Wednesday, July 28, 2010



Data sheet : GRAVIOLA

Scientific Name : Annona muricata L.

(Family Annonaceae; Genus Annona)

Common Names: soursop (US and the Caribbean); guanabana (Cuba, Caribbean); corosol (West Indies); katara ara tara (Cook Islands); laguana (Guam); sowasap (Nicaragua).

Clinical Overview

Graviola is mainly used for high blood pressure, as a sedative, as a stimulant of the central nervous system to treat nervous tension, for healing baths, and as an antibiotic, antiviral and antibacterial agent. It is often used to treat flu and fevers, while the leaves are used to relieve insomnia.

Anti-amoeba Activity

An extract from graviola has been found effective against some species of amoeba.

Anti-bacteria Activity

Various extracts (acetone, ethanol, or water) from graviola dried leaves, stem, bark, and roots have shown antibacterial action against E. coli and various species of Salmonella, Pseudomonas, Staphylococcus, Bacillus, and other bacteria.

Anti-depressant Activity

The fruit has been found to provide anti-depressive effects, believed to come from constituents such as annonaine, nornuciferine, and asimilobine. Any or all of these constituents appear to have the ability to stimulate serotonin receptors, helping to fight depression.

Antifungal Activity

Various extracts of graviola dried leaves, bark and stem have been effective against several fungi species such as Penicillum oxalicum, Cladosporium cucumerinum, and Neurospora crassa.

Liver protective Activity

A decoction of dried graviola leaves, tested in vitro, has demonstrated some protective activity against hepatocytes.

Anti-malaria Activity

Extracts from the dried leaves of graviola has shown mild protective activity against certain species of the malaria-causing Plasmodium.

Antiparasitic Activity

Graviola extracts from seeds have shown significant ability to protect against several species of parasites, including Nippostrongylus brasiliense, the infective larvae of Molinema desetae, and Trichomonas vaginalis.

Anti-tumor Activity

Methanol extracts from graviola leaves have shown therapeutic activity on tumors, consistent with acceptable therapeutic indexes.

Antiviral Activity

Extracts from graviola fruit has shown the ability to inhibit the actions of Herpes simplex virus -1.

Cardiac depressant Activity

A water extract from graviola bark has demonstrated depressant effects on the heart in animal studies.

Cytotoxic Activity

Extracts from graviola leaves and bark have been found to exercise toxic effects on cancer cells of the pancreas, lungs, prostate and liver. The most active constituents isolated from the graviola extracts include annopentocins, annomuricine, muricapentocin, muricoreacin, murihexocin, muricins A-G, muricatetrocins A-B, longifolicin, corossolin, and corossolone.

Data from in vitro studies have shown that alkaloids from graviola are detrimental to dopaminergic nerve cells. The cell-deaths induced by graviola extracts may be due to energy depletion, since the effect was slowed down after glucose supplementation. This could lead to neuron dysfunction and degeneration.

Blood pressure Effects

Ethanol and water extracts from graviola leaves and stem, administered intravenously to dogs at doses of 0.1 ml/kg body weight, have shown some hypertensive effects. On the other hand, hot water extracts of dried graviola leaves, administered intravenously to rats at doses of 1.0 ml/animal (not ml/kg body weight), have exercised hypotensive effects, lowering blood pressure by more than 30 percent.

Smooth Muscle Relaxant Activity

Ethanol and water extracts of graviola leaves and stem has shown relaxant effects on the smooth muscles of rabbit duodenum (the first section leading from the stomach of the small intestine), at concentrations of 3.3 ml/liter.

Spasmogenic Activity

Ethanol and water extracts of graviola leaves and stem has shown the ability to relieve spasms on the guinea pig ileum (the last section of the small intestine leading to the anus), at concentrations of 0.033 ml/liter.

Uterine Stimulant Activity

Ethanol and water extracts of graviola leaves and stem has stimulant affects on the uterus in animal studies, at a concentration of 0.033 mg/liter.

Other uses

Usage varies from one country to another, but in general graviola leaves, roots, and bark are used in traditional folk medicine treatments for cancer, convulsions, diarrhea, dysentery, fevers, venereal disease, and male impotence. Tea infusions from graviola are used for treatments of eye disease and disorders of the gastrointestinal tract. Drinks made from graviola leaves are also tapped for their relaxant and antispasmodic properties, to soothe muscles and relieve ulcer symptoms.


There is no information on dosage for specific ailments. It is clear there are health potential and benefits to be obtained from graviola, but there is a risk of hazardous side effects. Use of graviola for medicinal purposes should therefore be done only with professional guidance.


There are no large scale clinical studies on the effects of graviola in humans.


There are no large scale clinical studies on the effects of graviola in humans.


