Soursop (Annona muricata), also known as Graviola, is an evergreen flowering plant that belongs to the Annonaceae family, whose members include the cherimoya, custard apple and sugar apple, or pinha. Native to the Caribbean, Northen South America, Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, Soursop is now grown and cultivated in warm, tropical climates around the world.
Soursop fruit is very delicious with a sharp aroma and a sweet-sour taste which is basically a combination of the taste of strawberry and pineapple. Recently, it has gained attention and popularity due to its natural cancer cell killing properties. Apart from its anti-cancer properties, it has several other medical benefits.
Soursop leaves are the most beneficial parts of this tree. The leaves contain acetogenins which have been shown to have anti-tumor, anti-parasitic, and anti-microbial activities. Scientific research conducted by the National Cancer Institute has proved that Soursop leaves can effectively attack and destroy cancer cells.
In addition, they are also rich in several vital compounds, including vitamin A & B, calcium, fructose, protein, making them useful for natural treatment of many ailments.
Health Benefits of Soursop Leaves
1. Boosts immune system
Soursop leaves have antioxidant properties which can improve the body’s immune system and fight infection. Prepare 4-5 soursop leaves and boil them with 4 cups of water simmer until remaining 1 glass. Drink this concoction regularly once a day. You can also drink it if you are suffering from an illness so it can help you to bounce back your body at a much faster rate.
2. Regulate blood sugar levels
Research has shown that soursop leaves are quite effective in lowering blood sugar levels by stimulating insulin production in the pancreas.
Clinical trials have confirmed that soursop leaves could reduce blood sugar count of diabetic to within the normal range of 70-120 mg/L.
Take five fresh soursop leaves, then boiled with 2 cups of water until remaining one glass, strain and let it cool. For maximum benefit, it is recommended that you drink the mixture in the morning and night before bed.
3. Cure cancer
Many studies have suggested that the compounds in a soursop leaf can inhibit cancer cells and can cure cancer more quickly and more efficiently compared with the advance chemotherapy method. Specifically, soursop leaves have active compounds that can fight against cancer cells 10000 times stronger than advance chemotherapy. Furthermore, that soursop compounds target only the cancer cells for destruction and leave healthy cells untouched.
To get the benefit, boil 10 fresh soursop leaves in 3 cups of water until 1 cup remains, strain the mixture, and then drink it 2 times a day for 2 weeks.
4. Effective against rheumatism
Rheumatism is a condition that causes pain and inflammation in joints. The pain and inflammations are majorly due to the damage of end bone cartilage in the joint and can also be due to dysfunction of the immune system. Soursop leaves are effective against rheumatism due to its strong anti-inflammatory properties. To treat rheumatism with soursop leaves, boil several soursop leaves, mash them and then apply them on the painful muscles and joints twice a day.
5. Relieve back pain
Soursop leaves haves long been used as an herbal remedy for treating back pain without any negative effect. You can boil 20 soursop leaves in 5 cups of water until only 3 cups of water remains. Drink 3⁄4 cup once in a day for relief.
6. Treat eczema
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, the soursop leaves poultice can be used for the treatment of eczema as well. It extremely useful for treating eczema as it does not cause any side-effects like other topical steroids, especially when used for a long time. To combat eczema, you could mash some soursop leaves until they become smooth, and then apply it on the affected areas and its anti-inflammatory properties will treat the problem.
7. Prevent uric acid
Some studies also showed that soursop leaves could help in combating gout by getting rid of uric acid in the blood. If you want to use soursop leaves to cure your gout, you should boil 6-10 soursop leaves in 2 cups of water and simmer it until one cup of water remained then drink the concoction. For the best result, you should take these twice a day, in the morning and in the evening.
8. Promote sleep
Soursop leaves contain a substance called Tryptophan that promote sleep and relaxation, thus they can be used in the treatment of mild insomnia. The leaves can be brewed to make a tea that helps enhance sleep quality.