Graviola: Properties and Benefits

The Graviola, also known in Latin American countries as soursop (Annona muricata) is an evergreen tree native to the areas of influence of the Caribbean, such as Mexico, and other Central and South American countries. It is very similar and related to the custard apple, in fact it is also known as the Brazilian cherimoya. In this regard, the production and cultivation of graviola is carried out in a very similar way to that of custard apple.

It is a fruit with a hard, greenish, rough appearance with small spikes that contains a whitish pulp with a very sweet flavor that is common in the markets of Latin American countries. Tasty juices and sorbets are made with it and it is even eaten directly, despite the fact that it sometimes has a somewhat sour taste.

Its interest at the level of curative properties focuses on the fact that it is considered one of the most powerful natural anticancer agents that exist, basically thanks to the fact that it has a high content of acetogenins. This made it very popular and well known in South America.

In fact, it has gone from being a tree that grew in a scattered way to forming large and profitable plantations that have multiplied its value in the agro-industrial market, from where the commercial arrival in our country comes in times of wide expansion. Countries such as Costa Rica have plantations of more than seven hundred hectares of cultivation, which represents a large dimension in relation to the country’s.

Botanical description

There are very few descriptive botanical references of graviola, being for farmers the quality and characteristics of the fruit that gives them greater or less value. According to the flavor of their fruit, they are divided into acidic, semi-acidic or sweet. Its shape also varies from more oval to more irregular and the consistency of the fruit pulp is not uniform in terms of more or less hard and juicy.

The Graviola is a small tree that grows upright to 5 to 6 meters. Large, dark green leaves and shiny appearance. Focusing more on its origin, it refers to areas of Peru and Brazil.

In its countries of origin it is used for natural health treatments in all its parts (the bark, roots, fruit, and the seeds of the fruit). Each of these parts has its own specific properties. For example, the fruit and its juice are used for intestinal parasites, for fevers, to increase the production of breast milk and in cases of diarrhea, as an astringent. Crushed seeds are also used for parasites, but in this case both internally and externally, for example lice. The roots have sedative properties, lower blood pressure and are antispasmodic.

Therapeutic properties

Its most widespread use is as an anticancer, being used for this treatment for 50 years not only in the aforementioned countries, but also in Asia, Europe and the United States, supported by scientific studies that we will see later.

They also offer us other health benefits: It strengthens the immune system, it is antispasmodic, sedative, relieves in cases of asthma, hypertension, diabetes, as a liver protector and at another level, it is used to produce pesticides.