Soursop, also known as graviola tea or soursop tea, is a natural tea with a surprising array of health benefits. This tea is not only extremely refreshing in taste, but also contains a rich amount of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
But the health benefits of soursop go beyond just healthy nutrients: recent scientific research suggests that drinking soursop tea can also, among other things, boost the immune system, reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure and even fight cancer.
In this article, we examine the health benefits of soursop and extracts from soursop leaves. We discuss the scientific findings on how soursop can assist us in improving our health and support us in many physical ailments.
Table of contents
What is soursop?
Soursop, also known by the names graviola, guyabano and guanábana, is the fruit of the soursop tree (Annona muricata); a leafy, flowering, green tree native to the tropical regions of the Americas and the Caribbean.
This tree belongs to the same genus, Annona, as cherimoya and is a member of the Annonaceae family.
The fruit has an aroma similar to pineapple, with a flavor described as a combination of strawberry, apple and sour citrus with an underlying thick, creamy texture reminiscent of banana.
The Annona muricata fruit is often called soursop because of its slightly sour taste when ripening. It is a widely cultivated tree and in some areas even invasive in tropical and subtropical climates around the world, such as India. The fruit is green and spiny and is oval-shaped, up to 30 centimeters long and has a medium-firm texture. The flesh is juicy, acidic, white and aromatic.
Soursop is grown for its 20-30 cm long, spiny, green fruit weighing up to 6.8 kg. It is grown mainly in Mexico, followed by Peru, Brazil, Ecuador, Guatemala and Haiti.
The fruit consists of edible, white pulp, some fiber and a core of non-digestible black seeds. The pulp is used to make smoothies, fruit drinks, candies and sorbets.
Soursop is not only a tasty fruit, but is also often used for medical purposes.
The leaves of the soursop tree contain substances that, according to native medicine, include analgesic, anti-inflammatory and anti-parasitic properties. In some cultures, the leaves are used as a tea to treat conditions such as headaches, colds and flu. It is also claimed that soursop is able to kill cancer cells and strengthen the immune system, although more research is needed to confirm these claims.
What is soursop tea?
Soursop tea is an herbal tea made from soursop leaves (leaves of the soursop tree). These leaves contain antioxidants such as flavonoids, phytosterols and tannins.
Soursop tea is also called graviola tea, and guanabana tea. It is claimed to have significant powers to prevent or treat cancer. Although studies to date are promising, more research is needed.
Soursop tea has been used in some cultures for years to address various health problems. Thanks to the growing scientific interest in this tea, more and more studies are being conducted on its potential health benefits.
Soursop tea contains no caffeine because it is not made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, like black or green tea. It is brewed from only parts of the soursop tree, which contains no caffeine. Therefore, soursop tea is completely caffeine-free.
What are the health benefits of soursop?
Some health benefits of soursop are described below:
Strengthens the immune system.
Soursop can be an effective way to strengthen the immune system. Recent research has shown that soursop is rich in antioxidants known for their strengthening effect on the immune system.
For example, one study showed how soursop leaf extract showed anti-inflammatory properties, increasing levels of IL-10, a protein that regulates the immune system.
Moreover, soursop also contains polyphenols, substances scientifically proven to support the immune system.(1)
May fight inflammation.
Acidosis is increasingly associated with its ability to reduce inflammation.
Scientific research suggests that this is due to the presence of anti-inflammatory components in soursop, such as antioxidants and polyphenols.
These help control inflammation by promoting the production ofanti-inflammatory substances in the body, while reducing the activity of pro-inflammatory substances.
Although more research is needed to determine the exact effect of soursop on inflammation, drinking soursop tea appears to be a useful addition to a healthy lifestyle aimed at controlling inflammation.(2)
May lower blood pressure
Scientific studies have shown that drinking soursop tea can lower blood pressure. This is because the substances in soursop reduce the amount of calcium in the blood. This allows blood vessels to relax and lowers blood pressure.
Furthermore, soursop also seems to lower levels of uric acid in the blood. Several studies have found that the blood pressure of people who drank soursop tea was significantly lower than that of people who did not drink soursop tea.
May help treat and prevent cancer
Studies have shown that soursop leaf extracts contain compounds with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antiproliferative effects, each of which can help prevent the growth and spread of cancer cells.
All parts of the soursop tree, but particularly the leaves have been found to contain high levels of acetogenins, which are natural compounds that can induce apoptosis (programmed cell death), in cancer cells without causing damage to normal cells.
