Independent third-party opinions on what could turn out to be a truly remarkable rainforest tree
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1. Graviola Annona Muricata
Common Names: Soursop, Graviola, Brazilian Paw Paw
Part Used: Leaf and fruit.
Description and Habitat: Graviola is a small tree growing five to six meters in height with large dark green and glossy leaves. It is indigenous to most of the warmest tropical areas in South America, including the Amazon Basin. It produces a fruit the size of a large cantaloupe with a delicious white flesh.
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. Graviola tea taken orally or applied on the skin is also used as an insect repellent.
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.
Aside from its medicinal use, Graviola fruit is eaten regularly throughout South America as a delicious and refreshing fruit during a hot summer day.
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 lower 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.
Another interesting application of Graviola, well known by Indigenous people, is its ability to repel insects. In 1988 a patent was filed describing the insecticidal properties of annonin, a natural compound present in Graviola. Since then, shampoo and skin care products have been developed for the management of lice.
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, some of them being up to 100 million times more potent than commonly used cytotoxic compounds. The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) prevents making health claims. Therefore, one cannot recommend using the cytotoxic properties of Graviola for the treatment of any disease. However, given the demonstrated properties of Graviola, and given the role of the immune System in eliminating dysfunctional cells, we can say that Graviola is a natural plant that can support the functions of the immune system in an exceptional manner.
The information contained in this article is intended for educational
purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, cure, mitigate, treat or prevent
any disease. If you have any health concern, it is recommended that you seek the
advise of a certified health practitioner.
2. HEALTH SCIENCES INSTITUTE on GRAVIOLA
Members Alert for January 2001 Vol.5, No 7
Billion-dollar Drug Company Nearly Squashes Astounding Research on Natural Cancer Killer
Colon and breast cancer conquered with miracle tree from the Amazon found to be 10, 000 times stronger than chemotherapy.
Since our inception in 1996, Health Sciences Institute has scoured the world to find cutting-edge treatments few people have access to or have even heard about. And sometimes, what we uncover startles even the medical mavericks on our board. Two months ago, we learned about an astounding cancer-fighting tree from the Amazon that has literally sent shock waves through the HSI network.
Today, the future of cancer treatment and the chances of survival look more promising than ever. There's a healing tree that grows deep within the Amazon rain forest in South America that could literally change how you, your doctor, and possibly the rest of the world think about curing cancer. With extracts from this powerful tree, it may now be possible to... conquer cancer safely and effectively with an all-natural therapy that doesn't cause extreme nausea, weight loss, and hair loss protect your immune system and evade deadly infections feel strong and healthy throughout the course of treatment boost your energy and improve your outlook on life.
Through a series of confidential communications involving a researcher from one of America's largest pharmaceutical companies, this ancient tree's anticancerous properties have recently come to light. Although not yet tested in human trials, the tree has been studied in more than 20 laboratory tests since the 1970s, where it's been shown to: Effectively target and kill malignant cells in 12 different types of cancer, including colon, breast, prostate, lung, and pancreatic cancer; be 10,000 times stronger in killing colon cancer cells than Adriamycin, a commonly used chemotherapeutic drug ; selectively hunt down and kill cancer cells without harming healthy cells, unlike chemotherapy.
