Graviola Herbal Medicine

Graviola Uses, Health Benefits and Side Effects


What is Graviola Graviola is a green pear shape fruit that is known to have many medicinal benefits...(more)

Graviola Medicinal Benefits Graviola has been known to fight cancer, diabetes, bacteria and has anti-inflammatory actions...(more)

Graviola used in folk medicine. Graviola has been used worldwide as anti-depressive drug, sedative, anti-inflammatory, emetic...(more)

Graviola use, warning and cautions. Graviola bark contains alkaloids that may toxic and can promote the development of Parkinson's Disease...(more)

What is Graviola (Soursop, Graviola)

GraviolaScientific Name:Anona Muricata Linn.

Common Names: guanábana (Spanish), graviola (Portuguese),  Brazilian pawpaw, Graviola, corossolier, guanavana, toge-banreisi, durian benggala, nangka blanda, sirsak, and nangka londa, mullaatha, shul-ram-fal and hanuman fal.

Graviola tree, or soursop in English (Scientific Name : Anona muricata Linn.) is a small tree, usually about 5 to 7 meters high. Graviola is a fruit bearing tree, broadleaf, flowering, and evergreen that is native to Central America, the Carribean and South America. Graviola can be found in Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Peru, and Venezuela. Graviola or Soursop are also native in sub-Saharan African countries. Graviola or Soursop is adaptable to tropical climate and are currently cultivated for its fruit in most Southeast Asian countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines.

Graviola fruit is a green, pear-shaped fruit covered with soft spines. Matured Graviola or soursop fruit weighs about 2 to 5 kilograms. Graviola fruit is ovoid and large, up to 18 centimeters long, with thin skin and the soft edible whitish pulp that is fleshy and fibrous.  Graviola has inedible black seeds. Graviola fruit or soursop fruit has distinct sweet-sour flavor that tastes like pineapple and strawberry with a tang of sour citrus taste.

Graviola leaves are oval shaped with smooth, shiny texture. Graviola leaves are 7 to 20 centimeters in length, pointed on both ends, with petioles about 5 mm long. Graviola  flowers bloom all year round but its peak is from May to June. Graviola has a solitary flower that is large, yellow or greenish-yellow in color. The three outer petals are broadly ovate with a heart-shaped base, up to 5 centimeters long, and 3 centimeters wide; and the inner three are also large, elliptic to obviate, and rounded..

Graviola fruits are harvested in its maturity – when the skin is shiny green or yellowish green in color. Graviola fruit is used as vegetable and made into sweet meat, while the ripe Graviola fruit can be eaten raw or prepared as dessert.

Graviola or soursop is also known to possess medicinal properties that include cancer fighting activity.


Graviola, herbal medicine - Health Benefits


Graviola and Diabetes

An article in “African Journal of Traditional Complementary and Alternative Medicine” about in 2008 have reported that a clinical study done on rats induced with diabetes mellitus then fed with Graviola (Annona Muricata Linn) extracts showed positive effects of lowering the blood sugar levels in animals. Another study reported by the same publication showed that animals with induced diabetes mellitus that consumed Graviola extract has shoed remarkable increase of antioxidants in their blood and that there is less liver damage. The findings of this laboratory animal study suggest that (Graviola) Annona muricata extract has a protective, beneficial effect on hepatic tissues subjected to STZ-induced oxidative stress, possibly by decreasing lipid peroxidation and indirectly enhancing production of insulin and endogenous antioxidants. Although the reports suggested that Graviola extracts have promising medicinal benefits for diabetes mellitus. there is no sufficient study done on its effects to humans with diabetes.

Graviola and Inflammation

In a report that was published in “International Journal of Molecular Sciences” dated 2010, Antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory activities of the ethanol extract from Graviola leaves (Annona muricata Linn) were investigated in animal models.. In a chemically induced edema to the paw of rats showed that the Graviola ethanol extract has significantly reduced the exudate volume. These results suggest that Annona muricata can be an active source of substances with antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory activities.

Graviola and Cancer

In a study published in the “ Journal of Medicinal Chemistry”, fourteen structurally diverse Annonaceous acetogenins, found in Graviola extract were identified and tested for their ability to inhibit the growth of adriamycin resistant human mammary adenocarcinoma cells. This cell line is known to be multidrug resistant cancer cells.  Some of the acetogenins from the Graviola extract were found to be more potent than adriamycin and thus may have chemotherapeutic potential, especially with regard to multidrug resistant tumors..

