Family • Anonaceae - Annona muricata - SOURSOP - Ci guo fan li zhi

Scientific names

Annona muricata Linn.
Annona macrocarpa Werkle
Annona bonplandiana Kunth
Annona cearensis Barb. Rodr.
Guanabanus muricatus M. Gomez

Common names

Atti (Ibn.)
Babana (P. Bis.)
Bayubana (Ilk.)
Gayubano (Ilk., Ibn.)
Guabana (Tag.)
Guanabano (Tag.)
Guiabano (Sbl., Tag.)
Guyabana (Tag.)
Guayabano (Tag.)
Guyabano (Tag.)
Labanus (Sul.)
Labanos (Bik.)
Prickly custard apple (Engl.)
Brazilian pawpaw (Engl.)
Nangka blanda
Graviola (Engl.)
Soursop (Engl.)
Ci guo fan li zhi (Chin.)

Other vernacular names

DUTCH : Zuurzak.
CHAMORRO: Laguana, Laguanaha, Syasyap.
FIJIAN: Sarifa, Seremaia.
FRENCH : Cachiman épineux, Corossol (Antilles), Corossolier, Corossol épineux, Sapotille.
GERMAN : Sauersack, Stachelannone, Stachel-Annone.
INDONESIA : Buah sirsak, Nangka belanda
JAPANESE : Toge banreishi.
MALAYSIA : Durian belanda, Durian makkah, Durian maki, seri kaya belanda.
PORTUGUESE : Araticum, Araticum-do-grande, Cabeça-de-negro, Guanabano, Coração-da-rainha
RUSSIAN : Annona murikata.
SAMOAN: Sanalapa, Sasalapa, Sasalpa.
SPANISH : Anona de broquel, Catuche, Guanaba, Guanábana, Guanábano, Zapote agrio, Zapote de viejas
THAI : Thurian khaek, Thurian thet.
VIETNAMESE : Mang cân xiem, Mang câù xiê.

Guayabano is a small tree, usually less than 7 meters high. Leaves are smooth, glossy, shiny, oblong-obovate to oblong, 7 to 20 centimeters in length, pointed on both ends, with petioles about 5 millimeters long. Flower is solitary, large, solitary, yellow or greenish-yellow. Three outer petals are broadly ovate with a heart-shaped base, up to 5 centimeters long, and 3 centimeters wide; and the inner three are also large, elliptic to obovate, and rounded. Fruit is ovoid and large, up to 18 centimeters long, covered with small scattered, soft spinelike processes. Skin is thin, and the pulp is soft, rather fibrous, white, and fleshy, with an agreeable, but rather sour flavor.


– Cultivated for its edible fruit.
– Prevalent in the rain forests of Africa, South America, and Southeast Asia.


· Studies yielded tannins, steroids and cardiac glycosides as major phytochemical compounds.
· Alcoholic extract of leaves, when distilled with steam, yielded a small amount of essential oil with a strong, somewhat agreeable odor.
· The extract also yielded a dark-green resin containing: myricyl alcohol, sitosterol, fatty acids (oleic, linoleic, and stearic acids, together with a higher fatty acid, possibly lignoceric acid) and a diphydric alcohol, anonol.
· Flesh of fruit contains saccharose 2.53%, dextrose 5.05 percent, and levulose 0.04%.
· Bark yielded an amorphous alkaloid, found to be poisonous, causing tetanus-like convulsions when injected to mice.
· Seed contains a nonpoisonous alkaloid.
· Recent studies isolated three acetogenins: annonacin, annonacin A and annomuricin A.
· Stem bark yielded one acetogenin, solamin and two triterpenoids, stigmasterol and sitosterol.
· Study yielded two new acetogenins, muricatalicin and muricatalin (VI), a mesitoate of a new acetogenin, annonacin-B mesitoate (Vb) and three known acetogenins, annonacin (II), annonacin-A (III) and annonacin-10-one (IV).
· Study isolated sterols: β-sitosterone, β-sitosteryl fatty acid ester and β-sitosterol; and the triterpenes: α-amyrin, β-amyrin and squalene from the dichloromethane extract of the freeze-dried fruit of Annona muricata Linn.
· Dichloromethane extract of seeds yielded annoreticuin-9-one while fruit flesh yielded cis-annoreticuin and sabadelin.
· Seeds yield lactones, annomonicina, annomontacina, annonacina, annomuricatina, annonacinona, javoricina, among others.
· Leaf oil yielded 59 compounds. Main components were ß-caryophyllene (31.4%), δ-cadinene (6.7%), α-muurolene (5.5%), T- and α-cadinols (4.3%).
· Nutrient analysis of pulp and drink yielded a carbohydrate content 72.71% and 83.47%, fiber 6.26% and 3.47%, retinol 192.50 IU and 63.76 IU, ascorbic acid 22.59 mg/110g and 34.71 mg/100 g, flavonoids 9.32 and 5.24 mg/100 g, and tannin 65.98 and 53.96 mg/100 g.
– Fruit is reported antiscorbutic and astringent.
– Flowers are pectoral.
– Leaves are antispasmodic.
– Seeds are emetic.
– Infusion of leaves are sudorific.
– Recent studies suggest a potential for antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal,antiparasitic, antileishmanial, antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory, antihyperglycemic, hypotensive, immune-enhancing, and anti-cancer properties.


