The soursop is a fruit found in a number of countries, especially in the tropics and it goes by different names, dependent on where you live. Some of the names are:
- Graviola (Brazil)
- Brazilian paw paw
- Guanabana (Spanish)
- Corrosol (French)
The word soursop is used by mostly English-Speaking territories. The fruit, as well as the leaves, are used for a number of reasons, which includes, diabetes, cancer, stress and hypertension. It comes as no surprise to see that the soursop plant is used by some to control diabetes.
Here is a picture of a section of the soursop tree and a fruit.
Graviola or soursop as it is known in the English-speaking world as an exotic fruit and the tree is mostly grown in the tropics.
In this article, we will take a look at how the soursop plant as a whole can be used as part of a plan to control and possibly eliminate diabetes. We will take a look at the fruit and the leaves. As is customary, we will also take a brief look at some of the other health benefits of using the soursop plant.
According to Florence, 2013, the leaves were used to treat diabetes in rats and was deemed to be very effective. A study on human beings is now needed for us to be able to speak more authoritatively on the matter.
At this point, I must add that I have experimented with the tea and had great results. I saw a drop in my readings by at least 2 points from drinking two cups of soursop tea per day for a total of 3 days.
I was reluctant to take it for longer because I believe in moderation and also the fact that I am only testing my blood glucose and blood pressure at home, without any knowledge of what is happening with my organs.
This is simply modern day fear. When I visited my grandparents as a child, they drank all manner of bush tea and coffee every single day and never worried about their organs. They didn’t even have visits to the doctor, as everything was treated at home. Guess what? They lived to a ripe old age. My grandfather lived beyond 100 years.
Health Benefits of the Soursop Leaf
The leaves have been used to treat the following:
- Diabetes. A tea is sometimes made from the leaves, after it is dried and pounded into a powder. This has been of benefit to persons suffering from diabetes, when they drink a few cups of the tea, over a period of time.
- Stop cancer cells from growing (proof is needed in this area, but some people insist it does). It is said that it kills cancer cells without damaging the good cells. Undoubtedly, cancer patients would prefer this option to chemotherapy, which has been known to wreak havoc on the body. Sometimes blood count gets low because of chemotherapy. Note that the iron content in soursop oftentimes take care of this matter.
- Stomach problems. Due to the medication some diabetics and persons suffering from high blood pressure, have to take, they sometimes have issues with their stomach. It is comforting to know that the leave and the fruit can alleviate these discomforts.
- Fever. A powder made from the leaves has been used to treat a sore throat, fever, and diarrhea.
- High blood pressure. A lot of diabetics also have to be treated for high blood pressure. It is good news to know that we can consume a tea or an extract from the leaves, and, in some countries also the bark of a fruit tree and diabetes, as well as high blood pressure will be addressed.
- Depression. It fights depression because of the presence of nor nuciferine and asimilobine. Note, the average person with a lifelong illness, gets depressed over time. Diabetes is no exception because it changes how we do things, what and when we eat. This sometimes places the diabetic in a stressful situation and over time, depression could become a reality. It sure is comforting to know that drinking some tea made from the leaves and the bark of the tree could also treat depression.
Other health issues the leaves can alleviate are:
- Calm the nerves.
- Sleeping disorders.
- Digestive issues.
- Bacterial infections.
- Urinary tract infections.
- Inflammatory issues.
- Heart rate issues.
- Blood vessel problems.
Making Graviola Tea
To make 1 cup of tea, you will need:
- 3 Graviola/Soursop leaves (use the older leaves from a mature tree)
- 1+1/2 cups of water
- 1 lime (we need the juice, discard the rest of the lime)
- Wash the leaves thoroughly
- Boil the water in a suitable size pot
- Add the leaves
- Turn flame on low and let simmer for 8 to 10 minutes
- Remove leaves, pour into a cup, add lime juice and enjoy (Note, you can add some honey to sweeten. You can omit the lime juice. I like adding lime or lemon because of the jazzed up taste and the numerous health benefits they too take to the table.)
The Soursop/Graviola fruit shapes like a heart and it is green in color. The outside has some spikes, whilst the inside is smooth and white. It also contains a lot of seeds, which are coated by the smooth, white flesh of the fruit. This white flesh is the edible part of the fruit.
The fruit has a sweetish-sourish tasty. It would probably be best described as tangy. I have seen the taste described as a mixture of strawberry and pineapple with a dash of lime.
The fruit is eaten raw or sometimes used to make a drink. The soursop drink was traditionally made in Jamaica, using the fruit, water, cinnamon powder, nutmeg, vanilla, and condensed milk.
As I grew, I saw a different version of the drink using the fruit, water, lime and sugar. I prefer the drink with the lime and I use just a little water and skip the sugar. I find it to be a refreshing drink and it suits me fine because the combination of soursop and limes are excellent in lowering my blood glucose.
The soursop fruit has many health benefits. Please continue to read. Here are the health benefits of the soursop fruit:
- Relieves constipation, thanks to the high fiber content of this exotic fruit.
- Prevents leg and muscle cramps. This is so because of the potassium content.
- Water retention is prevented because of the magnesium content of the soursop fruit.
- The niacin found in the soursop helps to improve the HDL and ultimately will have a positive effect on overall cholesterol.
- Folate is good for pregnant women to ensure that the baby arrives safe and sound. Soursop has enough folate to make baby and mommy happy.
- Soursop fruit can be one of your weight loss food because it is a high fiber food which will keep you feeling full for longer.
- This fruit will make you “go” due to the high content, and, for this reason, it helps to alleviate hemorrhoids.
- You can avoid having brittle bones by eating the soursop fruit or using it to make a drink.
- Soursop is also used to make us feel more relaxed. Thanks to the presence of Tryptophan, which is used to treat insomnia.
- The fruit has been used for issues with the liver. Over time, sometimes due to medication, diabetics may have to deal with liver issues. It is good to know that the soursop juice can help with the liver and also to reduce the inflammation in the body.
How to Make Soursop Drink
You will need:
- 1 ripe soursop (about 8 inches)
- 5 cups of water
- 1 tsp nutmeg (grated)
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Condensed milk to taste
- Sugar to taste
- Use your hand to peel the soursop
- Place the flesh in a large bowl
- Remove the seeds
- Place the flesh of the soursop into a blender
- Add the water and puree
- Strain, if you want a smooth drink (but, remember you will be throwing away the fiber). Add the other ingredients, mix, pour into a glass with ice and enjoy
- If you prefer to have the fiber as well, then add the other ingredients, blend, mix, pour into a glass with ice and enjoy
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The soursop is an exotic fruit found in tropical areas. It has many health benefits, including lowering blood glucose. I used both the leaves and the fruits with much success to lower my blood glucose.
The health benefits are beyond diabetes and also include high blood pressure, digestive issues, water retention, and high cholesterol to name few.
The soursop can be eaten raw, or used to make a drink.
It is abundantly clear that Mother Nature has supplied us with everything we need to be healthy and the soursop fruit, which is known by other names such as, Graviola (Brazil), Brazilian paw paw, Guanabana (Spanish), and, Corrosol (French) is no exception.
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- Florence NT, Benoit MZ, Jonas K, Alexandra T, Désiré DD, Pierre K, Théophile D. Antidiabetic and antioxidant effects of Annona muricata(Annonaceae), aqueous extract on streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. J Ethnopharmacol, 25 Sept., 2013. Web. 24 Aug., 2016.