Guanabana toxicity


What are the dangers of taking soursop?

capsule of guanabanaPhotography of an open capsule. Extracts concentrate the active ingredients from the plant. Before taking them, they must be recommended by a doctor.

The active components of the plant are acetogenins and glucosides. These are found in greater concentration in the seeds and leaves. The fruit also contains certain amounts of these components.

Is it dangerous to take infusions of soursop?

There is a risk of poisoning if soursop leaves infusions are taken without consent and medical supervision. We must be cautious because cases of poisoning have occurred, including damage to the nervous system.

Among these nerve injuries, we cite a type of Parkinson’s that affects some Caribbean islands where many fruits of the family Annonaceae are consumed, especially, guanabana (soursop)

The Parkinson’s causative component would be the alkaloid annonamine . It is also recommended for people with this disease NOT to use soursop as it may worsen their symptoms.

The same study indicates that there is a greater danger of poisoning with soursop leaves than with the fruit. Soursop leaf contains almost 10 times more alkaloids (140 mg. Per 100g.) than the fruit (15 mg.), or commercial nectars (36 mg.).

The capsules of soursop extract or soursop leaves infusions are contraindicated for people with low blood pressure or those taking any medication.

It can interfere with the action of some drugs, like those used for hypertension. (Consult your doctor).

Are soursop seeds toxic?

  • Guanábana seeds have some toxicity due to the oils it contains that could be irritating. It has not been found literature on the safe dose, but is recommended to take this supplement under medical control and in small doses.
  • Soursop seed extract can be used more safely as it contains seed oils.


Soursop extract supplements are totally contraindicated in pregnancy and during lactation.

Photography soursopPhotography soursop

Precautions and other information of interest:

  • Do not take this plant if you think you may be pregnant.
  • Soursop can not cure cancer, but it can help treat it. The doctor is the one who should tell whether this supplement is appropriate and how it should be taken.
  • Infusions of soursop leaves are not recommended because there have been cases of poisoning.
  • Eating soursop is a good way to care for the health because it contains fiber, vitamin C and medicinal components. It can be a cancer preventive.
  • Some medicinal components of soursop, acetogenins, are also found in fruits of the same family as the cherimoya.
  • Buy supplements in duly authorized sites.
  • Check with your doctor if you have questions.

*Related information:

Nutritional benefits of guanabana

How to take guanabana

Food for cancer

punto rojo More information on guanabana.

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

1 April, 2021

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This material is for informational purposes only. In case of doubt, consult the doctor.
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