The soursop, also known as Graviola (in Portuguese), is an evergreen tree native to parts of Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and the northern portion of South America. It is also found in sub-Saharan African countries that lie within the range of tropics. Nowadays, the Graviola tree is also grown in some parts of south-east Asia. The reason why this plant has managed to garner so much publicity is because of the claim that it has the potential to cure cancer. It is only now that the world has come to know about its health benefits. A cure for cancer has always been a huge topic of research the world over, and the discovery of soursop as a potential cure is said to be a breakthrough in this field.
Can Soursop Cure Cancer?
Whether soursop can cure cancer is still questionable, but there have been studies conducted to validate this claim. Studies to check for the effect of Graviola on cancer cells began sometime around in the 1970s. It was the National Cancer Institute that performed the first ever scientific research study on this subject in the year 1976. Results of this research showed that Graviola's leaves and stems were found quite effective in attacking and destroying malignant cells. Furthermore, it has been claimed that since the same year, Graviola was proven to be a potent killer of cancer cells in over twenty different laboratory tests and studies that were undertaken.
A study published in the Journal of Natural Products following a recent study conducted at the Catholic University of South Korea stated that a certain chemical found in Graviola can selectively kill colon cancer cells at almost 'ten thousand times the potency of Adriamycin'. (Adriamycin is the drug commonly used as a part of chemotherapy). Another interesting fact regarding its healing power is that Graviola selectively targets only the harmful cancer cells, while it leaves behind healthy cells of the body untouched. Thus, unlike chemotherapy, which indiscriminately kills all cells (especially the superficial ones, like hair cells) in the affected region, Graviola does not harm the healthy cells. It also spares the person in question of the side effects of chemotherapy like severe nausea, hair loss, weight loss, and deforming skin changes.
Some studies even claim that soursop can target and help in the treatment of nearly twelve different types of cancers including colon, breast, lung, prostate, and pancreatic cancer; the extracts of Graviola are also known to kill certain cancer cells of the liver which can't be destroyed through chemotherapy. It is also claimed that during the course of chemotherapy, Graviola manages to protect the immune system by preventing it from getting harmed by the effects of chemotherapy. There are experts who question the effectiveness of using Graviola for cancer treatment. In-depth research on the subject can thus, help us understand more about benefits of Graviola.
Being a healthy citrus fruit, there are many benefits offered by soursop. Curing cancer may or may not be one of those benefits. The truth is that chemotherapy and radiation can only do so much to help in treating cancer, but not curing it. Hence, any natural way of at least mitigating, if not curing, the effects or slowing down the progression of this deadly disease are always welcome. Of course, one needs to be wary of taking in excess Graviola in the name of alternative treatment. This is because it has been observed that soursop in excess leads to neurological damage that closely resembles Parkinson's disease. It is always advisable to consult your oncologist or health care provider before trying out this supposed natural remedy for cancer.
Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informative purposes only, and does not, in any way, intend to replace the advice of a medical expert.