The Annona muricata L., or soursop as it is commonly known, is a fruit of South American origin, large with a somewhat bittersweet flavor, while the leaves can measure between 2.5 to 5 cm in diameter.
The various properties of soursop leaves have positioned it as one of the natural remedies with the greatest beneficial properties for human health, its high content of vitamins and minerals being what highlights its benefits.
That is why we invite you to learn in this article the benefits and different uses of soursop leaves.
Properties of soursop leaves
Soursop leaves are rich in essential nutrients for the proper functioning of the human organism, being one of the plants that provides the most health benefits due to its wide variety of vitamins and minerals.
Among the vitamins present in soursop leaves are vitamin A, vitamins of group B and Vitamin C, the latter being the one with the most weight within the nutritional value.
In this sense, the aforementioned group of vitamins have antioxidant qualities, facilitate the absorption of iron, help in metabolic processes and the healing of skin wounds.
The minerals present in soursop leaves are iron, high levels of potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, selenium, copper and zinc, these being the essential minerals in the basic diet of every person to stay healthy.
However, it is recommended that the consumption of the fruit or leaves of soursop is fasting to improve the absorption of the properties that this plant offers and the nutrients are metabolized throughout the day.
Health benefits of soursop leaves
Thanks to the great variety of properties that the soursop tree has, it becomes a plant with great benefits for health, its leaves being used to combat, cure and prevent different pathologies.
Strengthen the immune system
This is because its high concentrations of vitamin C, iron and folic acid help the body fight infections by strengthening the immune system.
Also, its various properties will make your body recover essential nutrients to avoid common diseases, making soursop the ideal fruit for people who suffer from anemia or are immunologically weak.
The vitamin B2 present in the soursop leaves reduces the fat stored in the body, thus helping to combat high cholesterol levels in the arteries, cleaning the fat that the body does not need for its functioning and improving blood circulation.
As a consequence, high cholesterol primarily affects heart function and can increase the risk of stroke.
Stabilize blood sugar level
Soursop leaf tea is commonly used in people with diabetes, since the combination of nutrients from this plant favors the balance of blood sugar.
In line with the above, soursop has a lipid-lowering action combined with its antioxidant and protective effect on the beta cells of the pancreas, significantly reducing the lipids present in the blood, in this case sugar.
lower blood pressure
The consumption of the properties that the soursop leaves have works as a vasodilator, that is, it dilates the blood vessels, thus reducing high blood pressure.
In addition, the antioxidants that this tree has, in combination with its high potassium value, regulate blood circulation, which favors the oxygenation of tissues and a better functioning of the cardiac system.
Improve liver conditions
Diseases associated with the liver can be improved with the consumption of soursop thanks to its alkalinity and detoxifying properties at the kidney and liver levels.
This is because the liver is the organ that is responsible for breaking down the chemical substances that enter the body, but the alkalinity of the soursop cleanses and detoxifies said organ, significantly improving its function.
Fight respiratory conditions
Soursop can be used to reduce inflammation and decongest the respiratory tract, which is why it is usually ingested by people who suffer from asthma and have difficulty breathing.
In addition, its high content of vitamin C protects the body from colds and respiratory diseases, increasing the production of antibodies.
They avoid constipation
The soursop tree is rich in dietary fiber, which facilitates digestion and intestinal transit in people suffering from constipation.
Also, it restores and strengthens the intestinal flora, so the habitual consumption of soursop reduces the risk of suffering from stomach diseases.
Reduce inflammation and pain
The Swiss journal Frontiers in Pharmacology published an exploratory study on soursop leaves, where they obtained the results that said plant has anti-inflammatory, anticancer and effects related to the immune system.
In addition, they highlight that the investigations will be extended to consolidate the entry of the soursop leaf into the pharmaceutical industry.
For its part, soursop tea is known for its effects against arthritis and muscular ailments due to its content of group B vitamins, which help combat neuropathic pain.
Help treat gout
Symptoms such as severe pain and inflammation of the joints or the deposit of uric acid in them, are alleviated with the consumption of soursop leaves.
This is because the properties of the soursop leaves act directly on the symptoms associated with gout, providing relief and improvements in this disease.
Eliminate bacteria and parasites
A study conducted by the Department of Nursing at Nambu University, Gwangju, Korea revealed that soursop consumption helps fight Helicobacter Pylori bacteria.
In this sense, the antibacterial effect of the soursop tree acts as a defensive barrier to minimize the action of the aforementioned bacteria in the gastrointestinal system.
In addition, the leaves of this plant have antiparasitic qualities and its consumption helps to eliminate parasites lodged in the stomach in a natural way.
They fight insomnia
The anti-inflammatory properties of soursop and its calming effect combat stress, tiredness or anxiety that can in turn cause insomnia.
Therefore, drinking hot soursop leaf tea before going to bed will help relax your nerves, reduce exhaustion and help you fall asleep.
Improve skin conditions
An article by the Federal University of Sergipe, in Brazil, explains that the topical application of extracts from soursop leaves reduces skin inflammation.
This is due to the high content of Vitamin C present in soursop leaves, which acts as a natural antioxidant, in combination with its anti-inflammatory effect, it is used to relieve irritation and improve skin conditions such as dermatitis and rashes.
It is known that according to a study published by the Hindawi Publishing Corporation magazine, soursop has anticancer properties capable of reducing cancer due to the amount of metabolites that the plant has.
While the alkaloids and acetogenins present in the soursop leaves and in the fruit as such, decrease the reproduction and growth of cancer cells among them.
For this reason, scientists have highlighted the importance of continuing with research to implement the properties of soursop, depending on the cancer being studied, in the treatments developed to combat this disease.
slow down aging
The antioxidant properties of soursop present in vitamin C help increase the resistance of cells and delay aging.
In addition, the high content of this vitamin in soursop leaves helps neutralize free radicals that form in the body, which are responsible for premature aging of the skin.
How to consume and use soursop leaves?
For the consumption and use of soursop leaves, there are two easy recipes that will help you obtain the maximum benefits of this powerful plant, in such a way that you can alleviate many medical conditions.
Soursop Leaf Tea
Soursop leaf tea has multiple health benefits and is one of the best-known forms of consumption due to its versatility when preparing and ingesting.
That is why we show you how to prepare it.
- 15 dried soursop leaves
- 1 liter of hot water
- sweetener to taste
- Boil the leaves in the water over low heat for 15 minutes.
- After the time has elapsed, let the infusion rest for 30 minutes so that the properties are concentrated in the water.
- Then strain the preparation, add the sweetener of your choice and pack.
- The recommended daily doses are 3 cups of tea, you can consume it hot or cold.
Soursop leaves ointment
By combining the essential oil of your choice with the soursop leaves, an ointment is created that you can use to relieve inflammation in the joints or other parts of the body. In addition, the application of this ointment relieves muscle pain.
- 15 soursop leaves
- 150 ml essential oil
Preparation and application
- Wash the soursop leaves very well and grind them until they soften.
- Then, pour the oil into a pot and administer the paste obtained from the crushed leaves.
- Cook for 5 minutes, stirring gently to extract the nutrients from the leaves.
- Remove from the heat, let it rest for 15 minutes, strain the mixture, pack it in a container and you will have your ointment ready.