Parts utilized
Leaves, flowers, fruit.

Edibility / Nutrition
· Juicy ripe fruit is eaten raw; also used in making beverages, ice cream, and jelly tarts.
· Fruit is an excellent source of vitamins B and C.

· Unripe fruit used for dysentery.
· Ripe fruit is antiscorbutic.
· Seeds and green fruit are astringent.
· Flowers are antispasmodic.
· Infusion of leaves used as sudorific, antispasmodic and emetic.
· In some cultures, the fruits and leaves are used for tranquilizing and sedative properties.
· Juice of ripe fruit used as diuretic and for hematuria and urethritis.
· Flesh of soursop used as poultice to draw out chiggers.
·Decoction of leaves used of head lice and bedbugs.
· Pulverized seeds and seed oil effective for head lice.
· Fruit used as a bait in fish traps.
· Decoction of leaves used as compresses for inflammation and swollen feet.
· Poultice of mashed leaves and sap of young leaves used for eczema and skin eruptions.
· Flowers used to alleviate catarrh.
· Used as tonic by Chinese and Malays.
· In Mexico used as pectoral, antiscorbutic and febrifuge; seeds and green fruit used as astringent and for dysentery.
· In Yucatan juice of the fruit is used for dysentery.
· In Cameroon, leaves used for diabetes.
· In Antiles and Reunion, infusion of leaves used as sudorific.
· In the Peruvian Andes, leaf tea is used for catarrh and crushed seeds for parasitism.
· In the Peruvian Amazon, bark, roots and leaves used for diabetes, as sedative and as antispasmodic.
· In the Brazilian Amazon, the oil of leaves and unripe fruit is mixed with olive oil and used externally for neuralgic, rheumatism and arthritis pains.

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) GRAVIOLA (Annona muricata) / Tropical Plant Database / RainTree

(2) Soursop — Annona muricata / Morton, J. 1987. Soursop. p. 75–80. In: Fruits of warm climates. Julia F. Morton, Miami, FL.

(3)  Soursop —Health Risk / Wikipedia

(4) Morphological Changes and Hypoglycemic Effects of Annona Muricata Linn. (Annonaceae) Leaf Aqueous Extract on Pancreatic B-Cells of Streptozotocin-Treated Diabetic Rats / Stephen O. Adewole and Ezekiel A. Caxton-Martins / African Journal of Biomedical Research, Vol. 9 (2006); 173 – 187

(5) Studies on the chemical constituents of Annona muricata / Yu JG, Gui HQ, Luo XZ, Sun L, Zhu P, Yu ZL. / Yao Xue Xue Bao. 1997 Jun;32(6):431-7./

(6) Anti Hyperlipidemic Activities Of Annona Muricata (Linn) / D Adeyemi, O Komolafe, S Adewole, E Obuotor / The Internet Journal of Alternative Medicine. 2008 Volume 7 Number 1.