One of the most promising properties of soursop is its ability to specifically target cancer cells.
It has been found to inhibit the growth of several types of cancer, including breast, prostate, colon, lung, leukemia, pancreatic and skin cancers.
Moreover, soursopextracts have been shown to improve the efficacy of chemotherapy in some cases, making it a potential complementary treatment.
However, it is important to note that most studies to date have been conducted on animal models or in vitro (in a laboratory setting) and more research is needed to determine the full potential of soursop in cancer treatment.
May fight bacterial, parasitic and fungal infections
Studies have been conducted on the uses of different parts of the soursop tree for their action against pathogens and parasites.
Some studies have found that certain extracts of soursop leaves have moderate antifungal and antiparasitic activity against organisms such as Candida, Cryptococcus neoformans and Leishmania species.
Extracts of soursop leaves also have a strong effect against filarial larvae, although still at higher doses than the reference drug ivermectin.
In addition to these traditional uses, a study showed that the extracts of a close relative of soursop (A. reticulata) had powerful larvicide and antifungal effects without harming surrounding insects.
It is important to emphasize that more research is needed to determine the safety and effectiveness of soursop for treating various health problems.
May help with weight loss.
Based on recent studies, it seems that soursop may have potential weight loss benefits.
One study found that the soursop leaf extract had no negative effects on the central nervous system, behavior or mortality.
On the contrary, it was found to reduce body weight by lowering the concentrations of LDL cholesterol, VLDL cholesterol, triglycerides and the atherogenic index.
This means it can not only promote weight loss, but also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Another study confirmed the traditional use of soursop for weight loss and found that it improved glucose tolerance at higher concentrations of the extract.
However, it is important to note that these results were obtained from experiments on animals, and further research is needed to confirm these findings in humans.
The potential weight loss benefits of soursop are intriguing, but more research is needed to fully understand its effects on the body and potential risks.
May protect heart health
According to recent studies, soursop has proven to keep the heart healthy. It contains antioxidants and minerals that help keep blood vessels healthy and reduce the risk of heart disease.
One of these substances is annonacin, a substance with anti-inflammatory properties and contributes to healthy cholesterol levels.
A study conducted in rats showed that regular drinking of soursop tea reduced blood levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) and increased levels of good cholesterol (HDL).
This can help improve heart health and prevent heart disease.
Studies also suggest that soursop leaf extract may improve blood circulation, which is important for delivering oxygen and nutrients to the heart and other parts of the body.
In addition, the extract has been shown to have anti-thrombotic effects, meaning it can prevent the formation of harmful blood clots that can lead to heart attack or stroke.
Although further research is needed to determine the effects on humans, these results are promising.
Helps heal wounds and keep skin healthy
Wound healing is an important process in the human body involving the repair and restoration of damaged skin and tissue.
In recent years, there has been increasing interest in the potential benefits of extracts from soursop leaves in promoting this process.
Research suggests that soursop leaf extract has a number of properties that may help accelerate wound healing and reduce inflammation.
One of the main ways in which soursop leaf extract promotes wound healing is by stimulating collagen production. Collagen is a protein essential for repairing and rebuilding tissue.
In studies, soursopextracts have been shown to increase collagen production in wound tissue, which can help speed up the healing process and reduce the risk of scarring.
In addition, about 70% of our skin consists of collagen. As a result, it not only promotes the healing of wounds, but also makes the skin healthier in the long run.
In addition to its potential benefits for wound healing, soursop leaf extracts also have antiseptic properties, which can help prevent and treat infections that can occur in wounds.
Although more research is needed to fully understand the extent of these benefits, there is increasing evidence to indicate that soursop leaf extract can be a powerful tool in the healing process.(23)
May help patients with diabetes
Research has shown that soursop has the potential to prevent and even treat diabetes.
Soursop extracts contain high levels of various antioxidants, which can help reduce oxidative stress. This is important for people with diabetes because oxidative stress can make the disease worse and more difficult to manage.
Moreover, soursop extracts have anti-inflammatory properties, which can also help manage diabetes symptoms.
Another potential benefit of soursop is that it helps regulate blood sugar levels.
Research has found that the compounds in the soursop tree can increase insulin sensitivity and reduce insulin resistance.
These properties make soursop leaf extract a promising natural alternative for people with diabetes.
Although more research is needed to confirm these benefits, the findings so far are promising.
Health risks of soursop.
