Scientific Name:Anona Muricata Linn.
Common Names: guanábana (Spanish), graviola (Portuguese), Brazilian pawpaw, guyabano, corossolier, guanavana, toge-banreisi, durian benggala, nangka blanda, sirsak, and nangka londa, mullaatha, shul-ram-fal and hanuman fal.
Guyabano tree, or soursop in English (Scientific Name : Anona muricata Linn.) is a small tree, usually about 5 to 7 meters high. Guyabano is a fruit bearing tree, broadleaf, flowering, and evergreen that is native to Central America, the Caribbean and South America. Guyabano can be found in Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Peru, and Venezuela. Guyabano or Soursop are also native in sub-Saharan African countries. Guyabano or Soursop is adaptable to tropical climate and are currently cultivated for its fruit in most Southeast Asian countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines.
Guyabano fruit is a green, pear-shaped fruit covered with soft spines. Matured guyabano or soursop fruit weighs about 2 to 5 kilograms. Guyabano fruit is ovoid and large, up to 18 centimeters long, with thin skin and the soft edible whitish pulp that is fleshy and fibrous. Guyabano has inedible black seeds. Guyabano fruit or soursop fruit has distinct sweet-sour flavor that tastes like pineapple and strawberry with a tang of sour citrus taste.
Guyabano leaves are oval shaped with smooth, shiny texture. Guyabano leaves are 7 to 20 centimeters in length, pointed on both ends, with petioles about 5 mm long. Guyabano flowers bloom all year round but its peak is from May to June. Guyabano has a solitary flower that is large, yellow or greenish-yellow in color. The three outer petals are broadly ovate with a heart-shaped base, up to 5 centimeters long, and 3 centimeters wide; and the inner three are also large, elliptic to obviate, and rounded..
Guyabano fruits are harvested in its maturity – when the skin is shiny green or yellowish green in color. Guyabano fruit is used as vegetable and made into sweet meat, while the ripe Guyabano fruit can be eaten raw or prepared as dessert.
Guyabano or soursop is also known to possess medicinal properties that include cancer fighting activity.
Guyabano and Diabetes
An article in “African Journal of Traditional Complementary and Alternative Medicine” about in 2008 have reported that a clinical study done on rats induced with diabetes mellitus then fed with guyabano (Annona Muricata Linn) extracts showed positive effects of lowering the blood sugar levels in animals. Another study reported by the same publication showed that animals with induced diabetes mellitus that consumed guyabano extract has shoed remarkable increase of antioxidants in their blood and that there is less liver damage. The findings of this laboratory animal study suggest that (guyabano) Annona muricata extract has a protective, beneficial effect on hepatic tissues subjected to STZ-induced oxidative stress, possibly by decreasing lipid peroxidation and indirectly enhancing production of insulin and endogenous antioxidants. Although the reports suggested that guyabano extracts have promising medicinal benefits for diabetes mellitus. there is no sufficient study done on its effects to humans with diabetes.
Guyabano and Inflammation
In a report that was published in “International Journal of Molecular Sciences” dated 2010, Antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory activities of the ethanol extract from guyabano leaves (Annona muricata Linn) were investigated in animal models.. In a chemically induced edema to the paw of rats showed that the guyabano ethanol extract has significantly reduced the exudate volume. These results suggest that Annona muricata can be an active source of substances with antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory activities.
Guyabano and Cancer
In a study published in the “ Journal of Medicinal Chemistry”, fourteen structurally diverse Annonaceous acetogenins, found in Guyabano extract were identified and tested for their ability to inhibit the growth of adriamycin resistant human mammary adenocarcinoma cells. This cell line is known to be multidrug resistant cancer cells. Some of the acetogenins from the guyabano extract were found to be more potent than adriamycin and thus may have chemotherapeutic potential, especially with regard to multidrug resistant tumors..
