Graviola may only have recently become popular in the West but it has a long history in ancient herbal remedies and treatments. Also known by other names such as soursop, guanabana and cherimoya, this small tree (no more than 10 meters tall) grows in tropical America. The soursop fruit is very tasty (sort of like custardy apple) and has been used to add flavor to jams, ice cream, juices and nectars.
But apart from its ability to turn ordinary food into an extraordinary treat, the fruit has also been used in traditional medicine to fight rickets. The leaves, bark and roots on the other hand is used to treat diabetes. Lately, there have even been studies pointing to Graviola as an alternative treatment for cancer.
But while Graviola has established its importance in ancient medicine, experts have also discovered that it provides a number of benefits. Take a look at our exhaustive list of guanabana benefits so you can decide if you should take this supplement.
Ancient Medicinal Benefits of Graviola
Graviola’s fruit or juice has long been used to help reduce fever. Aside from this, consuming the fruit has been known to relieve diarrhea, dysentery and even kill parasites and worms in your digestive tract.
The root of sour sop or graviola has been classified asantiparasitic which means you can use it to get rid of lice in your pet’s fur or in your child’s hair. Based on research, the graviola tea can even help regulate blood pressure because it has hypotensive properties, which means that a patient with high blood pressure can be treated by simply drinking the tea.
In the mountains of Peru, the leaves of guanabana are brewed to treat inflamed mucus membranes or to facilitate the discharge of mucus from the nose, throat and lungs. In the Amazon, locals use the leaves and roots of the plant to help regulate blood sugar for patients with diabetes. Even in the West Indies, people drink tea made of Graviola leaves to treat cough, flu and asthma. Even breastfeeding mothers eat the fruit to increase the supply of their breast milk.
Modern Medicinal Benefits of Graviola
But even though graviola’s benefits have been well known in ancient medicine, it’s only recently that modern science has jumped on the bandwagon. In 1976, a study was made on Guanabana as a possible cure for cancer. This study was conducted by the National Cancer Institute. The results were quite astounding. It was found that among the graviola benefits include its ability to eliminate cancer cells in the body using the leaves and stems of the tree. It was found that it had an ingredient that was 10,000 times more potent than chemo. The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York also confirms that graviola, particularly graviola extract, does have beneficial elements including anti-rheumatic, anti-viral, anti-parasitic and emetic.