I have already posted about the benefits of soursop on my previous post which titled, New Cancer Cell Killing Machine. I guess, a single post will not be enough. This post will be the second chapter, or
Another Facts About Soursop.
Soursop (Annona muricata Linn.), a fruit from Annonaceae family, which is also known as guanábana (Spanish), graviola (Portuguese), and sirsak (Bahasa Indonesia), is considered as a scam, when I tried to post about the huge benefits from this sour fruit, on a cancer forum, by some people that I considered as the
Big Pharma representatives. So, are soursop benefits really a scam?
History of Soursop as Folk Medicine
Soursop juice is my second favorite drink after avocado juice. Soursop juice is said to be diuretic and might use as a remedy for haematuria (the presence of red blood cells in the urine), and urethritis (inflammation of the urethra). Taken when fasting, it is believed to relieve liver ailments and leprosy . Soursop fruit is not only can be used to make a fruit juice, it can also be used as a bait in fish traps, while the barks, seeds, and roots, is used as fish poison. The seeds and leaves are effective pesticides against head lice, and bedbugs. This is interesting. It will be another natural way to get rid of head lice.
Powdered unripe soursop fruit is used as a remedy to treat dysentery. The flesh of an acid soursop is applied as a poultice unchanged for 3 days, to draw out chiggers (tiny, six-legged wingless organisms that grow up to become a type of mite) and speed healing.
In Materia Medica of British Guiana, it is written that crushing soursop leaves are soaked in water. The leaves is used to rub in the forehead, while the the water is drunk to a drunken man to get him sober in a minute. Although the formula may not have been widely tested, but soursop leaves are regarded as having sedative effect and soporific (causing to sleep) properties.
In the Netherlands Antilles, the leaves are put into one's pillowslip, strewn on the bed, or taken internally, to promote a good night's sleep. This is also interesting! It could be another way to get a good night's sleep.
In Ecuador, soursop is taken as an analgesic and antispasmodic (medication that help to relieve, prevent, or lower the incidence of muscle spasms). In Africa, it is given to children to treat fever. In West Indies, the decoction of the young shoots, or leaves is used as a remedy for gall bladder, coughs, catarrh, diarrhea, dysentery and indigestion.
Soursop is also said to cool the blood, in which is able to stop vomiting and aid delivery in childbirth. The decoction is also employed in wet compresses on inflammations and swollen feet. The chewed leaves, mixed with saliva, are applied to incisions after surgery, causing proudflesh (swollen flesh that surrounds a healing wound) to disappear without leaving a scar.
Mashed leaves are used as a poultice to treat eczema, skin afflictions and rheumatism. The sap of young leaves is put on skin eruptions. The soursop roots are employed as a vermifuge, and the root bark is used as an antidote for poisoning. (Morton, J. 1987)
My Own Experiences
My father once experienced with the treatment using soursop leaves tea. It was happened a year after I wrote the post. My father was diagnosed of having a light stroke. He managed to lower his blood pressure, shortly after three days of drinking 500ml soursop leaves tea everyday, along with drinking the medication from the doctor.
I also once used to eat one, or two soursop leaves, shortly after I picked it from the tree, and without washing it, when I felt tired in the evening. But I am not doing it regularly, because I had a low blood pressure. If I consume soursop everyday, whether its leaves, or its fruit juice, it may lower my blood pressure to unsafe levels. So, I did it at least once per month.
Anti-tumor and Anti-cancer Studies
A study in AgrEvo Research Center, Pikeville, North Carolina, US, was made soursop as new cancer cell killing machine. A compound that is isolated from the seeds of soursop, cis-annonacin, was selectively cytotoxic to colon adenocarcinoma cells, in which it was 10,000 times the potency of adriamycin, a commonly used chemotherapeutic drug. (Rieser MJ, et al. 1996)
A study in Purdue University found that, five Annonaceous acetogenins, alkaloid compounds from the leaves of soursop, were cytotoxic to colon, pancreatic, and lung carcinoma cells lines, with the potencial treatment equal to, or exceeding from those with adriamycin. (Zeng L, et al. 1996)
Still in Purdue University, another studies found that, bullatacin, one of Annonaceous acetogenins, is cytotoxic against multidrug resistant human mammary adenocarcinoma cells, cancer cells that are resistant to the treatment with adriamycin, vincristine, and vinblastine. The study also found that bullatacin offered a special advantage in the chemotherapeutic treatment of multidrug resistant tumors. (Oberlies NH, et al. May 1997 & June 1997)
Muricoreacin and murihexocin C, Annonaceous acetogenins that are isolated from the leaves of soursop, had shown significant cytotoxicities among six human tumor cell lines, especially to prostate adenocarcinoma, and pancreatic carcinoma cell lines. (Kim GS, et al. 1998)
Soursop had been found to be a promising new anti-tumor agent in numerous in vitro studies. Recent study in Universiti Putra Malaysia, had demonstrated the chemopreventive effects of soursop leaves extract in skin papillomagenesis induced mice. The study suggested that soursop leaves extract was able to suppress tumor initiation and promotion even at lower dosage. (Hamizah S, et al. 2012)
Pancreatic tumors are resistant to conventional chemotherapies. A study in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Omaha, Nebraska, US, had demonstrated the potential of soursop as a therapeutic agent for pancreatic cancer. The study revealed that soursop managed to induce necrosis of pancreatic cancer cells by inhibiting cellular metabolism, in which indicated the promising characteristics of soursop against the lethal disease of pancreatic cancer. (Torres MP, et al. 2012)
A pack of 28 soursop leaves is sold on Amazon.com for $7.95. You will not be receiving a fruit or tea bags. All you have to do is to dry the leaves in a room temperature, by avoiding direct sunlight for a whole day. Boil three or five leaves to make a tea, and drink it in the evening.