Graviola (Annona muricata) is a small evergreen tree from the
Amazon whose leaves are believed to offer immune, circulatory and
lymphatic support. Research since the 1940s has validated and expanded
understanding of this herb and its unique phyto-nutritional qualities.
Nearly 25 years ago it was discovered that the leaf of the graviola
tree contained natural compounds having exceptional cytotoxic activity.
In other words, they had a very strong ability to prevent abnormal
Some of the active ingredients documented, researched, and verified in
Graviola are a group of Annonaceous Acetogenins which are only found in
the Annonaceae family to which Graviola belongs. These phytochemicals
are being researched around the world for their active biological
properties and potential uses
Indigenous Traditional Use: Graviola has a long history of use by
Indigenous people of the Amazon Basin who use all parts of the Graviola
tree - the bark, leaves, roots, fruits and seeds - for various
ailments. For example, the fruit and seeds are used for intestinal
health, namely to eliminate intestinal parasites and for stomach and
bowel discomforts. Women also eat paw paw (the fruit of Graviola) or
drink its juice to increase lactation. Teas are made from the Graviola
root, bark and leaves as a sedative and a nerve tonic, as well as to
help maintain healthy glucose levels. In other parts of the world, such
as the Polynesian Islands, Graviola tea is consumed daily to elevate
mood and increase quality of life.
In Brazil, Indigenous people crush Graviola leaves and blend the oozing
oil from the leaves with the Graviola fruit. This preparation is used
topically for the alleviation of muscle and joint pain.
| Scientific Studies -Mechanism of Action Many of the
indigenous applications of Graviola have been substantiated by science,
and further exceptional properties have been discovered.
First, the nerve tonic, calming and mood elevating
properties of Graviola have been demonstrated through several studies.
The calming effect on the whole body has been linked to the ability of
Graviola leaf extract to help with blood pressure.
In addition, the fruit was shown to contain a serotonin
uptake inhibitor. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter involved in the
experience of joy. When serotonin is released at the synaptic level,
stimulating the post-synaptic neuron, the effect of serotonin is
stopped by recapturing serotonin within the pre-synaptic terminal. This
process is called "reuptake:' A way of enhancing the "joy system" in
the brain and alleviating mood swings is to increase the concentration
of serotonin in the synaptic cleft by blocking the reuptake of
serotonin. Compounds that block this process are called "serotonin
reuptake inhibitors;' commonly referred to as SRI. Several common
medications are SRI. Another way to increase the "serotonin joy system"
is to consume compounds that mimic serotonin, acting in the brain like
serotonin. An extract from the Graviola fruit was shown to contain
three compounds that act like serotonin in the brain.
However, the claim to fame of Graviola is its cytotoxic
properties, which means its ability to kill cells. Cytotoxic often
refers to the ability to kill cells that are not functioning properly
and which can put the whole body at risk. More than 34 cytotoxic
compounds have been isolated from Graviola.
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