Soursop Tea: Benefits, How To Make, & Side Effects

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated - Medically reviewed by Emily Borth(MS, RDN)

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Made with the leaves of soursop plants, soursop tea has become widely known for its cancer-fighting properties. It also helps in healthy weight loss, boosting immunity, and skin care. It is able to lower LDL or bad cholesterol, regulate your blood sugar levels, and lower high blood pressure.

What is Soursop Tea?

Soursop tea is prepared from the leaves of the soursop plant, which is taxonomically known as Annona muricata. It is also known as graviola tea or pawpaw tea. Native to the tropical regions of the Americas, the fruit of this plant can weigh more than five pounds, but to prepare the tea, only the leaves are required.

Graviola has received attention in recent years due to its effects on cancer, but research is still ongoing for the safety and efficacy of this tea. The beneficial effects of soursop are attributed to the presence of alkaloids, acetogenins, antioxidants, vitamins A, B, and C, calcium, iron, potassium, gentisic acid, and anonol in it.

Watch Video: 5 Amazing Benefits Of Soursop Tea

5 Amazing Benefits Of Soursop Tea And How To Make It | Organic Facts

Benefits of Soursop Tea

The benefits of this tea are listed below in detail.

Anticancer Potential

Soursop fruit, stem, bark, and leaves are found to have properties that may help fight cancer.

A recent study published in the Pharmacognosy Journal analyzed the effect of soursop leaves on cervical cancer. The research team experimented by grounding the leaves and mixing the same with three different solvents like ethanol, ethyl acetate, and hexane. The results showed that extracts from soursop leaves may have the potential to treat cancer as they have cytotoxic effects on cervical cancer cells.

Soursop plants contain bioactive compounds like acetogenins, which have anti-cancer properties. These compounds are also known as annonaceous acetogenins (AGEs). Many studies have linked soursop-derived compounds to a number of anticancer effects besides cytotoxicity like apoptosis, necrosis, and inhibition of proliferation of cancer cells.

AGEs have shown cytotoxic effects on breast cancer cells in the laboratory and test-tube studies. Moreover, the study also shows that the extracts from soursop have the same kind of effect on leukemia, melanoma, and prostate, colorectal, renal, pancreatic, hepatic, oral, and ovarian cancers.

While many people suggest having soursop tea to get these benefits, detailed research on human test subjects is yet to happen. So make sure to consult with your doctor before trying out this tea.

Weight Loss

Obesity plays a key role in increasing your risk of metabolic diseases.

A 2019 study published in the Nutrients journal has tried to analyze if soursop leaf tea can help in weight loss. The extracts of graviola leaves were given to obese mice for 12 weeks. Results showed that soursop tea can help in reducing body weight.

Start small by having one small cup a day and see how effective it is for you.

Protects Heart Health

Soursop tea helps to improve your heart health.

Multiple studies show that the leaves of soursop help in lowering triglycerides and LDL or bad cholesterol levels. They also help in reducing the accumulation of fat in your body and therefore, reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Research shows that soursop leaf extracts may help in lowering hypertension. These extracts contain alkaloids like anomurine, reticulin, and certain essential oil constituents that show antihypertensive activity in rats with normal blood pressure.

Stomach Health

Soursop leaves may be helpful in maintaining good gastrointestinal health.

Evidence suggests that excessive alcohol consumption may lead to gastritis, gastric ulcer, and even gastric carcinoma. Research shows that graviola leaf extracts help in fighting these conditions as they exert gastroprotective activity.

A cup of tea with dried leaves

Soursop tea Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Boosts Immune System

A healthy immune system is important to fight infections and chronic diseases.

A study published in the Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine journal suggests that graviola leaves and stems are helpful in boosting your immunity. It is rich in antioxidants that can seek out free radicals and reduce the chances of oxidative stress in the body.

So, if you are looking for a natural immune system booster, you can include soursop leaf tea in your diet.

Helps Manage Diabetes

Graviola leaves and its extracts are helpful in regulating blood sugar levels.

Research published in 2018 mentions that soursop extracts helped to lower blood glucose levels in diabetic rats.

Traditional medicine mentions using medicinal plant products like lettuce, moringa, and soursop leaves for diabetes. A research participant mentioned that soursop drink is effective in lowering blood sugar levels but too much of it can cause your sugar levels to fall drastically.

Skin Care

The leaves of soursop have been used in folk medicine for treating various skin conditions like abscesses. Studies also show that it has anti-inflammatory properties that help to keep your skin healthy.

Furthermore, there is some evidence demonstrating that wounds treated with soursop showed decreased inflammation around the wound area and an organized generation of collagen fibers.

Overall Health

Soursop tea is also helpful in fighting many other diseases including cough, nausea, and parasitic infections. However, if you are suffering from any medical conditions, or taking any medications, do consult with your doctor before including this tea in your diet.

Health benefits of soursop tea infographic

A cup of soursop tea is enough to drive away dangerous diseases and boost your immunity levels up high.

How to Make Soursop Tea?

Soursop tea is a caffeine-free beverage that can be easily brewed at home, provided you have access to fresh (or dried) soursop leaves. Soursop is locally grown in certain tropical parts of the Americas, so you may find it difficult to purchase the leaves. They are generally available at herbalists, natural health stores, and exotic import stores.

Tea lovers who have tried this tea say that soursop tea has an aroma that resembles freshly cut grass. It tastes like an herbal leaf tea on its own. You can mix the tea with other teas like green tea, matcha tea, or herbal teas for a better flavor.

A cup of tea with dried leaves

Soothing Soursop Tea

A cup of soursop tea is enough to drive away dangerous diseases and boost your immunity levels up high. Read along and make a cup of this refreshing tea to rejuvenate your taste buds!
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Beverage
Cuisine: American
Keyword: soursop tea
Appliance: Stove
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 cup
Author: Sakina Kheriwala


  • 6 leaves soursop tea fresh or dried
  • 4 cups water filtered
  • 1 tsp honey or sugar, if desired


  • Bring the water to a boil in a stainless steel pot. 
  • Add the leaves and then lower the heat to a simmer.
  • Allow the mixture to steep for approximately 15 minutes.
  • Remove the pot from heat and strain the mixture into a teacup or teapot.
  • Add sweetener to taste and enjoy!
    a cup of soursop tea with its leaves aside


If you are looking for an easier way to make this tea, you can buy soursop tea bags. They are available in many local and online stores.

Soursop Tea Side Effects

The side effects of soursop tea can be intense. They include stomach upset, heart problems, neural issues, and drug interactions. While some of the potential benefits of this tea sound incredible, the risks cannot be ignored.

  • Neurotoxic Effects: Research has revealed that there are neurotoxins present in soursop that may be related to Parkinson’s disease symptoms. However, these neurotoxins occur in many foods, typically in minimal amounts, and the direct link between neurotoxic effects and this tea remains unproven.
  • Drug Interactions: People taking antidepressant medication, sedatives, blood pressure pills, diabetic medications, or drugs for neurodegenerative diseases should speak to a doctor before adding soursop tea to the health regimen, as this could result in drug interactions and complications.
  • Pregnancy: Some research shows that consumption of this tea can impair fetal growth during pregnancy, therefore it advisable to avoid soursop tea during pregnancy and breastfeeding. As always, follow the advice of your doctor or healthcare provider. Protection Status
About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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