Soursop. Tropical fruit, popularly known as graviola or Brazilian custard apple, is considered one of the most powerful anticancer drugs, due to the high concentration of acetogenins that is very popular in South America.


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  • 1 Taxonomy
    • 1 Scientific name
    • 2 Synonymy
    • 3 Common name
  • 2 Origin and distribution
  • 3 Features
  • 4 Properties
  • 5 Consumption
  • 6 Normal composition
  • 8 Use for insomnia
  • 9 List of medicinal properties
  • 10 varieties
  • 11 Harvest
    • 1 Climate and soils
    • 2 Plantation
    • In vitropropagation
      • 3.1 In vitroestablishment
      • 3.2 In vitromultiplication of soursop ( Annona muricata L.)
    • 4 Pests
    • 5 Diseases
  • 12 References
  • 13 Sources


Scientific name

  • Annona muricata L. [1]


  • Annona Bonplandiana Kunth
  • Annona cearensis Barb. Rodr.
  • Annona macrocarpa Wercklé
  • Annona muricata var. Morales borinquensis
  • Guanabanus muricatus M. Gómez [2]
  • Annona sericea Dunal in Correia, MP, (1984) [3]

Common name

Soursop or graviola.

Origin and distribution

Oviedo , in 1526 , describes how the soursop is very abundant in the West Indies and in the north of South America . Today it is found in Bermuda and the Bahamas both wild and cultivated, from sea level to an altitude of 3500 feet (1150 m). Throughout the West Indies, southern Mexico to Peru and Argentina .

It was one of the first fruit trees brought from America to the Old World tropics from where it has been widely distributed throughout Southeast China , Australia, and the lands of East and West Africa . It is common in the markets of Malaysia and Southeast Asia . Very large and symmetrical fruits have been seen for sale in South Vietnam . It was definitively established at an early date in the Pacific Islands . The tree has been raised successfully, but has never borne fruit in Israel .

In regions where sweet fruits are preferred, such as in southern India , soursop has not been very popular. It is cultivated only to a limited extent in Madras. However, in the East Indies it is recognized as one of the best fruits.

Soursop is one of the most abundant fruits in the Dominican Republic and one of the most popular in Cuba , Puerto Rico , Colombia , the Bahamas, and Northeast Brazil .
The island of Granada produces especially large and perfect soursop and regularly exports them by boat to the Port of Spain market , due to the shortage in Trinidad .

This is one of the 14 tropical fruits recommended by the Latin American Institute of Agricultural Marketing for planting and large-scale marketing.


  • The soursop tree has low, thin, fallen branches and reaches a height of 25 or 30 feet (7.5-9 m).
  • Strong-smelling, somewhat unpleasant leaves are normally perennial, alternate, smooth, shiny, dark green on the upper surface, and lighter on the lower, oblong and elliptical from 2 1/2 to 8 inches (6.25-20 cm ) long and 1 to 2 1/2 inches (2.5-6.25 cm) wide.
  • The flowers are simple and can arise anywhere on the trunk, branches or twigs. They are short petiole, 1 1/2 to 2 inches (4 to 5 cm) long, plump, and triangular-conical, with 3 somewhat wide and fleshy external petals of greenish-yellow color and three narrower inner petals of yellow color pale.
  • The fruit is very delicate, dark green in color covered with soft thorns. It is relatively large and very thin shell. It should be harvested before they mature.
  • The pulp is white, creamy, fleshy, juicy and slightly acidic, it is 2-3 dm long, weighing 2.5 kg, it is covered with a thin, reticulated, inedible choreal skin, from which they arise from few, up to many fine curved and soft bumps that look like spines. These bumps become shorter as the fruit ripens.
  • The skin breaks easily when the fruit is ripe, it is dark green in the unripe fruit, turning slightly yellowish-green when ripe, it is soft to the touch.
  • Its inner surface is creamy and granular and it separates easily from the fibrous, juicy, white and more or less segmented inner mass around the central nucleus.
  • The aroma of the pulp is typical somewhat similar to pineapple, with an acid-subacid and unique flavor. Most of the fruit segments contain seeds. In each fertile segment there is a single oval, smooth and hard, black seed of 1/2 to 3/4 inches (1.25-2 cm) long, A fruit can contain from a few dozen to 200 or more seeds .



