Particularly in the Caribbean, the "Sour Sop" fruit is commonly used to make a delicious creamy drink, and the leaves are used to make a delicious tea with many reported health benefits. The fruit comes from the graviola tree, or Annona muricata, which produces the sweet, creamy sour sop fruit. It is also sometimes called Custard Apple, Paw Paw or in many Spanish-speaking countries, Guanabana. The tree typically reaches a height of 25 or 30 feet and usually produces large fruit that may reach a length of 12 inches. Although its rind is quite bitter, the fruit's flesh is soft, creamy and sweet, with seeds, and provides carbohydrate as its major nutrient. Soursop also contains abundant Vitamin C and several B Vitamins such as Thiamin, Riboflavin and Niacin, along with Calcium, Phosphorus and a small amount of Iron.
Some practitioners of herbal medicine recommend the fruit and leaves of the Graviola tree to relieve stomach distress, fever, pain and respiratory problems such as cough and asthma, and for many other medical problems. Soursop contains a number of natural substances that have biological activity, according to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. These include fatty compounds called acetogenins, especially one called annonacin, along with other compounds called quinolones, annopentocins and two alkaloids, coreximine and reticuline. Soursop's acetogenins are the compounds that have been most studied, especially for their potential to prevent or slow the growth of cancers. The Cancer Center also says that some compounds in soursop may be naturally antiviral and anti-parasitic, and may also suppress inflammation.
Officially, the recommended intake of soursop fruit or its extract has not been established, but traditionally, it is consumed as a daily breakfast or afternoon tea. One fruit, however, contains about 15 milligrams of annonacin, its most studied component, and one can of commercially prepared soursop nectar provides 36 milligrams. To treat any medical condition, please discuss its use with your doctor first to decide what is best for your condition or situation. Generally, the tea is consumed to promote overall good health, naturally.
The above information is not meant to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. The information above is solely for educational and informational purposes only.
Reference, Joanne Marie, Ph.D. Temple University School of Medicine.