Soursop, Guanabana, Mustaferi
PROPERTIES/ACTIONS: Analgesic, Antibacterial, Anticancerous, Antiparasitic, Antitumorous, Antispasmodic, Astringent, Cytotoxic, Diuretic Febrifuge, Glactagogue, Hypotensive, Insecticide, Lactagogue, Nervine, Pectoral, Sedative, Stomachic, Vasodilator, Vermifuge
TRADITIONAL USES: Analgesic, Antispasmodic, Asthma, Astringent, Childbirth, Chills, Fevers, Flu, Diuretic, Gall-Bladder Tea, Glactagogue, Hypertension, High Blood Pressure, Insomnia, Lactagogue, Nervousness, Neuralgia, Palpitation, Parasites, Rash, Rheumatism, Ringworm, Sedative, Scurvy, Skin Disease, Tranquilizer, Vermifuge
TRADITIONAL REMEDY: One cup leaf infusion 1-3 times daily
Graviola (Annona muricata) also called soursop or guanabana and in Uganda, mustaferi is a powerful tree that grows deep within the Amazon rain forest in South America and throughout the Caribbean and Africa. The plant has been used for centuries by medicine men in South America to treat a number of ailments, including hypertension, influenza, rashes, neuralgia, arthritis, rheumatism, high blood pressure, diarrhea, nausea, dyspepsia, ulcers, ringworm, scurvy, malaria, dysentery, palpitations, nervousness, insomnia, fever, boils and muscle spasms. According to recent research it also protects the immune system, boosts energy and may have strong anti-cancerous properties. Producers claim it is stronger at killing colon cancer cells than common chemotherapeutic drugs and that it hunts down and destroys prostate, lung, breast, colon, and pancreatic cancers, while leaving healthy cells alone.
All parts of the Graviola tree are used in natural medicine in the tropics including the bark, leaves, roots, fruit and fruit-seeds. Different properties and uses are attributed to the different parts of the tree. Generally the fruit and fruit juice is taken for worms and parasites, to cool fevers, to increase mother's milk after childbirth (lactagogue), and as an astringent for diarrhea and dysentery. The crushed seeds are used as a vermifuge and anthelmintic against internal and external parasites and worms. The bark, leaves and roots are considered sedative, antispasmodic, hypotensive and nervine and a tea is made for various disorders for those purposes.
As a traditional remedy, graviola can be used as a preventative herb, for maintenance or as a cure for many complaints. In the West Indies and Latin America, graviola leaves are used to make a common bush tea which is taken daily by both children and adults as a nerve tonic. The leaves are strewn around beds and pillowcases to bring on restful sleep. The crushed leaves are used instead of smelling salts to revive one from a fainting spell. In Jamaica, the leaves are also used for kidney and gall bladder problems and to eliminate inorganic calcium deposits in the joints. In the Bahamas a remedy for high blood pressure is made by adding 15 leaves to a pint of boiling water. One cupful is taken in the morning and another is taken at night. The crush leaves are used as a poultice for wounds and sores. A tea of the dried fruit is commonly used for dysentery and jaundice. In Trinidad, a tea of the leaves is taken for flu, insomnia and to relieve burning urine. In Costa Rica, the crushed leaves are rubbed on the legs to repel chiggers and other body parasites.
Graviola is considered an important ally in the combat of more than twelve types of cancer, like lung, breast, prostate, among others. In vitro studies, conducted in more than twenty laboratories, show that graviola can provide a ten thousand times better improvement than treatment with chemotherapy. Scientists are proving its real efficiency in combating cancer. In the majority of cases, natural plant treatments give our life-force the necessary vitality for recovery, and in addition improves the perspective life of the sick person. Using extracts of this powerful tree, a full and natural therapy can be possible without the severe side-effects from the chemotherapy, e.g., nausea and loss of hair.
Other promising and ongoing research at Purdue University recently found that leaves from the Graviola tree killed cancer cells "among six human-cell lines" and were especially effective against prostate and pancreatic cancer cells. In a separate study, Purdue researchers showed that extracts from the Graviola leaves are extremely effective in isolating and killing lung cancer cells. The most recent study, conducted at Catholic University of South Korea, revealed that two chemicals extracted from Graviola seeds showed "selective cytotoxicity comparable with Adriamycin" for breast and colon cancer cells. The chemicals targeted and killed malignant breast and colon cells in a test tube--comparable to the commonly used chemotherapy drug Adriamycin. Another study, published in the Journal of Natural Products, showed that Graviola is not only comparable to Adriamycin--but dramatically outperforms it in laboratory tests. Results showed that one chemical found in Graviola selectively killed colon cancer cells at "10,000 times the potency of Adriamycin." Perhaps the most significant result of the study cited above from the Catholic University of South Korea, and of each of the others we've found, is that Graviola was shown to selectively target the enemy and leaving all healthy, normal cells untouched. By comparison, chemotherapy indiscriminately seeks and destroys all actively reproducing cells--even normal hair and stomach cells. This is what causes such often-devastating side effects as hair loss and severe nausea. In this respect, Graviola looks to be a promising alternative or supplement to mainstream treatments.