Soursop is considered a broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent against bacterial and fungal infections ; effective to combat nervous disorders, parasites and worms; It acts as a regulator of high blood pressure and is antidepressant.

And although many other properties are attributed to it, the most interesting thing is the beneficial effect it produces against tumors. It also protects the immune system , and prevents fatal infections.

Soursop is also called the Fruit of Digestion, because it regulates the temperature of the stomach. The tea made from its flowers is used as a breastplate. The latex that the pulp contains helps to combat chronic constipation, deflates the colon, heals ulcers of the colon, cures diverticulosis and fortifies the intestinal flora.


It is consumed as fruit or as juice and is also used in the manufacture of liqueurs and jams.

Normal composition

Every 100 grams the soursop provides:

Water 81.00
Protein 1.70
Grease 0.80
Sugars 12.00
Carbohydrates (not sugars) 1.10
Cellulose 1.80
Acidity (in SO4H2) 0.90
Ashes 0.70
Total 100.00


The pulp of the soursop is mainly made up of water; it also provides mineral salts, potassium, phosphorus, iron, calcium, lipids, it has a high caloric value due to the presence of carbohydrates; It is also rich in vitamin C and provitamin A, as well as vitamin B.

Another thing that we must also take into account is that the first intake, that is, the intake that is done on an empty stomach is the most important one of the day because the body is empty and therefore it is best used when it is taken as a treatment to combat the Cancer. You should take three meals a day before each food but always remembering that it is in the form of less to more.

Soursop leaves can also be liquefied 3 leaves with a glass of water liquefy and strain this should also be taken on an empty stomach but you should start with a liquefied leaf with a cup of water this for a week and then already it will be the glass all these are herbal treatments and are not a substitute for any drug or chemotherapy but are not contraindicated either.

The soursop leaves are great when you are sick with mumps but the leaves have to be softened either by boiling water and putting them in a little to soften them or roasting them after this they are put in the mumps with the help of a cloth this will help to deflate them faster.


Use for insomnia

The soursop leaves are excellent when the person suffers from insomnia and nervousness.

The soursop is great to prevent the flu and when you have the disease it helps to recover it and decongests the chest for this, it is enough to cook three soursop leaves and a handful of flowers of it and the tea is taken sweetened with honey remember never sweeten a tea with refined sugar ever since the natural is the best and more when you are sick, convalescent or suffer from any disease.

The soursop fruit when consumed green is very good against jaundice (yellowing of the skin, mucosa and conjunctivae). For this, it is enough to cut the fruit when it is not yet ripe, cut three small pieces which will remove the seeds and liquefy, and then be strained to be consumed, you can sweeten it with honey to make its flavor a little more pleasant since when the fruit is not ripe it tends to be a little bitter its flavor.

The tea from the leaves is good to contain internal bleeding, a tea with three soursop leaves is made, always sweetened with honey.

List of medicinal properties

  • Fight hypertension (when blood pressure is too high).
  • It fights asthma (obstructive pulmonary disease characterized by cough).
  • Fights cancer (group of diseases that lead the body to produce malignant cells).
  • Fights diabetes (increased blood glucose).
  • Fights liver disorders.
  • Fights tumors (tissue alteration that produces an increase in volume).
  • Insecticide: the leaves and root are used. (Helps to eliminate pesky insects like mosquitoes)
  • amebicide, the cortex (fights parasites such as the roundworm).
  • Vermifuge, bark and leaves (it is the power to kill all kinds of worms).
  • Pectoral, flowers and leaves (cures all kinds of chest diseases such as asthma, bronchitis among others).
  • Antidiabetic, leaves (used to control and cure diabetes and prevent it).
  • Vasodilator, leaves (prevents and corrects poor circulation as well as spills).
  • Sedative, leaves (helps calm nerves as well as good sleep).
  • Antimalarial, leaves (helps to counteract malaria disease, which is accompanied by fever, muscle and headaches).
  • Galactogogue, fruit (favors milk secretion, is a good food when women are breastfeeding since milk production will be greater when consuming the fruit.
  • Anti-cancer, tender shoots and leaves (it prevents and controls the disease when it is already suffered in just 48 hours of taking it).
  • Antiparasitic, bark and seeds (it is a good dewormer for children taken as tea on an empty stomach).
  • Antispasmodic, leaves (helps and prevents muscle contractions unintentionally causing them to harden and bulge for these spasms, soursop is very effective).
  • Antibacterial, bark (soursop destroys bacteria and prevents them from continuing to proliferate causing disease).
  • Antiulcer, bark (the soursop facilitates and helps to heal wounds, it is great for gastritis).
  • Antidiarrheal, (helps when people have diarrhea with or without infection).


