Benefits and Risks of Soursop Leaves for Your Health

By Xorkpe Sosu 5 Min Read

The fruit graviola, also known as soursop, is not only delicious but also offers numerous health benefits. It’s an excellent choice for those seeking an additional source of antioxidants and may help reduce inflammation.

Research has shown that soursop may have properties that help kill cancer cells. Typically, soursop is eaten raw by cutting the fruit in half and scooping out the flesh. Since the fruits can be quite large, dividing them into portions is often practical.

Soursop is also used in medicine and cooking, being low in calories yet high in fiber and vitamin C, which contributes to its various health benefits. It offers numerous therapeutic benefits and is used in traditional medicine for various health conditions.

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Medical Uses of Soursop Leaves:

Benefits and Risks of Soursop Leaves for Your Health


  • Used to treat headaches and insomnia.
  • Contain powerful natural antioxidants that help fight inflammation.

Cooked Leaves:

  • Applied locally to treat rheumatism and abscesses.
  • In Brazil, the oil from leaves and fruits is mixed with olive oil to alleviate neuralgia, rheumatism, and arthritic pain.

Read Also: Carrot Juice: A Natural Remedy for Brighter, Healthier Eyes and Skin

Leaf Powder:

  • Acts as a deworming and antiparasitic agent.
  • Used as an astringent for diarrhea and dysentery.
  • Helps calm fevers.
  • Increases breast milk production after childbirth.

Tea from Leaves:

  • Traditionally used in the Amazon to treat liver and stomach disorders.

Tea from Bark, Leaves, and Roots:

  • Used as a sedative and antispasmodic.
  • Calms the nerves.
  • Reduces high blood pressure.

Other Key Health Benefits of Soursop:

  • Rich in Nutrients: A good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate, and potassium.
  • Antioxidant Properties: High in antioxidants, which help neutralize harmful free radicals, reducing oxidative stress and lowering the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
  • Immune System Support: The high vitamin C content helps boost the immune system.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Effects: Contains anti-inflammatory properties beneficial for conditions like arthritis.
  • Potential Anti-Cancer Properties: Compounds such as acetogenins have shown potential in inhibiting the growth of cancer cells in laboratory studies.
  • Digestive Health: Rich in dietary fiber, aiding digestion and preventing constipation.
  • Pain Relief: Traditionally used to alleviate pain, with analgesic properties helpful for arthritis and back pain.
  • Blood Pressure Regulation: The potassium content helps regulate blood pressure by counteracting sodium and relaxing blood vessels.
  • Skin Health: Antioxidants and vitamin C promote collagen production, reduce wrinkles, and protect against UV damage.
  • Blood Sugar Control: May help regulate blood sugar levels, beneficial for diabetes management.
  • Urinary Tract Infections: Helps treat infections of the urinary tract.
  • Seizure Control: Used to stop convulsions.

Side Effects of Soursop:

While soursop leaves offer numerous health benefits, they can also have potential side effects, especially when used improperly or in large amounts. Here are some of the known side effects:

  • Neurotoxicity: Compounds such as annonacin may be neurotoxic and could lead to neurological disorders if consumed in high amounts over a long period, potentially causing conditions similar to Parkinson’s disease.
  • Low Blood Pressure: Soursop leaves have a sedative effect and can lower blood pressure, leading to hypotension in some individuals.
  • Interactions with Medications: Can interact with medications for high blood pressure, diabetes, and anticoagulants, leading to potential health risks.
  • Digestive Issues: Some people may experience nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: The safety of soursop leaves during pregnancy and breastfeeding is not well-established; it’s advisable to avoid use during these times.
  • Allergic Reactions: Rarely, some individuals may have allergic reactions such as itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing.
  • Liver and Kidney Toxicity: High doses or prolonged use may lead to toxicity in the liver and kidneys, causing damage to these organs.

Always consult with a healthcare provider before using soursop or any other natural remedy for medicinal purposes.


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