Graviola – The cancer busting super food

Graviola also knows as Brazilian pawpaw or guanaba,


A small evergreen rainforest plant that has been part of the natural and traditional medicine of south America and the Caribbean for centuries. Now day’s graviola is being used to treat fungus, infection and even cancer throughout the western world.

The first study on the medical properties of graviola was carried out in 1940 but to this day scientists are still discovering new uses for this natural super food.

 Health properties.

Graviola has a wide range of medical properties distributed throughout the plant some of its more traditional uses include reducing fever, counteracting diarrhoea and destroying worms and other parasites. But its health benefits go far beyond this with new research being carried out daily, their is a ever expanding school of thought that Graviola may even be able to reduce and kill cancerous cells in the body.

In 1979 the national cancer institute started its plant screening program intended to scour nature’s pharmacy for any plans that could hold the key to fighting the disease during their research they discovered the leaves and stems of the graviola plant to hold some of the properties they were looking for. Scientists then managed to isolate a set of chemicals extracted from the plant known as ‘annonaceous acetognins’ these substances have potent anti cancer properties.

Acetogenins work by slowing down the activity of cancerous cells while leaving healthy cells untouched. A study conducted at PurdueUniversity in California, demonstrated that the acetogenins can selectively inhibit the growth of cancer cells and also inhibit the growth of tumor cells resistant to doxorubicin (chemotherapeutic drug), respecting the integrity of cells healthy tissue. In another study conducted by scientists at the University, it was demonstrated that the acetogenins of Graviola are extremely powerful to have an ED50 (lethal dose 50) of up to 10 to 9 micrograms per milliliter, resulting to have about 10,000 times the power of adriamycin.

Other medical properties

  • Anti spasmodic (prevents or relieves spasms and convulsions)
  • Cardiotonic (balances functioning of the heart)
  • Hypotensive (reduces blood pressure)
  • Anti bacterial / Anti fungal
  • An extract from its leaves is known to be effectively used to treat malaria

Side effects

One major downfall of Graviola is the possible interaction of it and any other medications you may be taking. For example, there is a potential interaction with antidepressants. Check with a physician before taking graviola, especially for drug interaction.

Graviola shouldn’t be taken during pregnancy due to the fact it can cause premature uterine contractions. It is recommended to avoid graviola if breastfeeding.

Nerve Cells

Any condition involving nerve function, such as Parkinson’s disease, may worsen with the use of graviola. Graviola may kill nerve cells in the brain or other parts of the body.

What’s in the fruit, seed and leaf?

The pulp contains

81% moisture,

3% titratable acidity and

24% non-reducing sugar.

Graviola seed contains

8% moisture,

2% crude protein,

13% ash,

8% crude fiber,

20% fat

47% carbohydrate.

 The seed also contains

0.2% water soluble ash,

0.8% titratable acidity

17 mg calcium / 100 grams.

Sources: (03 Feb 2011)  (2010-03-30) (1 October 2012)


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