Soursop: 9 Surprising Benefits | Some of the most impressive health benefits of soursop include its ability to kill off parasites, reduce inflammation, improve respiratory conditions, sedate the body and mind, heal the skin, treat certain kinds of cancer, boost the immune system, soothe the stomach, and relieve pain.
Commonly known in Ghana as Aluguntugbui, Ghana Health News takes you on a tour of this wonderful plant
If you have travelled extensively in Mexico, the Caribbean, and parts of South America, then you have likely seen the soursop tree, which is an evergreen tree with the scientific name Annona muricata. The taste of the soursop fruit is a delicious combination of strawberry and pineapple, with other sweet and citrus notes that make it very popular in these parts of the world. It is also cultivated in Africa, and occasionally in Southeast Asia, and even in Florida. However, it is most popularly grown for individual consumption as a garden fruit. The soursop is only one type of Annona, and one of the largest as well, with a number of different uses. The soft pulp and fibre of the fruit is used for beverages, desserts, smoothies, and candy, as well as a wealth of traditional medical treatments that are used in many parts of the world.
While the flavour is enough to make this a popular fruit, the rich vitamin and nutrient content within the fruit includes vitamin C, vitamin B, and a number of antioxidant compounds. The juice from soursop has been used topically, while pulverized seeds and decoctions made of leaves are also popular forms for natural remedies. You can also use the leaves and pulverized seeds to brew a powerful tea, which also has a number of impressive effects on the human body. Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the many health benefits of soursop.
Health Benefits of Soursop
The anti-parasitic nature of soursop has made it a popular treatment in many of the rural areas of Latin America and South America, particularly in areas where parasitic infections are more common. By brewing a tea from the leaves of the fruit, you can cleanse your gut and ensure that your gastrointestinal system is running smoothly.
Soursop | Has Anti-inflammatory Properties
If you are suffering from joint pain or inflammation, particularly from conditions like gout or arthritis, then rubbing a decoction of soursop on the affected area can be a wonderful way to find some relief. The anti-inflammatory compounds found in soursop can quickly speed healing in affected areas, while also soothing pain and improving flexibility.
Relieves Respiratory Distress
If you are struggling with a cough, cold, or other forms of respiratory ailment, then soursop’s anti-inflammatory properties can help to clear out your airways, relieve congestion, and soothe irritation. Acting partially as an expectorant, soursop is a reliable way to eliminate phlegm and mucus, where many pathogens can live. By reducing inflammation of the nasal cavities and respiratory tracts, it can also speed healing.
Soursop tea has been used as a stress-relieving strategy for centuries. There are certain anti-inflammatory and soothing properties of soursop that make it very effective if you are suffering from excess stress and anxiety. Stress hormones in the body can be detrimental and can mess with your natural metabolic cycles, as well as your sleep schedule. If you’re suffering from insomnia or restless sleep, soursop tea is a wise choice.
You can pulverize the seeds of the soursop fruit into a powder, which can then be formulated into a skin astringent, helping you to reduce lines and wrinkles, and improve the appearance of age spots and blemishes. Topically apply this paste to the affected areas regularly and enjoy healthier skin, while also protecting yourself from bacterial and microbial infections.
Some of the most interesting benefits of soursop relate to its antioxidant activity, which namely comes from acetogenins, as well as quinolones and alkaloids. These have been directly linked to cancer prevention and the reduction in the size of tumours. Extensive research has been done on the unique organic compounds of soursop and it has been widely studied as an alternative cancer treatment. These acetogenins are actually unique to the Annonanaceae plant family, which is what makes them so fascinating. They can apparently cut off blood flow to foreign or non-normal cellular growths, and have already been positively associated with treating breast, pancreatic, prostate, and lung cancers.
Protecting the immune system is one of the most important components of a healthy diet and fitness regimen. Adding a bit of soursop fruit to your diet, either through refreshing beverages or desserts, can positively impact your overall health and keep those illnesses at bay. Rich in vitamin C, this fruit stimulates the production of white blood cells, while the concentration of antioxidants helps to neutralize free radicals and prevent chronic disease.
Improves Gastrointestinal Health
Being rich in vitamin C, soursop was used for many years as a natural remedy for scurvy and dysentery. The juice of the soursop fruit can also be a very effective diuretic, to cleanse the gastrointestinal tract and remove excess toxins and salts from the body. The anti-inflammatory components, including the alkaloids and quinolones, can reduce parasites in the gut and alleviate any pain and irritation in the stomach/colon.
Has Analgesic Properties
In terms of pain relief, soursop has been topically applied to wounds and injuries for generations, but also works internally to relieve pain and speed healing. The sedative and anti-inflammatory aspects of this impressive tropical fruit make it an ideal solution for all types of body pain, both inside and out.
Word of Caution
While these traditional and proven uses are powerful and effective, it is important to discuss any new additions to your health regiment with a trained medical professional. Particularly in terms of its cancer-fighting potential, it is wise to seek out multiple opinions before developing your treatment profile. And as always, everything in moderation!