Guyabano (Annona muricate) or commonly known as soursop, is a tropical fruit-bearing plant that loves a warm and humid climate.
It is regarded as native to central Americas and the Caribbean, where it has also been part of traditional diet and medicine among the indigenous people.
Nowadays, it is also widely consumed and cultivated in Southeast Asia in countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
Both the fruit and leaves of the plant are consumed for health benefits. Fruit can be eaten raw, added to desserts, smoothies, and so on. Whereas, a leaf tea is commonly consumed in many parts of the world.
Guyabano is regarded as a potent anticancer agent in traditional medicine, and both its fruit and leave extracts are used to prevent or even treat cancer, as part of natural remedies .
People in central Americas have traditionally used the fruit and leaves to treat fever, inflammation, kill parasites, reduce hypertension, manage diabetes, cure ulcers, and much more .
Guyabano is rich in many phytochemicals like flavonoids, alkaloids, coumarins, glycosides, phytosterols, quinones, steroids, terpenoids, and many more, which may explain various health benefits of the plant .
Although there are numerous health benefits of both the fruit and leaves, this article looks explicitly into the health benefits of guyabano leaves tea.
When preparing guyabano leaves tea, it is recommended to steep the leaves in boiled or hot water for about 15 minutes.
Guyabano leaves for UTI
Urinary tract infections (UTI) are quite common in females, and about 50-60% of women are affected during their lifetimes. In fact, UTIs are 25% of all infections reported in women.
For some women, it could be troublesome, as the disease may become chronic or keep returning (recurrent UTI).
Although antibiotics are useful for the acute phase, however, natural remedies are a better option for recurrent UTI or chronic cases .
Natural remedies can be used either alone or in combination with antibiotics. Natural treatments work in a number of ways like strengthening immunity, changing urinary pH, direct antiseptic/antimicrobial activity, disengaging microbes from the urinary tract, and so on.
Research and clinical experience show that guyabano or soursop leaves can be used both to prevent and treat UTI.
Guyabano leaves tea can be especially suitable for chronic and resistant cases. Moreover, laboratory studies show that guyabano leaves extract has direct anti-microbial activity against various pathogens .
Guyabano leaves for menstruation
Guyabano leaves are rich in phenols, tannins, flavonoids, alkaloids, and steroids. Their prolonged use has shown to increase levels of estradiol. Thus, guyabano leaves tea is a good source of phytoestrogens .
This means that it can help in a number of female health conditions, especially those related to changes in hormones – like menstrual irregularities.
Guyabano leaves, and their various constituents help in due to their content of many phytoestrogens and antioxidants.
Thus, guyabano tea may help regulate the cycle, help in post-menopausal symptoms, improve quality of life, prevent osteoporosis, reduce cholesterol, improve cardiovascular health, and much more ,.
Guyabano leaves benefits for skin
People of the Caribbean islands have traditionally used guyabano leaves in the bath to prevent and treat skin diseases.
The leaves may help cure rashes, infections, and may have a role in melanoma prevention. Guyabano leaves exert an anti-infective, anti-inflammatory effect on the skin .
Since the leaves are also rich in various phytochemicals, maximum benefit can be achieved by both drinking guyabano tea, and adding its leaves to the bath.
Guyabano leaves for diabetes
Guyabano leaves can be beneficial in diabetes and other conditions related to insulin resistance and high blood glucose like PCOS.
The leaves are known to reduce blood glucose, insulin resistance, blood cholesterol. This can have a beneficial effect on metabolic, endocrinal, or complete female health.
However, hypoglycemia (glucose-lowering) and cholesterol-lowering effect of the leaves is mild, and thus guyabano leaves tea can be safely consumed by healthy adults looking to prevent the disease conditions .
Guyabano leaves for high blood pressure
Tea prepared from leaves has been traditionally used to lower the blood pressure. Although research is still ongoing into the subject, initial analysis indicates that guyabano leaves may reduce both the heart rate and blood pressure.
Since such an effect is mild, it can be beneficial for those living with hypertension or those looking for natural remedies to prevent hypertension.
Other benefits of guyabano leaves
Guyabano leaves have several other well-proven benefits like they are known to prevent various cancers ,. Studies in the lab show the strong cytotoxic activity of guyabano leaves against breast cancer cells.
Though more extensive clinical trials will be required to understand the role of the leaves in the prevention and treatment of breast cancer .
Guyabano leaves may also help protect liver cells, reduce pain and inflammation, prevent skin papilloma, increase cellular energy and have an anti-aging effect, suppress herpes virus, act as an antidepressant, improve nerve health, prevent systemic infections, prevent heart attack (lowers cholesterol), act as an antioxidant, fasten various healing processes .
Can you drink guyabano leaves tea during pregnancy?
Yes, but in moderation. Guyabano leaves have multiple proven health benefits and have nutritional value. It may reduce various unwanted effects of pregnancy, help keep mood elevated, strengthen fetal bones, promote good sleep, prevent lower back pain and leg cramps, keep skin healthy.
Nonetheless, nothing should be abused during the pregnancy – it means that few cups of guyabano leaves tea will help, and there are no known side effects in pregnant women.
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