Healing Miracles of the Soursop (Guanabana) Fruit

Can Soursop, Also Known as Guanabana, Cure Cancer?

Soursop fruit
Soursop (Guanabana) is known as a miracle fruit because it has powerful healing properties that fight cancer. Burke/Triolo Productions/The Image Bank/Getty Images

A tropical fruit called soursop (which is also known as guanabana) contains powerful healing properties that fight cancer and other illnesses. Some people say that soursop is so effective for medicinal purposes that it's a miracle fruit.

A Sweet Fruit

Soursop is a large green, spiky fruit with white pulp that grows in tropical regions, such as the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, Cuba, and northern South America.

The fruit's sweet flavor makes it a popular food for people to use in juice, smoothies, sherbet, ice cream, and candy.

While soursop's seeds can be toxic to people who consume too much of them, people can safely eat soursop after removing the seeds.

Healing Properties

Not only does soursop taste good (despite its name), but it's also useful in treating and healing a wide array of medical problems, say people who use it for medicinal purposes. Soursop contains antimicrobial ingredients that can clear up fungal infections, bacterial infections, and intestinal parasites. People have also used soursop to lower blood pressure and treat depression and stress.

Miraculous Cancer Foe?

But the reason why some people consider soursop a miraculous fruit is that it seems to be powerfully effective at treating cancer. While more research and clinical trials are needed to determine exactly how and why soursop fights cancer, some laboratory tests have shown it to be up to 10,000 more times effective than traditional chemotherapy drugs at slowing the growth of cancer cells, said a guide at Florida's Fruit and Spice Park, which grows tropical plants to study.

Soursop does even more than slow down cancer cell growth; it seems to be miraculously effective at killing cancer cells, as well. What's particularly exciting to researchers is that soursop compounds target just cancer cells for destruction while leaving healthy cells unharmed in laboratory studies, such as those conducted at the Catholic University of Korea.

Since traditional chemotherapy kills many healthy cells along with cancer cells, being able to selectively target just cancer cells would be a huge step forward in cancer treatment if a drug derived from soursop is eventually produced and approved for use in cancer patients.

Compounds from soursop leaves seem to be especially powerful against certain types of cancer -- lung, prostate, and pancreatic -- according to a Purdue University research study.

The fruit's most potent cancer foes seem to be derivatives of its fatty acids, called annonaceous acetogenins.

Cautions

Despite some promising research into how soursop seems to fight cancer, the fruit hasn't been studied much in clinical trials because of its toxicity to humans' nervous systems at high levels. Any dosage high enough to cure cancer may be too high for the human body to tolerate well, some researchers say to explain why they're not using soursop in clinical trials for cancer patients. So, for now, there's not enough data about soursop's safety and effectiveness to trust it as a reliable cancer treatment.

While cancer patients can experience some nutritional benefits from eating soursop, they shouldn't rely on that as an alternative cancer treatment.

It's important to keep in mind that soursop is just a complementary addition to mainstream cancer treatment -- not a substitute -- because it's true reliability as a type of medicine has yet to be established.