Many people seek natural cures for their disorders, and it’s, well, only natural for them to feel that artificial anything is not the best. Who wants to eat an artificial carrot? Moreover, if you can find a medicine made by nature, you will not need a costly prescription.
Natural is good, but some in the pharmaceutical industry will tell you that natural cures or alternative medicine don’t work. Could it be that they can’t make money off something you can pick from a tree or plant?
A lot of pharmaceuticals are based on the medicinal powers of plant-based sources. Aspirin, for example, contains salicylate, a compound found in the willow tree. The herbal extract from the bark has been used in native medicine to relieve pain, inflammation, and fever for thousands of years.
In all fairness, there are many incredible lifesaving medicines developed by the pharmaceutical industry. Everyone, however, is responsible for their health and should be able to seek their own path to wellness; this brings us to the subject at hand, soursop.
If you’re here because you or a loved one has cancer and have heard about soursop tea, then let’s discover if this is something that could be used in your battle for health.
What is soursop?
Soursop is the fruit of a small evergreen tree called Graviola found in tropical and sub-tropical areas. Annona muricata is the scientific name, and it belongs to the Annonaceae family. The fact that it belongs to the Annonaceae family we will find relevant in this discussion later.
Soursop is the fruit of the Graviola tree; heart-shaped and edible, it is rich in Vitamin C. But the term soursop generally refers to all parts of the tree. Soursop tea, for instance, is made from the leaves of the Graviola tree, not the fruit.
The leaves, fruit and fruit seeds, bark, and roots all have specific properties and benefits. All parts of the Annona muricata tree are used in traditional and alternative medicines. Some of these natural cures used around the world include:
- The fruit and its juice remove parasites and worms, cools fever, and acts as an astringent for diarrhea and dysentery.
- Seeds are crushed and taken to kill or expel parasitic worms and head lice.
- In the Brazilian Amazon, soursop leaf tea is used for liver-related problems.
- Soursop oil from the leaves is mixed with olive oil and used externally for arthritis pain, rheumatism, and neuralgia.
- Africa and South America use Annona muricata as a source in their conventional medicine.
Increasingly cancer patients are having concerns about the effectiveness of mainstream cancer treatment options. This concern has driven patients and their concerned families to search for alternatives to complement or replace surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy.
There are many phytochemicals and bioactive compounds in soursop that show promise for the treatment of cancer. Since the 1940s, scientists have researched these compounds validating many of soursop’s natural uses in medicine. Research has shown that the Graviola tree not only has anticonvulsant, antiparasitic, anti-arthritic, antimalarial, antidiabetic properties but, notably – anti-cancer properties.
Extracts of the Graviola contain compounds that may be effective against cancer cells. Of the 212 compounds that have been isolated from different parts of Annona muricata, the major biological and biochemical components are found to be Annonaceous acetogenins (AGEs.) Multiple types of AGEs have been studied for their use against tumor cells. (Remember that Graviola belongs to the Annonaceae family? Now you know why.)
One of the main contributors to cancer formation is when a cell loses its ability to execute apoptosis, which is programmed cell death. Your body eliminates billions of unwanted cells through apoptotic pathways every day. The process fragments the nuclear DNA of an unwanted cell or a cell whose DNA has been damaged.
If apoptosis is stopped, it can result in uncontrolled cell growth and tumor formation. A dysfunctional apoptotic pathway has been found in various cancer types, including pancreatic, breast, ovarian, and cancers of the colon or rectum.
Apoptosis kills the targeted cells by triggering the release of agents that are toxic to the offending cell. AGEs from extracts of soursop leaves were shown to induce a cancer patients’ immune system to produce cytotoxic agents to destroy cancer cells. These reactions have increased interest among scientists in the benefits of Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM), especially plant-based CAM.
Source: US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6019487/
Let’s have tea – Soursop tea benefits
We have discussed the reason biological compounds of Graviola are thought to be a cancer treatment alternative or complementary medicine. Cancer researchers have been able to study the components of soursop and verify their actions in specific biological processes; this doesn’t mean if you drink soursop tea, you will be cured of cancer.
However, with all the bioactive elements in Graviola and its leaves, it only makes sense that soursop tea may have some health benefits. Several of the bioactive compounds contained in soursop leaves are essential for health. Brewing green tea with soursop leaves can increase the benefits of the active compounds.
With the considerable evidence regarding the medicinal aspects of Graviola, the soursop tea extracts prepared from the leaves have become a vouched-for commodity. Commercial sellers have products involving soursop leaf powders and tea bags for tea extracts. There is also the selling of dried leaves in traditional medicine shops meant for soursop tea preparations.
You can also find soursop leaves online to purchase. The information available is tremendous about this popular plant. There is both positive and negative information. Some will say there are harmful side effects. If you want to try this tea, it is recommended to start out slow, don’t overindulge, and see how you feel. Consult your doctor if you are unsure about consuming soursop tea for your health.