Soursop tree is an evergreen tree which is small and grows fast. Here, we will talk about soursop fruit & leaves benefits and medicinal uses.
Soursop attains a height of 7 meters. The soursop fruit is 13-15 cm in length and picked before it ripens otherwise it will get damaged if it falls down. The blooming and fruiting occurs throughout the year. The fruit is edible, ovoid berry with 50 to 150 black seeds.
All parts of the plant including the roots, fruits, leaves, and bark find use in traditional medicine. The active ingredient is present in great amounts in the leaves in the form of acetogenins.
Common names of the soursop tree
The common name of this plant is soursop. Other names include Guanabana, Graviola, Corossol, and Mullaatha.
Botanical name and family of Guanabana
The botanical name is Annona muricata. It belongs to the Annonaceae family.
Geological places where Annona muricata grows
It is native to Mexico and Cuba because it grows well in the rain-forest regions. You will also find it growing in Southeast Asia, South America, and Africa. It also grows in Australia and Polynesia. In India, it grows in the Eastern Ghats region and certain parts of Andhra Pradesh.
Soursop fruit & leaves benefits and medicinal uses
This is a medicinal magic fruit used since ancient times to cure a variety of ailments. Here is a look at them.
- Soursop leave are anti-arthritic: It helps make swelling less in arthritic patients. Apply the paste of the leaves to the bone joints to get relief from pain and swelling in joints.
- Antimalarial: For those who suffer from malaria, the decoction of the roots helps to calm the fever and give relief.
- Uterine stimulant: When women have delayed periods, the juice of the soursop fruit along with crushed flowers help to stimulate the period.
- Anti-crustacean: You can get rid of fish worm, fish leeches, and gill maggots to keep your fish tank fresh and healthy for the fishes using the Annona muricata leaf extract.
- Anti-parasitic: You can get rid of insects especially in children using the soursop extract. Drink this in the morning on an empty stomach for the best results.
- Cytotoxic (acetogenins): Due to their cytotoxic nature, the guanabana help in developing anti-tumor drugs. It is also used as a pesticide.
- Cardiac depressant: Preparations of the Annona muricata is helpful for the treatment of cardiac arrhythmia. This can be given to patients to offset the shock at various stages.
- Anti-amoebic: If you have amoebic dysentery, drink the infusion of the leaves in the morning on an empty stomach. This will get rid of the amoeba in the stomach.
- Antibacterial: Annona muricata shows good antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. It even shows potency against multi-drug resistant S. aureus bacteria and also against Herpes simplex virus.
- Anti-fungal: You can use the decoction of the Guanabana tree to treat fungal infections.
- Hypertensive: It is hypertensive by nature and the decoction is used along with the leaves of avocado to control the blood pressure.
- Anti-spasmogenic: You can apply the crushed seeds of Annona muricata externally to control muscle spasms.
- Vasodilator: The use of Guanabana plant extract is useful for dilating the blood vessels to improve the flow of blood.
- Insecticide: The seed extracts have an insecticidal activity. This might be due to the presence of acetogenins, alkaloids, and fatty acids. You can kill most of the insects with this.
- Sedative action: The Graviola leaves helps in the recovery of the heart muscle because of its smooth muscle relaxant property. The crushed leaves are cardio tonic and used to help the heart attack patients recover faster. The decoction of the leaves when combined with Ludwigia erecta helps treat hypertension and palpitations of the heart. The sedative action is due to the pungent aroma of the leaves. You can either have the infusion or place it under the pillow to get good sleep.
- Pain relief: The narcotic effect of the plant extract is useful for giving relief from pain. It helps divert the pain by distracting the mind.
- Cure for digestive complaints: The crushed leaves along with salt find use for many ailments such as complaints to the digestive tract. You can cure abdominal distension by having the decoction of the bark at night. If you suffer from dyspepsia, have a glass of the decoction of Guanabana extract. You can also use the extract of the seeds to cure intestinal complaints.
- Treatment for cough and cold: You can use the crushed leaves for treating cold and coughs. It is also effective for treating rheumatism. Add crushed flower buds to a teaspoon of honey and have this to get relief from coughs.
- Good for fatigue: You can relieve fatigue by having the infusion of the leaves. It will instantly revive you. Massaging with the leaves is good for relieving nervous shock.
- General tonic: People make a general tonic from the fruit and drink it for curing a fever and headache. It helps reduce hypertension also. The tonic helps improve the heart health.
- Stop bleeding: People rub the green bark on the bleeding wounds to stop bleeding.
- Cure for bed-wetting: It is useful for stopping bed-wetting in children.
- Boils: To mature abscesses and boils, you can use the crushed soursop leaves.
- Antiscorbutic property: People use the extract of the Guanabana plant to fight scurvy. Drink one glass of the infusion of the leaves and flowers to cure the symptoms and also prevent scurvy.
- Stop hyperhidrosis: The Annona muricata is helpful for regulating the body temperature and stopping excessive sweating. If you have this problem, have one glass of the infusion morning and evening. This will help to reduce the sweating. All the excess perspiration in the hands and feet will decrease.
- Stop nervous attacks: You can control anxiety attacks by having the decoction as it has a good, calming effect. You can add the flower or the flower bud to the tea to help strengthen the nerves.
- Treat convulsions: The seed is useful for treating convulsions.The seeds of the fruit are toxic. Do not attempt to treat yourself especially when you show adverse signs. Consult a doctor is you show signs like rashes, fever, or vomiting.