(7) Anti hyperglycemic activities of Annona muricata (Linn). / Adeyemi DO, Komolage OA et al / Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med. 2008 Oct 25;6(1):62-9.

(8) Sorting Annona names / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher, / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE

(9) Protective Effects of Annona Muricata Linn. (Annonaceae) Leaf Aqueous Extract on Serum Lipid Profiles and Oxidative Stress in Hepatocytes of Streptozotocin-Treated Diabetic Rats / Stephen O Adewole and John A O Ojewole / Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med. 2009; 6(1): 30–41.

(10) Sterols and Triterpenes From the Fruit of Annona muricata Linn. / Consolacion Y. Ragasa, Oscar B. Torres, Geneveve Soriano, Chien-Chang Shen / Siliman Journal, Vol 54, No 1, Jan-Jun 2013

(11) EFFECT OF METHANOLIC EXTRACT OF Annona muricata SEED ON LIVER FUNCTION ENZYMES IN ALLOXAN-INDUCED DIABETIC MALE MICE / AgbaiE.O. andNwanegwoC.O. / Journal of Science and Multidisciplinary Research, Volume 5, No. 2, 2013

(12) Annona muricata leaves induced apoptosis in A549 cells through mitochondrial-mediated pathway and involvement of NF-κB / Soheil Zorofchian Moghadamtousi, Habsah Abdul Kadir, Mohammadjavad Paydar,
Elham Rouhollahi, Hamed Karimian / BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2014, 14:299 doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-299

(13) Antidiabetic and antioxidant effects of Annona muricata (Annonaceae), aqueous extract on streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. / Florence NT, Benoit MZ, Jonas K, Alexandra T, Désiré DD, Pierre K, Théophile D / J Ethnopharmacol. 2014 Feb 3;151(2):784-90 / doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2013.09.021.

(14) Evaluation of acute and subchronic toxicity of Annona Muricata (Linn.) aqueous extract in animals / Arthur, F.K.N., Woode, E., Terlabi, E.O. and Larbie, C.* / European Journal of Experimental Biology, 2011, 1 (4):115-124

(15) ANTIBACTERIAL EFFECT (in vitro) OF Moringa oleifera AND Annona muricata AGAINST GRAM POSITIVE AND GRAM NEGATIVE BACTERIA / Gustavo Hitzschky Fernandes VIEIRA, Jozeanne Alves MOURÃO, Ângela Maria ÂNGELO, Renata Albuquerque COSTA & Regine Helena Silva dos Fernandes VIEIRA / Rev. Inst. Med. Trop. Sao Paulo 52(3):129-132, May-June, 2010 / doi: 10.1590/S0036-46652010000300003

(16) Chemopreventive Potential of Annona Muricata L Leaves on Chemically-Induced Skin Papillomagenesis in Mice / Sulaiman Hamizah, AH Roslida*, O Fezah, KL Tan, YS Tor, CI Tan / Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, Vol 13, 2012 / DOI:

(17) The Influence Of Annona Muricata Leaves Extract In Damaging Kidney Cell And Inducing Caspase-9 Activity / Azim Yahia M.Dayeef, Setyawati Karyono, Hidayat Sujuti / IOSR Journal of Pharmacy and Biological Sciences (IOSR-JPBS), Volume 8, Issue 5 (Nov. – Dec. 2013), PP 48-52.

(18) BIO-CHEMICAL COMPOSITIONAL ANALYSIS OF ANNONA MURICATA: A MIRACLE FRUIT’S REVIEW / Trupti P. Sawant and Rajendra S. Dongre / International Journal of Universal Pharmacy and Bio Sciences 3(2): March-April 2014

(19) EVALUATION OF IN VITRO ANTI OXIDANT ACTIVITY OF ANNONA MURICATA BAR K / B. Ahalya, K. Ravishankar and P. PriyaBandhavi / IJPCBS 2013, 3(2), 406-410

(20) Uric Acid Inhibition Activity of Annona muricata L Leave Extract in Hyperuricemia induced Wistar Rat / Putra Manuaba / APAC, Vol 2, No 1, 2012