There is no botanical description regarding varieties; however, farmers in different areas make selections of the best trees according to the quality of the fruit.

In other countries, different types of soursop are currently distinguished, those that have been classified according to the flavor that can be acidic, semi-acidic or sweet; the shape that can be ovoid, heart-shaped or irregular and the consistency of the pulp that can be soft and juicy or firm and dry.

Trees vary greatly in terms of growth, foliage and canopy, or which is due in some cases to light, management, provenance and other factors.


Soursop on the tree

Soursop tends to flower and fruit more or less continuously. In the Atlantic zone, cultivation has two production peaks: the first occurs in February and March and the other occurs in June, July and August and is the most important. The fruiting of trees from seed begins between three and five years and in grafted trees, between twenty and twenty-four months. Tree production is generally low due to flower characteristics that make pollination difficultand to the attack of plagues and diseases; the yield fluctuates between twenty-four and sixty-four fruits per tree, with weights ranging from 0.25 kg to 5 kg per fruit. Harvesting should be done at the moment when the fruit reaches its botanical maturity, that is to say when it loses some of its shine and some of its dark green color and the peels of the peel separate and become more turgid. If the fruit ripens on the tree it is attacked by birds and it also comes off easily. You should avoid harvesting the fruit very green because the pulp does not ripen well and acquires a bitter taste.

Some harvest indexes that can be considered are the following:

  • softness and, sometimes, fall of the rest of the flowers in the fruits;
  • color change from dark green to matte light green;
  • hitting the fruit a rumbling sound is heard;
  • As it approaches maturity, a slight softness is noted at the distal end of the fruit.

To guarantee a uniform maturity of the fruit after harvest, it is recommended to place it with the peduncle side down. Post-harvest rots are due to diplodia and anthracnose.

Climate and soils

It is a species susceptible to cold, and is the anonacea whose climate requirements are the most tropical; warm and humid, characteristic of altitudes below 1,000 masl. It requires an average temperature of 25 to 28oC and an average annual rainfall of 1,000 to 3,000 mm well distributed, although it can be grown in areas with a moderate dry season. This species develops from sea level to 1,000 m, although the optimal altitude for cultivation is between 400 to 600 m.

The soils in which soursop is planted commercially must be deep, sandy and with very good drainage. Soils with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5 are more convenient.


Soursop can be planted by seed or by grafted saplings. To propagate by seed, the seed must come from the best fruits of the most productive trees and whose fruits are of the best quality. The propagation by grafting contemplates the production of the standard trees and the buds must be taken from treeswith very good production, both in quantity and quality. As a pattern you can use any type of custard apple from the area or the soursop itself. The highest percentages of graft grafting have been obtained using the lateral veneer and bud bud grafting techniques.Once the planting system has been chosen and the soil has been prepared, the holes will be drilled, their dimensions should be according to the size of the container. The tree trunk should be at the same level as it was in the bag, as it is very damaging to the roots, since if the depth level with respect to the one in the bag varies, it can lead to the death of the plant. They can be used taking into account the aspects indicated above from 6 x 6 m to 7 x 7 m with variations in the distance between floors.

