

Learn more about where to buy soursop and graviola products. Here is a good list, to get you started. Plus read on.

Soursop leaves

Wild, hand-picked and naturally organic soursop leaves are available here. They are sun-dried, organic and ready for tea making.

Order guanabana leaves now 

Fresh soursop fruit

Order fresh soursop fruit from our family farmers in Grenada (in the Caribbean), delivered to you in the US by air 2 days after picking:

Vacuum sealed soursop pulp in a jar

Available on Amazon. It has a shelf life of a year in its sealed glass container. See our Gfruit review.

Additional soursop and cancer resources:

soursop tea | graviola tea

Soursop tea questions and answers

What is soursop tea?

Soursop tea is herbal, caffeine-free tea made from the dried leaves of the graviola tree. Learn how to make soursop tea below.
Soursop tea

Is soursop tea the same as graviola tea and guanabana tea?

Soursop, graviola and guanabana are three words that mean the same thing. (See our soursop synonyms article.) The scientific name for the plant is Annona muricata. So soursop tea, graviola tea and guanabana tea is the same thing. It is dried leaves from the Annona muricata steeped in hot water for consumption for health and enjoyment.
soursop guanabana graviola

Where can I buy whole graviola leaves to make soursop tea?

You can buy whole graviola leaves to make tea online. We will soon offer packages of wild-grown, hand-picked, sun-dried soursop leaves harvested from the Caribbean. For now, you can get them

How much soursop tea should I drink on a daily basis for healing purposes?

There is no textbook answer to the questions of how much? or how often?. Because this is a frequently asked question, here's a longer answer. Soursop consumption is not a medically recognized treatment for an medical condition. Doctors do not learn about it in medical school. The FDA does not regulate it as a pharmaceutical in the US. So there is no AMA sanctioned dosage or frequency. That said, this information is provided to help you make your own decision about how much to drink. Here's a recommendation: Start with one cup per day. If it feels good, has no adverse reaction stick with it. If you eant to increase your consumption for additional healing benefits, add a second cup later in the day. Try this for seven days, and see how you feel. If you want to be more aggressive to address a health condition, start with three cups a day at breakfast lunch and dinner. Monitor how you feel and cut back if you suffer any weird or unwanted side effects or have any concerns. When it comes to treating any condition with herbal remedies, you might want to consult a naturopathic doctor.
natural medicine

Can soursop tea be used to fight cancer?

There is anecdotal evidence that soursop can be used to fight cancer. Some claim they have cured their cancer by eating the fruit and drinking soursop tea. Medical science is less certain that it is verifiably curative. However scientists have discovered are phytochemicals found in soursop that have been shown to destroy cancerous cells, even cells that have been resistant to other anticancer therapies. Drinking several strong cups of the tea each may be a good supplementary cancer fighting technique. As always, consult your doctor of oncologist before adjusting your medical treatment.
Cancer patient

How do I make soursop tea with whole graviola leaves?

To brew soursop tea with whole dried soursop leaves, start with two to three graviola leaves to produce one to two cups of tea. Place the leaves in a cup or small teapot. Boil two cups (500 ml) of fresh water. (Use filtered water for better taste.) Add water to leaves and let steep for 10 minutes. Remove the leaves before drinking. This brew time allows you to extract flavor from the leaves for a delicious and fortifing cup of soursop tea.
graviola leaves als known as soursop leaves

How do I brew graviola tea to treat an illness for more of an impact on m health?

If you are drinking the tea to address a health issue and want maximum impact from the healing power of the graviola leaves, then here are some brewing guidelines:
  • TECHNIQUE #1 - Add one to three leaves, depending on their size to for 1 to 2 cups (250 to 500 ml) of filtered water in a stove top pan. You can crush the leaves and place in a tea infuser if you prefer. Cover and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • TECHNIQUE #2 - Add whole graviola leaves to a stove top pot with one quart (1 L) of cold water. Bring the water to a boil and and let boil uncovered until the water has been reduced by half.
Brewing notes:
  • Extra steeping time extracts more of the benefits of the graviola leaf.
  • Drink the tea at room temperature or you can reheat it.
soursop tea infuser