GUYABANO: ANTI-CANCER AND HOME REMEDY
By Connie Mangaron-Domag, R.N., M.A.N.
Various claims and publications relating to the health benefits of guyanabo have been attributed to its anti-cancer property and therapeutic value. After a couple of research on guyabano’s anti-cancer property was released to the public, guyabano has become a favorite ingredient for commercial and direct selling products ranging from regular fruit drinks to food supplements.
Brief description of guyabano
Guyabano is a Philippine term for Annona muricata. It is same fruit which is called soursop in English, graviola in Brazil and guanabana in Spain. In the Philippines, guyanabo is a common backyard plant capable of bearing fruit all-year round. The Department of Agriculture describes guyanabo as a small tree with smooth shining leaves and a cone-shaped flower which develop into a green, soft spine, pear-shaped fruit with sweet and sour flavor.
Health benefits of guyanabo
The benefit of guyabano is nothing new to health. In fact the web has already published more than 500 thousand different articles on guyabano from different authors around the world. Of all these articles, the most interesting claim is guyabano’s strong anti-cancer property. Other health benefits include home remedies for fever, inflammations, skin infections, asthma and arthritis. Some articles boldly mention that guyabano is effective for diabetes, hypertension and liver problems.
Numerous articles highlights Purdue University study on Annonaceous acetogenins, a unique chemical found in the fruit, leaves, bark and roots of guyabano as effective anti-cancer agent but do not attack healthy cells. Some manufacturers of guyabano products based their claim on a research conducted by Catholic University of South Korea that Annonaceous acetogenins effectively kills cancer cells 10,000 times more than adriamycin, the most widely used cancer treatment.
There are no studies published that Annonaceous acetogenins were actually tested on humans. However, findings about the potency and safety of the substance clearly demonstrate a strong possibility that a breakthrough product for safe cancer treatment may be available in the future using Annonaceous acetogenins from guyabano.
Claims of guyabano’s health benefits are available through various testimonies. Testimonies are actual personal experience, or experiences of family members, neighbors and friends who found relief or cure of illnesses such as breast cancer, ovarian cancer and other forms of carcinoma with the use of guyabano. There were also claims that guyabano was effective in treating asthma, allergies, urinary problems and high blood pressure. As treatment guyabano was used concomitantly with prescribed medications or use it singly in a form of maintenance or as food supplement.
Personal experience with guyabano
After I found out from my research that arthritis (due to prolonged or improper use of NSAID’s) is among the top leading causes of end-stage renal failure (a condition which require dialysis or kidney transplantation to sustain life), I became very cautious about taking NSAID’s (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) for pain relief related arthritis. NSAID’s are generally well-tolerated however one of its serious side effects is kidney failure.
One day I had arthritis attack manifested with sever pain on my right arm, I could hardly use it. I did not consider NSAID anymore; instead I searched for alternative medicines in the web. I came across guyabano. Then I remember a friend whose father did not pursue dialysis treatment when he was able to urinate after drinking infusion guyabano leaves.
How did I relate my friend’s father condition with mine? I could not help thinking that guyabano might have diuretic effect (urine stimulation) which might be responsible for stimulation of excreting accumulated fluid from his father’s edematous body. I considered applying the principle to my condition that guyabano might help stimulate excretion of fluid or crystals accumulated in my joint causing excruciating pain over the affected area.
I infused guyabano leaves then I started drinking two cups at bedtime. I woke up several times to empty my bladder. The following morning, I could hardly believe I could already move my arm. I continued drinking the tea and on the second morning my right arm was already fully functional. I attributed my quick recovery to guyabano since I did not take any other medication.
I intend to share my personal experience on guyabano to encourage people to try and see for themselves if it works without fear of side effects. This can be justifiable than experimenting on unprescribed drugs which can be detrimental to health. But if symptoms persist, make an appointment with a health professional and seek for help. Some of those who developed end-stage renal failure were due to improper use of medications. Many drugs are toxic to kidneys and are to be used only upon doctor’s prescription.
Ways of using guyabano
The Fruit. Guyabano is nature’s gift to mankind and probably one of the most beneficial trees on earth. Its ripe fruit is a perfect blend of sweet and sour flavor. To savor its refreshing goodness, it is best harvested when already riped from the tree. Premature harvest may not yield its exotic delectable taste. Regular fruit consumption boosts immune system due to high levels of vitamin C and B vitamins and other important minerals such as phosphorus and calcium. Chilled or straight from the tree guyabano fruit is best for desert. Caution: Do not eat the seeds, they are probably toxic! Pulverized seeds are an effective pesticide!
The leaves. Guyabano leaves are useful for home remedies. Fresh leaves are infused to make a drink. To prepare, select at least 10 large leaves placed in boiling water set to low fire for 15 to 20 minutes in a pot uncovered. Set aside or refrigerate. To enhance the taste, cold water may be added then mix with calamansi juice and little sugar. Consume within one day in two or three divided doses.
Roots and bark. The roots and bark of guyabano are also rich in Annonaceous acetogenins however I don’t recommend using these parts but rather leave them to maintain the integrity of the tree. Taking out its bark may provide pests’ entry to its body and may cause diseases and premature death of plant. Roots are the primary support of the plant; they absorb water and nutrition to sustain existence of the tree.
Remedy for arthritis
Drink the infusion of 10 large leaves every day in two to three divided doses. If you have prescription drugs consult your doctor if Annonaceous acetogenins may interfere with your current medication. Follow doctor’s advice. The infusion may be taken for more days after symptom relief or as daily maintenance for prophylaxis (prevention) against arthritis.
Other health problems treated by guyabano
There are other uses of guyabano which I also found very effective based on personal experience. My next posts will discuss some other practical uses of guyabano as best home remedies.
1. Department of Agriculture (Philippines)