You have likely heard of soursop, a tropical tree that bears a spiny fruit with a sweet pulp and evergreen leaves that grows in the tropics. The soursop trees leaves have several benefits over the fruit, and we discuss these below in our list of 10 benefit of soursop tea.
What is soursop?
Before we get started on soursop tea benefits, let's get a few simple facts out of the way. Soursop has drawn interest in the U.S. and around the world because of its pupported anti-cancer mechanisms and other health benefits and applications in natural medicine. The tree and its byproducts, including leaves grow wild in equatorial South America and the Caribbean. It can also be found in Malaysia, Indonesia and Africa in the same latitudes as the Caribbean. The soursop tree thrives in warm weather. It is often found growing wild by the roadside or in back gardens in the tropics. Ask any Caribbean islander and they will tell you they have a tree on their property or knows someone who does.
10 soursop tea benefits that may surprise you
Let's look at some soursop tea leaf benefits:
- Soursop leaves can be easily dried and turned into tea. These dried leaves can be ground and placed into tea bags or cut into small pieces and steeped with boiling hot water. This process extracts a light green or brownish liquid that can be drank as a warm tea. It can also be turned into iced soursop tea, if cooled after steeping and chilled with ice in the refrigerator. This makes it easy to consume the goodness that the soursop leaf imparts.
- Soursop tea is caffeine free. It is not from the plant known as camellia sinensis assamica (black tea). It is simply a dried leaf from a fruit tree that can be steeped in boiling water. This allows easy consumption of active ingredients in the soursop leaf and stems that is famous for its anti-tumor properties.
- Soursop tea is easy to find and buy. You can buy whole organic soursop leaves here and soursop tea bags from Grenada here. It also known as graviola tea or guanabana tea. These names are interchangeable so if you see a product referenced with these sames it is one and the same thing: dried leaves of the tree known as annona muricata.
- Consuming soursop tea is the most affordable way to consume regular quantities of annona muricata, either as a tool against a disease like cancer or other ailments that it is known to effective. A month's supply can be purchased for under US$30 here. More info here. The ingredient studied in the famous Purdue University lab study that showed selective cytotoxic (cancer cell killing) effects is found in high concentrations in the soursop leaves and stems.It is called annonaceous acetogenins.
- Soursop tea is not just a tool used by people with illnesses. It can be consumed regularly as a soothing herbal tea that imparts its health giving properties to people who are well and want to use the tea to stay healthy. It is known to reduce inflammation, fight bacteria and viruses, reduce mucus, soothe digestive issues and impart a soporific effect to aid with sleep.
- Soursop tea products are light and easy to ship. They can be flat-packed as whole or shredded leaves or as a tea bag product. Because it is a dried leaf, it has a long shelf life and can be mailed at a low cost. Consuming three cups a day will cost about $1 per day. This is unlike soursop fruit, which, by comparison, is expensive, because it is highly perishable and must travel a long way from tropical areas very quickly to get to your table.
- Harvesting soursop leaves is sustainable. The leaves can be picked and dried without damage to the tree. New leaves grow in their place with no detriment to the tree. The process is not unlike pruning, which helps a tree flourish.
- Soursop tea contains little to no sugar naturally so it can be consumed by diabetics. Most people drink it without adding anything else.
- Soursop tea can be sweetened with sugar, honey, or agave syrup, if that is the drinker's preference, however those that consume it for health benefits should consider drinking it without. Stevia may be an option for those that want a sweet soursop tea using a natural non-sugar sweetener.
- Soursop tea is easy to drink and delicious. It has a slight vanilla taste combined with a green tea flavor that is herbaceous. Unlike some natural remedies and teas, it is pleasant to drink and you will look forward to your next cup or mug.
Additional soursop information resources:
- Free soursop tea guide (PDF)
- Free soursop anti-cancer guide
- Scientific analysis of soursop leaf, bark and fruit