Graviola or soft-nosed anona is not very well known in our country. As the consumption of this fruit, as well as...
Graviola or soft-nosed anona is not very well known in our country. As the consumption of this fruit, as well as scientific studies, provide interesting information about the management of infections, but also, for example, about the benefits in the fight against cancer, it is beginning to attract attention.
Characteristics of graviola
Annona muricata is an evergreen, terrestrial, upright tree, which usually grows to a height of 5-8 m. The home is tropical and subtropical areas around the world, where it is often used in the preparation of sweet foods, especially ice cream and beverages. Prickly green fruit with a creamy texture and strong taste is often compared to a combination of strawberries and pineapple. The fruits have a white flesh, large seeds and are characterized by a sweet and slightly sour taste.
In traditional use, graviola has become popular for its strong antioxidant properties, with vitamin C playing a major role. It is considered an anti-infective and antiviral helper, helping with pain. Indigenous communities in Africa and South America use graviola in folk medicine, mainly as a supportive agent in cancer and parasitic infections. The fruit serves as a natural remedy for fever, malaria, arthritis, diarrhea, dysentery. While the leaves are used by indigenous people to treat diabetes, headaches or insomnia. 
Another label for graviola
Graviola (Annona muricata) can also be found under other English names. Soursop, guyabano, in Latin America guanábana, in Slovak also anona thorny, anona soft-walled, in Brazilian Paw Paw, in French Corossol, in Spanish Guanavana.
Bioactive substances in graviola
Graviola is characterized by low calorie content. Not only minerals (potassium and magnesium ) but also the already mentioned vitamin C stand out from the valuable substances. There are also other valuable substances such as catechin, quercetin, highly effective alkaloids (asimilobin, nornuciferin and anonaine ), acetogenin, as well as tannins. [1, 2]
Soft-billed Anona contains acetogenins
Researchers have recently begun to study the potential of bioactive compounds in the leaves, stems and seeds of graviola named anone acetogenin. These acetogenins appear to have potent antitumor and anticancer properties. Some in vitro studies have concluded that graviola compounds may be able to target and kill cancer cells, even if they are resistant to treatment, without damaging healthy cells. As these results spread among supporters of alternative medicine and the Internet, they aroused considerable enthusiasm. Clinical studies to confirm or refute the claims of gravioli supporters are still ongoing.
Benefits of graviola
Anona soft-grown grows in the rainforest and has been a part of natural and traditional medicine in Central and South America and the Caribbean for centuries. It has an exceptional range of healing effects divided into different parts of the plant.
Anona's fruit soft-edged on a tree
The fruit or juice is used to reduce fever, to fight diarrhea and dysentery and kill worms and other parasites. Seeds are also strong antiparasitic and are traditionally used against lice. Soothing tea is prepared from bark, leaves and roots, which is used as a sedative and antispastic. Research also confirms the traditional use of tea from graviola as a hypotensive - a drug for high blood pressure [source: Taylor]. The bark can be used to treat fever and the leaves are used topically to accelerate wound healing. Unripe fruits are especially valued to support digestion [source: Weil]. Further use of graviola has been reported within specific indigenous healing traditions. In the Andes Mountains of Peru, graviola leaves are boiled to release mucus that soothes inflamed mucous membranes. In the East, in the Amazon, diabetics use the bark, leaves and root to stabilize blood sugar. Leaf tea is used as a heart tonic in Guyana, as a medicine for the liver in Brazil and as a medicine for asthma, cough and flu in the West Indies. It is also used against arthritis and rheumatism, and some mothers consume fetuses to support the production of breast milk [source: Taylor]. The New York Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center confirms many of the plant's benefits on its website, such as antiviral, antiparasitic, anti-rheumatic and emetic effects [source: Memorial Sloan-Kettering]. Given this extensive list of effects, the claim that soft-bone anona has cytotoxic effects on tumors and cancer cells has gained some credibility, even in the absence of scientific evidence from human testing.
