What is Graviola?
Graviola is a fruit tree native to North and South America and the Caribbean, where it is known by such names as Paw-Paw, Soursop, and Guanabana. The species native to South America is the Guanabana tree, and it is prized for its fruit, which is used in drinks, ice cream, and marmalades. The leaves and seeds of the tree have long been used by native peoples for an astounding variety of ailments, ranging from parasites (the seeds), to high blood pressure and cancer.
Although research on the Graviola tree began in the 1940s, it was greatly intensified in the 1970’s with screening of thousands of plants by the National Cancer Institute. Initial screening demonstrated cytoxicity against cancer cells by several Annona species. In the 1990’s an upsurge in interest in the use of herbs to improve health and in new drug discovery from natural products spread throughout the world.
Scientific research has validated through animal studies the use of various parts of the graviola (guanabana) tree for hypertension, as a vasodilator, as an antispasmodic (smooth muscle relaxer), and as cardiodepressant (slowing of heart rate). Mikolajczak, McLaughlin, and Rupprecht (1989) discovered effective pesticidal activity in Annonaceous Acetogenins.