Graviola /Soursop leaves (guanabana)
The Many Benefits & Uses of Soursop
If you’re feeling to eat something slightly creamy, juicy, tangy and refreshing then soursop is the right thing to satisfy that craving. Soursop is known to have the taste combination of strawberries and apples along with sour citrus flavor notes. This taste is contrasted with the underlying creamy texture reminiscent of coconut or banana with the aroma pleasantly similar to the smell of a pineapple.
Origin Of Soursop
Soursop is the fruit of Annona muricata, a broadleaf, flowering, evergreen tree. The exact origin is unknown; it is native to the tropical regions of the Americas and the Caribbean and is widely propagated. It is in the same genus, Annona, as cherimoya and is in the Annonaceae family.
Tip: Soursop is widely promoted as an alternative cancer treatment, but there is no medical evidence it is effective for treating cancer or any disease.
Scientific Classification Of Soursop
Soursop – Annona muricata [Scientific name]
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Clade: Angiosperms
- Clade: Magnoliids
- Order: Magnoliales
- Family: Annonaceae
- Genus: Annona
- Species: A. muricata
Benefits Of The Soursop
- May help fight cancer – According to one study, the soursop plant is a proven cancer remedy for most types of the disease. Though the tests haven’t been conducted on humans yet, the possibilities are promising. In another Indian study conducted on various cell lines, soursop leaves showed 80% cell inhibition. The acetogenins in soursop inhibit the harmful compounds in cancer cells.
- Filled with beneficial antioxidants that may help reduce eye disease – Antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, zinc, and beta-carotene, have been found to decrease the risk of eye disease. The antioxidants also reduce oxidative stress, which can otherwise cause cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
- Exhibits anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties – In a Brazilian study, inflammation caused by snakebite was found to improve with the administration of soursop leave and juice.
- Potentially kills pancreatic cancer cells – A study conducted by the University of Nebraska Medical Center found that the extract can greatly reduce pancreatic cancer.
- Treats infections – Soursop can treat infections caused by bacteria and parasites, one of those being leishmaniasis, a disease caused by parasites that are transmitted through the bites of sand fleas. The leaves of the soursop tree are also used to treat a wide range of infections.
- Aids diabetic treatments – The soursop leaf aqueous extract was found to inhibit (and even prevent) the hepatic oxidative damage caused in diabetes patients.
- Kidney and liver health boost – According to an Indian study, the acetogenins in soursop can kill the malignant cells of 12 types of cancer, with liver cancer being one of them.
- Respiratory health improvement – One Nigerian study states the efficacy of soursop leaves in treating respiratory conditions like asthma.
- Relieves stress – As per a report by the University of Connecticut, soursop can be used extensively for the treatment of stress and other issues like depression.
- Enhances gastrointestinal health – The significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of the fruit can help improve gastrointestinal health.
- Boosts the immune system – The juice of the soursop fruit was found to provide more micronutrients than its pulp. But the pulp has more amount of vitamin A than the juice. Soursop is also rich in ascorbic acid (vitamin C) that strengthens and boosts the immune system. Beta-carotene, the precursor of vitamin A, also contributes to an enhanced immune system.
- Improves skin– As per a report published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine, the extract of soursop leaves can help prevent skin papilloma, a disease that causes tumor eruptions on the skin.
Nutritional Facts Of Soursop
Soursop contains significant amounts of vitamin C, vitamin B1 and vitamin B2. The compound annonacin, which is contained in the seeds of soursop, is a neurotoxin identified in preliminary research.
A 100-gram serving of raw soursop contains about:
- 66 calories
- 16.8 grams carbohydrates
- 1 gram protein
- 0.3 gram fat
- 3.3 grams fiber
- 20.6 milligrams vitamin C (34 percent DV)
- 278 milligrams potassium (8 percent DV)
- milligram thiamine (5 percent DV)
- 21 milligrams magnesium (5 percent DV)
- 0.9 milligram niacin (4 percent DV)
- milligram copper (4 percent DV)
- milligram riboflavin (3 percent DV)
- milligram vitamin B6 (3 percent DV)
- 14 micrograms folate (3 percent DV)
- 0.6 milligram iron (3 percent DV)
- 27 milligrams phosphorus (3 percent DV)
- milligram pantothenic acid (3 percent DV)
How To Eat Soursop
The soursop’s green leathery skin is covered in small thorns but it is surprisingly tender. Despite its somewhat severe appearance, with a few well-placed cuts, soursop can be peeled with little effort. The pulp is fibrous, milky white and contains distinctive black seeds, while the skin is bitter. Soursop can be eaten with a spoon, but it is often used as a blended ingredient. You can extract soursop juice by pressing the deseeded pulp through a sieve, colander or cheesecloth.
