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Graviola

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Also listed as: Guanábana, Annona muricata, Soursop
Related terms
Background
Evidencetable
Tradition
Dosing
Safety
Interactions
Attribution
Bibliography

Related Terms
  • Acetogenins, Annona bonplandiana,Annona cearensis, Annona cherimola,Annona macrocarpa, Annonaceae, annonacin, anona (Tigrigna), anona de broquel (Spanish), anona de puntitas (Spanish), anona espinhosa (Portuguese), araticum do grande (Portuguese), araticu-ponhé (Portuguese), atti (Filipino), Brazilian cherimoya, Brazilian paw paw, cabeza de negro (Spanish), cachiman épineux (French), cachimantier (French), catoche (Spanish), catuche (Spanish), coraçao-de-rainha (Portuguese), coronin, corossel (French), corossol (French), corossol épineux (French), corossolier, curassol (Portuguese), custard apple, durian belanda (Malay), durian benggala (Malay), durian blanda, durian maki (Malay), durian makkah (Malay), goniothalamicin, grand corossol (French), guanaba (Spanish), guanábana (Spanish), guanabana seed, guanábano, Guanabanus muricatus, guanavana, guayabano (Filipino), huanaba (Spanish), isoannonacin, jaca de pobre (Portuguese), jaca do pará (Portuguese), khan thalot (Lao (Sino-Tibetan)), khièp thét (Lao (Sino-Tibetan)), kowól (Creole), llabanos (Filipino), mang câù xiêm (Vietnamese), mstafeli (Swahili), nangka belanda (Javanese), nangka blanda, nangka londa, nangka seberng (Indonesian), pinha azeda (Portuguese), rian-nam (Thai), sappadillo, saua sap (Creole), Sauersack (German), seri kaya belanda (Malayan), sinini, sirsak (Javanese), sorsaka (Dutch), soursap (Dutch), soursop, Stachelannone (German), Stachlinger (German), sweetsop, thu-rian-khack (Thai), thurian-thet (Thai), tiep banla (Cambodian or Khmer), tiep barang (Cambodian or Khmer), toge-banreisi (Japanese), tropical fruit, zapote agrio (Spanish), zapote de viejas (Spanish), zunrzak (Dutch), zuurzak (Dutch).

Background
  • Graviola, or soursop, is a small, upright evergreen tree that is native to tropical South and North America. The tree produces a large, heart-shaped, edible fruit that is sold commercially.
  • All parts of the graviola tree, including the fruit, juice, crushed seeds, bark, leaves, and flowers, are used in herbal medicine systems in the tropics. Graviola is mainly used as an alternative treatment for parasitic infections and cancer. It has also been used as a sedative and as a treatment for spasms. Extracts of the leaf, root, stem, and bark of graviola may also be useful to control snail species that carry schistosomiasis (a parasite).

Evidence Table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. GRADE *
* Key to grades

A: Strong scientific evidence for this use
B: Good scientific evidence for this use
C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use
D: Fair scientific evidence for this use (it may not work)
F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likley does not work)


Tradition / Theory

The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.

  • Abscesses, alcohol-induced hangover, analgesic (pain reliever), antibiotic, antidote to poisons, antiparasitic (molluscicidal, antiprotozoal), arthritis, asthma, astringent, bronchitis, calming, cancer, cardiac conditions (asthenia), carminative, catarrh, cathartic (laxative), childbirth, cough, colitis, colic, convulsions, diabetes, diarrhea, diuretic, dysentery (intestinal infection), eczema, edema (swelling), emetic (causes vomiting), fever, gall bladder disorders, hematuria (blood in the urine), herpes simplex, hypertension (high blood pressure), incision wounds, indigestion, infections, inflammation, influenza, insecticide, lactation, leprosy, lice, liver disorders, malaria, mouth sores, nervousness, neuralgia (nerve pain), palpitations, parasites and worms, rashes, rheumatism, ringworm, sedative, skin disorders, sleep aid, styptic, tonic, tranquilizer, tumor, ulcer, urethritis (inflammation of the urethra), vomiting, wound healing.

Dosing

Adults (18 years and older)

  • There is no proven safe or effective dose for graviola.
  • Based on historical use, an infusion composed of 150 milliliters of boiling water poured over 2 grams of dried graviola leaf and stem steeped for 5-10 minutes has been taken three times daily between meals. Alternatively, 2-4 milliliters of a 1:2 tincture has been taken three times daily.
  • For wound healing, based on historical use, the flesh of a graviola fruit has been applied as a poultice unchanged for three days to draw out chiggers and to speed healing.

Children (under 18 years old)

  • There is no proven safe or effective dose for graviola in children.

Safety

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

Allergies

  • Avoid in individuals with a known allergy or sensitivity to graviola.

Side Effects and Warnings

  • Based on historical use and available research, it appears that graviola is well tolerated in amounts normally consumed in the diet. High doses of graviola may cause gastrointestinal upset, low blood pressure, neuronal dysfunction leading to neurological disorders and myeloneuropathy (disease of the myelin sheath) of the optic nerve.
  • Avoid use in patients with low blood pressure due to possible blood pressure-lowering effects.
  • Use cautiously in patients with gastrointestinal disorders due to the risk of gastrointestinal upset.
  • Use cautiously in patients taking antidepressants, as graviola contains constituents which may also have antidepressant effects.
  • Drowsiness or sedation may occur. Use caution if driving or operating heavy machinery.
  • Use cautiously with antibiotics, antifungals, anticancer agents, antiparasitic agents, antivirals, vasodilators, and agents used to treat Parkinson's disease.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

  • Graviola is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack of available scientific evidence.

Interactions

Interactions with Drugs

  • Graviola may lower blood pressure. Caution is advised in patients taking medications that lower blood pressure.
  • Graviola may increase the amount of drowsiness caused by some drugs. Examples include benzodiazepines such as lorazepam (Ativan®) or diazepam (Valium®), barbiturates such as phenobarbital, narcotics such as codeine, some antidepressants, and alcohol. Caution is advised while driving or operating machinery.
  • Graviola may have additive effects with antibiotics, antidepressants, antifungals, anticancer agents, antiparasitic agents, antivirals, and vasodilators.
  • Graviola may interfere with drugs used to treat Parkinson's disease.

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

  • Graviola may lower blood pressure. Caution is advised in patients taking herbs or supplements that lower blood pressure.
  • Graviola may increase the amount of drowsiness caused by some herbs or supplements.
  • Graviola may have additive effects with antibacterials, antidepressants, antifungals, anticancer herbs, antiparasitic herbs, antivirals, and herbs and vasodilators.
  • Graviola may interfere with herbs and supplements used to treat Parkinson's disease.

Attribution
  • This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).

Bibliography
  1. Caparros-Lefebvre, D and Elbaz, A. Possible relation of atypical parkinsonism in the French West Indies with consumption of tropical plants: a case-control study. Caribbean Parkinsonism Study Group. Lancet 7-24-1999;354(9175):281-286.
  2. Enweani, IB, Esebelahie, NO, Obroku, J, et al. Use of soursop and sweetsop juice in the management of diarrhoea in children. J Diarrhoeal Dis Res 1998;16(4):252-253.
  3. Lannuzel, A, Hoglinger, GU, Verhaeghe, S, et al. Atypical parkinsonism in Guadeloupe: a common risk factor for two closely related phenotypes? Brain 2007;130(Pt 3):816-827.
  4. N'Gouemo, P. et al. Effects of ethanol extract of on pentylenetetrazol-induced convulsive seizures in mice. Phytother Res 1997;11(3):243-245.

Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)


The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

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