Soursop , the plant which is scientifically termed as Annona muricata in botanical science has now become very popular owing to number of benefits found. Among them,” soursop shows anti cancerous properties” have been a top point. This fruit tree grows well in almost every part of Sri Lanka covering dry, intermediate and wet zone.
When looking at the plant’s nature, it grows nearly 6-8 meters tall. The leaves of the plant are easily identifiable as they are leathery, shiny and dark green. If you crush the leaves and smell, a distinct fragrance will catch your nose.
Surprisingly, these soursop leaves shows anti cancerous properties on animal models as revealed in many researches and it opens new opportunities to investigate un touched areas in science. Typically the plant is able to withstand arid climatic conditions well. With the onset of rain, it starts to make new leaves, flowers and fruits. Although fruits and flowers are available through out the year.
The flowers are greenish yellow color and are fleshy.The petals and sepals both have arranged in triangular. They have a unique shape and fragrance.
Soursop fruit is..
When considering the fruit,the outer appearance of it is completely different from other fruits we have come across. Fruits are green in immature stage and are same in mature stage as well.
Soursop fruit shows anti cancerous properties on animal models and it shows promising results on humans as well.
We can observe blunt spikes like projections on the surface in immature stage. Actually they are bit strong during that period of time but when coming very much close to ripening stage these become weaken. The fruit is in dark green color in immature stage and these spikes like projections are close to each other. Then during the maturity, these become distant and it is a easy sign to note the matured fruit from immature fruits. Still the fruit is green with slight color change of its skin. If your eyes are not much familiar with the fruit , you will not be able to catch the ripen fruit and bats and birds would have eaten fruit. You will only notice halfway eaten fruit hanging on the tree !
The ripen soursop fruit is
The ripen fruit is the ultimate delicious harvest we get from this plant.When the fruit comes to the right harvesting stage, villagers normally pluck the fruit and keep it aside until ripening. If the fruit is in the right stage, it takes only two maximum days to the consumption stage. You will perceive ripen fruit once you slightly hit the fruit with finger, it makes a bruised mark on the surface.
There you do not need a knife to cut the fruit. You can simply tear the fruit using your hands because the skin of the fruit in this stage is very weak. Once you tore the fruit, you will see creamy, juicy, white color flesh.
The fruit possesses a distinct flavor and aroma as well. By its name, fruit is little sour creamy one. We villagers have practiced to eat the fruit having sprinkled salt water on it .
Easily one can detach the white creamy fleshy flakes. Inside of these, there are black seeds. Seeds are dark & shiny black. Basically each flake contains individual seeds. People do not eat seeds.
Typical ways of eating soursop
The most common way of eating soursop is sprinkling little salt water on the cut surface of the fruit and eating. The saltiness is helpful to mask the little sourness of the fruit and elaborate the sweetness as well. This fruit has a unique property of cooling you body. I like eating the fruit in this way because i can swallow the whole flakes without seeds. The flakes are fibrous. So there you know what you receive after consuming fibrous food ! It is a good facilitator for you to be away from painful constipation.
Other common practice is making soursop juice. There , initially you have to remove the seeds inside of the flakes. Then put all the de seeded flakes in to a blender cup with very little amount of water. Let it to shear the flakes to release juicy sap out of the flakes for 2-3 minutes.
Strain the content and then add little sugar to your taste with little salt as well. If the beverage you received is more thicker than your choice please add little more water. It tastes so good when chilled ! The juice is creamy white & thick.
The juice of soursop is growing its demand owing to the nutritional properties revealed by science as people become more aware of these.
What is so exclusive about soursop
Soursop is also called as Graviola. It is believed that soursop was introduced to Sri lanka by Portuguese people many years ago . Soursop grows well in tropical and sub tropical regions. More specifically in Mexico, Central America and in Cuba and also in south asian countries. As mentioned above, It has a good survival skill to thrive in dry zone in Sri Lanka.
1) Soursop Shows anti cancerous effects
Many number of anti cancer drugs in the market (nearly 47%) are natural products or their derivatives or synthetic mimics of thaose natural compounds. The leaves , fruits and seeds like aerial parts of the plant soursop (Graviola) have been taken extensively for number of researches in vitro and in vivo. These have been showing effective management of several cancer types.
There , the extracts of plant parts of Soursop using different solvents have been showing these anti cancerous effects.
It includes cytotoxicity , cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, and necrosis and, conversely, to inhibit cancer cell motility, migration, metastasis, and proliferation.
Science has revealed number of active compounds in soursop that have been showing these anti cancerous effects.
The extracts of different plant part have been found to be effective against bladder cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer, renal, pancreatic and, skin and so on other types of cancers.
For different type of cancers, different type of plant segments are showing these anti cancerous properties.Seeds, pericarp and the leaves and the fruit are showing these effects. The experiments have been done in vivo and in vitro. This article about the use of this plant will be helpful to have a clear idea about the usage of this plant.
Interesting fact noted here is that the leaves show this effect very prominently.See the effect of leaves in this article.
2) Soursop leaves show anti bacterial and anti fungal properties.
In this particular research , soursop leaf extract has been checked its effectiveness against certain bacteria strains and fungi.
Streptococcus mutans, Streptococcus mitis, Porphyromonas gingivalis, Prevotella intermedia and Candida albicans using disc diffusion method.
The in-vitro efficacy of Soursop was highest against S. mutans followed by C. albicans and least on P. intermedia. Hence, this study proves to an extent that the Soursop extract when used against oral microbiota has sufficient anti-microbial and fungicidal property .
So, as per this research, apart from the massive contribution as anti cancerous agent, the leaves of soursop shows anti bacterial and anti fungal effects as well.
It is important to note that here the decoctions of leaves show above anti bacterial and anti fungal effects which is very higher than what we normally consume.
Read more about moringa which also shows anti bacterial properties on some micro organisms
3) Soursop shows the ability to reduce inflammations
In this particular research soursop shows anti inflammatory properties in animal models where the extract of soursop when injected to rats, the inflammations have gone lowered significantly.
Another kind of research done associated with rats have shown that soursop extract (leaf) is capable of reducing the complete Freund’s adjuvant (CFA) induced arthritis in rats.
As per this research, the findings suggest that AML present notable anti-arthritic activities that may be mediated by suppressing pro-inflammatory cytokines .
Even though these researches are based on animal models, more researches are needful to validate the results on humans.
What should happen is maintaining a limit for the food you eat in every case and if not that makes a trouble again in unexpected away!
Read more about ginger which also shows anti inflammatory properties .
You should not go for over consumption of soursop because..
Soursop is a powerful plant with delicious taste unique to it.
At the same time , we have to concern that over consumption is also not acceptable because it brings undesirable health impacts as per the researches
The powerful bio active compounds in soursop have been found to be capable of developing nerve changes that may cause symptoms like Parkinson’s disease.
And also Caribbeans eating large amounts of graviola or soursop. It found that they were more likely to develop certain nerve changes. They were also more likely to have hallucinations.
We should eat the good foods also been in a limit other wise too much of good can cause too much of bad as well. !