We could consider cancer as the biggest epidemic of the 21st century. We all know several people from our closest environment who suffer or have suffered from this disease; Sometimes it’s our turn … Whatever it is, we can do a lot to, not only help our own healing, but prevent the arrival of such a terrifying disease. The components that nature gives us are a gift that we can not ignore and these medicinal plants are demonstrating, study after study, being a natural supplement of the most beneficial for our treatments and for the prevention of many types of cancer.
But,…What is Soursop or Annona muricata?
We have heard a lot about this plant and its multiple healing properties. Being a tree that grows in the tropical countries of Central and South America, its fruit is commonly included in the diets of the Latin families, who consume it whole or liquefy it to digest it as juice. Although we know it is healthy, most of the population does not really know what are the properties that make this fruit a true miracle of nature.
Before talking about its chemical components, it is necessary to know where this tropical delicacy comes from. The Annona muricata is a 5 to 7 meter high tree that, although it grows in the tropical countries of South America and Central America, its true origin is unknown. This tree produces a fruit commonly known as “soursop” which is highly praised by the natives who cultivate it for its healing properties, which is why it is included as a dessert or juice in their diets. Different properties are attributed depending on the part of the tree used: stem, leaves, flowers, seeds, roots, or the fruit itself.
Also, it has interesting properties at a nutritional level, especially as a strong source of vitamin C, although it is also rich in vitamins of the B family, such as vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6. In addition, its contribution in minerals such as potassium is generous.
It has multiple healing properties and for that reason it is called “the miraculous fruit” in many Latin American countries. The chemical composition of this delicious fruit covers a wide range of conditions according to its different properties:
Soursop is used to treat parasitosis. The parasitosis are infectious diseases produced by living beings, the parasites. They can be found in the human digestive system. They are common throughout the world and although they affect all ages, children have a greater risk at getting them.
It fights microorganisms and inhibits their growth, such as bacteria, fungi, parasites.
In this case, it is used as a drug (medicine) to help fight contractures, cramps and seizures in the body.
These serve to help heal the joints, bones, cartilage, muscles, ligaments and connective tissue.
Cytotoxicity is the ability of some cells to interact with altered cells and destroy them. This is why it is considered anticancer and antitumor agents. According to multiple studies, these have the ability to destroy only damaged cells, unlike chemotherapy, which indiscriminately destroys both good and affected cells.
Medical professionals have used extracts of bark, leaf and fruit for a long time to treat their patients of all kinds. The latest studies indicate that its chemical composition not only serves to treat endless diseases, but also has great anticarcinogenic properties.
Hopes and expectations are gradually increasing regarding the solution to this global problem known as cancer. This tree has been the object of study on many medical investigations and all indicate that here could be the key to healing due to its indisputable and multiple healing properties.
The National Cancer Institute, in 1976, pointed out that the leaves of this tree are composed of a chemical called acetononine amonaceus (acetogenins), which contains high anticancer properties. This chemical compound makes the leaves 10,000 times more toxic to cancer cells, (even more lethal than “adriamycin” itself, a drug widely used in chemotherapy treatments).
The difference between chemotherapy and natural medicine is that the first one deliberately and indiscriminately attacks all the cells, destroying both the damaged ones and the good ones. Instead, soursop, only destroys cancer cells. By only destroying the affected cells, the dreaded side effects of chemical treatments such as nausea and hair loss are omitted.
Multiple studies have been carried out to demonstrate the anticancer benefits. The most recent of these was carried out in 2012, and was published in Cancer Letter, where it was stated that the cytotoxic properties of this plant are highly beneficial for pancreatic cancer, one of the most complicated to treat.
Said study was conducted by a research group from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. And according to the research, it would be able to kill the cancer cells of the plasma thanks to the inhibition of cellular metabolism. That is, it would alter the metabolism of the cells, preventing the signals between them from reaching a good end, thus preventing their growth, production, lifespan and even the spread of cancer (the well-known metastasis).
In 2011 another study was published in Nutrition and Cancer where scientists showed that it could also reduce the growth of breast cancer without affecting healthy tissue, unlike chemotherapy. The study was conducted using mice that took 200 mg of extract from this plant for each kilogram of food consumed in their diet, for a period of five weeks. Once this period was over, a reduction in the expression of a breast tumor protein could be observed, which led to a range of reduction of tumor growth to 32%
It is also a high-end antimicrobial agent, it lowers high blood pressure, and it’s used for depression, stress and nervous disorders. It is widely used in traditional medicine for its tranquilizer and sedative agents. The extracts have three chemical compounds called alkaloids (anonaine, nuciferin and assylobin) that in practice have been able to inhibit the binding of [3H]rauwolscine (a stimulant of the nervous system and the T-HTergit and 5-HT1A receptors, which are in charge of controlling blood pressure and heart rate. This implies that annona muricata fruit has antidepressant effects.
