Scientific Name:Annona muricata
About this Herb:It is a fruit that grows on a small evergreen tree native to Mexico, the Caribbean, and South America though it has since been propagated in many tropical areas. The tree can grow to heights of 20 feet, but are usually smaller. Its leaves are small and smooth and shaped similar to those of the Paw Paw tree.
The fruits are a prickly, dark green oval shaped and can grow to be as large as a large squash. Their flesh is a juicy blend of citrus, strawberry banana flavor.
The leaves of the tree can be used to make tea and other extracts.
Common Names:Graviola, custard apple, Brazilian paw paw, and guanabana
Uses:Soursop contains a high content of antioxidants that help neutralize harmful free radicals, which cause damage to cells. Research shows that antioxidants play a role in reducing the risk of several diseases, including heart disease, cancer and diabetes
In addition to its antioxidant properties, contains potent antibacterial properties as well. In one test-tube study, extracts of soursop with varying concentrations were used on different types of bacteria known to cause oral diseases. Soursop was able to effectively kill off multiple types of bacteria, including strains that cause gingivitis, tooth decay and yeast infections
It also contained several plant compounds that act as antioxidants, including luteolin, quercetin and tangeretin also found to help protect cells from free radicals.
But the biggest (and somewhat controversial) use for soursop is its treatment of cancer. While the American Cancer Society says that it can be dangerous and that not enough research has been done to prove its effectiveness or safety, it is widely used as an alternative treatment to cancer worldwide.
Applications:Eating: The most common method of employing the benefits of soursop is to eat it. It is said to be more effective if the fruit is slightly unripe (yellowish as opposed to dark green).
Tea: Using whole soursop leaves, take 2 to 3 graviola leaves for one to two cups of tea. Add leaves to water and let it steep for at least 10 minutes. Remove leaves before serving.
Juice: After peeling the fruit, cut in half to remove the stem and all the seeds. Put the flesh of the fruit in the blender. Add cinammon, ginger or any spice that would complement the flavor. Drink and enjoy!