There are many fruit that most people simply don’t know about, and guyabano, also known as soursop and guanabana, is just one of them. While the fruit is not as well known as others and is less researched, guyabano health benefits are still worthy of note. If you want to expand your mind with knowledge of a fruit you probably never knew existed, continue onward to see what guyabano is and what it has to offer.
What is Guyabano?
Guyabano is a fruit that comes from the Graviola tree. Other names for guyabano (name known in the Philippines) include: guanábana (Spanish), graviola (Portuguese), pawpaw (in Brazil), corossol (French), soursop (English), and custard apple (English). The scientific name is annona muricata.
The graviola tree grows in warm tropical areas such as the Philippines and South America. Known as a sedative, a nerve tonic, and used to maintain proper intestinal health, guyabano is just one medicinal tool stemming from the graviola tree. Throughout history, each part of the graviola tree, such as the bark, leaves, roots, fruit, and seeds have been used for medicinal purposes. The seeds have been used to treat nausea and vomiting, while herbal medicine practitioners recommend using the fruit and leaves to relieve stomach distress, pain, cough, asthma, and fever.
Guyabano is known to being rich in vitamin C and B vitamins thiamin, riboflavin and niacin, but here is a fuller list of what the fruit has to offer.
- Vitamin C
Guyabano Health Benefits – Cancer Prevention
Unfortunately, research revolving around guyabano’s healing properties is lacking in the scientific world, but so far researchers have been studying guyabano for its ability to protect against cancer and reduce side-effects of chemotherapy.
Since 1976, over 20 independent labs researched Guyabano’s anti-cancer effects following initial research carried out by the National Cancer Institute. The National Cancer Institute found that guyabano’s “leaves and stems were found effective in attacking and destroying malignant cells.
After the 1976 findings, that were apparently never released to the public, other research studies came out with similar conclusions:
- One study published in the Journal of Natural Products found that one chemical in Graviola was 10,000 times more potent than a chemotherapy drug called Adriamycin.
- The Catholic University of South Korea reports that guyabano is not only a threat to cancer cells, but also leaves healthy cells alone. This is not the case with chemo, which target all the cells – much like antibiotics indiscriminately destroying all gut bacteria, good and bad.
- Purdue University found that leaves from the guyabano tree are “killed cancer cells among six human cell lines”. The researchers also found that the leaves were particularly effective for prostate and pancreatic cancers.
One piece of research found on PubMed concluded:
“Overall, the compounds that are naturally present in a Graviola extract inhibited multiple signaling pathways that regulate metabolism, cell cycle, survival, and metastatic properties in PC cells. Collectively, alterations in these parameters led to a decrease in tumorigenicity and metastasis of orthotopically implanted pancreatic tumors, indicating promising characteristics of the natural product against this lethal disease.”
While guyabano has something to offer in the world of cancer protection, it’s important to note that studies conducted with guyabano were conducted in what’s known as In Vitro. This means that biological component have been isolated for testing, and this this case, cancer cells were used in test tubes. While it’s helpful to start research somewhere, we are still in need of human clinical trials.
Still, don’t hesitate to chomp down on some soursop (guyabano) for it’s great taste and potential (at the very least) anti-cancer abilities. Plus, here are some other guyabano health benefits.
Other Health Benefits of Guyabano
- Alleviates pain stemming from arthritis, joint and back problems, and rheumatism.
- Prevents urinary tract infections – Guyabano is known for it’s vitamin C content (77% daily value per cup). Vitamin C can help to decrease the amount of harmful bacteria that may be present in the urinary tract.
- Migraine and headache relief – Guyabano contains riboflavin, which could help with headaches.
- May help with anemia – Soursop (guyabano) is rich in iron, which could help with iron deficiency anemia.
- Prevents constipation – Before Rich in fiber, guyabano is one of the many foods to choose if you suffer from constipation.
- Bone health – Guyabano contains copper, a mineral promoting the absorption of bone-benefiting calcium.
- Prevents leg cramps – Potassium in the fruit could help prevent leg cramps.
- Boosts energy levels – Along with vitamin C, guyabano is known to be rich in B vitamins as well. B vitamins are known to help increase energy levels.
Guyabano Benefit Summary – Guyabano can Used for:
- Respiratory issues such as asthma or cough
- Headaches or migraines
- Intestinal upset, constipation, and stomach distress
- Iron deficiency anemia
- Urinary tract infections
- Lack of energy
In the end, just enjoy the soursop fruit, or, try it if you never have!