HEALTH TIP: The soursop fruit, also known as graviola (Portuguese) guanábana (Spanish), or corossol (French) is a large, green fruit with a dull spiked surface, found mainly in tropical regions. It comes from a small evergreen tree with dark green leaves. You can eat it ripe by tearing off the green surface. A ripe soursop fruit can be very soft and easy to tear apart with the fingers. On the inside is a soft creamy pulp embedded with numerous black seeds. The pulp, the seeds, and even the leaves and bark can be of significant health benefits.
Over three decades ago, in 1976, the National Cancer Institute performed a study on the soursop fruit which demonstrated amazing cancer-fighting potential. Results of this research showed that graviola was quite effective at attacking and destroying the malignant cells. As a matter of fact, graviola was found to be “selectively toxic” to colon cancer cells and was also calculated to be 10,000 times more potent than Adriamycin chemotherapy (also known as doxorubicin). Adriamycin is oftentimes called “red devil” due to its deep red color and terrible side effects, which include life-threatening (sometimes fatal) damage to the cardiovascular system. Even though Adriamycin is NOT selectively toxic to cancer cells (i.e. it kills ALL cells – even healthy cells), it has been a first choice of chemo for over 50 years.
Soursop contains a unique set of chemicals called “annonaceous acetogenins” (produced in the bark, leaf, and seeds) display tremendous anti-tumor potential and are selectively toxic against various types of cancer cells and cause no harm to regular healthy cells. These acetogenins have also been documented to be anti-parasitic and anti-microbial. Three separate studies have shown that these acetogenins are superb inhibitors of enzyme processes only found in the membranes of cancerous tumor cells. This is why they are toxic to cancer cells but have no toxicity to healthy cells.
In 2011, researchers found that graviola fruit extract (GFE) suppressed so-called oncogene (or cancer-causing gene) expression in breast cancer. The oncogene known as epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is commonly over-expressed in breast cancer, and therefore an ideal target for therapy.
You can also make a delicious tea using either fresh soursop leaves or dried ones and only need one or two leaves per person. Steep the leaves in boiling water, just like making ordinary tea. Benefits include alleviating migraine headaches, diarrhea, cough, back pain, stress, high blood pressure, and nerve ailment. If you are suffering from insomnia, try drinking this tea before going to sleep. Please beware that in some people, soursop causes nerve damage that is similar to Parkinson’s Disease. The bottom line is to consult your doctor before attempting to cure cancer with soursop.