Graviola tree leafs and fruit are overall used to relieve stomach pain and distress, fever, cough and other asthma symptoms. Practitioners of herbal medicine also advise that soursop may be good for treating cancer. The fatty compounds found in soursop are acetogenins, annonacin, quinolones, annopentocins, alkaloids, coreximine and reticuline. The most studied compound are acetogenins for its potential to prevent the growth of cancer cells.
Researchers in the laboratory support the potential benefits of graviola as a remedy for different types of diseases. Studies have shown that graviola extract can inhibit the growth of herpes virus in the laboratory. Other studies showed that the graviolsextracts possibly slow the growth of cancer cells. They even found out that the extract can help make cancer cells more susceptible to anti-cancer drugs. Although these studies all seem promising, they still need to be tested on human subjects to confirm the potential benefits.
There is no recommendation for the intake of graviola and its extract but too much of the fruit or extract can cause neurological symptoms almost similar to Parkinson disease. One graviola fruit contains about 15 milligrams of annonacin and the commercially prepared graviola nectar has about 36 milligrams of annonacin. It’s absolutely not advisable to self-treat with graviola or its extract. Always discuss treatment with your doctor. He or she can decide which dose and treatment is best for you.
The graviola tree grows in the rain forests of South America, Southeast Asia and Africa. The scientific name for this tree is the Annona muricata. There is no definite evidence that graviola works as a cure for cancer although they are still studying the plant and fruit. In laboratory studies, graviola extracts showed that they killed some types of liver and breast cancer cells. These particular types of cells seem to be resistant to chemotherapy drugs, these test were not tested yet on human subjects. Scientist are still studying the possibilities for treatment in humans. And although many sites on internet promote graviola as a remedy for cancer, none of them can really prove that it is. In Africa and South America graviola is used to treat various kinds of conditions. rheuma, infections, arthritis, depression and viruses are some of the conditions treated with graviola. For the treatment of these conditions the bark, fruits, roots and leafs are used.
We don’t know much about how the intake of too much graviola affects the body. There is some concern about possibile nerve changes and movement disorders when taken a large amount of graviola. These nerve changes have a simularity with the symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Some researches also found out that those who have large amounts of graviola or its extract in their blood are prone to nerve changes and hallucinations. If taken as part of a normal diet, food and drinks with graviola extract will not harm you. All other therapy and treatment should be done under strict supervision of a doctor.
Researchers investigated possible relations between consumption of fruits and traditional medicines of the Annonaceae family and parkinson disease symptoms in people. It is shown that 22 of the 25 people who participated to the research have shown atypical parkinsonism. The researchers selected a group of people of the island of Guadeloupe. This was done on purpose because the people on this island consume a lot of graviola and graviola extracts. The studie has shown that when the subject stops consumption the nerve symptoms also reduce. But to researchers it is unclear when the intake of graviola is too much.
Graviola has an edible white pulp and some fiber, the black seeds are not digestible. The pulp is used for nectar, this nectar is used in smoothies, juice, ice cream, candies and sorbets. In countries such as Latin America, Africa and the Caribbean the fruit is used to make juices and other drinks. The fruit is widely cultivated in most parts of Africa, Southeast Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean and the Pacific. Graviola fruits are consumed across the world. In Ethiopia, Mexico, Venezuela, and Colombia, graviola is a very common fruit. Graviola is used as dessert or in many desserts such as smoothies, ice cream and other dishes. In Indonesia, they make a dish named dodol sirsak, with graviola. This is made by boiling graviola pulp in water and adding some sugar until the mixture hardens. Here it is also used in fruit juices and smoothies sold on the street. Graviola is called Guyabano in the Philippines, this name is derived from the Spanish guanabana. In the Philippines graviola is eaten ripe or used to make juices and other beverages. But the leaves are also used as a meat tenderizer. In Vietnam and Cambodia the fruit is eaten and also processed into fruit juice. In Vietnam they call graviola mãng cầu xiêm which means (Siamese Graviola). And in Cambodia, it’s called tearb barung, which means "western custard-apple fruit." In East Malaysia it's known as lampun and its eaten raw when ripe. In other countries in the world graviola is consumed as a fruit and goes by many names. In some countries the bark and leaves are also used. The leafs are mostly used for tea and the bark is sometimes also used for cooking etc. Graviola is a delicious fruit, so enjoy it and of course don’t overdo it.