Guanabana is associated with many great health benefits. And many of these claims are not substantiated by real, factual and scientific information.
That is why I thought to write down a long and informative article which will allow you to learn everything you need to know about guanabana fruit benefits (and drawback).
But let me start by saying that Guanabana is definitely not a fruit that we are used to hearing about.
In fact, please allow me to ask you this question to prove this:
How many times have you heard or spoken about of this fruit in the past with your friends and relatives?
The chances are that you have not spoken about it at all.
And I know that there will always be the exception to the rule.
For instance, if you are located in Asia, then you must have heard of it and probably eaten it.
However, for us who live in the West, we are kind of ignorant about this fruit.
And this is not good news.
Why is it important to know about Guanabana?
To put this into context, there currently is a big push by Guanabanas suppliers for the fruit to be put on the global map.
They claim that the fruit has got some wonderful qualities and properties that are excellent for our health.
But they forget to mention or warn you about some of the exaggerated claims from the guanabana industry.
So how can you make up your mind?
That’s why it is so important for you to know about this fruit.
And this is true at all levels.
Note that I am what people call an expert in alternative medicines and in my entourage alone, only a few of my friends have heard of this fruit.
So, if I have this problem in my entourage, I can only guess what is the level of knowledge about Guanabanas.
Note that the few people in my entourage that have heard of the fruit have also traveled to Asia. And that’s where they learn of the existence of this very tasty fruit.
What annoys me about Guanabanas misinformation?
What is kinda annoying is that, when my friends traveled in Asia, they all have met people who believe in natural remedies and speaks about this fruit in that sense. And only in that sense.
The people who sold the fruit have even forgotten the first most important point about the fruit, that is its taste! More about the fruit’s taste below.
In conclusion, whenever you hear so many people speaking about a fantastic fruit that has incredible health properties, then you must investigate what scientific experts have to say about that fruit (or vegetable).
It is only at that time that you can make up your mind and decide if you need to eat more of the fruit or vegetable.
And guess what I have done?
I have done exactly that. I have put together the below sections about Guanabana benefits (and drawbacks), where you’ll learn about its properties, scientifically backed health benefits, how it is called, what are the products you can find on the market, etc.
If you do not know how the fruit looks like, then the below artistic representation should give you an idea.
What are Guanabanas?
You may ask yourselves: what is Guanabana? or what is a Guanabana fruit?
And as I said it above, you may not have heard about Guanabanas, but you may have heard about Soursops.
A Soursop is simply another name given to Guanabanas fruit.
Guanabana is in the Spanish language. But if you want to know Guanabana in English, then it is called Soursop. That’s all.
You definitely need to know the name of the tree that produces this wonderful fruit. Here it is: “Annona muricata”.
Note that a Guanabana plant is a tree, which is an evergreen tree that has broadleaf and flowering characteristics.
You also need to know that the origin of this plant is to date unknown.
What is known is that is it is originated from the tropical regions of the Americas. (1)
So weird enough, this plant comes from the American continent, but Asians are the ones that know it the most.
But a lot of people know about it is South America such as in Peru, Colombia, Brazil, etc.
What is really good is that nowadays you can find Soursop plants in any tropical weather country as the tree was heavily exported and planted across the world.
What are soursops flavors?
Though Soursops are fruits, their flavors are not really easily described.
Probably the best way I can describe it is as follows:
- It combines both the taste and acidity of tomatoes but with a nice lettuce flavor.
- There is a little bit of sourness into it. The closest sourness I can think of is the citrus flavor.
- And to add on top of this, it has an underlying creamy texture. This texture will taste like banana or even coconut.
That’s quite a lot, but I said it above, it is not easy to describe Guanabanas flavors.
What is Graviola?
Now that you know Guanabanas are in fact Soursops, let me introduce you to the third terminology that I’ll be using below.
Soursop and Guanabana are also known under the word “Graviola“.
And a lot of people know it under that name for its healthy properties. Note that the name Graviola comes from Brazil.
Also, note that Graviola is heavily used within the health and well-being industry to advertise the healthy properties of Guanabana.
And there are dozens of names for this fruit. For instance, in the Philippines, they call it Guyabano. This is where I stop with the names of this fruit and I promise I shall not bore you with all of its names.
The ones that you really need to remember are:
The other designations are relevant but mainly based on a country of use.
Now that you know a bit more about this tree and its fruit, please allow me to go back to the main points of this plant:
- Due to its different flavors (i.e, lettuce, tomato, citrus, creamy, etc.) and sweetness, the fruit is mainly used to make nice drinks and pastries. It is definitely a very tasty fruit. Only a few people do not like it. But the vast majority that tried the fruit loved it.
- This fruit is very well known to scientists as it is claimed it has the ability to fight cancer. We will discuss this point below.