  • Soil preparation: Soil preparation is the normal one that is carried out for any permanent crop. It is important to take into account the applications of organic matter in the preparation of the soil, which should be at a rate of 8 to 10 tm.ha -1in soils of good fertility and 16 tm / ha in poor soils.
  • Planting framework: the recommended planting distance varies with the type of soil and weather conditions. In fertile soils, a wider seeding frame is used and the frame is reduced in poor soils. If there is an irrigation system, the planting distance may be greater than if the planting is in dry land. Population density increases as climatic conditions become more unfavorable.

In vitro propagation

The massive propagation in vitro through zygotic embryos constitutes an alternative that will allow increasing the availability of plants for their rapid development. There are investigations related to the micropropagation of the soursop culture, for which nodal segments have been used that have reflected high percentages of contaminated explants, not being so in the case of zygotic embryos in said cultivar, for which there are few bibliographic references.

In vitro establishment

Soursop embryos of soursop ( Annona muricata L.)


In this phase, mature zygotic embryos are used as explants, which are placed in the culture medium consisting of the salts and vitamins described by Murashige and Skoog, (1962) (MS) with the addition of 0.5 mg L -1 of 6-Benzylaminopurine, 20 g L -1 of Sucrose and 4 g L -1 of Agar. As a result in 92.0% of the zygotic embryos, sprouting occurred when a concentration of 1.0% sodium hypochlorite was used for 10 minutes. The subculture of these embryos is carried out every 40 days.


In vitro multiplication of soursop ( Annona muricata L.)

In vitro soursop plants ( Annona muricata L.)


In the in vitro multiplication stage using the culture medium recommended by Murashige and Skoog, (1962) (MS) which also contains 1.5 mg L -1 of 6-Benzylaminopurine (6-BAP), 1.0 mg.L -1 of Naphthalenacetic Acid (ANA), 20 g L -1 of Sucrose and solidified with 4 g L -1 of Agar , good quality in vitro plants were obtained .




  • Soursop moth. The larvae of this butterfly eat the flowers and the very small fruits, so their combat must be done as soon as flowering begins.
  • Fruit borer Cerconota annonella spp. The larva of this butterfly lays eggs on petioles, branches and fruits and when the larva emerges, it migrates and penetrates the fruit. The entrance hole is easily distinguished by the excreta it expels outside and by the appearance of sawdust. It also destroys flowers. Production is decimated by this pest, due to the destruction of the flowers, the paralysis of the growth of the affected fruits and the increased incidence of anthracnose.
  • Seed borer Bephrata sp. It is also called the soursop wasp. It deposits its eggs under the epidermis of the small fruits. As soon as the larvae hatch they begin to advance until they lodge in the seed, where they finish development. They emerge from the seed and the fruit through a series of holes that deteriorate the fruit, paralyze its growth or mummify due to anthracnose and oidium diseases.
  • Cratosomus sp. Larvae of this type of weevil pierce branches and stems and although it is a secondary pest, very affected young trees can die.
  • Lace bug Corythuca gossipii (Hemiptera: Tingidae). The adults and young of this bedbug are located on the underside of the leaves and feed on the sap they suck. It is currently a minor pest.
  • Hemispherical scale Saissetia sp. (Homoptera: Coccidae). These small insects live grouped and attached to leaves, branches and fruits and their population increases in the dry season.


The diseases that attack the fruits are:

  • Anthracnose Colletotrichum gloesporioides Penz. It is the most important disease of soursop in climates with high relative humidity. It causes a black rot in the fruits and attacks at all stages of development, mainly the tender tissues. The fruits are mummified and fall. In the nursery it causes necrosis in the neck of the stem and in the terminal branches.
  • Diplodia Diplodia sp. This disease is of little importance in this crop. It causes necrosis in the terminal branches and later drying of them.
  • Scolecotrichum Scolecotrichum sp. It invades the leaves and produces reddish spots that become numerous necrotic areas. These two diseases, diplida and Scolecotrichum, are considered of little economic importance. For its phytosanitary management, the collection of damaged fruits, sanitary pruning and the elimination of highly susceptible trees is recommended.


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