Guyabano is a fruit that comes from the Graviola tree. Other names for guyabano (name known in the Philippines) include: guanábana (Spanish), graviola (Portuguese), pawpaw (in Brazil), corossol (French), soursop (English), and custard apple (English). The scientific name is annona muricata.
The graviola tree grows in warm tropical areas such as the Philippines and South America. Known as a sedative, a nerve tonic, and used to maintain proper intestinal health, guyabano is just one medicinal tool stemming from the graviola tree. Throughout history, each part of the graviola tree, such as the bark, leaves, roots, fruit, and seeds have been used for medicinal purposes. The seeds have been used to treat nausea and vomiting, while herbal medicine practitioners recommend using the fruit and leaves to relieve stomach distress, pain, cough, asthma, and fever.
Guyabano is known to being rich in vitamin C and B vitamins thiamin, riboflavin and niacin, but here is a fuller list of what the fruit has to offer.
Guyabano Health Benefits – Cancer Prevention
Unfortunately, research revolving around guyabano’s healing properties is lacking in the scientific world, but so far researchers have been studying guyabano for its ability to protect against cancer and reduce side-effects of chemotherapy.
Since 1976, over 20 independent labs researched Guyabano’s anti-cancer effects following initial research carried out by the National Cancer Institute. The National Cancer Institute found that guyabano’s “leaves and stems were found effective in attacking and destroying malignant cells. After the 1976 findings, that were apparently never released to the public, other research studies came out with similar conclusions:
One study published in the Journal of Natural Products found that one chemical in Graviola was 10,000 times more potent than a chemotherapy drug called Adriamycin.
The Catholic University of South Korea reports that guyabano is not only a threat to cancer cells, but also leaves healthy cells alone. This is not the case with chemo, which target all the cells – much like antibiotics indiscriminately destroying all gut bacteria, good and bad.
Purdue University found that leaves from the guyabano tree are “killed cancer cells among six human cell lines”. The researchers also found that the leaves were particularly effective for prostate and pancreatic cancers.