(BeWellBuzz) Soursop, the fruit of Annona muricata, is being heralded by many as a potent natural cancer killer. Anti-cancer capabilities of soursop were first discovered in the mid-1970s, but were kept hidden from the public until recently. Whatever the reasons were, we know now that soursop can be used for treating various types of cancer and is more effective than some popular cancer drugs.
Given the devastating nature of cancer and the limited success of conventional cancer treatments, it is appropriate that we discuss the anti-cancer capabilities of soursop in detail. However, it is important that we acknowledge the other health benefits it provides as well.
What is Soursop
Soursop is native to Cuba, northern South America (Peru, Brazil, Venezuela, and Colombia), and Mexico. It is also grown in some areas of sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia.
Other common names of this fruit are: graviola (Portuguese), guanábana (Spanish), sorsaka (Papiamento), aluguntugui (Ga language of Ghana), adunu (Acholi), and hanuman fal (Hindi).
Soursop contains the following nutrients:
- amino acid
- Vitamin C
Soursop and Cancer
Whether soursop can be used alone for treating cancer is debatable. However, there is not an iota of doubt about its usefulness as an effective anti-cancer agent. The facts about soursop that have recently come to light give cancer patients options that were not available earlier. They can use soursop as a part of natural anti-cancer therapy or use it along with chemotherapy drugs.
Choosing a cancer treatment is a personal choice. To help you make a better decision, we present all the facts that are known about soursop.
Soursop as a strong anti-cancer agent
Over 20 laboratory tests have confirmed the strong anti-cancer capabilities of soursop. These tests have revealed:
- Soursop killed cancerous cells in 12 types of cancer, including pancreatic, lung, breast, prostate, and colon cancer
- The fruit contains compounds that are 10,000 times more potent in inhibiting the growth of cancerous cells than Adriamycin, a chemotherapy drug used to treat several types of cancer
- Annonaceous Acetogenins present in soursop kills only cancerous cells and not healthy cells (all conventional treatments, be it chemotherapy, radiation, or oral drugs, kill both cancerous and healthy cells)
- Soursop slows the growth of cancerous cells without causing any harmful side effects
Soursop as an agent for reducing the side effects of chemotherapy
It is important to point here that the efficacy of soursop as an anti-cancer agent does not diminish in any way when you take it with chemotherapy drugs. Besides complementing chemotherapy drugs, soursop also provides relief from their side effects.
- Chemotherapy drugs have a negative effect on patients’ digestive system. Soursop improves digestive health and provides relief from several digestive problems such as indigestion and constipation
- Chemotherapy drugs weaken the immune system. Nutrients present in soursop, especially Vitamin C, make the immune system stronger and reduce the risk to infections such as urinary tract infections, cold, and cough
- Chemotherapy drugs reduce blood cell and platelet count. Soursop improves your blood cells and platelet count
Other health benefits of soursop fruit
Other important health benefits that this fruit provides include:
- Relief from migraine – Riboflavin present in soursop helps curb migraine headaches
- Prevents anemia – Soursop is rich in iron, which is useful in the prevention of anemia
- Treats liver disorders – Soursop juice is known to treat liver disorders. It also provides relief from the inflammation of urethra
- Maintains bone health – It contains copper, which promotes the absorption of calcium, a nutrient that is essential for good bone health
- Prevents leg cramps – Potassium present in this fruit is known to be effective in preventing leg cramps
- Alleviates pain associated with arthritis, joint and back problems, and rheumatism – Soursop has been traditionally used for providing relief from pain associated with the aforementioned conditions
- Boosts energy levels – Soursop contains thiamine, a compound which improves energy levels
Along with the fruit, the leaves, roots, and barks of the soursop tree also provide numerous health benefits such as:
- The sap of soursop leaves is administered topically to treat skin rash, eczema, and swelling.
- Decoction of soursop leaves is used for reducing inflammation and treating swollen feet
- Decoction of leaves is known to be effective for coughs, fever, dysentery, and head lice
- Soursop leaves have shown promise in maintaining and lowering blood sugar levels (various animal studies have shown that the extract of soursop leaves can improve the function of insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells)
- Soursop may not be safe for pregnant women. Consult your doctor before taking soursop if you are pregnant.
- Soursop may not be safe for people with hypotension (low blood pressure). In animal studies, it has shown cardiodepressant, vasolidator, and hypotensive properties. People with hypertension (high blood pressure) should consult their doctor before taking soursop as it may interact with hypertensive drugs
- Soursop may cause mild abdominal constrictions if used in high dosages. If you experience this side effect, it is recommended that you reduce its dosage
- Soursop has strong antibacterial properties. Long-term use of this fruit or leaves or root extract may lead to the deficiency of good bacteria in the digestive tract. If you are using this fruit for more than 30 days, it is recommended that you supplement the diet with digestive enzymes and probiotics
How it is taken
Soursop can be taken in different forms. If you want the benefits that the soursop fruit provides, eat the fruit raw or drink soursop juice. Extract of soursop leaves, barks, and roots can be taken in the form of tea or in any other form. In addition, you can also use soursop leaves as poultice to get relief from skin ailments, inflammation, and pain.