You can find a lot of discussions done 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’.
Currently, a lot of 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 of the organic brand ice creams, beverages, sweets, and herbal teas.
Some of the recent studies on soursop have unearthed its therapeutic properties and nutritional greatness.
The leaves, fruits, barks, and roots of the soursop plant 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 (soursop) for dealing with parasites, microbial infections, arthritis, depression, and many other common sicknesses.
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.
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 the tropical regions; native to South America and African forests.
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 is made up of compounds like asimisin, squamosin, and bulatacin.
Acetogenin acts as an antifeedant beneficial for eliminating pests, insects, and microbial organisms.
According to a report published in The Cancer Research UK, “Graviola extracts can kill some types of liver and breast cancer cells that are resistant to particular chemotherapy drugs.”
Graviola leaves also have compounds like protein, fat, calcium, and Vitamins A, C, and B.
In different regions of the world, soursop is known in various names like guanabana, Brazilian pawpaw, guyabano, graviola, or custard apple.
Graviola 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 with oily seeds inside. It has a sweet-sour flavor; mostly used for making beverages, ice-creams, and other fruit recipes.
This super-fruits contain a significant amount of antioxidants, A, C, and B Vitamins, phosphorus, calcium, and iron.
What Is Soursop Tea?
Soursop tea is also known as pawpaw tea, or Graviola tea is made with the leaves of the Annona muricata plant.
Some of the popular brands of herbal tea blends have Graviola leaves as a major ingredient.
Soursop tea 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 researches with clinical trials on humans are not available to vouch for its effectiveness in healing cancer.
The therapeutic potentiality of soursop tea is attributed to the presence of antioxidants, alkaloids, acetogenins, gentisic acid, and anonol found in this leaf.
This tea is made by brewing the fresh or dry leaves of Graviola; 15 leaves per 1 liter.
Benefits Of Soursop Tea
Soursop tea is expected to provide several health benefits. Graviola tea has gained a lot of popularity because of the cancer healing properties present in it.
Most of the health benefits of Graviola are derived from its antioxidant properties.
However, the tall claims on the health benefits of soursop tea lack support from clinical trials. You should consult your doctor before using soursop tea to treat various health conditions.
Lets us now look at some of the well-known benefits of using soursop tea.
1. Prevents and Cures Cancer
Some of the researchers have made remarkable findings on cancer-curing compounds found 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 in treating throat, lung, breast, and cervical cancers, as well as leukemia.
A 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.
Graviola extracts from the leaf, fruit, and seed 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 digestive functions of the body. This superfood can also help prevent constipation, cramps, diarrhea, and bloat.
Soursop tea has antimicrobial properties that help balance the microflora environment of the gut.
However, this tea made from soursop should NOT be drunk in excess amount as this can upset the stomach.
3. Helps Weight Loss
This tea contains B vitamins which help in improving metabolism. It promotes higher fat burning and improves the production of energy 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. Reduction in blood pressure improves health and reduces the strain on the heart; minimizes the risk of stroke, heart attack, and atherosclerosis.
5. Enhances Blood Circulation
A substantial amount of iron present 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 supply of energy to tissues and organ systems of the body.
6. Boosts Immune System
Graviola contains Vitamins C, A, and B. When you have Graviola tea your body receives Vitamin C which is necessary for the production and maintenance of 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, 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 to have 15 fresh soursop leaves to prepare 1-liter soursop tea. Only four fresh leaves are required to brew one cup of this tea.
If you do not have access to fresh leaves, it is possible to use dry leaves that have less potency. Soursop leaves are available for purchase around the world from organic health stores, online e-commerce portals like Amazon or Walmart.
- Soursop leaves: 4 (fresh/dry)
- Water: 2 cup
- Honey/White Sugar: 2 teaspoon
- Boil the water in a teapot
- Add the whole leaves to 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
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 in 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:
- Neurotoxic effects
The side effects of this tea usually occur because of excessive consumption of tea or allergic reactions.
One of the studies has revealed 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 under the medication and pregnant women should not consume herbal teas without the authorization of a doctor.
Some people might develop digestive disorders after consuming this tea because of the strong antimicrobial and antibacterial properties in this tea.
Soursop may cause drug interactions for some. People taking blood pressure pills, sedatives, anti-depressant medication should not take this tea without the consent of the doctor.
The Bottom Line
Soursop tea has a wide array of health benefits.
This tea has garnered a lot of interest from people all over the world because of its ability to prevent the development and spread of a few types of cancers.
Graviola is also highly effective in lowering blood pressure, boosting the immune system, promoting weight loss, and fighting microbial infections.
Powerful therapeutic properties in this tea may cause side effects if not used in moderation.