(21) Nutrient, Phytochemical Composition and Sensory Evaluation Of Soursop (Annona muricata) Pulp and
Drink in South Eastern Nigeria
/ Onyechi, Agatha Uchenna, Ibeanu, Vivienne Nkiruka, Eme, Paul Eze, Kelechi, Madubike / International Journal of Basic & Applied Sciences IJBAS-IJENS Vol:12 No:06 53

(22) Compositional analyses of the seed of sour sop, Annona muricata L., as a potential animal feed supplement /
Fasakin A. O., Fehintola E. O., Obijole O. A. and Oseni O. A. / Scientific Research and Essay Vol.3 (10), pp. 521-523, October, 2008

(23) Antiproliferative Activity of Aqueous Leaf Extract of Annona muricata L. on the Prostate, BPH-1 Cells, and Some Target Genes / George Awuku Asare, PhD, Dan Afriyie, MSc, MPhil, Robert A. Ngala, PhD, Harry Abutiate, MPhil, Derek Doku, MSc, Seidu A. Mahmood, PhD, Habibur Rahman, PhD / Integr Cancer Ther, November 18, 2014 1534735414550198 / doi: 10.1177/1534735414550198

(24) Novel cytotoxic annonaceous acetogenins from Annona muricata. / Chang FR, Wu YC./ J Nat Prod. 2001 Jul;64(7):925-31.

(25) THE BREAST OF ANTICANCER FROM LEAF EXTRACT OF ANNONA MURICATA AGAINTS CELL LINE IN T47D / Eka Prasasti Nur Rachmani, Tuti Sri Suhesti, Department of Pharmacy Jenderal Soedirman University Indonesia / Retno Widiastuti, and Aditiyono / International Journal of Applied Science and Technology Vol. 2 No. 1; January 2012

(26) Antiproliferative Activity, Antioxidant Capacity and Tannin Content in Plants of Semi-Arid Northeastern Brazil / Joabe Gomes de Melo, Thiago Antônio de Sousa Araújo, Valérium Thijan Nobre de Almeida e Castro, Daniela Lyra de Vasconcelos Cabral, Maria do Desterro Rodrigues, Silene Carneiro do Nascimento, Elba Lúcia Cavalcanti de Amorim and Ulysses Paulino de Albuquerque / Molecules 2010, 15, 8534-8542; doi:10.3390/molecules15128534


· Bark has been used in tanning.
· The wood is a potential source of paper pulp.
· For a good night’s sleep, leaves are put in the pillow slip or strewn in bed.

