Soursop A Tropical Ally in the Fight Against Cancer

November 20, 2023 7 mins to read
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As an integrative nutrition student, one of my areas of interest is nutrition for Cancer. So I’m constantly on the lookout for new research proving the efficacy of herbs and supplements that have long been used in alternative medicine for their anti-cancer benefits. In this article I take a look at Soursop aka Graviola from the muricata tree, a hot topic in the holistic community for it’s cancer-fighting properties and an equally controversial subject among mainstream health professionals.

Lynette Hill’s Cancer Story

The journey of Lynette Hill, a stage 4 breast cancer patient, highlights the interest around soursop for cancer…After enduring rigorous chemotherapy, Ms. Hill turned to soursop leaf tea as part of her treatment, which she believes played a crucial role in her recovery​​. Ms. Hill recalls, “What’s sad is that health care providers told me ‘to keep doing what I’m doing,’ but not one asked me what I was doing.” She believes there’s more to health than just prescribed medicine and encourages others to be their own health advocates; I agree.

Now I know the first thing MDs are going to say is that her story is anecdotal, correlation isn’t causation, she’s only one story and for all we know it was the chemo that did everything…while that’s a valid argument, her story is but one of thousands. There are entire communities dedicated to soursop with more testimonials giving it praise for it’s cancer fighting ability, than you could count. Personally I think it’s but one of many herbs and foods that can be included as part of an Anti-Cancer diet.

Valery Maureens Cancer Story

76 yr old Valery Maureen Stander from Knysna, South Africa was diagnosed with cervical cancer. She turned to soursop due to other health complications preventing conventional treatments. Her son, now her caregiver, told The Epoch Times, “We’ve incorporated a mix of natural therapies, but soursop leaf powder is central to her regimen.”

Soursop in Traditional Medicine

Soursop is more than just a fruit; it’s been used for generations in medicinal traditions across Africa and America. Dee Oye, a pharmacist and naturopath, pointed out that soursop has been a part of herbal treatments for various ailments, including cancer​​ for a very long time. If you’re one of the stoic believers in traditional medicine (despite its abysmal success rates), soursop is likely completely new to you, and you may not even be aware that there are tens of thousands of studies on anti-cancer herbs and supplements. But nearly anyone whos’ looked into alternative medicine, has heard of soursop and it’s anti-cancer potential.

Soursop | Nutrient Dense & Anti-Cancer

Soursop is rich in annonaceous acetogenins, these are compounds studied for their potential to target cancer cells. It’s also a nutrient dense source of :alkaloids, vitamins, minerals, and flavonoids – offering a range of health benefits beyond its cancer fighting properties​​.

“The compounds of graviola have shown promise as possible cancer-fighting agents and could be used to treat cancer,”

A Review on Annona muricata and Its Anticancer Activity

Soursop | Global Perspectives and Skeptics

While soursop has been used for generations in countries like Jamaica, Trinidad, Nigeria, Peru, and Mexico for its health benefits, global scientific communities and regulatory bodies like the FDA and FTC have raised concerns about unsubstantiated claims regarding its effectiveness in treating cancer​​. From 2018-2022 the FTC showed us with their actions, that they are rife with corruption and can’t be trusted to protect our health, so I take what they say with a grain of salt…but where I stand on this is that soursop is this… it’s a natural herb with a low risk of side effects (though there are some), that may be used as an adjunct to more traditional treatments like chemo, which can aid in your cancer recovery and may even expedite it. Obviously this isn’t medical advice.

Soursop | Scientific Studies and Cautions

There are studies which suggest that compounds in soursop could be potential cancer-fighting agents, however more rigorous human studies are needed. It’s also crucial to note that concerns have been raised about potential side effects linked to brain health​​. What I like to point out here is that chemo and radiation are highly toxic to every part of the human body, and a herb like soursop has comparatively less of a risk of severe side effects. Honestly Chemo and radiation are like saying ‘let’s poison your body, and hope the cancer cells die before you do’…while there are some better options now like immunotherapy and less invasive histotripsy (ultrasound tumor destruction), as well as new medicines being developed daily.

Availability and Consumption

Soursop’s limited availability in tropical regions can reduce the risk of overconsumption. Again everything in moderation – there are dozens and dozens of anti-cancer foods you can integrate into your diet. Book an online TeleHealth appointment, to work with a holistic nutritionist, who can tailor an anti-cancer diet optimized for you. Back to soursop, it’s important for consumers to source quality soursop and to be cautious of exaggerated claims about its benefits​​​​. I think it best soursop be used in moderation along-side an anti-cancer diet and lifestyle.

“Soursop does tend to produce results relatively quickly compared to other natural remedies,”

Ms. Oye, a pharmacist with a background in naturopathic medicine and founder of Organic Pharmacist

Conclusion

The story of soursop in cancer treatment is still unfolding. While personal experiences and preliminary research are encouraging, they should be balanced with professional medical advice and further scientific investigation. As we continue to explore the potential of natural remedies like soursop, it’s vital to approach them with a blend of hope, skepticism, and informed decision-making.

References

Disclaimer

The information provided in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any health care agency or government entity in Canada or the United States.

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