Graviola, also known as soursop or Brazilian paw paw, is the fruit of the Annona muricata evergreen tree. Native to tropical areas of Central and South America, it serves a dietary supplement used to treat many conditions.
Although it is originally from Central America and the Caribbian, it is now one of the top produced fruits in the Philippines. Its green, slightly spiky skin encloses a white, creamy pulp that carries an assortment of nutrients.
The guyabano/graviola fruit can be used to treat anything from poor liver function to skin conditions. Its medicinal properties can be accredited to its list of nutrients. The flesh of this exotic fruit holds high quantities of vitamin C, fiber, calcium, phosphorus and potassium. Guyabano also contains some healthy acids that work together with vitamins to fulfill numerous bodily processes.
Graviola/guyabano is hailed as a wonder herb. Its popularity as a natural remedy for viruses, pain relief, and even some types of cancer is gaining ground.
Potential Health Benefits
Antioxidants keep cells healthy by hunting disease-causing free radicals in the body and distroying them.
According to a 2014 study, graviola/guyabano extract has many compounds with antioxidant abilities.
According to a 2014 study on rodents, graviola/guyabano has anti-inflammatory properties that may relieve pain. The study’s researchers supported guyabano/graviola’s use as a folk remedy for pain and inflammatory conditions.
Help Lower Blood Sugar
The results of a 2008 rodent study suggest graviola may help people regulate their blood sugar if they have diabetes. The study found that graviola significantly reduced blood glucose levels in rats with diabetes.
In addition, despite the rats being fed less food and water, they didn’t lose weight. Researchers believe this may be the result of better glucose control.
Help Lower Blood Pressure
Graviola/guyabano is often used as folk remedy to lower blood pressure. Uncontrolled high blood pressure may increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke.
A 2012 study on rats found graviola/guyabano helped reduce blood pressure without increasing heart rate. According to researchers, the herb’s hypotensive abilities are due to “peripheral mechanism involving antagonism of Ca2+ [calcium ions].”
Help Prevent Ulcers
Ulcers are painful sores that develop in the stomach lining, esophagus, or small intestine.
According to a 2014 study on rodents, graviola/guyabano showed antiulcer abilities. It helped protect the stomach’s mucous lining. It also helped prevent free radical damage to the digestive tract.
Help Treat Herpes
Herpes is a viral infection caused by the herpes simplex virus. It may appear on the genitals or mouth.
According to a 1999 study, graviola/guyabano extract may have antival effects against herpes simplex 2 virus (HSV-2). HSV-2 is responsible for most cases of genital herpes outbreak. In vitro, graviola/guyabano was toxic to HSV-2 cells. In vitro means outside a living body.
There is some evidence graviola/guyabano may battle some types of cancer. According to 2016 in vivo and vitro research, graviola/guyabano extract was toxic against some breast cancer cell lines. In vivo means inside a living body, the opposite of in vitro.
It also increased T cells. T cells are lymphocytes in the body that kill cancer cells and other damaged cells.
Still, researchers cautions graviola/guyabano alone is not enough to eradicate pancreatic tumors. It should not be used as a primary treatment. Studies are ongoing to evaluate the efficacy of graviola as an adjuvant theraphy for pancreatic cancer.