- The good news is that it is completely natural and safe to eat. That is true.
What are the claimed benefits of Guanabana?
Many people keep asking me: what is guanabana good for? Or they even say is Guanabana good for cancer?
Obviously, this fruit is claimed to have unique health properties.
In fact, many would go as far as saying that we all need to know about these properties and eat the fruit.
However, at Omigy, we would provide a cautious judgment about this. We will describe the reasons why we want you to be cautious. Note that there is nothing wrong with the fruit.
However, there is a lot of misinterpretation from the scientifically published data that we do not like to create a hype about.
Nowadays, cancer is one of the worse diseases that we know off and that affect all humankind categories (young, older and elder). All of the solutions proposed by the pharma industry have major side effects and difficult to cope with by the patient.
This is where people claim Guanabana is really beneficial. They even claim that the fruit is 10.000 times better than regular chemotherapy cancer methods.
Sadly, not many scientists have investigated the positives of this fruit against cancer. In fact, it is the contrary, many publications out there have said that there is not enough data to back the claims.
Now, let us think a little outside the box.
Thinking outside the box
There are two camps:
- The first camp is in favor of the fruit and says that there is evidence it can fight cancer.
- The second camp says that there is no scientific evidence that proves the fruit is effective in fighting the disease.
The question is who’s right and who’s wrong?
The reality is that none of the two groups are right and neither of them is wrong.
The idea behind this is simple.
If there is not enough evidence to suggest that Guanabana is good in fighting cancer, then why scientists do not invest in a study that will prove the fruit is good (or bad or does nothing) against cancer?
Why is it that scientists get support to study all sort of chemical-based medicines and do not get support for natural based remedies?
When you ask these questions, you start believing that there is some really strong vested interest by some major chemical companies.
However, what about if the second camp did not really believe in the fruit itself and it was just the Guabana Industry that wanted to create this false/true statements?
At the end of the day, the Guanabana industry is a multibillion-dollar industry. So they have the finance to support studies on this plant and fruit.
Therefore, one should not focus on the pharmaceutical industry against the rest of the world.
We should only focus on facts, forget vested interest from both parties and hope that people making false and ambiguous statements stop doing so.
What are the Guanabana facts?
Actually, it is true that there are more studies suggesting that there is no evidence of the fruit showing strong positive health answers to cancer-prone individuals.
Below provides several of these studies where authors describe that there is lack of in-depth study on Guanabana for cancer.
Scientific studies describing lack of Guanabana health benefits evidence
One such claim is made by the well known Cancer Research UK. This is the UK’s largest non-profit organization aiming at finding a cure for cancer. Their website states:
“Overall, there is no evidence to show that graviola works as a cure for cancer.” (5)
Unfortunately, Cancer Research does not provide any indication if they are investigating this plant. Therefore, it is easy to conclude that their findings are based on what other scientists discuss in their publications.
2017 publication on Graviola in Kenya
A fairly recent publication, in 2017, where researchers at the Pan African University (Kenya) summarised a complete review of the plant’s history and its future prospects. In that particular paper, they described the following (6):
“The reported toxicity notwithstanding, A. muricata extracts seem to be some of the safest and promising therapeutic agents of the 21st century and beyond that need to be studied further for better medicinal formulations and diseases management.”
As one can see, the researchers believe that the plant has got future. But it clearly underlines that they currently do not have evidence the plant can support human being against cancer.
2017 Annona Muricata researchers in Columbia
In another paper, titled “The Annona muricata leaf ethanol extract affects mobility and reproduction in mutant strain NB327 Caenorhabditis elegans”, scientists showed that in certain cancers, soursop can promote negative effects. (7)
To be more precise, soursop has a negative effect on individuals who had lung and prostate cancer. They called this an absence or under-regulation of the dice-1 gene has been observed.
A.V. Gualteros Bustos, M. Gómez Jiménez, and R.M. Sánchez Mora used a related model of mutant nematodes/roundworms (C. elegans). Using this, they investigated what happened when they exposed cancer to ethanol extract of the leaf.
Unfortunately, the soursop extract did not have positive effects. In fact, it had a ‘possible’ neurotoxic side effect. But that could be controlled under the condition that the extract was used in concentrations of less than 5mg/ml. Anything equivalent to 5mg/ml or greater led to negative effects.
This paper clearly shows the need for scientific evidence and research on the plant. Think about it. We all know that excess of eating is not good. Excess of medicine is not good either, as it can cause harm to our bodies such as overdose etc.
So this is the same for Graviola fruit. If you take too much, it is bad for your body. That is why scientists are needed to determine the good and bad and the doses of this fruit (as well as other fruits and vegetables).