The benefits of graviola
As we are talking, this fruit in particular and all the elements of the tree have a number of benefits not negligible. We are going to list only some of the most important, are you ready @ ?:
We know you’ve heard this word countless times, only to see in the news, shortly after, a headline referring to the scam around that anticancer drug that they sold as if it were miraculous; or some study that is not conclusive regarding the antitumor powers of this or other natural remedies.
Well, this is not the case. There are numerous studies that verify the benefits of this plant to prevent and help (along with the treatment transcribed by the specialist) to cure cancer. Its high content of acetogenins causes cancer cells to not reproduce and reduces the size of tumors.
Annona muricata acts on different types of cancer :
The properties of this plant do not stop in cancer. It has also proved to be an excellent antioxidant, especially in Coenzyme Q10. To not get bored, just keep in mind that this Coenzyme increases vitality and energy and helps promote muscle and heart function.
Its anti-inflammatory properties make it an excellent complement to relieve certain types of pain.
With the revolution we are living against sugar, the proliferation of cases of type 2 diabetes (the one that is acquired) and the cases of childhood obesity that we see every day, this benefit could not be ignored.
It is being demonstrated that its consumption helps lower blood sugar levels, regulating glucose levels and thus giving a better life level to people with sugar problems.
Some natural plants are proving to be a very suitable treatment to regulate and lower blood pressure, and this is the case of this natural remedy. Keep in mind that, currently, deaths due to heart attacks are increasing in our country. Take a supplement of natural origin that helps you reduce blood pressure, especially if you suffer problems of this nature, it never hurts.
Another of the epidemics of today are ulcers. Due to the type of stressful life that we lead, it is becoming a common ailment. The benefits of guanaba are also used to prevent them, as it helps protect the mucous lining of the stomach and combats the pain produced.
This fruit, and the leaves of its tree have also been traditionally used as natural remedies to treat this annoying (and unsightly, why not say it) infection.
How it is taken
This is fine but how to consume it quickly and easily?
As we have already mentioned, practically everything is used from the tree. Let’s review very briefly how to take your fruit and leaves so you can add it to your daily diet:
- The leaves are usually taken in infusion and are very healthy. As simple as putting them in water that we will take to the boiling point; After this remove them from the heat and let stand at least 5 minutes. You can take it as a hot drink or let it cool and take it during the day. Simple and healthy!
- If you do not feel like eating it whole, prepare a delicious juice. It is very simple and you can consume this fruit so beneficial daily.
The most incredible effect we find in these medicinal plants is their ability to “eat tumors”, their antitumor capabilities. Studies are proving that it is a potent anticancer agent as well as helping to prevent different types of melanoma.
It is also important to note that taking it regularly will help your intestinal health, since it prevents parasites and helps to cure diarrhea. And on the other hand, it is an incredible source of vitamin C, which helps strengthen your immune system.
All these benefits help keep you in strong health and ready to face your day to day; The main side effect of these foods?
And you will be getting it with a natural product, which has been used for centuries and is now being tested in the laboratory and these studies certify its benefits.
Buy graviola and formats
If you are a lover of fruit, this will be your best option. You can take it directly or make juices. In addition, its flavor has a curious mixture between pineapple and strawberry … you have to try it!
- Capsules or pills
If you want to enjoy all the benefits of this fruit, but you are lazy to prepare juices, infusions and fruit is not your passion, the option of taking it in capsules or pills is yours.
- Liquid format
You can also choose this format, which is easy to swallow and does not require preparation. It is usually advisable to take it in the morning fasting and serves as a food supplement, it is the most recommended.
Another very easy option is to buy the concentrated juice version. The best thing about this option is that you can mix a little of this juice with the one you take in the mornings as usual. This way you will be contributing to your organism all the benefits of A. Muricata (or heart of india) without hardly realizing it.
- Tea or infusion
If you are one of those who enjoy teas, this is your version. Whether you buy the sheets and prepare them yourself, or buy the tea ready to prepare, you will enjoy a cup of hot tea as healthy and beneficial for your body and your daily wellbeing.
In short, the simple gesture of adding it, in any of its various formats, to our weekly shopping basket will be something that costs us very little, but will give us many benefits. After all, do we not lose anything to see how this beneficial fruit helps us improve our health? You dare?
Ioannis, P; Anastasis, S. y Andreas, Y. (2015) Graviola: A Systematic Review on Its Anticancer Properties.