Read the rest of this amazing article here: http://rain-tree.com/reports/hsi_200101.pdf
3. Source: Herbal Secrets of the Rainforest by Leslie Taylor
Click Here to Visit Leslie's Web Site for more detailed information about Graviola
Common Names: Graviola, soursop, guanabana, guanavana, corossolier, toge-banreisi, durian benggala, nangka blanda, nangka londa
Parts Used: Leaves, fruit, seeds, bark, roots
Medicinal Properties: Antibacterial, antiparasitic, antispasmodic, astringent, cytotoxic, febrifuge, hypotensive, insecticide, nervine, pectoral, piscicide, sedative, stomachic, vasodilator, vermifuge
Many bioactive compounds and phytochemicals have been found in graviola, as scientists have been studying its properties since the 1940s. Its many uses in natural medicine have been validated by this scientific research. The earliest studies were between 1941 and 1962. Several studies by different researchers demonstrated that the bark as well as the leaves had hypotensive, antispasmodic, vasodilator, smooth musclerelaxant, and cardiodepressant activities in animals.1,2 Researchers reverified graviola leaf's hypotensive properties in rats again in 1991.3 Several studies over the years have demonstrated that leaf, bark, root, stem, and seed extracts of graviola are antibacterial in vitro against numerous pathogens,4-6 and that the bark has antifungal properties.6,7 Graviola seeds demonstrated active antiparasitic properties in a 1991 study,8 and a leaf extract showed to be active against malaria in two other studies, in 1990 and 1993. 9,10 The leaves, root, and seeds of graviola demonstrated insecticidal properties, with the seed demonstrating strong insecticidal activity in an early 1940 study;11 In a 1997 clinical study, novel alkaloids found in graviola fruit exhibited antidepressive effects in animals.12
Much of the recent research on graviola has focused on a novel set of phytochemicals found in the leaves, seeds, and stem that are cytotoxic against various cancer cells. In a 1976 plant screening by the National Cancer Institute, the leaves and stem of graviola showed active cytotoxicity against cancer cells, and researchers have been following up on this research ever since.13 Two separate research groups have isolated novel compounds in the seeds and leaves of the plant that have demonstrated significant antitumorous, anti- cancerous, and selective toxicity activity against various types of cancer cells; the research groups have published eight clinical studies on their findings.14-21 One study demonstrated that an isolated compound in graviola was selectively cytotoxic to colon adenocarcinoma cells, showing that it had 10,000 times the potency of adriamycin, a leading chemotherapy drug.15
Suggested Usage: Natural health practitioners use graviola bark and leaves for many natural remedies, especially as a heart tonic, as a nervine, and for disorders of a bacterial nature such as colds and flu, and even cancer. The therapeutic dosage is reported to be 3 to 4 grams daily of the leaves and/or bark, and sometimes a standard infusion is used in 1/2-cup dosages 1 to 3 times daily.
1. Feng, P.C., et al. "Pharmacological screening of some West Indian medicinal plants." I. Pharm. Pharmacol. 14 (1962): 556-61.
2. Meyer, T. M. "The alkaloids of Annona muricata." Ing. Ned. Indie. 8,6 (1941): 64. 3. Carbajal, D., et al. "Pharmacological screening of plant decoctions commonly used
in Cuban folk medicine." I. Ethnopharmacol. 33,1/2 (1991): 21-4.
4. Misas, C. A. J., et al. "Contribution to the biological evaluation of Cuban plants. IV." Rev. Cubana Med. Trop. 31,1 (1979): 29-35.
5. Sundarrao, K, et al. "Preliminary screening of antibacterial and antitumor activi- ties of Papua New Guinean native medicinal plants." Int. I. Pharmacog. 31, 1 (1993): 3-6.
6. Heinrich, M., et al. "Parasitological and microbiological evaluation of Mixe Indian medicinal plants (Mexico)." I. Ethnopharmacol. 36,1 (1992): 81-5.
7. Lopez, Abraham A. M. "Plant extracts with cytostatic properties growing in Cuba. I." Rev. Cubana Med. Trop. 31,2 (1979): 97-104.
8. Bories, C. Et al. "Antiparasitic activity of Annona muricata and Annona cherimo- lia seeds." Planta Med. 57,5 (1991): 434-36.
9. Antoun, M.D., et al. "Screening of the flora of Puerto Rico for potential antimalar- ial bioactives." Int. I. Pharmacog. 31,4 (1993): 255-58.
10. Gbeassor, M., et al. "In vitro antimalarial activity of six medicinal plants." Phytother. Res. 4,3 (1990): 115-17.
11. Tattersfield, F., et al. "The insecticidal properties of certain species of Annona and an Indian strain of Mundulea sericea (Supli)." Ann. Appl. Bioi. 27 (1940): 262-73.
12. Hasrat, J. A., et al. "Isoquinoline derivatives isolated from the fruit of Annona muricata as 5-HTergic 5-HTIA receptor agonists in rats: unexploited antidepres- sive (lead) products." I. Pharm. Pharmacol. 49,11 (November 1997): 1145-49.