A recent study looked at 39 articles studying the effects of soursop leaf extract, including 32 on how it works in the body, 2 on how it is processed by the body and 5 on whether it is safe for humans. The studies include animal studies, in vitro studies and human studies.
The study found that of 12 toxicity tests, only one study reported behavioral symptoms of toxicity in mice at an oral dose of 4000 mg/kg (and very high dose) in response to soursop leaf extract.
Studies have also been done that analyzed whether high doses of soursop leaf extract over long periods of time can lead to liver problems.
Nine studies looked at the effects on liver function, eight of which showed protective effects and one showed harmful effects.
Although the results of these studies are promising, more research is needed to fully understand the potential health risks of soursop extracts.
It is important to remember that although soursop extracts may have health benefits, it is recommended it be taken under the supervision of a health care professional.(26)
Side effects of soursop.
Although soursop and soursop tea is considered safe for most people, there is always the possibility of side effects. The following side effects are sometimes reported:
Drowsiness is a known side effect of drinking soursop tea. This is due to the presence of natural relaxants in the tea.
Keep in mind that too much soursop can intensify drowsiness and affect concentration and reaction time.
Nausea is also a potential side effect of too much soursop. This may occur in people with sensitive stomachs or who drink soursop tea in large quantities.
People with liver problems should be careful when drinking soursop tea. This is because, according to one study, soursop can negatively affect the liver.
However, more research is needed to determine to what extent this applies to humans, given that this study was done on mice(26)
Who is not recommended to consume soursop?
Soursop is usually considered healthy, but there are certain groups of people for whom it is not recommended to consume soursop.
Pregnant or breastfeeding women
Because of the still unknown effect of soursop extract on pregnant women and its effect on the fetus and baby, it is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women to consume soursop.
People with low blood pressure
Because soursop can greatly lower blood pressure, it is not recommended for people with low blood pressure to drink the tea.
People with liver or kidney problems
Since the long-term effect of soursop is still unclear on the liver and kidneys, it is not recommended for those with current liver or kidney problems to consume soursop.
In conclusion, we argue that the soursop tree is an incredibly versatile tree with a myriad of health benefits.
While it is important to always lead a balanced and healthy life, soursop can certainly contribute positively to your health and well-being.
There are scientific indications suggesting that soursop extract may be useful in treating various health problems, including inflammation, cancer, diabetes, infections and cardiovascular disease.
However, the scientific evidence on the health benefits of soursop and its extracts is not yet definitive and more research is needed to confirm these findings.
It is also important to note that, according to one of the 12 toxicity tests, soursop extract can be potentially toxic to the liver when consumed in excessive amounts.
If you have medical problems or are taking medications, it is wise to consult with your doctor before starting to consume soursop.
Dried Wild Soursop Leaves
Frequently asked questions:
What does soursop taste like?
Soursop has a unique flavor that can be described as a combination of sour, sweet and fresh. It is similar to the taste of a mixture of apple, pineapple and lime.
What does soursop tea taste like?
Soursop tea has a delicious, subtle flavor similar to that of Greek mountain tea, for example.
Does soursop tea make you sleepy?
Soursop tea can make some people feel sleepy. However, soursop tea especially lets you relax. This makes it ideal for drinking in the evening.
When is the best time to drink soursop tea?
The best time to drink soursop tea depends on personal preference and the purpose of drinking it. Some people find it best to drink before bed, while others prefer to drink it in the morning.
Does soursop tea contain caffeine?
Soursop tea does not contain caffeine.
What is soursop tea good for?
Soursop leaves contain rich amounts of antioxidants, such as flavonoids which help neutralize free radicals, regenerate body cells and strengthen the immune system.
In addition, soursop tea contains numerous other benefits, each of which has been discussed in this article.
Where do I buy soursop leaves?
You can buy soursop leaves in our web shop. To do so, go to https://graviolashop.co.uk/shop/
How much soursop tea a day?
It is unclear what the limits of drinking soursop tea are, but research and experiences of many of our customers indicate that it is fine to drink the tea 1 -3 times a day. However, it is important to take a break every now and then for at least a week.
Can you drink soursop tea every day?
It is fine to drink soursop tea daily, but if you are taking medication or trying to recover from an illness, it is important to consult with your doctor.
Is soursop healthy?
Yes, soursop is very healthy. It is rich in vitamin C, B vitamins and antioxidants. It is also touted for its anti-cancer properties and ability to strengthen the immune system.
Where can I buy soursop?
You can buy soursop from us, at graviolashop.co.uk