Scientific Name(s): Annona muricata L.
Common Name(s): Araticum-grande, Araticum-manso, Cachiman épineux, Coração-de-rainha, Corossol épineux, Graviola, Guanábana, Guanábano, Jaca-de-pobre, Jaca-do-Pará, Sauersack, Stachelannone
A. muricata (Soursop) is an evergreen tree native to the warm, humid climates of Brazil, Mexico, the Caribbean region, and Central America. The long prickly fruit measures 20 to 30 cm and weighs up to 2 kg. The fruit is composed of fibrous membranes and a white pulp with many large seeds dispersed throughout, making it difficult to eat without processing.PLANTS 2008, Damico 2003, Rieser 1996, Moghadamtousi 2015 A synonym is Annona macrocarpa Wercklé.
Because of its characteristic flavor, A. muricata is grown commercially for its fruit crop, which is used to make juice, candy, sorbet, and ice cream. Soursop has been used traditionally in the management of diarrheal and diabetes-related diseases, as well as for sedative, antimicrobial, and insecticidal properties.Damico 2003, Luna 2006, Lutchmedial 2004
The fruit is high in carbohydrates, especially fructose, and contains vitamins C, B1, and B2 in large amounts. Calcium, magnesium, zinc, potassium, and phosphorous have also been identified.Lutchmedial 2004
Annonaceous acetogenins, fatty acid derivatives, are the most-studied chemical constituents of the plant parts, with estimates of 40 or more distinct compounds.Rieser 1996, Chang 2001, Li 2001, Gleye 2000, 9, Champy 2005, Kim 1998, Zeng 1996, Wu 1995, Wu 1995, Wu 1995, Wu 1995, Kim 1998 Annonacin is the predominant acetogenin.Champy 2005 The alkaloids reticuline and coreximine have also been identified.Kotake 2004
Reviews of the phytochemistry of the plant have been published.Moghadamtousi 2015
Uses and Pharmacology
Clinical trials are lacking,Cercato 2015 but are not likely to be forthcoming due to the toxicity of annonacin.
The ethanolic bark extract has been shown to possess antidiabetic and hypolipidemic effects in rats.Cercato 2015
Activity against both a standard strain and a clinical isolate of herpes simplex virus was demonstrated by an ethanolic extract of A. muricata stem bark.Padma 1998 In a clinical trial, acetogenins extracted from the fruit pericarp were responsible for antileishmanial activity demonstrated in an in vitro experiment.Lannuzel 2006 Another study demonstrated in vitro activity of the leaf extract against some Leishmania species and Trypanosomia cruzi.Osorio 2007
Studies identifying the specific acetogenin compounds in the seeds, leaves, root, and stem bark have explored the potent cytotoxicity of these compounds. Activity against certain human cancer cell lines has been demonstrated in vitro.Rieser 1996, Chang 2001, Liaw 2002, Kim 1998, Zeng 1996, Kim 1998, Tundis 2017
Information is lacking. One report estimates that the amount of annonacin ingested by an adult eating one fruit daily for a year is comparable with the intravenous dose used to induce brain lesions in rats. One fruit contains approximately annonacin 15 mg, and a can of commercial nectar contains 36 mg.Champy 2005
Pregnancy / Lactation
Information regarding safety and efficacy in pregnancy and lactation is lacking. Toxic neurological effects have been demonstrated in ratsLannuzel 2006 as well as in vitro cytotoxicity.Rieser 1996, Chang 2001, Liaw 2002, Kim 1998, Zeng 1996, Kim 1998 Annonacin crosses the blood-brain barrier.Lannuzel 2006
None well documented.
Information is lacking. A single study evaluated the hemagglutination effect of lectin isolated from the seeds.Damico 2003 The clinical importance of this finding is unclear.
Based on an epidemiological observation of higher parkinsonism rates among populations regularly consuming the fruits and traditional medicines of the Annonaceae family, especially graviola, a group of researchers has investigated the plausibility of a causal relationship.Lannuzel 2006, Lannuzel 2007 Among people presenting with atypical parkinsonism on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, the majority were levodopa unresponsive, with 1 in 2 patients reporting a high consumption of fruit and decoctions of A. muricata leaves.Lannuzel 2006, Lannuzel 2007 Patients younger than 65 years of age had some resolution of symptoms (eg, gait disorders, bradykinesia, rigidity) when consumption was stopped.Lannuzel 2007, Lannuzel 2002 Annonacin and the alkaloids reticuline and coreximine have been evaluated for toxic effect on rat dopaminergic neurons in vitro. The mechanisms of action remain unclear but are suspected to involve the inhibition of dopamine uptake, as well as effects on neuronal energy production and mitochondrial respiration.Kotake 2004, Lannuzel 2006, Lannuzel 2007 Nigral and striatal degeneration in rats has been demonstratedChampy 2005, Champy 2004 and alkaloid-induced cell death was also observed.Lannuzel 2007, 2002
Ethanolic extracts from Annona muricata seeds were highly active in brine shrimp lethality testing. The fruit seeds are considered toxic and unsuitable for use as animal fodder.Rieser 1996
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