Guabana is a tree native to parts of South America and Southern Asia. It is also known as soursop, Brazilian pawpaw, graviola and custard apple, among its many other names. And while it is still not widely known in the West, it is definitely beginning to attract more attention from nutritionists and other healthcare professionals here.
Guabana has a long history of medicinal use, and people in regions where this tree is native have used it for centuries for a variety of ailments. These ailments range from minor complaints like cough and fever to more serious conditions such as respiratory diseases, cardiac complaints and arthritis. And new knowledge is coming to light that is may also be good for treatment of cancer.
Guabana: A Natural Cancer Treatment?
There is mounting evidence to suggest that active compounds in the guabana fruit are able to help effectively treat cancer, killing off cancer cells without damaging the surrounding healthy tissues. This would make for a real improvement over conventional cancer therapies like chemo, which can damage cancerous and non-cancerous cells indiscriminately and which lead to problems like gastrointestinal distress and hair loss.
Guabana, moreover, appears to be something of panacea. Various studies have tested its efficacy on a number of different types of cancer and found it to be effective. Among others, guabana appears to be effective against cancers of the breast, colon, prostate, lung and pancreas. Overall, around 12 different types of cancer have been studied, and guabana appears to have a positive effect on each one. It also has been proven to be more efficient than some forms of chemo at slowing down tumor growth.
Several well-known institutions for research have done studies on guabana and results have been equally promising. One study, conducted by the National Cancer Institute, found that extracts from the leaves and stems of guabana are, like its fruit, effective at killing off cancerous cells. Research has shown that active compounds in the guabana have proven to be toxic to colon, pancreatic and lung cancer cell lines and again this toxicity was selective, not targeting healthy tissues.
Other Health Benefits of Guabana
Apart from its apparent anti-carcinogenic properties, guabana has other health benefits as well. According to research published in the Journal of Natural Products, guabana also has strong anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-malarial and the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center found that is has powerful anti-inflammatory properties as well. This goes a long way to explaining why indigenous medicine has used it for so many ailments in the past.
Recipe for Guabana Tea
To experience the health benefits of guabana, here is a quick and easy recipe for a tea:
- 3 fresh or dried leaves of guabana
- 1 cup boiling water
Chop the leaves up into small pieces and place in a mug, then place in a cup of boiling water. Let is set for 35 to 40 minutes, then strain and sweeten with honey or stevia.
As always, it is best to consult with a practitioner before beginning this or any other natural therapy. However, based on its track record for helping to treat cancer and for its other health benefits, it is definitely an option that is well worth considering.
More Entries by Rosalina