Mother Nature is abundant and ever-giving. We only have to look around and we will find her offerings around us. In India, we have many plants that have medicinal qualities. Not very often do we look beyond our borders for fruits or plants that have medicinal qualities. However, there is one fruit which is found in the tropical rain forests that are said to have cancer healing properties. Annona Muricata or Graviola. A compound in this fruit is said to be 10,000 times stronger in slowing the growth of cancer cells than Adriamycin, a commonly used chemotherapeutic drug! Intriguing, isn’t it? In this article, we describe further about this fruit, its health benefits, and its usage.
What is Annona Muricata? The common names for this fruit are Graviola, Hanuman Phal, Soursop, Brazilian Paw Paw, Guyabano. This fruit belongs to the custard apple family and looks similar. This little-known fruit is obtained from an evergreen tree that grows in the rainforests of Africa, South America, and Southeast Asia. Amazingly, all parts of the tree like the leaves, fruit, roots, and bark have medicinal properties.
Nutritional value of Annona This pulpy fruit has high amounts of B vitamins and minerals. It is low in calories but has a high amount of fibre. A cup of fruit pulp gives us about 10% of the Thiamine, riboflavin, folate, Vitamin B-6, and niacin that we need every day. It also gives one half of the recommended daily amount of Vitamin C. It is also abundant in minerals. Again, a cup of the fruit pulp can provide us with 14% magnesium, 12% of potassium and 10% of the phosphorus that we need in a day. It also gives a substantial amount of Iron that we need every day.
Why Annona? As mentioned earlier Annona is popular as a cancer healing fruit. Cancer affected persons across the world are looking for an add-on therapy that can help them fight the life taking disease. Many of them have found Annona to be the answer to their search. Studies have shown that the Annona fruit extract inhibits the growth of breast cancer cells. Research has also proven that this fruit has a component which has an effect on 12 different types of cancer cells. These include breast, pancreatic, lung, prostate, liver, colon and skin cancer.
So, how does this work? The Annona fruit has an abundance of natural compounds called annonaceous acetogenins. More than 100 such acetogenins are found in the fruit, leaves, seeds, bark, roots, and stems of this tree. It is this acetogenin which imparts Annona its incredible cancer-destroying properties. Research says that these acetogenins are equipped to differentiate between cancer cells and healthy cells. It is also said that this component can combat the stubborn, drug-resistant cancer cells. Does, the fruit work like chemotherapy? No, it is said to be better than chemotherapy. It is said that the fruit powder doesn’t cause nausea, weight loss or hair loss. It protects the immune system and makes a person feel stronger and healthier. Does it work only on cancer? No, the Annona fruit has a multitude of health benefits. Listed are a few of them:
- Boosts Immunity: Because it is loaded with anti-oxidants, vitamins, and minerals Graviola helps boost immunity
- Helps manage diabetes: Graviola consumption has shown to lower blood sugar levels.
- Good for eyes: since Graviola has a number of anti-oxidants it helps reduce the oxidative load in the body and helps in maintaining optimal eye function.
- Improves Gastrointestinal health: Graviola can help reduce stomach ulcer development.
- Reduces stress: Stress results in increased production of adrenalin and cortisol. These affect our health negatively.Consumption of Graviola can help buffer these negative effects and reduce stress.
- Anti-helminthic: The extract has anti-helminthic properties which means it can kill parasites/worms in the intestine. Studies show that the extract can not only kill the worms but the larvae as well.
- Reduces inflammation: Once again, the anti-oxidants in the fruit can help reduce inflammation due to arthritis
- Prevents side-effects of allopathic medications like nausea, weakness and burning sensation.
- Improves gastrointestinal health
- Helps fight aging disease.