Did You Know? It is a good reminder to remove the mildly toxic seeds before eating the soursop fruit.
- 1 ripe soursop
- 1/2 cup coconut water
- ½ cup almond milk
- 1 medium frozen banana
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
- In a blender, place the soursop, coconut water and almond milk. Blend until smooth.
- Then add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.
- For a thicker shake, use less liquid ingredients. For a thinner shake, add more almond milk.
- Once you have the shake at your desired consistency, pour into a glass and sprinkle the top with cinnamon.
- Add a cinnamon stick for a nice touch.
Chilled Soursop Drink
- 1 soursop fruit, peeled, cut into chunks
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- 1 1/2 cups of milk
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
- Work in batches. Press the soursop chunks against a fine mesh strainer using the back of a spoon or a ladle. Let the juice fall into a bowl.
- Add the other ingredients to the bowl and whisk thoroughly. Pour the drink into a pitcher and refrigerate it.
- 1 cup soursop fruit, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1 1/2 cups of coconut milk, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons of monk fruit sweetener, to taste
- Press soursop pieces through a colander or strainer with a spoon to extract the juice into bowl.
- Whisk coconut milk, monk fruit, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg into soursop juice until sweetener dissolves completely. Pour into a pitcher and refrigerate until chilled.
Soursop In Guyana
According to one chronicle newspapers, “There are many different varieties of soursop trees in Guyana. There are three well known varieties: Blanca, Lizza and Marado. The National Agricultural Research and Extension institute (NAREI) is currently conducting studies to develop prescriptions to classify the lesser known varieties, based on various configurations such as taste and shape; and rectify the nutrient deficiencies observed in the fruit.” This amazing fruit is bountifully grown in Guyana, some farmers produce it by bulk to sell to consumers, some people grow it in their backyard, and some sell it at the corner of the streets and in the market. It is a beneficial fruit in Guyana; many cherish it for its properties to kill cancer. Some just love the refreshing taste of it, whether they eat it just as it is, drink it as a drink, milkshake or even a smoothie.
Soursop Leaves for Diabetes Treatments
Apparently not only soursop fruit that contains health benefits but the leaves are no less beneficial for health. Some of the nutrients present in soursop leaves include carbohydrates, fiber, vitamin C, fat, calcium, potassium, phosphorus. Some of the nutrients in the soursop leaves are very beneficial for diabetes.
To get soursop leaves of course not difficult because soursop tree found in Indonesia. Other than that soursop leaves are often picked also will not make soursop tree to die or experience other disorders. Choose soursop leaves are still a little young and not too old because it contains more vitamins and nutrients that are very good for the body.
As time goes by technology is also growing but herbal remedies remain a good choice. The following are some utilization of soursop leaves to treat diabetes.
1. Overcoming gout
Uric acid disease is a condition where the accumulation of sodium or acid in the joint where the acid is needle-shaped so it will feel very painful when in feeling by the body. Uric acid disease is more commonly experienced by men who are elderly but not infrequently also young people will experience gout disease.
The disease is very torturous for the sufferers. In addition to eating foods that are prohibited gout disease such as foods that contain high purin. You can also use a concoction of soursop leaves to overcome uric acid. Try to make a herb from soursop leaves and consume daily on a regular basis to get maximum results.
- 2. Prevent cancer
Cancer is one of the most dangerous and deadly diseases. Soursop leaf has been proven to be one therapy for cancer patients to kill cancer cells that grow abnormally in the body. Soursop leaves will also make the body effect becomes more delicious and warm so you will feel a better sense in the body.
- 3. Prevents high blood pressure
High blood pressure or hypertension is a condition where there is a lot of high blood pressure in the arteries. High blood pressure is often considered to be a silent killer disease because it does not show significant symptoms and will lead to symptoms when it is severe or even when there have been various other more serious diseases such as stroke or heart disease. To help lowering blood pressure, you can do by using a herb from soursop leaves regularly every day. With this you will feel better and do not forget to check your blood pressure so you can control it.
- 4. Asthma medicine
Asthma and shortness of breath is a problem that occurs in the respiratory tract. This disease should not be allowed because it is very dangerous when relapse and can cause obstruction of oxygen into the body and make another fatal thing that is death. How to use this soursop leaves to treat asthma is by decoction of soursop leaves and ant ranges. Drink this herb every morning and evening especially when asthma starts to recur frequently to ease it.
- 5. Drugs ulcers
Ulcers often appear anywhere and make a bad taste in the body. Therefore you should treat it as soon as possible. The trick is very easy that is to take a soursop leaves are still young and then squeeze. This squeezing young leaves is then affixed to the boil area and leave for 15 minutes. Do this 3 times a day until the ulcers heal
How to Uses Soursop Leaves for Diabetes
If you use soursop leaves for various health purposes it is better to follow some tips that we summarize the following.