2017 – The use of fungi from leaves
This is an interesting study where the instigators investigated “Anticancer activity test of ethyl acetate extract of endophytic fungi isolated from soursop leaf (Annona muricata L.).” (8)
The authors researched Endophytic fungi. These fungi were isolated from soursop leaf.
After isolating the fungi, they used these on the well known MCF-7 breast cancer cells in the lab.
The findings proved positive as 4 out of the 12 isolates “showed high activity”. This means that among the 12 samples, 4 had activities against the growth of the MCF-7 cells. This is a 33% success rate.
Again, these results are in the laboratory, but the results show real positive signs for us not to discard the effect of Graviola.
2017 – 100 Jamaican patients
This is probably the most significant research conducted. 100 patients were identified by the University of the West Indies.
Each of these patients was provided with a questionnaire. And among these, 80% use ‘self-alternative medication’.
Of critical significance to us is that many used Graviola as the alternative treatment.
But the issue is that only a minority number informed their oncologist that they used Guanabana. (9)
This is where one has to be careful. If people do not disclose this vital information, how can scientists identify what works and what does not? We all need to participate in science and any help we can give scientists is important.
2017 – Antitumor plant with Annona species
As one can see from the above, there was a lot of research focused on Soursop species in 2017. In fact, more than ever before.
That is good news for all of us as the plant is attracting the attention of more scientists, which should provide us with some real tangible answers in the years to come.
The study published by three authors from Italy and China focused on the antitumor potential of Annona species (Annonaceae). Obviously, their work included more than one plant with soursop being within the family.
The title of the study is clear ‘Annona species (Annonaceae): a rich source of potential antitumor agents?’.
In their conclusions, they identify that the Annona species are “one of the most promising plants that can contribute in fighting cancer”. However, they were also clear that the plant has “neurotoxicity issues that must be handled carefully. (10)
Scientific studies with positive evidence of Guanabana against cancer
There are a number of scientific studies that show the other side of the coin.
These studies illustrate that guanabana and cancer are interlinked. In fact, the fruit is claimed to be effective against cancer. Some of the claims are focused on human being, others on animal trials and some performed in vitro. Here are some these:
2014 – Stabilising cancer by using Guanabana leaves
A team based at the Department of Hematology and Oncology, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami, Miami, USA, namely: Damien Mikael Hansra, Orlando Silva, Ashwin Mehta, Eugene Ahn published a recent paper on breast cancer:
Title: “Patient with Metastatic Breast Cancer Achieves Stable Disease for 5 Years on Graviola and Xeloda after Progressing on Multiple Lines of Therapy published in Advances in Breast Cancer Research”,
This paper was published Online in July 2014 in SciRes. (11)
This paper clearly shows that a breast cancer patient that absorbed Guanabana leaves really benefited from it.
2011 – Inhibition of tumor cell growth using Annonaceous
This is another paper that is quite interesting.
If you remember Graviola trees belong to the Annonaceous tree family. The paper is titled ‘Tumor cell growth inhibition by several Annonaceous acetogenins in an in vitro disk diffusion assay’. (12)
What scientists show is that cells affected by cancer are inhibited. This means that they do not grow anymore when doses of annonaceous are injected onto them. But even better, healthy cells are not affected by the doses. This is highly critical as chemotherapy affect both healthy and non-healthy cells.
2011 – How the plant inhibit cancer cells
In 2011, Yumin, D., Hogan, S., Schmelz, E.M., Young, H.J., Canning, C. and Zhou, K. published a paper titled ‘Selective Growth Inhibition of Human Breast Cancer Cells by Graviola Fruit Extract in Vitro and in Vivo Involving Downregulation of EGFR Expression.’. You can find this paper in the prestigious’ Nutrition and Cancer’ journal. (13)
It demonstrated an important point similar to the one above. Researchers injected Graviola on cancer cells, and the plant showed that it can inhibit the growth of the tumor by a maximum of 56%.
So there is evidence out there in favor of Guanabana cancer cure as a fruit that fights this disease.
Unfortunately, this evidence is not as well promoted as the other evidence, which suggests that there is not enough information for experts to make an informative decision.
Why is that there are no enough Guanabana studies?
I believe that the mistake is really down to the Guanabana industry.
They are making billions out of the fruit. So they could invest a little in promoting factual studies which will help you and me develop our own thinking and make our own decisions.
Look, there are scientists out there who are begging to get funding to study the fruit.
Also, there are a couple of scientists that have demonstrated the benefits of Guanabanas against cancer.
But, it is true that there is a need for more work.
The work should be focused on the maximum doses allowed for one person of a given age. For instance, a child doses should not be the same as an adult one.
Similarly, each dose should be clearly defined for one day. And the length of time one has to take Guanabana extract should be clarified.
