Graviola - Cancer Cure

Graviola – Annona Muricata is a plant that has been used since ages as a traditionally remedy for various diseases.  The plant grows in South and Central America and has been cultivated for its healing properties for over three thousand years. Desserts, liqueurs and drinks are concocted using its fruit because of its delicious and subtle flavor, which is also called custard apple, Brazilian paw paw, guanababa and soursop. There are over two thousand varieties of plants in the Annonaceae species worldwide, many of which hold medicinal properties.

Anti-Cancer Properties of Graviola
More than 34 cytotoxic compounds have been isolated from Graviola. Cytotoxic often refers to the ability to kill cells that are not functioning properly. Phytochemicals called Annonaceous acetogenins, are the plant's bioactive constituents which work against cancer cells in a safe and natural manner. It has a strong power to stop the proliferation of cancer cells by reducing their energy supply and it does not affect the healthy cells in the body.  Acetogenins inhibit the energy molecule known as adenosine tryphosphate, or ATP. Cancer cells are high ATP users, thus inhibiting ATP creates a situation where the cancer cells go through programmed cell death or apoptosis. Studies also show graviola has an inhibitory effect on enzyme processes in cancer cell membranes affecting only cancer cells membranes and not those of healthy cells. Graviola is proved to be many times stronger in slowing the growth of cancer as compare to the chemotherapy - which also kills non-cancerous cells creating more suffering. 

Relationship between graviola and prevention of cancer has been first noted at the National Cancer Institute in 1976 which found it effective in destroying malignant cancer cells. More research on this topic was done at Purdue University located in Indiana where cancer cells of prostate, pancreas and lungs had all shown positive results. To quote scientists at Purdue University's highly regarded School of Pharmacy, "Annonaceous acetogenins are an extremely potent class of compounds, and their inhibition of cell growth can be selective for cancerous cells and also effective for drug resistant cancer cells, while exhibiting only minimal toxicity to 'normal' non-cancerous cells" (Oberlies 1995)

A research study was published in the October 2012 issue of cancer letter in which they mentioned the anti-tumor property of the graviola. The most important function of graviola in this study was in prevention of pancreatic cancer. The study was done by the department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the university of Nebraska Medical centre to show that graviola prevents pancreatic cancer by inhibiting the growth of cancerous cells. Graviola inhibits the different reactions that are required for the growth of cancer cells in the pancreas. Graviola helps in preventing cancer or stopping the growth of cancer cells in the body by inhibiting the supply of ATP that is energy to the cancer cells. When cancer cells do not get energy supply they become inactive and stop proliferating further.

Graviola also helps to prevent breast cancer. A study was published in the June 2011 issue of medical journal about the relationship of graviola and breast cancer. In this study scientist found that juice of graviola fruit contains phytochemicals that reduce the growth of cancer cells in the breasts and do not cause any damage to the healthy cells of the breast. The study showed reduction in protein expression in breast cancer tumors and resulted in 32 percent overall tumor growth reductions.

According to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, MSKCC, graviola extract proved to be effective against liver cancer and breast cancers cells. Graviola is not only effective against pancreatic or breast cancer but it also helps in the treatment of lung cancer as per Purdue researchers.

A Korean study found that Graviola killed colon cancer cells better than a chemotherapy drug called Adriamycin. The study conducted at Catholic University of South Korea revealed that two chemicals extracted from Graviola seeds showed "selective cytotoxicity comparable with Adriamycin" for breast and colon cancer cells. The chemicals targeted and killed malignant breast and colon cells in a test tube--comparable to the commonly used chemotherapy drug Adriamycin. Graviola was shown to selectively target the enemy, leaving all healthy normal cells untouched.

Other benefits of Graviola
Other research studies show that graviola not only helps to stop cancer but is also effective in boosting up the immunity to fight against the viral infection. In West Indies it is used for the treatment of respiratory illnesses such as asthma, common cold and cough. It also helps to kill intestinal parasites and worms. It is also found to be effective in the treatment of inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and gout. Graviola is also used to reduce fever and for the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders such diarrhea and dysentery.

It is also beneficial for controlling blood sugar. In a laboratory study published in the "African Journal of Traditional Complementary and Alternative Medicine" in 2008, diabetic animals fed graviola for two weeks had blood glucose levels that were near normal without any additional diabetes treatment. In another paper published in the same journal in 2008, investigators found that diabetic animals fed graviola had higher blood levels of healthy antioxidants, less liver damage and lower blood levels of unhealthy fats than animals fed a placebo.

It is also an effective herbal remedy for the prevention of Herpes as well as other viral diseases. A study published in “Journal of Ethnopharmacology”, 1mg/ml of ethanol extract of Annona muricata (Annonaceae, Graviola) in Petunia nyctaginiflora (Solanaceae) aqueous extract could inhibit the activity of Herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1).

Graviola influences the body's serotonin neuroreceptors and may also work as an anti-depressant. In a study published in the “Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology”, extracts from the fruit and the leaves of Graviola (Annona muricata - Annonaceae) contains three alkaloids, annonaine (1), nornuciferine (2) and asimilobine (3), that upon tests have shown to inhibit binding of rauwolscine to 5-HTergic 5-HT1A receptors in calf hippocampus. These results imply that Graviola fruit (Annona muricata) possesses anti-depressive effects. It has also been traditionally used to treat nervousness and insomnia.

It is recommended to take graviola slowly and should start from a lower dose. One can move from a lower dose to higher dose so that your body may adjust itself.  Since graviola fruit does not ship well, it is primarily available in the United States as a canned nectar beverage, or sometimes as preserved or frozen pulp.

While in Central American countries graviola is widely used from stand alone fruit dessert to juices and ice creams, consumption in large quantities has show to be toxic in some people. Excessive consumption of the fruit over a long period of time has been associated with a neurological disease similar to Parkinson's disease in Guam, New Guinea and Guadeloupe. Concoctions of leaves, seeds and barks are not recommended for internal consumption to young children, pregnant and lactating women. Graviola is not recommended for people who have low blood pressure or motor control difficulty or suspected of having Parkinson's disease.

Always consult a Naturopathy Doctor before starting a Herbal therapy