- Clean the leaves. Do not forget to clean the leaves with running water because there will be many germs, and bacteria in the leaves of soursop, including fruit.
- Do not consume too much, make sure you follow the advice given so as not to reduce the efficacy of the leaf.
- Consult an associated herbalist. Make sure you consult with related herbalists to get real information on the benefits of soursop leaves for diabetes, how to use, and their nutritional content.
1. Soursop leaves recommendation
How to make a concoction of soursop leaves is very easy. All you have to prepare is 10 to 15 sheets of soursop leaves and about 3 glasses of water. Boil the soursop leaves until boiling water and until the water shrinks as much as 1 cup. Once ready, cool for a moment and then strain the water and drink the concoction as much as 3 to 4 glasses per day. Do it regularly to get optimal results. If you do not like the taste, you can add Java sugar, honey or sugar cubes and lemongrass leaves to get a better taste and aroma. The body will also become warmer and tastier when consuming this herb.
- 2. Soursop leaf tea
In addition to the above mentioned ways, soursop leaves can also be consumed in a dry state. The way that can be done is very easy that is by drying the soursop leaves to dry in direct sunlight. After the dry then you can putting it by using hot water and added Java sugar or honey. The presentation is the same when you consume tea. While drinking it you can while eating other healthy snacks that are not harmful to diabetes that you are suffering.
HOW TO BREW SOURSOP & GRAVIOLA TEA
WHY BREW GRAVIOLA TEA & SOURSOP TEA?
The first step in brewing graviola tea, also called soursop tea in English, is to think about why you want to drink this tea. This question is important because it will directly impact which method you use.
There are two main reasons for drinking soursop teas. First is for the pleasure. If you are a tea enthusiast who wants to enjoy tea, blends, and infusions, primarily for their taste, then this method is for you. The second, is to extract the maximum health benefits from the graviola. If you drink soursop tea for health reasons, this second method may be best, although it is more time consuming.
BREWING FOR FLAVOR
Brewing soursop tea for flavor is much like brewing a regular cup of herbal tea. Take 1 to 2 tablespoons of your favorite Graviola Tea Company blend, Add boiling water and let steep for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the leaves before drinking.
If you are using Whole soursop leaves, take 2 to 3 graviola leaves for one to two cups of tea. Add leaves to water and let simmer for at least 10 minutes. Remove leaves before serving.
This short brewing time allows you to extract the enough flavor from the leaves and herbs for a well balanced cup of tea.
Brewing for flavor works best with the Graviola Tea Company’s “Citrus Edge” and “Samosir Blends”, or with “Pure Graviola – Shredded Soursop Leaves”.
BREWING FOR HEALTH
Brewing soursop tea to extract the maximum health benefits requires more time.
Here are three useful methods:
1. If using a blend, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of tea per cup of boiling water and let steep for a minimum of 10 minutes. You can steep for up to 20 minutes, but may have to reheat the tea before drinking. A tea candle is useful to keep the tea hot while infusing. You may want to try a few different brewing lengths, so as to achieve your preferred extraction of flavors. Generally you can steep our blends for less time than the Pure Graviola Whole Leaves as these have already been cut, making the extraction process faster.
2. If using “Pure Graviola – Whole Soursop Leaves”, add 1 to 3 leaves, depending on their size, for 1 to 2 cups of water. Cover pan and simmer the leaves for 20 to 30 minutes.
3. A third method is to add the whole graviola leaves or blend to a pot with one liter (one quart) of cold water. Bring the water to a boil and and let boil uncovered until the water has been reduced by half.
The additional steeping time extracts more of the benefits of the graviola leaf. You can either drink the tea at room temperature or reheat it. The downside to this method is the additional time from tea-pot to tongue.
VIDEO: HOW TO BREW SOURSOP TEA
For those of you who are more visual oriented, here is a short video that explains two basic brewing methods:
TEA BREWER’S TOOLS
Graviola tea and blends can be brewed directly in a cup or a teapot and then strained into a cup. A metal straining spoon also works well. We recommend using a straining spoon or metal filter with very small holes, as soursop can leaves a fine residue which is less pleasant to drink.
You can also try a reusable cloth tea filter or a disposable, non-bleached paper filter.
If pan-boiling whole leaves, filter the tea when serving
GRAVIOLA, SOURSOP, GUANABANA, CORROSOL
You may have heard about graviola, soursop, guanabana and corrosol and assumed that all of these were different plants. In fact, they are all one and the same, the Annona muricata which is prevalent in tropical forests across Southeast Asia, Africa and Central and South America. What you call the plant actually depends on where you live: soursop in English, graviola in Brazil, guanabana in Spanish and corrosol in French.
