Soursop Tea Benefits: Does Graviola Cure Cancer?

You can find a lot of discussions in the health forums on “superfoods.”

Foods like blueberries, goji berries, chocolate, oily fish, wheatgrass, pomegranate juice, green tea, broccoli, garlic, and beetroot are highly valued “superfoods.”

Many discussions and studies are being done about a plant and its fruit, known as “soursop” and “soursop tea.” It is another food that deserves the status of “superfood.”

The leaves or fruits of soursop are a key ingredient in many organic brand ice creams, beverages, sweets, and herbal teas.

Some recent studies on soursop have unearthed its therapeutic properties and nutritional greatness.

The soursop plant’s leaves, fruits, bark, and roots may be great for your eyes, prevent and cure cancer, and fight infections.

In African and South American countries, people have used the leaves, roots, bark, and fruits of the Graviola for dealing with parasites, microbial infections, arthritis, depression, and many other common sicknesses.

Soursop Tree

Annona muricata is the botanical name of the plant that bears soursop fruit. This plant belongs to the Annonaceae family of plants. Its type genus is Annona, which has about 108 accepted genera and about 2400 known species.

It is also known as Graviola, custard apple, cherimoya, guanabana, soursop, and Brazilian pawpaw.

The soursop tree is an evergreen plant with broadleaf, trimerous flowers, and large single-berry prickly fruits with oily seeds. It has aromatic bark, leaves, and flowers.

Annona muricata (soursop tree) mostly grows in tropical regions; it is native to South America and African forests.

Soursop Leaves

Soursop leaf is slowly gaining a lot of importance these days.

The leaves of this tree are popularly used for making soursop tea. Soursop leaf contains Acetogenin, which comprises compounds like maximizing, squamosin, and Bulacan.

Acetogenin is an antifeedant beneficial for eliminating pests, insects, and microbial organisms.

According to a report published in Cancer Research UK, “graviola extracts can kill some types of liver and breast cancer cells that are resistant to particular chemotherapy drugs.”

Its leaves contain protein, fat, calcium, and vitamins A, C, and B.

Soursop Fruit

In different regions of the world, soursop is known by various names like guanabana, Brazilian pawpaw, guyabano, graviola, or custard apple.

This fruit is quite delicious, with a sweet-sour taste and pleasant aroma akin to strawberry.

It is a large and fleshy fruit that weighs more than 3 pounds and has oily seeds inside. Its sweet-sour flavor is mostly used for making beverages, ice cream, and other fruit recipes.

This superfruit contains many antioxidants, including A, C, and B vitamins, phosphorus, calcium, and iron.

What Is Soursop Tea?

Soursop tea, also known as pawpaw tea, is made from the leaves of the Annona muricata plant.

Some of the popular brands of herbal tea blends have these leaves as a major ingredient.

Soursop extract and fruit have gained a lot of people’s attention in recent times because of the natural cancer-curing properties inherent in them.

However, scientific research with clinical trials on humans cannot vouch for its effectiveness in killing cancer cells.

The therapeutic potential of soursop leaves is attributed to the presence of antioxidants, flavonoids, alkaloids, acetogenins, gentisic acid, and anonol in them. Soursop contains substances that reduce inflammation and improve overall health.

This tea is made by brewing fresh or dry leaves (15 leaves per 1 liter).

Benefits Of Soursop Tea

Soursop tea is expected to provide many health benefits. This tea has gained a lot of popularity because of its cancer-healing properties.

Most of the health benefits of Graviola are derived from its antioxidant properties.

However, the tall claims about the health benefits of soursop leaves need more support from clinical trials. You should consult your doctor before using soursop tea to treat various health conditions.

Now, look at some of the well-known benefits of drinking soursop tea.

1. Prevents and Cures Cancer

Some researchers have made remarkable findings on cancer-curing compounds in soursop leaves and fruits.

A compound called acetogenins, present in the leaves and fruits of soursop, is a powerful antibiotic.

One of the recent studies has pointed out that soursop tea may help fight cancer, especially throat, lung, breast, and cervical cancers, as well as leukemia.

study published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry in 1997 says that soursop compounds tested on breast cancer cells in culture were more effective than chemotherapy in destroying the cells.

