Guayabano annona muricata soursop

Botany Guayabano is a small tree, usually less than 7 meters high. Leaves are smooth, shiny, oblong-obovate to oblong, 7 to 20 centimeters in length, pointed on both ends, with petioles about 5 millimeters long. Flower is solitary, large, solitary, yellow or greenish-yellow. 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 obovate, and rounded. Fruit is ovoid and large, up to 18 centimeters long, covered with small scattered, soft spinelike processes. Skin is thin, and the pulp is soft, rather fibrous, white, and fleshy, with an agreeable, but rather sour flavor.


  • Cultivated for its edible fruit.
  • Prevalent in the rain forests of Africa, South America, and Southeast Asia.

Constituents · Studies yielded tannins, steroids and cardiac glycosides as major phytochemical compounds. · Alcoholic extract of leaves, when distilled with steam, yielded a small amount of essential oil with a strong, somewhat agreeable odor. · The extract also yielded a dark-green resin containing: myricyl alcohol, sitosterol, fatty acids (oleic, linoleic, and stearic acids, together with a higher fatty acid, possibly lignoceric acid) and a diphydric alcohol, anonol. · Flesh of fruit contains saccharose 2.53%, dextrose 5.05 percent, and levulose 0.04%. · Bark yielded an amorphous alkaloid, found to be poisonous, causing tetanus-like convulsions when injected to mice. · Seed contains a nonpoisonous alkaloid. · Recent studies isolated three acetogenins: annonacin, annonacin A and annomuricin A. · Stem bark yielded one acetogenin, solamin and two triterpenoids, stigmasterol and sitosterol.


  • Fruit is reported antiscorbutic and astringent.
  • Flowers are pectoral.
  • Leaves are antispasmodic.
  • Seeds are emetic.
  • Infusion of leaves are sudorific.
  • Recent studies suggest a potential for antiviral, antiparasitic, antileishmanial, antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory, antihyperglycemic, and anti-cancer properties.

Parts utilized Leaves, flowers, fruit.

Uses Nutrition · Juicy ripe fruit is eaten raw; also used in making beverages, ice cream, and jelly tarts. · Fruit is an excellent source of vitamins B and C. Folkloric · Unripe fruit used for dysentery. · Ripe fruit is antiscorbutic. · Seeds and green fruit are astringent. · Flowers are antispasmodic. · Infusion of leaves used as sudorific, antispasmodic and emetic. · In some cultures, the fruits and leaves are used for tranquilizing and sedative properties. · Juice of ripe fruit used as diuretic and for hematuria and urethritis. · Flesh of soursop used as poultice to draw out chiggers. ·Decoction of leaves used of head lice and bedbugs. · Pulverized seeds and seed oil effective for head lice. · Fruit used as a bait in fish traps. · Decoction of leaves used as compresses for inflammation and swollen feet. · Poultice of mashed leaves and sap of young leaves used for eczema and skin eruptions. · Flowers used to alleviate catarrh. · Used as tonic by Chinese and Malays. · In Mexico used as pectoral, antiscorbutic and febrifuge; seeds and green fruit used as astringent and for dysentery. · In Indonesia traditionally used as anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor · In Yucatan juice of the fruit is used for dysentery. · In the West Indies, used as vermifuge. · In Antiles and Reunion, infusion of leaves used as sudorific. · In the Peruvian Andes, leaf tea is used for catarrh and crushed seeds for parasitism. · In the Peruvian Amazon, bark, roots and leaves used for diabetes, as sedative and as antispasmodic. · In the Brazilian Amazon, the oil of leaves and unripe fruit is mixed with olive oil and used externally for neuralgic, rheumatism and arthritis pains. Others · Bark has been used in tanning. · The wood is a potential source of paper pulp. · For a good night's sleep, leaves are put in the pillow slip or strewn in bed.

