Soursop or Graviola, is a tropical fruit native to South America and the Caribbean. Known also as custard apple and paw paw, the spiky fruit of this tree is very sweet, with a flavor that’s a cross between pineapples and strawberries.
While its delicious fruit contains essential vitamins and antioxidants, the leaves have been used for time immemorial for their anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antibacterial properties.
Graviola leaf tea can be used to treat many health conditions. A prime focus has become its anti-cancer effects!
Graviola is effective against cancer
The leaves of the Graviola tree have powerful anti-cancer properties coming from phytochemicals in the plant. According to a 2013 study, Graviola has wide potent anticancerous agents coined as Acetogenins which play a key role towards many varieties of cancer, Acetogenins are potent inhibitors of NADH oxidase of the plasma membranes of cancer cells. Graviola leaves were collected, and the extracted components were tested against the HeLa cell line and PC3 (prostate cancer) cell line. HeLa cells treated with 75 μg of a crude leaf extract of Graviola showed 80% of cell inhibition.
Another study involving the use of Graviola on pancreatic cancer cells was also very promising. Pancreatic cancer is notoriously resistant to regular chemotherapy – a Graviola extract was found to inhibit cancer cells replication and caused them to die. The leaves may also be useful for treating skin cancer when applied topically.
Treating viral infections
Traditional medicines use Graviola leaves as a treatment for viral infections. An article published in The Journal of Ethnopharmacology in May of 1998 found that extracts from the leaves suppressed the herpes simplex virus. The herpes virus is spread through bodily fluids and often transmitted while kissing or through sexual contact.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, up to 90 percent of the US population has been exposed to one form of the virus and there is no cure. Some anti-viral medications can reduce the number of outbreaks or lessen symptoms. More research is needed to determine what role Graviola can play in the treatment or prevention of herpes.
Gout is a condition characterized by inflamed and painful joints, in particular, the joints in the hands and feet. Consumption of tea made from boiling soursop leaves can help relieve this condition. This remedy for gout works like a miracle because it helps in flushing out uric acid from the blood, the main reason behind this painful condition.
This painful, sometimes chronic, skin condition is one manifestation of a weakened immune system. It can also be caused by environmental irritants. The sores and itching can become unbearable. A Graviola poultice applied to eczema patches provides direct relief; ingesting its tea can get to the root of the condition to prevent it from recurring.
Graviola is a powerful anti-inflammatory and analgesic, relieving the pain of rheumatoid arthritis. Make a poultice from the leaves by boiling and mashing the leaves and applying to the affected area twice a day.
Urinary tract infection
Urinary tract infection (UTI) is health condition that is characterized by the bacterial infection of the urethra, urinary bladder, ureters, and kidneys. Many experts claim that the consummation of tea made of soursop has powerful effects against urinary tract infections. So, in case you are prone to this condition, you may consume this tea on a regular basis as a preventive measure.
Warning: Graviola and medications
Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center advises that use of Graviola is contraindicated under the following conditions:
- You are taking blood pressure medications: Graviola may increase their effects.
- You are taking diabetic medications: Graviola may increase their effects.
- You have liver or kidney disease: Graviola can cause liver and kidney toxicity with repeated use.
- You are having nuclear imaging: Graviola can reduce tissue uptake of radiopharmaceuticals used for diagnosis or treatment.
- You have low platelet count: Graviola may reduce platelet count.
How to make Soursop tea:
- Boil 1 quart of water.
- Chop 15 soursop leaves and stems (preferably fresh but dried will do) and add to boiling water. Simmer uncovered on low heat until reduced by half.
- Drink tea hot, warm, or cold up to 3 times a day.