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Soursop Health Benefits, Nutritional Value and Uses

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What is Soursop?

Soursop is found in most of the warmest tropical regions of the world. The tree is small upright that grows up to 6 metres tall.It has large dark and shiny green and leathery leaves, which has a strong odour when crumpled .The flowers are large, with yellow or greenish-yellow colour.The fruit are large and has a heart-like shape, covered with small spine-shaped structures. The pulp is fleshy, soft and white in colour, with a slightly sour-acid taste and it can be eaten out-of-hand. The fruit may contain up to 100 black seeds.

Health Benefits of Soursop

Parasite Control: The anti-parasitic nature of soursop leaf is one of the herbal source that you must consider since it has some capabilities to inhibit the growth of parasites which could be really harmful for your body .

Sedation and Stress: Soursop tea has been used as a stress relieving strategy for centuries. There are certain anti-inflammatory and soothing properties of soursop that make it very effective if you are suffering from excess stress and anxiety. Stress hormones in the body can be detrimental, and can mess with your natural metabolic cycles, as well as your sleep schedule. If you’re suffering from insomnia or restless sleep, soursop tea is a wise choice.

Cancer Prevention: Some of the most interesting benefits of soursop relate to its antioxidant activity, which namely comes from acetogenins, as well as quinolones and alkaloids. These have been directly linked to cancer prevention and the reduction in size of tumors. Extensive research has been done on the unique organic compounds of soursop and it has been widely studied as an alternative cancer treatment. These acetogenins are actually unique to the Annonanaceae plant family, which is what makes them so fascinating. They can apparently cut off blood flow to foreign or non-normal cellular growths, and have already been positively associated with treating breast, pancreatic, prostate, and lung cancers.

Immune System Booster: Protecting the immune system is one of the most important components of a healthy diet and fitness regiment. Adding a bit of soursop fruit to your diet, either through refreshing beverages or desserts, can positively impact your overall health and keep those illnesses at bay. Rich in vitamin C, this fruit stimulates the production of white blood cells, while the concentration of antioxidants helps to neutralize free radicals and prevent chronic disease.

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Gastrointestinal Health: Being rich in vitamin C, soursop was used for many years as a natural remedy for scurvy and dysentery. The juice of the soursop fruit can also be a very effective diuretic, to cleanse the gastrointestinal tract and remove excess toxins and salts from the body. The anti-inflammatory components, including the alkaloids and quinolones, can reduce parasites in the gut and alleviate any pain and irritation in the stomach/colon.

Hair and skin problems: Soursop is good at treating a number of hair problems such as split ends, dandruff, and falling hair, greying, and head lice. To derive these benefits make a tea from the leaves and use it as a hair rinse. The natural ingredients in the leaves, when mashed until soft and applied directly to the affected area, are good at treating eczema as well as skin infections such as acne.

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Analgesic Properties: In terms of pain relief, soursop has been topically applied to wounds and injuries for generations, but also works internally to relieve pain and speed healing. The sedative and anti-inflammatory aspects of this impressive tropical fruit make it an ideal solution for all types of body pain, both inside and out.

Uses of Soursop

The fruit juice of soursop is creamy, with musky, sub-acid to acid flavour, sometimes used in ice cream.

  • Pulverized Soursop seeds are used as skin astringents, to kill off bedbugs and head lice and to reduce muscle spasms
  • The crushed fresh leaves can be applied on skin eruptions to promote healing.
  • The juice of the fruit can be taken orally as a remedy for urethritis, haematuria and liver ailments.
  • The juice when taken when fasting, it is believed to relieve liver ailments and leprosy.
  • The seeds, which have emetic properties, can be used in the treatment of vomiting.
  • The leaf decoction is effective for head lice and bedbugs.
  • The root bark is use as an antidote for poisoning.
  • Soursop flowers are believed to alleviate catarrh.
  • Decoction of leaves used as compresses for inflammation and swollen feet.
  • To speed the healing of wounds, the flesh of the soursop is applied as a poultice unchanged for 3 days.
  • A decoction of the young shoots or leaves is regarded as a remedy for gall bladder trouble, as well as coughs, catarrh, diarrhea, dysentery, fever and indigestion.
  • Mashed leaves are used as a poultice to alleviate eczema and other skin problems and rheumatism.