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Soursop Leaf Contains Healing Compounds For Many Ailments

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Soursop leaf may be unfamiliar to many people, but the plant is fast becoming a health aid that will become an important item among those interested in natural healing remedies. Soursop leaves come from the Graviola tree, a native plant of Central and South America, as well as the Caribbean. Its high nutrient quality has made it a standard natural medicinal compound in many cultures throughout this region of the world. A closer look at soursop leaf shows why it has a reputation as a healing plant and why it has been used for hundreds of years to treat common complaints.

The Origins of Soursop Leaf

Soursop comes from the Graviola tree, Annona muricata, which goes by many different names, such as “guayabana,” “guyabana” and Brazilian paw paw.  It’s a flowering, evergreen variety of tree that has adapted to areas of the world with warm temperatures and high humidity. The tree produces a fruit with a creamy texture, like banana, but with a flavor reminiscent of pineapple or strawberry. It is eaten when ripe or used in various regional dishes. However, it is the leaves of the plant that has drawn interest, which have been used a medicinal compound for hundreds of years. They have been employed for the treatment of various types of illnesses that are common in the regions of the world in which they are found.

How Soursop Is Used

The Graviola tree produces a hard, green prickly fruit that is often eaten raw when ripe. The fruit is generally opened up and spooned out. Various parts of the Graviola plants are employed as medicinal treatment, but it is the leaves of the tree that offer the most significant amount of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, flavonoids, acetogenins and tannins. It is generally used as a tea, as a tincture in alcohol, compounded into a cream form or dried into a capsule form. The seeds can also be crushed for use.

Yeast Infections

In addition to anti-bacterial effects, science has also provided information that soursop leaf can also be helpful as an effective treatment for yeast infections. A study out from Manipal University in India found that soursop leaf was effective in treating candida albicans yeast infections of the mouth [1]. Their findings could offer a more natural anti-fungal treatment for dentists and other health professionals in helping to treat yeast infections that commonly occur.

Anti-Inflammatory Use

Medical research has found that inflammation is one of the prime causes of disease in the human body. The damaging effects of chronic inflammation have been associated with conditions, such as heart disease, asthma, arthritis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, peptic ulcers, hepatitis, and autoimmune diseases. Reducing inflammation throughout the body can have a beneficial effect on overall health and the ability to resist these diseases. A Brazilian study found that extract of soursop had a beneficial effect on inflammation in test animals [2]. The study suggests soursop leaf can be helpful for its powerful anti-inflammatory effects to treat inflammatory conditions and help prevent disease states.

Eye Health

Soursop leaf also contains large amounts of certain nutritional components that are associated with resistance to eye disease and inhibiting the progress of age-related macular degeneration and other eye problems. The high anti-oxidant levels in soursop are attributed to these effects.

Heart Disease

Another use for soursop leaf is to support cardiovascular health and help prevent heart disease. The anti-inflammatory properties of the plant, as well as the anti-bacterial properties, can help to reduce the inflammation of heart tissue that is associated with the development of heart disease. In addition, soursop leaf has been found to have the ability to help lower blood pressure, another factor in developing cardiovascular issues.


Soursop has been found to have the ability to help lower blood sugar levels in rats. A study out of Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria detected a significant reduction in blood sugar levels in test subjects that received soursop extract, compared to those who did not [3]. This result suggests soursop leaf extract may be of help in regulating blood glucose levels in individuals with diabetes.

Intestinal Infections

Traditionally, soursop leaf has been used to help combat the intestinal parasites that are common in the areas of the world where the plant grows. A study from the University of Malaysia found that soursop extract was effective against some common forms of parasitic infection, killing both adult worms, as well as eggs and larvae [4]. These findings support the traditional use of soursop for these health problems in these areas of the world.

Improving Liver Function

Extracts of the Graviola tree have been used for generations to help treat hepatitis and other liver-related diseases. Compounds of soursop are known to have a protective effect on liver function, lowering bilirubin levels and improving function.

Skin Care

Soursop has also had long use as an aid to healthy skin. The anti-inflammatory properties help to reduce irritation, and anti-bacterial components improve condition and texture. It acts as an astringent, reducing lines and tightening pores.

Anti-Cancer Potential

Soursop leaf appears to have some effects on helping to inhibit the growth of cancer cells, as well. A joint study by scientists from Cameroon and India found that the leaf portions of the Annona muricata plant had the strongest anti-proliferative effect on various types of cancer cells, in test tube settings [5]. Whether this can translate to the same effect in the human body is yet to be determined. Although cancer research groups warn against using soursop to fight cancer instead of conventional cancer treatments, it may be that in the future they may develop new compounds that utilize its abilities as an adjunct to traditional care, to help prevent the growth and spread of abnormal cells.

Soursop leaf and other plant materials from around the world are garnering more interest as people look to natural compounds to solve common health problems. Science provides information about the essential components that have a beneficial effect on such wide-ranging ailments as intestinal parasites to skin care. Soursop leaf has stood the test of time as a medicinal compound that can be used for common ailments and may hold promise for additional uses.

Helps Defend Against Free Radicals

Soursop is high in antioxidants, which stop damage from free radicals-unstable molecules that damage cellular structures and DNA. Over time, this type of damage contributes to your risk of developing chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, arthritis, and cancer. In lab studies, soursop extract has been shown to prevent free radical damage due to its various antioxidant compounds, including luteolin, quercetin, and tangeretin [6].

Final Words

The Graviola tree produces leaves that can be used as a medicinal compound that can be effective for relieving many different health problems. Soursop leaves are still being studied to analyze the many components that make it an effective traditional remedy. Lab studies have found that soursop may help fight cancer cells and help shrink tumors. It also helps bolster the immune system in its ability to potentially help fight off cancer. In a study on leukemia cells, soursop extract was shown to help inhibit the cancer’s growth and block the reproduction of cancer cells [6].

Soursop Leaf Contains Healing Compounds For Many Ailments
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Soursop Leaf Contains Healing Compounds For Many Ailments
The Graviola tree produces leaves that can be used as a medicinal compound that can be effective for relieving many different health problems. Soursop leaves are still being studied to analyze the many components that make it an effective traditional remedy.
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Nutrients Solutions®
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