Guanabana properties


What is guanabana? (Annona muricata)

Soursop or guanabana

Soursop, guanabana or graviola is a tropical fruit native to Central America.

It is producted by the tree Annona muricata, which belongs to the same family as cherimoya, (Annonaceae) but its size is much larger and can reach 40 cm. in diameter and weigh between 2 and 5 kg

Benefits of guanabana?

Soursop is astringent, digestive and cholagogue. It fights infection, constipation, hypertension and obesity.

Recently, a study showed that soursop is 10,000 times more effective against cancer than a drug used to treat it.

Its potential role in cancer treatment has aroused interest in this plant.

Soursop medicinal preparations can be toxic. (leaves infusions, extracts, seeds preparations, etc). Do not take them without the consent of your doctor.

Properties of guanabana


opened guanabana
Guanabana. Once opened, because of its pulp and seeds it looks like a cherimoya

Guanabana against cancer

Seeds, leaves and, to a lesser extent, the fruits of soursop, have more than 50 different acetogenins, some components with properties against different types of cancer: skin cancer, pancreas, prostate and breast cancer.

These substances are cytotoxic and anti-tumor, able to kill cancer cells.

Its mechanism of action is related to the inhibition of complex I, which blocks the nutrition of cancer cells causing them to die.

Guanabana in traditional medicine

Guanabana has been used for different purposes. For example:

  • Liver: Current scientific studies confirm the traditional use of the plant to treat the diseases of the liver. Soursop leaf has hepatoprotective effect and shows improvements in many diseases of this organ, such as jaundice.

Guanabana restores liver function which contributes to the reduction of cholesterol and triglyceride levels to normal.

  • Indigestion: Fruit juice can help improve digestion by its cholagogue and choleretic effect, which stimulates the production of bile.
  • Hypertension: glycosides in the bark and leaves have hypotensive and vasodilator activity.

The fruit is rich in potassium, a mineral involved in the good condition of the nerves, heart and muscles. Its gamma amino butyric content (GABA) makes it a very suitable fruit in the diet for hypertension.

Remedies with soursop leaf extract are contraindicated for people with low blood pressure (hypotension) or taking medication for hypertension.

  • Constipation: Because of its content in galactomannan, guanabana fruit reduces gastric acidity and helps accelerate intestinal rhythm preventing constipation. Besides being probiotic, fiber increases healthy intestinal flora, improving intestinal health.

Immature fruits are very astringent and are used as a remedy for dysentery and diarrhea.

  • Diabetes: The ethanol extract of soursop is hypoglycemic (it reduces the concentration of sugar in the blood), according to scientific studies. These conditions authorize it as a very suitable fruit in the diet for diabetes. It must be noted that 100 g. soursop correspond to 18 g. carbohydrate (2 servings, like an apple).
  • Natural antibiotic: The plant has a strong antibiotic power due to its content in acetogenins, especially the leaves and seeds. It is able to fight serious infections such as malaria and leishmaniasis. The roots of the plant are a remedy against intestinal worms. Fruit juice is used in traditional medicine against urinary tract infections and urethritis.

Malaria is a disease caused by parasites microorganisms of the genus Plasmodium spp. The soursop leaf extract, rich in acetogenins, can stop this type of infection by blocking cell respiration of these organisms. (Blocks breathing mitocontrial complex I).

Herpes simplex: Acetogenins also have antiviral activity. They are able to fight herpes simplex. This is currently a field of study which is tending to use them as future antiherpetic drugs.

  • Diuretic: The juice of the fruit has diuretic components: GABA, potassium, magnesium, caffeic acid, citrulline and vitamin C. People with obesity, gout, arthritis or rheumatism can take to help eliminate toxins from the body.
  • Fever: The plant, especially the leaves have tranquilizing, sleepinducing and antipyretic properties. They were used in traditional medicine to help relax the sick and provide a good sleep.
  • Wound Healing: Scientific studies have found that soursop leaves, traditionally used to heal wounds, have curative properties.

*Related information:

Nutritional benefits of guanabana

How to take guanabana

Food for cancer

punto rojo More information on guanabana.

This article was endorsed by Montserrat Enrich - Journalist specializing in edible wild plants and plant uses.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

20 August, 2021

Other interesting articles

This material is for informational purposes only. In case of doubt, consult the doctor.
"Botanical-online" is not responsible for damages caused by self-medication.