Study Findings
• Cytotoxicity / Antileishmanial: Cytotoxicity and antileishmanial activity of Annona muricata pericarp: Extracts and fractionation led to the isolation of three acetogenins—annonacin, annonacin A and annomuricin A.
• Anti-Diabetes: Study evaluated the effects of aqueous extracts of A. muricata on pancreatic ß-cells morphology and oxidative stress induced by STZ-diabetic rats. Results showed benefits on pancreatic tissues of STZ-induced oxidative stress by directly quenching lipid peroxides and indirectly enhancing production of endogenous antioxidants, protecting and preserving pancreatic ß cell integrity. Study of aqueous extract in STZ-induced diabetic rats showed antidiabetic activity. The effect was attributed to its hypolipidemic effect, its antioxidant and protective action of pancreatic ß-cells, which improved glucose metabolism.
• Pancreatic Islet Cell Effect: Study evaluated the effect of methanolic extract of leaves on pancreatic islet cells of STZ-induced diabetic rats. Histopathologic study showed regeneration of ß-cells of pancreatic islets in A. muriatica- treated rats.
• Anti-Herpes Simplex Virus: Study showed the extract of Annona muricata to inhibit the cytopathic effect of HSV-1 on vero cells indicating an anti-HSV1 potential.
• Anticancer / Acetoginins: There are much publicized studies on the anti-tumor, anti-cancer and selective toxicity of Annona muricata against several types of cancer cells. One study showed that one of the acetoginins was selectively cytotoxic to colon adenocarcinoma cells, with a potency 10,000 times that of adriamycin.
• Antineoplastic / Acetoginins: Annonaceous acetogenin (polyketide) is a potential antineoplastic agent from the Annonaceae plants. Study on the chemical constituents of Annona muricata yielded two new a acetogenins acetogenins: Muricatalicin (I) and muricatalin (VI), a mesitoate of a new acetogenin, annonacin-B mesitoate (Vb), and three known acetogenins, annonacin (II), annonacin-A (III) and annonacin-10-one (IV). (see constituents above)
• Anti-Cancer : Graviola extracts were show to be effective against growth of Adriamycin-resistant human adenocarcinoma (MCF-7/Adr) by blocking the cancer cell’s access to ATP and by inhibiting the actions of plasma membrane glycoprotein.
• Anti-Hyperlipidemia: Study of methanolic extracts of AM on serum lipid profiles in experimentally-induced diabetic Wistar rats showed antihyperlipidemic activities with significant reductions in total cholesterol, LDL and VLDL and a significant increase in HDL and antiatherogenic index.
• Anti-depression: Graviola may have antidepressive activity due to its ability to stimulate serotonin receptors.
• Antimicrobial: Annona muricata extract of leaves exhibited a broad spectrum of activity against a panel of bacteria (B. subtilis, Staph aureus, K. pneumonia, P. vulgaris, etc.) responsible for common bacterial diseases like pneumonia, diarrhea, UTIs and skin infections.
• Cytotoxicity: A crude hexane extract of Annona muricata L. gave a significant activity with an IC50 value of 0.8 pg/ml against CEM-SS cell line while the crude ethyl acetate (EA) extract also gave a significant activity with an IC50 value of 0.5 pg/ml but against HL-60 cell line.
• Decreased Lipid Peroxidation / Increased Insulin Production and Endogenous Antioxidants:Study evaluated the protective effects of A. muricata leaf extract in rat experimental paradigms of diabetes. Study showed a protective, beneficial effect on hepatic tissues subjected to STZ-induced oxidative stress, possibly by decreasing lipid peroxidation and indirectly enhancing the production of insulin and endogenous antioxidants.
• Sterols / Biologic Activities: Study of dichlormethane extract of freeze-dried fruit solated six sterols compounds from A. muricata for the first time:: β-sitosterone, β-sitosteryl fatty acid ester and β-sitosterol; and the triterpenes: α-amyrin, β-amyrin and squalene. ß- sitosterone has shown significant hypoglycemic, antiarrhythmic and antitubercular activities. ß-sitosterol has exhibited inhibition of proliferation and induced apoptosis in human solid tumors. α-amyrin and ß-amyrin have shown anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Squalene has shown cardioprotective effect and significantly suppressed colonic ACF formation and crypt multiplicity.
• Effect on Liver Function Enzymes / Seeds: Study of methanolic extract of seed in alloxan-induced diabetic rats significantly decreased serum ALP, AST, and ALT and restored cytoarchitecture of liver hepatocytes.
• Induced Apoptosis / Leaves: Ethyl acetate extract of Annona muricata inhibited the proliferation of A549 cells, leading to cell cycle arrest and programmed cell death through activation of the mitochondrial-mediated signaling pathway with the involvement of NF-kB signaling pathway.
