Soursop Tea: Benefits, How to Make & Side Effects
Soursop tea boasts an impressive list of health benefits including its apparent ability to prevent the spread and development of cancer, lower blood pressure, boost the immune system, protect the skin, aid weight loss, improve digestion and soothe inflammation. There are also some notable side effects of this powerful tea, such as nausea, vomiting, digestive disorders, hypotension, premature labor, fatigue and some neurotoxic effects. Most of these side effects occur as a result of allergies or excessive consumption of the tea, but care should be taken before adding this tea to your diet, particularly if you suffer from certain health conditions. Speak to your doctor about any potential risks or interactions you may have with soursop tea.
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What is Soursop Tea?
Also known as Graviola tea or pawpaw tea, soursop tea is derived from the leaves of the soursop plant, taxonomically known as Annona muricata. 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. This fruit has received a great deal of attention in recent years due to its apparent effects on cancerous activity in the body, but research is still ongoing for safety and efficacy of this tea. These effects of soursop are attributed to the presence of alkaloids, acetogenins, other antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, calcium, iron, potassium, gentisic acid, and anonol.
Benefits of Soursop Tea
Drinking soursop tea is a good idea for those suffering from hypertension, low immunity, inflammation of the skin, acne, obesity, low metabolic rate, indigestion, constipation, and anemia, as well as those who have been diagnosed with cancer and others at a high risk of developing cancer.
In the past decade, some remarkable research and claims about soursop tea’s ability to cure and prevent cancer have been made. This is largely due to the presence of acetogenins, a powerful group of antibiotics that have been found in this fruit. So far, the studies have shown positive results in connection to throat, lung, breast and cervical cancers, as well as leukemia. These effects range from shutting down the energy production capacity of cancer cells to causing apoptosis in these mutated cells.
High potassium levels and active compounds in soursop tea help to lower blood pressure by a significant amount. For people with hypertension, this is an excellent way to lower strain on the heart and reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes.
The good balance of vitamins and minerals, as well as anti-inflammatory compounds, can help aid the digestive system and prevent conditions of constipation, indigestion, cramping, bloating and diarrhea. The presence of calcium also helps the body uptake iron more effectively, while the antimicrobial effects of this tea will help balance the microflora environment of the gut. However, in excess, this tea can cause additional stomach upset and digestive problems.
The high level of iron found in soursop tea helps to stimulate the circulatory system and boost energy throughout the body. Iron is a key component of red blood cells, which bring energy to organ systems and tissues, speeding up repair and optimizing metabolic activity.
This uniquely powerful tea contains a number of B vitamins, many of which are involved in optimizing the metabolism. This can lead to higher passive fat-burning and provides the body with more energy, leading to greater success in weight loss efforts.
The vitamin C found in soursop tea can stimulate the production of white blood cells, while also acting as an antioxidant that seeks out free radicals and reduced the chances of oxidative stress in the tissues and organ systems of the body.
There are a number of astringent properties of soursop tea that can cause the skin to tighten up and the pores to shrink. This is not only good for mitigating the appearance of lines and wrinkles but also prevents conditions like acne and other inflammation of the pores. Furthermore, the antimicrobial properties of the acetogenins in soursop tea help prevent pathogens and infections from attacking the skin.
How Do You Make Soursop Tea?
Soursop tea can be easily brewed at home, provided you have access to fresh (or dried) soursop leaves, filtered water and natural sweeteners, such as honey or sugar. Unlike other teas, the potency of these leaves only requires 5-8 leaves to brew 2 cups of tea, showing just how strong and nutrient-dense this beneficial brew can be. While soursop is locally grown in certain tropical parts of the Americas, soursop leaves can be purchased around the world from herbalists, natural health stores, and exotic import stores.
- 6 soursop leaves (fresh or dried)
- 4 cups of water (filtered)
- 1 teaspoon of honey or sugar, if desired
Step 1 – Bring the water to a boil in a stainless steel pot.
Step 2 – Add the leaves and then lower the heat to a simmer.
Step 3 – Allow the mixture to steep for approximately 15 minutes.
Step 4 – Remove from heat and strain into a teacup or teapot.
Step 5 – Add sweetener for taste, if necessary, and enjoy!
Soursop Tea Side Effects
The side effects of soursop tea can be quite intense, and 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, and moderation should be used whenever consuming this tea, or the fruit of the same plant.
- 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 different foods, typically in minimal amounts, and the direct link between neurotoxic effects and this tea remains unproven.
- Digestive Disorders – The antimicrobial and antibacterial effects of this tea are remarkably strong, but when used for long periods, it begins damaging the beneficial bacteria found in our gut, leaving the body prone to acidity imbalances, poor digestion and other gastrointestinal problems.
- Hypotension – If you suffer from low blood pressure, or are on strong blood pressure-regulating medications, the hypotensive effects of soursop tea can cause dangerously low blood pressure, possibly resulting in weakness, dizziness, fainting and headaches.
- Drug Interactions – For people taking antidepressant medication, sedatives, blood pressure pills or drugs for neurodegenerative diseases, speak to your doctor before adding soursop tea to your health regimen, as this could result in drug interactions and complications.
- Pregnancy – Under no circumstances should pregnant or breast-feeding women consume soursop tea.