Graviola and Herpes Simplex Virus

A study published in “Journal of Ethnopharmacology”, 1mg/ml of ethanol extract of Annona muricata (Annonaceae, Graviola) in Petunia nyctaginiflora (Solanaceae) aqueous extract can inhibit the activity of Herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1).

Graviola and Depression

In a study published in the “Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology”, extracts from the fruit and the leaves of Graviola (Annona muricata - Annonaceae) contains three alkaloids, annonaine (1), nornuciferine (2) and asimilobine (3), that upon tests have shown to inhibit binding of [3H]rauwolscine to 5-HTergic 5-HT1A receptors in calf hippocampus. These results imply that Graviola fruit (Annona muricata) possesses anti-depressive effects.

Graviola and Antibacterial Effects

In a report published in “Revista do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo”, a study has been made to determine the antibacterial effects of aqueous and ethanolic extracts of seeds of moringa (Moringa oleifera) and pods of Graviola (Annona muricata). The aqueous extracts of Graviola (annona muricata) showed an antibacterial effect against Staph aureus and Vibrio cholerae, but the antibacterial activity by the ethanol extracts of this plant was not demonstrated.

Traditional medicinal Use of Graviola

Nutritional Value of Graviola
Graviola fruit is high in carbohydrates, particularly fructose. The fruit also contains significant amounts of vitamin C, vitamin B1, and vitamin B2.

Uses of concoction prepared from pulverized Graviola seeds

  • As skin astringent
  • Treat muscle spasms
  • Treat dysentery
  • To purge parasites such as bedbugs and headlice

Uses of concoction prepared from Graviola leaves

  • As sudorific or to cause one to sweat
  • As an agent to cause vomiting (emetic)
  • As tranquilizer and sedative
  • To treat head lice and bedbugs and other parasites
  • To treat inflammation
  • Treatment for  eczema and skin diseases
  • Treatment of catarrh or inflammation of mucous membrane in the respiratory tract.
  • Treatment of pain and inflammation associated with arthritis, rheumatism

Uses of Graviola fruit / Juice from Graviola fruit

  • Used as diuretic,
  • Treatment of hematuria and urethritis
  • Treat Dysentery
  • Treat Scurvy

Uses of concoction of bark, roots and leaves

  • To treat diabetes
  • As tranquilizer and sedative


Graviola cautions and Side Effects

Concoctions of leaves, seeds and barks are not recommended for internal consumption to young children, pregnant and lactating women

Graviola bark has been reported to contain alkaloids called anonaine and anoniine that is high in hydrocyanic acid. Small traces of hydrocyanic acid may also be found in leaves. Hydrocyanic acid is a colorless substance that is considered poisonous.

In studies done from a Caribbean laboratory,  Graviola contains annonacin that is suggested to have a connection in the development of atypical Parkinson’s disease. Graviola is not recommended for people who have motor control ldifficulty or suspected of having Parkinson's disease.


Graviola Preparation

How to make a Graviola Nectar

  • Wash and peel Graviola.
  • Remove core and seeds.
  • Cut into small pieces.
  • Mix two cups water for every three cups of pulp.
  • Pass Graviola pulp through a juice extractor or corn mill grinder.
  • Strain through a stainless steel strainer.
  • Add one cup of water for every two cups juice.
  • Add one cup sugar for every 3 cups of pulp mixture and mix
  • Place the mixture in an enamel casserole or a stainless steel kettle, and cook until it simmers.
  • Do not let it boil. Lower the heat
  • Stir from time to time until mixture become thick.
  • Pour cooked mixture into tall tin cans while still hot, leaving 1/4 inch space on top of the mixture.
  • Seal the cans and place them in a pressure cooker for 15 minutes at 10 pounds pressure.Cool and label

Graviola Ale

1 kilo ripe graviola
4 cups water
3/4 cup sugar
Calamansi juice

Wash and peel fruits. Remove the core and seeds. Then cut pulp into small pieces.
Heat in four cups water. Cool. Strain mix­ture through a clean cheese cloth into a pitcher, then squeeze the juice. Add sugar and enough Calamansi juice or make the mixture a little sour. Serve with ice cubes. Add more sugar if desired.


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