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.

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 here:Amazon.com.

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
Soursop Nutrition Values

Soursop nutrition values

Dietary information about graviola fruit

A typical serving of the soursop fruit is low in calories and high in nutrients, like fiber and vitamin C. For facts on a 3.5 oz (100g) serving of raw soursop — think the size of half a medium sized apple — read the following nutritional summary data, then scroll down to read the raw soursop nutrition values box below:

  • Calories: 66
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Carbs: 16.8 g (13.5g net carbs)
  • Fiber: 3.3 g
  • Fat: 0.3 g
  • Vitamin C: 34% of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Potassium: 8% of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Magnesium: 5% of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Thiamine: 5% of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI)

Raw Soursop Nutrition Values

For a Serving Size of 100 grams (3.5 oz)
Calories 66 Calories from Fat 2.7(4.1%)
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0.3g
Saturated fat 0.1g
Monounsaturated fat 0.1g
Polyunsaturated fat 0.1g
Sodium 14mg 1%
Potassium 278mg
Carbohydrates 16.8g
Net carbs 13.5g
Sugar 13.5g
Fiber 3.3g 14%
Protein 1g
Vitamins and minerals
Vitamin A 0μg 0%
Vitamin A IU 2IU
Vitamin B6 0.1mg 5%
Vitamin B12 0μg 0%
Vitamin C 20.6mg 35%
Vitamin D 0μg 0%
Vitamin D IU 0IU
Vitamin E 0.1mg 1%
Vitamin K 0.4μg 1%
Caffeine 0mg
Calcium 14mg 2%
Iron 0.6mg 8%
Magnesium 21mg 6%
Phosphorus 27mg 3%
Zinc 0.1mg 1%
Copper 0.1mg 5%
Selenium 0.6μg 1%
Retinol 0μg
Lycopene 0μg
Thiamine 0.1mg 5%
Riboflavin 0.1mg 3%
Niacin 0.9mg 5%
Folate 14μg 4%
Choline 7.6mg 2%
Water 81.2g
Fatty acids
Amino acids
Tryptophan 0g
Lysine 0.1g
Methionine 0g
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs.

 

 

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.

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.