Guyabano and Herpes Simplex Virus
A study published in “Journal of Ethnopharmacology”, 1mg/ml of ethanol extract of Annona muricata (Annonaceae, Guyabano) in Petunia nyctaginiflora (Solanaceae) aqueous extract can inhibit the activity of Herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1).
Guyabano and Depression
In a study published in the “Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology”, extracts from the fruit and the leaves of Guyabano (Annona muricata - Annonaceae) contains three alkaloids, annonaine (1), nornuciferine (2) and asimilobine (3), that upon tests have shown to inhibit binding of [3H]rauwolscine to 5-HTergic 5-HT1A receptors in calf hippocampus. These results imply that Guyabano fruit (Annona muricata) possesses anti-depressive effects.
Guyabano and Antibacterial Effects
In a report published in “Revista do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo”, a study has been made to determine the antibacterial effects of aqueous and ethanolic extracts of seeds of moringa (Moringa oleifera) and pods of guyabano (Annona muricata). The aqueous extracts of guyabano (annona muricata) showed an antibacterial effect against Staph aureus and Vibrio cholerae, but the antibacterial activity by the ethanol extracts of this plant was not demonstrated.
Nutritional Value of Guyabano
Guyabano fruit is high in carbohydrates, particularly fructose. The fruit also contains significant amounts of vitamin C, vitamin B1, and vitamin B2.
Uses of concoction prepared from pulverized guyabano seeds
As skin astringent
Treat muscle spasms
To purge parasites such as bedbugs and head lice
Uses of concoction prepared from guyabano leaves
As sudorific or to cause one to sweat
As an agent to cause vomiting (emetic)
As tranquilizer and sedative
To treat head lice and bedbugs and other parasites
To treat inflammation
Treatment for eczema and skin diseases
Treatment of catarrh or inflammation of mucous membrane in the respiratory tract.
Treatment of pain and inflammation associated with arthritis, rheumatism
Uses of guyabano fruit / Juice from guyabano fruit
Used as diuretic,
Treatment of hematuria and urethritis
Uses of concoction of bark, roots and leaves
To treat diabetes
As tranquilizer and sedative
Guyabano cautions and Side Effects
Concoctions of leaves, seeds and barks are not recommended for internal consumption to young children, pregnant and lactating women
Guyabano bark has been reported to contain alkaloids called anonaine and anoniine that is high in hydrocyanic acid. Small traces of hydrocyanic acid may also be found in leaves. Hydrocyanic acid is a colorless substance that is considered poisonous.
In studies done from a Caribbean laboratory, Guyabano contains annonacin that is suggested to have a connection in the development of atypical Parkinson’s disease. Guyabano is not recommended for people who have motor control difficulty or suspected of having Parkinson's disease.
How to make a Guyabano Nectar
Wash and peel guyabano.
Remove core and seeds.
Cut into small pieces.
Mix two cups water for every three cups of pulp.
Pass guyabano pulp through a juice extractor or corn mill grinder.
Strain through a stainless steel strainer.
Add one cup of water for every two cups juice.
Add one cup sugar for every 3 cups of pulp mixture and mix
Place the mixture in an enamel casserole or a stainless steel kettle, and cook until it simmers.
Do not let it boil. Lower the heat
Stir from time to time until mixture become thick.
Pour cooked mixture into tall tin cans while still hot, leaving 1/4 inch space on top of the mixture.
Seal the cans and place them in a pressure cooker for 15 minutes at 10 pounds pressure.Cool and label
1 kilo ripe guyabano
4 cups water
3/4 cup sugar
Wash and peel fruits. Remove the core and seeds. Then cut pulp into small pieces.
Heat in four cups water. Cool. Strain mixture through a clean cheese cloth into a pitcher, then squeeze the juice. Add sugar and enough Calamansi juice or make the mixture a little sour. Serve with ice cubes. Add more sugar if desired.
(Source Article : http://www.medicalhealthguide.com/herb/guyabano.htm)