Graviola – Does it Really Help Treat Cancer?

Graviola, a fruit popularly known as soursop, or some even call it Brazilian paw paw is native to tropical areas of Central and South Africa.

In the past several years, graviola has gained traction as one of the fruits that can cure and treat cancer.

It serves as a dietary supplement that people can use to treat different conditions.

Hailed as a wonder herb, the popularity of graviola rose as it was used as natural remedy for viruses, pain relief, and some types of cancer.

But does the fruit really help with cancer?

Let’s take a look at both sides of the story.

Potential benefits


So far, studies have managed to prove some of the benefits of soursop.

Here is a list of some of those.

Antioxidant properties

One of the main reasons why graviola is thought to be great against cancer is the antioxidant properties of the fruit.

We all know that antioxidants keep our cells healthy by fighting off free radicals, or the disease-causing compounds.

Graviola has a number of compounds with antioxidant abilities, and those include flavonoids, tannins, phytosterols, saponins, and anthraquinones [1]

More research is needed in order to determine whether the antioxidants found in graviola can help prevent diseases.

Anti-inflammatory properties

Another study has proven that the Brazilian paw paw also has anti-inflammatory properties [2]

These are needed to relieve pain caused by different factors.

The study also supports the theory that graviola is a great folk remedy for pain and other inflammatory conditions.

However, scientists also warn that more study is needed in order to determine whether graviola is safe for humans.

The study, while successful, was conducted on rodents, and it is unclear whether the supplement will have the same pain-relieving effect on humans.

Lower blood sugar

Another study conducted on rodents showed that graviola can also help people regulate their blood pressure by lowering blood sugar [3]

The supplement can vastly reduce the blood glucose levels in rats with diabetes.

The study also found out that while rats were being fed less food and water, they did not lose weight.

According to the study and its findings, the result is because of better glucose control.

Lower blood pressure

As a folk remedy, graviola is often used to lower blood pressure.

We all know that blood pressure can increase the risk of a heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

A study conducted on rats found out that the supplement can lower blood pressure without increasing heart rate in the process [4]

Prevent ulcers

Ulcers are painful sores that can develop in the small intestine, the stomach lining, or in the esophagus.

Graviola has antiulcer properties, and helps protect the stomach mucous lining [5]

Again, the study was not conducted on animals.

But there is proof that graviola can prevent free radical damage to the digestive tract.

Treat herpes

Herpes might not be something we panic about, but the viral infection can be quite irritating.

Herpes can appear on the mouth or on the genitals.

An alternative treatment for herpes, graviola has some traction thanks to studies.

It all comes down to the antiviral effects of the supplement, particularly against the herpes simplex virus [6]

Anticancer properties

This is the biggest reason why the supplement is gaining popularity.

It has been used as a folk remedy to treat cancer.

Some experimental studies have even backed up the theory.

A study in 2016, which was in vivo and in vitro research, showed that the extract was toxic against breast cancer cell lines [7]

In the same time, graviola helped increase the amount of T cells, lymphocytes in the body responsible for killing cancer and other damages cells.

Breast cancer is not the only type of cancer the supplement can help with.

Another study showed that graviola carries benefits against pancreatic cancer as well [8]

However, both studies warn that graviola should not be used as the primary treatment.

How to use?

The supplement is available in both capsule and extract form.

It is worth noting that the recommended dosages have not been approved by the FDA.

That means you are taking the supplement on your own risk.

In general, manufacturers recommend taking between 500 and 1,500mg via capsule daily, or 1 to 4ml of the extract daily.

These dosages are recommended by the manufacturers, but not approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Possible side effects and risks

While there are studies supporting the use of graviola, there are also warnings about the possible side effects.

Some might say that is a trick by the FDA and pharmaceutical companies.

But the warning is that graviola can cause nerve damage and movement problems if used for a long time.

The supplement can also cause neuropathy leading to Parkinson-like symptoms.

Patients who already have Parkinson’s might experience worsening of their symptoms.

Here are some risk factors that you should consider before using graviola:

  • Do not use the supplement if you have liver or kidney problems
  • Patients with high blood pressure or those taking blood pressure medications should avoid graviola
  • People with diabetes should be careful and mindful regarding the use of the supplement
  • If you are pregnant or you are breastfeeding, do not take soursop


While graviola is popular as a folk remedy for cancer, both American and British cancer centers warn about the use of the supplement.

The American cancer society warn against using the fruit, despite research suggesting that soursop can fight off cancer [9]

Their reasoning is that the supplement was not studied and tested on humans.

They also warn that when used orally, the supplement is classified as “likely unsafe”.

Eating the fruit can lead to movement disorders.

People at the UK also believe there is no reason and evidence showing that graviola can work as a cure for cancer [10]

They warn that none of the websites supporting graviola use are supported by reputable scientific cancer organization.

The question remains whether you believe in it or not?

Do you think pharmaceuticals and other organizations prevent graviola from becoming mainstream because they would lose a lot of money?

The fact of the matter is that people in distress and desperate will try anything, and that applies to graviola as well.


References   [ + ]

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