Furthermore, what are the type of diseases that Guanabana can cure? Though portrayed as a fantastic alternative medicine for cancer treatment, we need to be clearer as to what type of cancers this plant can cure. And if it can cure it.
So, I do not say that you should not absorb the plant. What I would say to you is that you can absorb the plant and its extract and herb tea, etc., but we need to consume it with care.
Do not overdo it. Consume it like you would eat other ailments.
Take care of not becoming intoxicated by the plant.
And if you do all of the above, then you should be alright.
At the end of the day, there is enough evidence out there that the plant is good, but there is no clarity on the doses and the type of diseases it can help you with.
Where to buy Guanabana?
I have personally tried to answer the following question as many time as possible:
- Where can I buy guanabana fruit?
or I get the usual:
- Guanabana where to buy?
I am sure you would agree that it is not a fruit you find in a supermarket. But I got you covered. Click on the below pictures and you’ll get access to some of the Soursop products.
I lined up capsules, tea solutions, and some nice sweet juice. You chose whichever you prefer.
Just click on the below picture to buy Guanabana leaves and make your own tea. I like this option.
Here is another great option. If you click on the below picture, then you’ll be able to buy Guanabana tea bags.
I want to make it clear. From the above sections, you may think that there are several guanabana tea benefits to your health.
So you may think that drinking this tea can help you in your quest for a healthy lifestyle.
But the above description also teaches us that some scientists argue that there is no real evidence for this (as of today’s date).
They feel that the publications which suggest Guanabana is good for our health are not sufficient and there is a need for more research.
So, if you opt to drink this tea, I would suggest that you should drink it for its nice taste. And if there are nice healthy side effects, then so be it. For me, you are a winner no matter what.
This is probably the easiest way to consume Guanabana. Click on the below picture to buy Guanabana pills.
Can I plant a tree in my back garden?
Yes. Why not? Preferably, plant it in tropical countries.
But this is not compulsory, you can always plant it in your garden. When the tree grows a bit, keep trimming it to a height that you are happy with.
You’ll then be able to produce your own juice to prevent cancer!
Note that the juice of this fruit does not have any side effects like chemotherapy.
I have to say this, you must consume in moderation. It is a sweet fruit and like anything else, sweet means sugar. I am sure you know where I am coming from.
When did this cancer-fighting information initiate?
This information initiated by one of the large manufacturers of drugs.
In the 1970s, about 20 laboratory tests revealed the ‘superpower’ of the fruit.
These tests showed that when someone who had cancer drunk the fruit juice, this person cancerous cells disappeared (the cells died).
What the tests also showed is that the fruit stops the growth of cancer cells. Some of the publications claim that it did kill and stop the growth of bad cells even 10.000 times more than Adriamycin.
I personally did not see any evidence on this matter.
But you need to know that Adriamycin is a chemical agent. In fact, it is the main agent for chemotherapy.
To end this article, I feel it is important to note that this fruit does not fight healthy cells. These stay intact. The fruit only fights and kills the sick cells.
This is very important as chemotherapy attacks and kills all types of cells whether they are healthy or not.
Now you know a lot more about this fruit.
Some people call it guanabana anticancer and even Guanabana fruit cancer.
This is because some research suggests that the fruit can neutralize or inhibit cancer cells and tumors.
But research also demonstrates that excess in eating or absorbing this fruit could prove toxic.
So you need to strike the right balance. Too much is toxic and too little may not bring anything.
Maybe a bit every day or every few days could prove to be enough. Unfortunately, there is nothing yet published that we can summarize in terms of the level of consumption of this fruit.
Nevertheless, it is clear that one can think of many guanabana medicinal uses.
What I like the most is drinking Graviola tea. It gives me great pleasure and suppliers uses a guanabana leaf to produce it.
And you’d have seen in the above sections that most of the research is done on the leaves. So, by drinking the tea, you may protect yourselves from diseases.
You can also get a guanabana drink if need be. Click on one of the above pictures for more information about price, etc.
And finally, I have provided a picture above where you can get guanabana tablets.
First, it will provide a nice shadow in the summer for you to sit under.
Second, it will provide you with a fruit that sweet and fights cancer.
Third, it will increase the number of trees in the world, which is something that we really need as oxygen is depleting quickly.
Back to you
I invite you to start eating Soursop fruits. If you do so, I am sure you’ll be enjoying its taste.
In terms of health, I cannot for sure tell you that you’ll improve it.
However, it is best to be on the safe side. So drinking tea, juice or eating the fruit can only be beneficial to you.
Now the only thing I can say for sure is that you probably need to go to the shop, buy some Graviola and start eating it. You and your family will definitely enjoy it.
You can find more healthy information on food, lifestyle, etc., by clicking here on Omigy posts.
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