Soursop is not the same as graviola
Soursop is a synonym for the word graviola. Some people call the fruit soursop and the tree graviola, but the words are interchangeable. Their use really is based on local preference. In the United States, you'll hear English speakers reference the tree and plant as soursop. In the U.K. you may hear graviola used more often. In South America, Spanish speakers refer to soursop or graviola as guanabana. This is also true in Central America, among Spanish speakers in the U.S. and other parts of the world.
We don't know very much about the tree and fruit called Soursop or Graviola
The plant known as annona muricata, which is the scientific name for soursop or graviola is extremely well studied.
Soursop or Graviola is a rare and hard to find
It is true that won't find a soursop tree growing in your backyard in Canada or in most of the U.S. states. That is because it does not survive in cold or cooler climates. In fact if water freezes outside at anytime of the year where you live then a graviola tree will never be found growing alive nearby outside. However soursop or graviola trees grow wild in the Tropics. You can see them by the roadside in Jamaica or any of the islands in the Caribbean. They thrive in warm humid weather, so if the weather stays well above freezing where you are living or visiting, then there is a good chance that you will be able to find a soursop or graviola tree growing wild.
Soursop or Graviola is expensive
Prices for soursop or graviola fruit or leaves (used for tea) are a function of locality. If the tree grows wild nearby the fruit and leaves can be harvested for free or found at the local fruit market for only a few dollars per pound. What makes the fruit expensive is that it is highly perishable. So the further you live from the source the more expensive it gets because it has to travel fast to get to you while it is still edible and fresh. However those that want the benefits of soursop for health purposes can get it
The cancer fighting ingredient in soursop or graviola is highest in soursop fruit
The active ingredient that has anti-tumor uses is highest in the graviola tree's stems, bark and leaves. People who want to consume soursop for health purposes should source the leaves and turn it into tea. This is an affordable and easy way to get the health benefits of the soursop tree. A month's supply of organic soursop leaves (enough for 90 cups) is below $30.
Soursop is not safe to eat
Food and drug agencies in governments around the planet do not classify graviola/soursop as dangerous. In the United States, the US Food and Drug Administration permits soursop products to be imported into the United States. It also allows it to be sold and consumed by American consumers.
Cancer Research UK states writes: "It is unlikely that drinks or foods containing graviola could harm you when taken as part of a normal diet. But always talk to your doctor before taking any kind of complementary or alternative therapy.”
The bottom line is the experts and regulators say soursop is safe to consumer. People who can access the tree and its byproducts locally consumer it every day. It is sweet and refreshing and high in antioxidants such as vitamin C. That said moderation is the watch word. Soursop contains a powered neurotoxin and overconsumption is said to lead to ALS type symptoms. Its side effects can also include diarrhea, nausea and vomiting - when over consumed. Eaten in moderation, soursop is a wonderful and healthy food to eat. If you have concerns you should consult with your naturopath or doctor to ensure it is right for you. Drinking soursop tea with each meal or eating 1-2 cups of the fruit daily is a common level of consumption.
Soursop can replace medical anti-cancer treatments
Soursop fruit and leaves and the chemical compounds within are not a substitute for conventional medical treatment. Some people have made claims that their cancer was cured by consuming soursop however this is anecdotal and has never been proven by science. It is true that several research studies show that active agents in soursop have powerful anti-tumor capabilities and that they can disrupt cancerous cells that have become resistant to anti-cancer medical therapies. Any claims of a miracle cure for cancer are misguided. That said there are many claims that say that people have benefited from consuming soursop. (See these testimonials.) Perhaps one day government funding or a wealthy philanthropist will fund a set of clinical studies that proves that soursop can cure cancer. Until that day the current research evidence shows soursop - and more specifically a novel set of chemicals called Annonaceous acetogenins for in soursop fruit, bark, leaves and stems - can kill tumor cells in the the laboratory.