There are no large scale clinical studies on the effects of graviola in humans.

Adverse Reactions

Graviola may cause neural disorders affecting movement, resulting in symptoms akin to Parkinson’s disease, because of detrimental effects on dopaminergic nerve cells.


There are no large scale clinical studies on the effects of graviola in humans.


Soursop is a cherished fruit of the botanical family Annonaceae. It is native to tropical America. It is cultivated widely in the tropical regions of Central and South America, Florida and tropical Africa, as well as other tropical countries worldwide. It is a small tree that grows up to about 7 meters in height. Its leaves are oblong or nearly obovate, up to 15 cm long, smooth, shiny and pointed at both ends. They exude a pungent odor when crushed. The fruit is ovoid, about 18 cm long or longer, and is covered with scattered spine-like structures. The pulp is soft white, aromatic, fibrous and fleshy, with a pleasant sour flavor, and is often juiced or made into ice cream.


Graviola has been used for various purposes in many countries, including for asthma, chills, colds, diarrhea, dysentery, dyspepsia, fever, gallbladder ailments, high blood pressure, insomnia, internal ulcers, nephrosis, neurosis, palpitations, pellagra, skin diseases such as ringworm, scurvy and sores, and intestinal worms. Ecuador natives used graviola leaves as analgesic and antispasmodic. Tea made from graviola leaves in Latin America as a sedative and tranquilizer. Fasting patients drink graviola fruit juice for leprosy and liver ailments.


Graviola is rich in vitamins B and C, and phosphorus. For every 100 g of fruit, some of the constituents reported include 14 mg calcium, 21 mg phosphorus, 0.5 mg riboflavin, 1.3 mg niacin, and 24 mg ascorbic acid. The seeds contain 22.1 percent oil and 21.4 percent protein. The fruit is high in linoleic acid and contains unsaturated fats. Various acetogenins are present in the leaf and stem, which can be prepared as insecticides. Other compounds isolated from graviola include quinolines, annopentocins, annomuricins, and coreximine.

Medicinal Benefits of Soursop

Origin: Tropical America
  • Family: Annonaceae
  • Botanical Name: Annona muricata
  • Varieties: about nine, differing in shape, texture in flavors
  • Season: almost all the year round
  • Tree: height; up to 10 m
  • Fruit: length:12 - 24 cm; weight: 400 - 800 gm

Soursop is a fruit that has the most delectable flavor. The soursop is a large fruit of a small, fast-growing tree. The fruit is picked from the tree before it has fully ripened as it will be badly bruised if allowed to ripen and fall. The fruit is mature and is ready for eating when it feels slightly soft and is light green externally. The skin is thin and is covered with conical nibs. The white, pulpy flesh, which contains juice, is peppered with small shiny, black inedible seeds, and has a pleasant, sweet-acidic taste. As it is rather fibrous, its squeezed juice makes a better choice, and has, in fact become more popular than the fresh fruit as such. Soursop has few seedless varieties, but they are rare, and tend to have fibrous flesh.

Medicinal Benefits: Soursop is not only a delicious and healthy fruit but it is use medicinally to treat illness ranging from stomach ailments to worms.

  • The seeds, which have emetic properties, can be used in the treatment of vomiting.
  • The leaf decoction is effective for head lice and bedbugs.
  • The crushed fresh leaves can be applied on skin eruptions to promote healing.
  • The juice of the fruit can be taken orally as a remedy for urethritis, haematuria and liver ailments.
  • The juice when taken when fasting, it is believed to relieve liver ailments and leprosy.
  • To speed the healing of wounds, the flesh of the soursop is applied as a poultice unchanged for 3 days.
  • A decoction of the young shoots or leaves is regarded as a remedy for gall bladder trouble, as well as coughs, catarrh, diarrhea, dysentery, fever and indigestion.
  • Mashed leaves are used as a poultice to alleviate eczema and other skin problems and rheumatism.
  • The root bark is use as an antidote for poisoning.
  • Soursop flowers are believed to alleviate catarrh.
  • Decoction of leaves used as compresses for inflammation and swollen feet.

Nutrient Value per 100 grams servings:

  • Vitamin: C 20.6
  • Calcium: 14
  • Iron: 0.6
  • Calories: 66
  • Dietary Fiber: 3.3g
  • Protein: 1g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 14mg
  • Sugars: 13.54g
  • Total Carbohydrate: 16.84g
  • Total Fat: 0.3g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.05g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 0.09g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.06g

Culinary uses: eaten fresh as fruit; made into cakes, ice cream, preserved, beverages and for flavoring. The young soursop, where the seeds are still soft, is used as a vegetable. The fermented fruit is also use to make an apple cider-like drink.