13. Unpublished data, National Cancer Institute. Anon: Nat Cancer Inst Central Files (1976). From Napralert Files, University of Illinois, 1995.
14. Zeng, L., et al. "Five new monotetrahydrofuran ring acetogenins from the leaves of Annona muricata." I. Nat. Prod. 59,11 (November 1996): 1035-42.
15. Rieser, M. J., et al. "Five novel mono-tetrahydrofuran ring acetogenins from the seeds of Annona muricata." I. Nat. Prod. 59,2 (February 1996): 100-8.
16. Wu, F. E., et al. "Additional bioactive acetogenins, annomutacin and (2,4-trans and cis)-10R-annonacin-A-ones, from the leaves of Annona muricata." I. Nat. Prod. 58,9 (September 1995): 1430-37.
17. Wu, F. E., et al. "New bioactive monotetrahydrofuran Annonaceous acetogenins, annomuricin C and muricatocin C, from the leaves of Annona muricata." I. Nat. Prod.58,6 (June 1995): 909-15.
18. Wu, F. E., et al. "Muricatocins A and B, two new bioactive monotetrahydrofuran Annonaceous acetogenins from the leaves of Annona muricata." I. Nat. Prod. 58, 6 (June 1995): 902-8.
19. Wu, F. E., et al. "Two new cytotoxic monotetrahydrofuran Annonaceous aceto- genins, annomuricins A and B, from the leaves of Annona muricata." I. Nat. Prod. 58,6 (June 1995): 830-36.
20. Rieser, M. J., et al. "Bioactive single-ring acetogenins from seed extracts of Annona muricata." Planta Med. 59, 1 (February 1993): 91-2.
21. Rieser, M. J., et al. "Muricatacin: a simple biologically active acetogenin deriva- tive from the seeds of Annona muricata (Annonaceae)." Tetrahedron Lett. 32,9 (1991): 1137-40.
4. Medicine From the Rainforest - Graviola
By Dr. Robert D. Willix, Jr.
Health & Longevity Newsletter, March 2003, Vol. 10, No. 3
The rainforest is home to a remarkable natural pharmacy that never ceases to amaze me.
Although I've studied the indigenous healing tradition of the Amazon for years, I find there is always some new discovery waiting for me. The latest find is graviola, a small evergreen tress that grows throughout Peru, Guyana and Brazil.
Although I've only recently learned of its incredible healing properties,
graviola has a long, rich history of use among medicine men in the region.
Traditionally used to treat arthritis, asthma, diabetes and heart disease, news
of this herb is causing unprecedented excitement among researchers here in
America. It seems that graviola is one of the most potent cancer killers ever
found. Laboratory tests from Perdue University and the Catholic University of
South Korea have shown that graviola effectively targets and kills malignant
cells in 12 different types of cancer, including colon, breast, prostate, lung
and pancreatic cancer. In one study, published in the Journal of Natural
Products, researchers found that one of the chemicals found in the miraculous
tree killed colon cancer cells at "10,000 times the potency of Adriamycin," a
commonly used chemotherapy drug. And unlike chemotherapy, graviola selectively
hunts down an kills cancer cells without harming healthy cells. It's so
effective that the National Cancer Institute has confirmed that the tree's
chemical extracts attack and destroy cancer cells with lethal
If graviola has the potential to wield such a deathblow to cancer, why haven't you heard of it? Because most of the research was sponsored by a major pharmaceutical company, who, after years of unsuccessfully trying to synthesize the active agents in graviola, attempted to bury their findings! Because the natural poser of graviola can't be artificially replicated in a test tube, clinical trials have yet to be conducted. It just isn't profitable. Thank goodness the natural products industry puts people before profit. Because graviola is a natural remedy, it is protected under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994. Consequently, a number of companies are making this wonderful cancer fighter available to cancer victims. Most base their dosage on the traditional South American recommendation of 1,000 to 1,500 mg. per day. While graviola doesn't have any side effects, pregnant women, people with low blood pressure or those taking MAO inhibitors should not use it.
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