Guyabano is one of the healthiest fruits known to man. The flesh of the fruit consist of a white edible pulp that is high in carbohydrates (particularly fructose) and considerable amounts of Vitamin C, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, potassium and dietary fiber. Guyabano is low in cholesterol, saturated fat and sodium. Not only is guyabano a good health food, it also tastes delicious.
Guyabano is called sour sop in English, guanabana in Spanish, and graviola in Brazil. To be proven by research and documentation yet, the claim is that the guyabano tree is called a “miraculous” fruit that contains natural cancer cells that are 10,000 times stronger than a chemotherapy. Another claim is that guyabano is effective against internal parasites and worms, lowers high blood pressure, and is used for depression, stress and nervous disorders.
The fruit, seeds, and leaves have a number of herbal medicinal uses in countries where the plant is common. The sap of the young leaves may be applied directly on pimples to induce suppuration. The sap is also considered parasitical. The leaves and roots also cure colic and convulsions.
To reduce fever, a decoction of leaves can be taken internally. It has the same affect as when leaves are added to bathing water. In the Caribbean, it is believed that laying the leaves of the guyabano on a bed below a sleeping person with a fever will break the fever by the next morning.
The crushed fresh leaves are also applied on skin eruptions for faster healing. A poultice of young guyabano leaves is applied on the skin to alleviate rheumatism and other skin infections like eczema. Applied during the healing of wounds, this can result in less or no skin scars.
The decoction can also be used as a wet compress on swollen feet and other inflammations. Poultice of mashed leaves and sap of young leaves used for eczema and skin eruptions.
The guyabano leaves are believed to have tranquilizing and sedative properties. In the Netherlands Antilles, the leaves are placed inside pillows or placed on top of the mattress to induce a good night’s sleep. Boiling the leaves and drinking may help induce sleep.
There are much publicized studies on the anti-tumor, anti-cancer and selective toxicity of guyabano against several types of cancer cells. I will try to post more info regarding this on my next article.