• Toxicity Studies / Leaves: Study evaluated aqueous extract of leaves for toxicity in acute and subchronic models in animals. Results showed no toxic effect in animals’ tissues at low and moderate doses but could cause kidney damage in higher doses. Study also showed antidiabetic effect by lowering of plasma glucose level, with positive effects on cardiovascular risk factors.
• Antibacterial / Pods: Aqueous extracts of soursop showed an antibacterial effect against Staphylococcus aureus and V. cholerae. Ethanol extracts showed no activity.
• Chemopreventive / Leaves / Skin Papillomagenesis: Study evaluated the chemopreventive effects of ethanolic extract of leaves in a two-stage model of skin papillomagenesis induced by DMBA. Results showed tumor growth from the AMLE-treated group showed only slight hyperplasia and absence of keratin pearls and rete ridges, suggesting suppression of tumor initiation as well as tumor promotion.
• Renal Toxicity with Long-Term Use / Leaves: Study investigated ethanolic leaf extracts effects on the level of serum creatinine and damage of tubular cell structure affecting kidney function and caspase-9 expression in glomerulus and tubular cells. Results showed Annona muricata at dose of 10, 20, and 40 mg kbw in saline orally for 40 days caused histological changes in kidney cell and effects on tubular structure leading to renal failure. For long term use, kidney function should be monitored.
• Acetogenins / Anticancer Effects / Seeds and Fruit: · Dichloromethane extract of seeds yielded annoreticuin-9-one (1) while fruit flesh yielded cis-annoreticuin and sabadelin. Acetogenin 1 showed cytotoxic activity against human pancreatic tumor cell line (PACA-2), human prostate adenoca (PC-3) and human lung carcinoma (A-549). Compound 2 showed cytotoxicity against human hepatoma carcinoma cell line (Hep G2). (see constituents above)
• Antioxidant / Bark: In vitro study evaluated an ethanolic bark extract for antioxidant activity by DPPH, hydroxyl radical scavenging assay and reducing power method. Results showed significant antioxidant activity.
• Uric Acid Inhibition / Leaves: Study evaluated the uric acid inhibition activity of leaf extract in hyperuricemia induced wistar rats. Result showed the highest extract dose of 400 mg/KBW was able to inhibit uric acid formation. Inhibition of uric acid formation might be attributed to the activity of three dominant components, i.e., 2,3-dihidrobenzofuran; 3-ethoxy-1,4,4a,5,6,7,8,8a-octahydroisoquinoline; 2-cyclohexen-1-one, 4-hydroxy-3,5,6-trimethyl-4-(3-oxo-1-butenyl).
• Nutrient Composition / Pulp and Drink: Nutrient composition of pulp and drink showed a carbohydrate content 72.71% and 83.47%, fiber 6.26% and 3.47%, retinol 192.50 IU and 63.76 IU, ascorbic acid 22.59 mg/110g and 34.71 mg/100 g, flavonoids 9.32 and 5.24 mg/100 g, and tannin 65.98 and 53.96 mg/100 g. Mineral content—potassium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus— were quite low compared with other conventional fruits. Results reveal an appreciable amount of micronutrients which can be incorporated into diets of vulnerable groups.
• Antiproliferative / Leaves / Acid Inhibition / Prostate, BPH-1 Cells: Study evaluated the effect of aqueous leaf extract on human BPH-1 cells and prostate organ. Results demonstrated antiproliferative effects with reduced prostate size, possibly through apoptosis.
• Acetogenins / Cytotoxicity to Human Hepatoma Cell Lines: Seeds yielded seven new annonaceous acetogneins, muricins A-G, together with five known compounds. The acetogenins showed significant selective in vitro cytotoxicities toward human hepatoma cell lines.
• Antioxidant Activity / Comparative Study: Study evaluated the antioxidant potential of leaves of three different species of Annona using different in vitro models. Results showed extracts of A. muricata possessed potent in vitro antioxidant activity as compared to leaves of A. squamosa and A reticulata, suggesting a role as an effective free radical scavenger.
• Cytotoxicity / Breast Cancer Lines / Leaves: Study showed an ethanol extract of leaves has cytotoxic activity in T47D breast cancer cell lines probably through cell apoptosis.
• Antiproliferative: In a study evaluated 14 species of plants from Brazil for antiproliferative activity, Annona muricata showed enhanced antiproliferative activity.

· Presence of alkaloids anonaine and anoniine have been reported. The bark yields muricine and muricinine and is high in hydrocyanic acid; small amounts are found in the leaves and roots, and a trace in the fruit.
· Seed and seed coat of soursop yield toxicants—tannin 2.6 mg/100 g (seed), 4.9 mg/100 g (seed coat); phytate 620.5 mg/100 g (S), 188.0 (SC); cyanide 3.7 mg/kg (S), 10.8 mg/kg (SC).
· Caribbean study suggested a connection between consumption of soursop and atypical forms of Parkinson’s disease due to the very high concentration of Annonacin.
· Graviola may cause movement disorders and myeloneuropathy with symptoms similar to Parkinson’s disease.

Fruit cultivation.
Capsules, extracts in the cybermarket.