What is Soursop?
Soursop is an amazingly delicious fruit that is grown in Central and South America and the Caribbean. It is used in making juices, ice cream, and many other recipes. It can also be eaten raw. Asides its excellent taste, soursop has loads of health benefits. Let’s get talking!
11 Health Benefits of Soursop Fruit
Kills Cancer Cells
Soursop has the ability to kill cancer cells. Medical practitioners consider it a better alternative to chemotherapeutic drugs because it does not harm healthy cells in the process of killing cancer cells. Its effect has been proven with breast and liver cancer cells. Do you want to prevent cancer? Regular consumption of soursop may just be the answer!
Improves Eye Health
Soursop is bursting with antioxidants. It contains vitamins A, C, E, zinc, and natural carotenoid compounds that keep the eyes healthy. Soursop delays the development of cataracts and the rate of macular degeneration.
Soursop contains antioxidants that protect the body from diseases. Also, its vitamin C content stimulates the production of lymphocytes which defend the body against infections.
As a result of its antioxidant content, soursop combats inflammation that comes from arthritis.
Studies show that centuries ago, natives of Central and South America used some parts of the soursop plant to treat inflammation from snake bites.
Promotes Liver Health
A liver malfunction may cause the accumulation of bilirubin which is supposed to be broken down and excreted in feces and urine. This is one of the causes of jaundice.
Soursop combats jaundice and regulates bilirubin levels. It also protects the liver from jaundice that is medication-caused.
Studies show that soursop enables the pancreas in producing new insulin-producing cells which make up for lapses in already existing cells, hence managing diabetes. To enjoy this benefit, avoid drinking sugar-sweetened soursop juice.
Nourishes the Stomach and Digestive Tract
Soursop strengthens the structure of the muscle linings on the stomach, hence reduces the risk of stomach ulcer. It also reduces the effects of oxidation on the digestive system and prevents chronic diseases in the process. What’s more? It reduces the risk of stomach cancer and gastric ulcers.
Kills Intestinal Parasites
Soursop leaf extract is anti-helminthic, meaning it kills intestinal worms. Unlike many parasitic drugs, soursop kills adult worms and their larvae, making it more effective.
Soursop is quite helpful to people who suffer arthritis, as it helps relieve inflammation and pain. You are advised to seek the advice of a doctor before using soursop to relieve pain, as its effect is dose-related.
Relieves Respiratory Tract Ailments
Common cold has some negative effects on the respiratory tract. Symptoms such as sneezing, cough, throat irritation and sore throat are common. Soursop thins muscle secretions and relieves throat irritation. Its anti-microbial properties help to eliminate foreign pathogens from the respiratory tract.
Manages Cortisol Effects
Our bodies produce cortisol and adrenaline in high amounts when we are terribly stressed. Inasmuch as these hormones are beneficial, their increased amounts have side effects. Increased cortisol levels, in particular, could cause anxiety, insomnia, and other conditions. Soursop reduces these negative effects.
Benefits of Soursop Leaves
Due to their medicinal properties, soursop leaves are extremely beneficial for health. As pointed out earlier, they are used in the treatment of some of the deadliest diseases. The leaves offer some skin benefits as well.
Soursop leaves are used in treating deadly diseases. They’re also beneficial for treating skin and hair infections. Let’s see some of the benefits.
Treats Skin Ulcer
Skin ulcer can be a terrible condition. It comes with severe pain and boils. Soursop leaves clear skin ulcer. You may topically apply some young soursop leaves on affected areas to treat skin ulcer.
You may apply soursop leaves on affected areas twice daily to treat eczema. You can also make a pulp with fresh soursop and rose water to combat blackheads and other skin problems.
Soursop stops the growth of parasites on the hair. It is effective in getting rid of head lice. It also combats some other forms of hair damage.
Soursop is also consumed in the form of tea. Let’s discuss the process.
How to Make Soursop Tea
- Put 15 dry soursop leaves and one small stem (cut in tiny bits) into a liter of boiling water.
- Boil the water for 30 more minutes in an open vessel.
- Now it’s ready. You may add half a spoon of lime juice and some honey to taste.
- The recommended dosage is a cup three times daily. You may drink it at any temperature you desire.
- To cool the body of its effects, — a strong feeling of heat — you may drink three glasses of goat milk, and three glasses of fresh watermelon juice daily for four weeks.
Side Effects of Soursop
Low Blood Pressure Level
Soursop reduces blood pressure levels, so people who already have low blood pressure levels are advised to avoid soursop. Also, people who already take medications for high blood pressure should seek medical advice before taking soursop. Note that an overdose of soursop may cause vomiting and nausea.
The soursop tree has a toxic bark and seeds which contain poisonous compounds such as hydrocyanic acid, anonaine, and muricine that cause eye inflammation.
Soursop interferes with antidepressants. You are advised to avoid consuming soursop if you are taking medications to combat depression.
Soursop may worsen the health condition of people who already have heart disease. Such people are advised to avoid soursop.
Soursop may cause movement disorders in some persons. If you notice this, you are advised to stop consuming it and see your doctor.
Pregnant women who consume soursop excessively may experience miscarriage or premature labor. They are advised to avoid it.
Soursop may cause neurological disorders in persons who already suffer certain neurological conditions, as its consumption may result in an overdose of some medications.
Drastic Weight Loss
Soursop may cause drastic weight loss in some persons. You may need to consult your doctor before using it.
Some studies show that excessive consumption of soursop may cause Parkinson’s disease.
Quick Soursop Facts
- Soursop belongs to the genus, Annona, and is in the Annonaceae family.
- Soursop is the only member of its genus that is suitable for preservation and processing.
- Soursop thrives in areas of high humidity and warm winters.
- Soursop tastes like a combination of apples, strawberries, sour citrus, and banana.
- Soursop trees can grow as tall as 13 feet.
- Soursop pulp can be used to make smoothies, fruit nectar, fruit juices, ice cream, or candies.
- Soursop is mostly cultivated in the Caribbean, Latin America, Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific.
- Soursop seeds contain a compound, annonacin, which is a neurotoxin linked to neurodegenerative disease.
Now That You Know…
Soursop is beneficial in quite a number of ways: whether you consume the fruit, drink the tea, or apply the leaves topically. It is important that you check to see how effectively it works for you and look out for possible side effects. Better still, you just may need to speak with your doctor before using it. If it works perfectly for you with little or no side effects, congratulations! You just joined the multitude enjoying the super benefits of soursop.