Graviola Extract

What are the facts concerning graviola extract? You may have read some advertising that claims the graviola tree from the Amazon rain forest can “cure cancer.”

We certainly would not boldly claim such a miracle. But on the other hand we are very curious about just what exactly this plant may or may not be able to do.

We noticed that hundreds of doctors offices and medical clinics and herbalists were offering this to their patients and clients. There must be some reason.

It turns out that laboratory tests have found Annonaceous acetogenins in the plant’s leaves. These are substances that can possibly fight cancer cells. Purdue University published a paper that said some of these Annonaceous acetogenins were ” . . . not only are effective in killing tumors that have proven resistant to anti-cancer agents, but also seem to have a special affinity for such resistant cells.”

This was promising news, but of course it is not enough to substantiate some of the bold claims made by supplement sellers.

The people of the Amazon have traditionally used graviola to treat a variety of ailments. Tribal healers have used it for an unbelievable array of ailments including arthritis, insomnia, hypertension, malaria and cancer.

In Brazil the leaves and fruit are used in a variety of remedies.

What does modern medicine have to say?

Medical studies about graviola and cancer

There have been more than a dozen medical studies of graviola extract. More are needed but some studies indicate this herb may actually help the body fight off cancer. That would be wonderful news if it can be proven with further research.

These studies were done with test tubes. No studies have yet been done with human cancer patients. However many patients are taking graviola leaf extract in hopes that it may support their body’s immune system in the fight against cancer.


Always talk to your doctor before taking any supplement. Graviola should not be taken by pregnant women, anyone with low blood pressure or people taking MAO inhibitors. Excessive doses can result in nausea and stomach upset. Avoid combining with ATP-enhancers such as CoQ10.

Graviola leaves are what is thought to have the hoped-for health activity.

The seeds on the other hand, are known to be helpful against some stomach problems. However long term use of the seeds can result in loss of beneficial bacterial flora in the digestive tract.

Most graviola extract capsules contain a powder made from the leaves of the plant.

Follow label directions. And as always, consult your physician and an experienced herbalist before taking any dietary or herbal supplement.