We prefer to use the term graviola because it is the most commonly used name across much of the world and it certainly sounds more palatable than soursop! However, we do sometimes refer to soursop as just another word for graviola.
WHAT IS GRAVIOLA?
To immediately set the record straight, the soursop tree is NOT a mysterious plant from the unexplored depths of the Amazon Rain Forest. In truth, soursop is a well-known plant to the indigenous peoples of Central and South America, and was first discovered by Europeans over 500 years ago. Western scientists have actively studied the graviola tree since the 1970s, and a considerable amount of information is available about the plant.
Graviola is generally cultivated around the world as a food source and the soursop fruit is popular in much of South East Asia and Latin America.
Both traditionally and contemporarily, soursop has been sought-out for its many health benefits and is today increasing in popularity as an herbal supplement for cancer treatment, diabetes and as a mild sedative to relieve stress and hypertension. As a point of note, most homeopathic graviola remedies use the soursop leaf and NOT the soursop fruit, as this is where the active ingredients can be found.
GRAVIOLA’S HEALTH BENEFITS
Soursop is well known for its health benefits, and is used as a traditional medicine around the world where the graviola tree is present. In herbal medicine, the graviola leaves have been used to: treat stomach ailments, fever, rheumatism, urinary tract infections, stimulate digestion and stop convulsions.
Other uses include the treatment of hypertension, the reduction of blood pressure, lowering of the heart rate, dilation of blood vessels, to relieve depression and as a sedative.
Extracts of graviola have antiviral, anti parasitic, anti-inflammatory, anti diabetic, and anti hyperglycemic properties. Soursop has been used to treat herpes, kill bacterial infections, purge or kill parasites.
GRAVIOLA AND CANCER
Much discussion is flying around the internet about the relationship between soursop and cancer treatment and prevention. Much of the information out there is misleading, as it suggests that graviola is a cure for cancer, without delving into the research.
Here is a brief summary of what we do know about graviola and cancer treatment and prevention:
In vivo and in vitro studies show that graviola has anticancer effects and can inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Some studies show that certain elements of graviola may kill specific types of cancer cells, and others have been purported to block cancer cells from expelling cancer-treatment drugs, thus increasing their effectiveness.
However, none of the above research has been made on humans. Therefore, graviola is not medically recognized as a cancer treatment or cancer prevention in humans.
The Graviola Tea Company does not endorse the use of graviola teas for cancer treatment, and makes no claim that soursop can be used as a cure for cancer.
As mentioned above, the majority of herbal soursop remedies use the soursop leaf, where the active ingredients may be found. The primary way of using graviola is in the form of an infusion or tea.
Graviola leaves for tea, soursop leaves for tea – www.graviolateacompany.comGraviola tea is made from graviola leaves. The tea takes on a dark green color, somewhere between the color of green and black tea. The flavor is smooth and enjoyable with no after-taste. Graviola blends well with other herbs, making it a neutral base for many herbal infusions.
The best-quality soursop leaves are the mature leaves harvested from an adult graviola tree. Some websites suggest that the young leaves are better, but we beg to differ. Mature graviola leaves contain more of desired properties than young leaves. Also, people who sell young leaves most likely chopped down a young tree in order to quickly harvest all of its tea, therefore contributing to deforestation…
At the Graviola Tea Company, we only hand-pick mature leaves from adult trees, and only from stems where new leaves are already beginning to sprout. Check out this video showing how we harvest leaves:
Once picked the leaves are washed and then left to dry in the shade for a period of 10 days to several weeks. Shade-drying is important because as it helps to preserve the leaf’s color, flavor and chemical properties.
The graviola fruit is generally not used in the tea and the seeds are never be used as they contain a high concentration of a poisonous yellow oil which native people use as an effective means to combat various pests including head lice, worms, bedbugs and other human parasites. Soursop tree bark and roots are high in hydrocyanic acid, and are therefore mainly used for non-medicinal purposes including for tanning or as a fish poison, and should not be consumed orally.
Soursop tea is therefore best when only the leaves are used. You can learn more about how to brew graviola tea (soursop tea) here.
Pregnant woman and patients with Parkinson’s disease should not consume soursop products. Patients undergoing chemotherapy should consult their physician before drinking graviola tea.
For general information about the plant, its origins, distribution and uses, we recommend “Fruits of warm climates” (Morton, J. 1987. Soursop. p. 75–80. In: Fruits of warm climates. Julia F. Morton, Miami, FL.), available online through Purdue University.
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center offers a detailed webpage outlining the known facts about graviola, including health benefits and side effects. The page includes references and links to the various studies about soursop.
An excellent source about the health benefits of graviola can be found in Leslie Taylor’s, The Healing Power of Rainforest Herbs, (copyright 2005) a complete extract of which is made available online by the Tropical Plant Database.