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soursop bark

Soursop Bark

Graviola or soursop in English has been recognized for its medicinal properties, most notably its cancer-fighting ability. Nearly all the parts of the Graviola tree are traditionally used in herbal medicine in the tropics. The soursop bark, leaves, fruits, roots and even the fruit seeds are deemed to be beneficial, thus nothing is wasted. There are different uses and properties that are attributed to each part of the tree.

Also known as guanabana in Spanish, the graviola bark has been found to contain the highest cancer cell-killing property. Aside from being a natural cancer remedy, it is also a broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent, which is effective against fungal and bacterial infections. The bark of some variety of Annona has been used in tanning. The bark, roots and seeds has also been used as fish poison.

Graviola has been long recognized by the indigenous people of Amazon Basin who use all tree parts to treat various diseases. For example, the bark is known to combat intestinal parasites, alleviate stress, depression and nervous disorders and lowers high blood pressure. Guanabana bark is a natural immune booster that has been traditionally used to improve liver problems, lower fever and relieve cold and flu.

The tea made from tree bark is taken as a sedative and nerve tonic, as well as help keep healthy glucose levels. In Polynesian Islands, the tea is consumed on a daily basis to elevate mood and promote well-being. It can also be used as a body wash or applied on the skin as an insect repellant. Since the 1940s, scientists already took notice on the medicinal abilities of this plant.

Most of the studies have been focused on Annonaceous acetogenins, an active compound that is produced on the leaf, bark and fruit seeds. Numerous researches have confirmed that this natural substance have anti-cancer properties, which means that they combat several types of cancer cells — and hence, a significant support to the immune system.

The bark has been revealed to contain alkaloids called anoniine and anonaine, compounds that are high in hydrocyanic acid. In a research done from a Carribean laboratory, it has been discovered that the bark contains annonacin that is believed to be associated with the development of an atypical Parkinson’s-like disease. As such, this herb is not advised for people with difficulties in motor control or suspected with Parkinson’s disease.

Extracts of graviola bark is served by preparing a decoction of the bark. When making a soursop bark extract, prepare 20 grams of bark, cut it into small pieces and bring to boil into four glasses of water. Let the water boil for 4 minutes and turn the fire off. Allow the boiling compounds to settle for half an hour. Let it cool and filter it.

Soursop bark extract is commonly sold in health food stores in the form of powder, capsule or tincture. You can also drink it as many stores offer soursop products in powder or tea bags, which can be brewed. You can also mix it into your juice or shake.

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