Anona is in a bad mood
The results of a neurological study published in 1998 showed that graviola has the ability to stimulate serotonin receptors in the brain, and thus potential antidepressant effects [source: Cassileth]. Its traditional use supports this conclusion. One herbal producer sells graviola tincture in combination with mulung bark, another rainforest tree, to control anxiety [source: Amazon Botanicals]. Some side effects come from areas of graviola bioactivity. Animal studies have shown that this plant can dilate blood vessels and lower blood pressure, so people with low blood pressure or taking medicines to reduce hypertension should consult their doctor before taking graviola [source: Wright]. A large dose taken at once can also cause nausea and vomiting [source: Taylor]. The antitumor effects of graviola stem primarily from its ability to limit the supply of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) to cancer cells. ATP often provides metabolic energy to healthy cells, and some dietary supplements, especially coenzyme Q10, increase ATP levels. Therefore, CoQ10 can neutralize the effects of graviola and should not be used concomitantly [source: Taylor]. Researchers studying the mechanisms of action of gravioli claim that the acetogenins contained in this plant can distinguish cancer cells from healthy ones, because cancer cells consistently show higher cellular activity. Acetogenins recognize and selectively suppress cancer cells. It is recommended that pregnant women avoid the use of graviola because the high energy cells of the developing fetus could trigger the toxic effects of the herb [source: Wright]. An animal study has also found that this plant stimulates the uterus [source: Taylor].
Take with probiotics
With long-term use, the antimicrobial effects of graviola can lead to the destruction of friendly bacteria necessary for healthy digestion. Thus, when used for a long time, it may be appropriate to include a probiotic supplement or digestive enzymes [source: Wright].
Anona soft-edged and cancer
The US National Cancer Institute (NCI) first reported the anti-cancer effects of graviola leaves in 1976, in an internal study that was not made public. Most of the subsequent research was conducted at Purdue University in Indiana [source: Bluestein]. The study will focus on the antitumor effects and selective toxicity of acetogenins and anons. In 1997, a team from Purdue University reported that these phytochemicals appeared to be particularly effective in killing chemotherapy survivors in studies. Such cells can develop resistance to several anti-cancer agents and acquire a multi-resistant label. Normally, less than two percent of cancer cells have these properties, but this small group can multiply rapidly after initial chemotherapy, and then any further chemotherapy is useless. The elimination of anti-cancer agents requires a large amount of cellular energy, which multidrug-resistant cells obtain from ATP. Acetogenins block the transfer of ATP to these cells, slowing down their functioning, which ultimately leads to their death. This process avoids healthy cells that do not require such an ATP influx [source: Taylor]. A combination of Graviola Reishi Extract, Reishi Sporu or Coriolus is a suitable supportive treatment for oncological diseases and can be supplemented with Betaglucan.
Waiting for a synthetic substance
Pharmaceutical companies have successfully created several acetone acetogens in the laboratory. They are currently playing with chemical structures to create a synthetic acetogenin that is unique enough to be patented and efficient enough to be marketed. They cannot patent a natural phytochemical and therefore do not profit from it. This may explain why no clinical trials are being performed with this promising medicinal plant [source: Taylor].
How to consume graviola
We can prepare graviola like other fruits. Whether it's in the form of juice, smoothies or ice cream. If the fetus is consumed, it is important to watch out for seeds that contain annonacin. This neurotoxin may contribute to the development of Parkinson's disease. 
Graviola is also available as an extract. There is not enough information to determine a safe standardized dose, but in general, manufacturers usually recommend taking 500-1500 mg or 1-4 ml per day. It is advisable to consult a doctor or pharmacist.
1) Annona muricata (Annonaceae): A Review of Its Traditional Uses, Isolated Acetogenins and Biological Activities. Moghadamtousi SZ1, Fadaeinasab M2, Nikzad S3, Mohan G4, Ali HM5, Kadir HA6., Int J Mol Sci. 2015 Jul 10; 16 (7): 15625-58. doi: 10.3390 / ijms160715625. Available from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4519917/
3) Champy P, Melot A, Guérineau Eng V, Gleye C, Fall D, Höglinger GU, Ruberg M, Lannuzel A, Laprévote O, Laurens A, Hocquemiller R., Quantification of acetogenins in Annona muricata linked to atypical parkinsonism in guadeloupe. Mov Disord. 2005 Dec; 20 (12): 1629-33. Available from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16078200