As usual, as I sit here relaxing on my small but very cozy veranda on a warm summer’s day, tropical island breeze dancing through my hair and all, my thoughts and gaze instinctively dwell upon the beautiful sight of soursop fruits hanging so dignified and gracefully in a tree nearby.
They remind me of a special someone. They also remind me of all the wonderful healing properties they have to offer that are not widely known but which should not be underestimated.
Native to the West Indies and South America, this exotic fruit can be a bit intimidating for the unadventurous at heart, with its dark-green leathery appearance and spiny prickles. It is due to these soft spines on the skin that it is sometimes called “prickly custard apple”.
I would best describe the aroma as fermented pineapples on a hot summer’s day but of course not in the yuckiest of senses. Usually when I offer the juice to unfamiliar friends and family they find it quite pleasing to the taste buds and are usually hooked on this new exotic beverage in no time.
Health Benefits of Soursop
Also known as Guanabana, Graviola, or Prickly Custard Apple, the soursop is a fruit that is quite popular amongst Jamaicans owing to its medicinal value. And while the health benefits may be numerous and may include preventing muscle spasms (antispasmodic), blood pressure lowering (hypotensive), anti-tumor, anti-cancerous, and heart regulating (cardiotonic), I would like to pay special mention to its antibacterial attributes.
The juice of the flesh and tea from the leaves have both diuretic properties and is also a remedy for hematuria (presence of blood in the urine) and urethritis. Urethritis refers to inflammation of the urethra that is usually caused by an infection.
The urethra is the canal that moves urine from the bladder out of the body and is part of the urinary tract consisting also of the bladder, ureters, and kidneys. If the infection is allowed to move up into the urinary tract, cystitis of the bladder and nephritis in the kidneys may occur – not a pleasant experience for anyone that’s for sure.
In general, women are more prone to urinary tract infections (UTIs) than men, mainly due to their anatomy. However, UTIs are more commonly experienced by older women due to bladder problems.
If you suffer from UTIs or yeast infections, you may also want to give D-Mannose a try. D-Mannose can be found at your local or favorite health foods store.
Soursop is naturally rich in vitamin C, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium, and makes an excellent immune boosting drink for overall health and wellness. Here are two recipes for you to enjoy.
Other Culinary Uses
Hope you found this information useful. Besides juicing, the soursop pulp may be used to make sorbet, candies, popsicle, ice cream, jellies and preserves!
Devon House soursop ice cream is among the most popular flavor widely sold here in Jamaica today and is to die for – full fat, insulin-spiking sugar and all …. nom, nom, nom!
I have yet to come up with a healthier version of these wonderful concoctions so guess who’s going to be busy in the kitchen lab soon? First on the list – soursop ice cream! Wish me luck!
Martine ~ nutritionista
Alphonse, M. – http://www.buzzle.com/articles/soursop-tea-benefits.html
Onstad, D. – Whole Foods Companion, Chelsea Green Publishing Company, 2004