Studies • Cytotoxicity / Antileishmanial: Cytotoxicity and antileishmanial activity of Annona muricata pericarp: Extracts and fractionation led to the isolation of three acetogenins—annonacin, annonacin A and annomuricin A. (2) • Diabetes / Effects on Oxidative Stress and ß-cell Integrity: Study of aqueous leaf extract showed A. muricata treatment has beneficial effects on pancreatic tissue subjected to STZ-induced oxidative stress by directly quenching lipid peroxides and indirectly enhancing production of endogenous antioxidants, with consequent preservation of ß-cell integrity. (5) • Diabetes / ß-cell Regeneration: Histopathologic study showed regeneration of ß-cells of pancreatic islets in A. muriatica- treated rats • Antihyperglycemic:Study of methanolic extract on streptozotocin-induced diabetic Wistar rats demonstrated anti-hyperglycemic activities. • Anti-Herpes Simplex Virus: Study showed the extract of AM to inhibit the cytopathic effect of HSV-1 on vero cells indicating an anti-HSV1 potential. (8) • Anticancer / Acetoginins: (1) There are much publicized studies on the anti-tumor, anti-cancer and selective toxicity of Annona muricata against several types of cancer cells. One study showed that one of the acetoginins was selectively cytotoxic to colon adenocarcinoma cells, with a potency 10,000 times that of adriamycin. (2) Study on the chemical constituents of Annona muricata yielded two new and known acetogenins. Annonaceous acetogenin (polyketide) is a potential antineoplastic agent from the Annonaceae plants. • Anti-Cancer : Graviola extracts were show to be effective against growth of Adriamycin-resistant human adenocarcinoma (MCF-7/Adr) by blocking the cancer cell's access to ATP and by inhibiting the actions of plasma membrane glycoprotein. • Anti-Hyperlipidemia: Study of methanolic extracts of AM on serum lipid profiles in experimentally-induced diabetic Wistar rats showed antihyperlipidemic activities with significant reductions in total cholesterol, LDL and VLDL and a significant increase in HDL and antiatherogenic index. • Anti-depression: Graviola may have antidepressive activity due to its ability to stimulate serotonin receptors. • Antimicrobial: Annona muricata extract of leaves exhibited a broad spectrum of activity against a panel of bacteria (B. subtilis, Staph aureus, K. pneumonia, P. vulgaris, etc.) responsible for common bacterial diseases like pneumonia, diarrhea, UTIs and skin infections. (14) • Cytotoxicity: A crude hexane extract of Annona muricata L. gave a significant activity with an IC50 value of 0.8 pg/ml against CEM-SS cell line while the crude ethyl acetate (EA) extract also gave a significant activity with an IC50 value of 0.5 pg/ml but against HL-60 cell line. • Chemopreventive / Skin Papillomagenesis: Study evaluated the chemopreventive effects of an ethanolic extract of leaves in chemically induced skin papillomagenesis in mice. Topical application of various doses significantly reduced DMBA/croton oil-induced mice skin papillomagnesis. Results showed the leaves extract was able to suppress tumor initiation as well as tumor promotion even at lower dosage. (17) • Acute and Subchronic Toxicity Studies / Antidiabetic: Toxicity studies were done on aqueous extracts of leaves. The extract did not produce any toxic effect in animal tissues at low and moderate doses but could cause kidney damage in higher doses. Lowering of plasma glucose level and positive effects on cardiovascular risk factors suggest good antidiabetic activity. (18) • Acetogenins / Cytotoxicity to Human Hepatoma Cell Lines: Seeds yielded seven new annonaceous acetogneins, muricins A-G, together with five known compounds. The acetogenins showed significant selective in vitro cytotoxicities toward human hepatoma cell lines. (19) • Antioxidant Activity / Comparative Study: Study evaluated the antioxidant potential of leaves of three different species of Annona using different in vitro models. Results showed extracts of A. muricata possessed potent in vitro antioxidant activity as compared to leaves of A. squamosa and A reticulata, suggesting a role as an effective free radical scavenger. (20) • Cytotoxicity / Breast Cancer Lines / Leaves: Study showed an ethanol extract of leaves has cytotoxic activity in T47D breast cancer cell lines probably through cell apoptosis. (21) • Antibacterial / Breast Cancer Lines / Leaves: Aqueous extracts of soursop showed an antibacterial effect against S. aureus and V. cholera. (23) • Antiproliferative: In a study evaluated 14 species of plants from Brazil for antiproliferative activity, Annona muricata showed enhanced antiproliferative activity. (24) • Renal Toxicity with Long-Term Use: Study investigated ethanolic leaf extracts effects on the level of serum creatinine and damage of tubular cell structure affecting kidney function and caspase-9 expression in glomerulus and tubular cells. Results showed Annona muricata at dose of 10, 20, and 40 mg kbw in saline orally for 40 days caused histological changes in kidney cell and effects on tubular structure leading to renal failure. For long term use, kidney function should be monitored. (25)

Toxicity · Presence of alkaloids anonaine and anoniine have been reported. The bark yields muricine and muricinine and is high in hydrocyanic acid; small amounts are found in the leaves and roots, and a trace in the fruit. · Caribbean study suggested a connection between consumption of soursop and atypical forms of Parkinson's disease due to the very high concentration of Annonacin. · Graviola may cause movement disorders and myeloneuropathy with symptoms similar to Parkinson's disease.

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07 November 2014

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