Its leaf, fruit, and seed extracts have been tested in laboratories for their anticancer effects.

Some studies show extracts from soursop to be active against breast, lung, colon, prostate, pancreas, liver, and skin cancer cell lines.

2. Improves Digestion

The vitamins, minerals, and amino acids in soursop improve the body’s digestive functions. This superfood can also help prevent constipation, cramps, diarrhea, and bloating.

Soursop tea has antimicrobial properties that help balance the microflora environment of the gut.

However, this tea made from soursop should not be drunk excessively, as this can upset the stomach.

3. Helps Weight Loss

This tea contains B vitamins, which help improve metabolism. It promotes higher fat burning and improves energy production in the body, resulting in steady weight loss.

Soursop leaves contain compounds that suppress appetite and reduce the intake of foods.

4. Improves Heart Health

The leaves of Graviola have a good bit of potassium and other compounds that help lower blood pressure. Reducing blood pressure improves health and reduces the strain on the heart, minimizing the risk of stroke, heart attack, and atherosclerosis.

5. Enhances Blood Circulation

A substantial amount of iron in the soursop makes the blood circulatory system in the body healthy and makes you feel energetic. A healthy supply of iron improves the count of red blood cells and increases the body’s energy supply to tissues and organ systems.

6. Boosts the Immune System

Graviola contains vitamins C, A, and B. When you have Graviola tea, your body receives vitamin C, which is necessary for producing and maintaining white blood cells for a healthy immune system.

The antioxidants in this tea reduce the oxidation of free radicals in the blood, and they minimize oxidative stress in the tissues and organs of the body.

7. Good For Skin

The antioxidants and vitamins A and C contained in Graviola tea make the skin healthy and beautiful.

It improves the elasticity of the skin, which leads to the reduction of wrinkles and stretch marks on the skin.

The antimicrobial properties of the acetogenins in soursop tea are effective in dealing with microbial organisms that cause skin infections.

How To Make Soursop Tea

Brewing the soursop tea at home is easy.

The leaves of Graviola contain powerful chemical compounds, unlike green tea or other herbal teas. You need 15 fresh soursop leaves to prepare 1 liter of soursop tea. Only four fresh leaves are required to brew one cup of this tea.

If you need access to fresh leaves, using dry leaves with less potency is possible. Soursop leaves are available worldwide from organic health stores and online e-commerce portals like Amazon or Walmart.


  • Soursop leaves: 4 (fresh/dry)
  • Water: 2 cups
  • Honey or white sugar: 2 teaspoons


  • Boil the water in a teapot.
  • Add the whole leaves to the boiling water and lower the heat.
  • Let the essence of the leaves steep in hot water for 15 minutes.
  • Strain the water into a teacup.
  • Add sweetener as required, and enjoy the tea.

Possible Side Effects Of Soursop

Soursop tea has several potential health benefits, but at the same time, the risks associated with it cannot be ignored.

It is important to exercise moderation when consuming soursop fruit and tea.

Side effects of soursop tea can have serious side effects that may jeopardize your health.

Some of the prominent side effects of this super-tea are:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Neurotoxic effects
  • Hypotension

The side effects of this tea usually occur because of excessive consumption or allergic reactions.

One of the studies has revealed that neurotoxins present in soursop may be related to the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. However, the intake of foods containing a little neurotoxin may not cause any serious health concerns.

Patients on medication and pregnant women should not consume herbal teas without a doctor’s authorization.

Some people might develop digestive disorders after consuming this tea because of its strong antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.

Soursop may cause drug interactions for some. People taking blood pressure pills, sedatives, or anti-depressant medication should not take this tea without their doctor’s consent.

Final Thought 

Soursop tea has a wide array of health benefits.

This tea has garnered a lot of interest worldwide because of its ability to prevent the development and spread of a few types of cancer.

Graviola is also highly effective in lowering blood pressure, boosting the immune system, promoting weight loss, and fighting microbial infections.

The powerful therapeutic properties of this tea may cause side effects if not used in moderation.

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