The Health Benefits of Soursop

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Health benefits of Soursop leaf, bark, and juice from our series on the Health Benefits of Caribbean Food

The soursop, or graviola, is a tropical fruit with green skin and soft spikes, sweet white flesh, and inedible black seeds. The fruit is highly nutritious with disease fighting properties, and the leaf and bark have medicinal applications as well. Just peel the fruit and eat it, or try it juiced. It’s also cooked into desserts, but the sugary ingredients might negate some of the health benefits. Read on to learn more about the health benefits of soursop!

1. Soursop may have cancer fighting agents

Herbal practitioners often prescribe soursop leaves in the form of tea or capsules for the treatment of tumors, with early lab tests on animals showing a reduction in 12 types of tumor cells. It may help treat cancers of the breast, pancreas, colon, prostate and lung (and without reported side effects). 

2. It builds energy and endurance

Soursop has a high level of the simple sugar fructose, which can give you a nice kick of energy when you need it!

3. It improves heart health and prevents nerve damage

The high levels of vitamins B1 and B2 are beneficial to the cardiovascular and nervous systems.

4. It helps with both constipation and diarrhea

Soursop is reported to help treat a wide a range of digestive problems. The fiber in the fruit helps to ease constipation and thus reduce the occurrence of hemorrhoids. The juice is said to help resolve diarrhea as well. Certain compounds in the fruit may help clear parasitic infections.

5. It can help you sleep

Soursop fruit contains tryptophan which is known to cause sleepiness and relaxation, making it a good option for those with insomnia or occasional difficulty sleeping.

6. It can treat UTIs and other bladder conditions

Soursop is prescribed by herbal practitioners for the treatment of urinary tract infections and other bladder conditions like urethritis and hematuria.

7. It’s high in vitamin C

Soursop has a high level of vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants fight off free radicals in the body, which could otherwise lead to disease. Vitamin C is also important for healthy cells.

8. It’s a natural pain reliever

The leaves of the soursop tree (Annona muricata) are widely used for pain relief. It may be taken internally in the form of tea or capsules, or used topically on injuries. Concentrated soursop leaf tea is reported to help with even severe back pain.

9. It’s a fever reducer

Soursop leaf tea brings down the body’s temperature. In Africa, youth are often showered in soursop leaves to cure fever.

10. It eases pain and swelling from arthritis and rheumatism

Soursop bark extract can be used topically to ease joint pain and inflammation.

11. It improves liver and gallbladder health

Soursop leaf tea is said to be a liver tonic, protecting and healing it. It is also said to help improve gallbladder diseases.

Disclaimer: We are not doctors or health professionals. We just like research helpful information. 🙂 Please consult with your physician before making any changes to your health or diet regimen.