Living on a farm in Brazil, I've gained local in-depth knowledge of food, plants, and traditions, which I share through my articles.
Last week I had an older gentleman cycle up to our house carrying a large green object under his arm. I had only seen this once before in a local supermarket. He was carrying what we call here in Brazil, a graviola. In the States it is called Soursop. It is about the size of a football and covered in small thorn-like spikes.
This is one of my husband's favorite fruits for making juice. The large fruit which can weigh over 5 lbs has white sacks full of juice and black seeds which I remove before juicing in the blender.
How to Juice a Graviola or Soursop
To juice this I peel it and put all the pulp and seeds into a large bowl. Then the messy part starts. The seeds are cocooned within the pulp and I find the easiest way is to use my hands and manually remove the seeds. Seeds in one bowl and pulp into the blender.
When the blender is about half full, I turn it on. I let this run for a couple of minutes breaking up the fibers. I then pour this into a large mouth jug through a fine sieve. The juice is white and has the consistency of hand lotion. It is necessary to press this through the sieve with either a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula. I continue doing this until all the pulp is used.
I prefer to make the juice a bit thinner and sweeter. I use honey to sweeten it and water and milk to thin it out. It is common here in Brazil to have many different juices combined with milk. When combined with milk it is called a vitamina here in Brazil.
Buying and Growing Soursop
I have only ever bought two of these here in Brazil. I only occasionally see them available in the market. This is a case of who you know. They are quite pricey, about $7.00 a piece but they do make a large amount of juice.
I have been told, the tree is easy to grow, getting it to fruit is something else. I have planted some here on our farm as the conditions are perfect. They like humidity and warm winters.
Graviola Seeds on Amazon
You can also buy graviola or soursop seeds from traders on Amazon. If you live in the southern states you should be able to grow this if you protect it from any potential frost. It is a tropical plant but can be grown with proper precautions in a temperate climate.
The Health Benefits of Graviola or Soursop
To read about the health benefits that this tree offers is nothing short of amazing. The various parts of the tree, the fruit, leaves, bark, and roots are purported to cure illnesses ranging from cancer to coughs, and heart disease to leprosy.
As with so many untested alternative remedies, some may work and some may not. Unfortunately, we also know that if a drug company can't make money from a product, often it will never be approved for medical use. Here in Brazil, there are many such plants that the locals use, this is why graviola is so coveted.
Graviola Powder or Capsules
Graviola can be bought in capsules or in powder form. If in powder form, this can be mixed with a juice, such as orange juice or taken with some syrup or honey.
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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2011 Mary Wickison
I hope you found this interesting
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on May 15, 2012:
The juice is acidic but nice, like pineapple with a texture of mashed banana. Although here it is made into candy and ice creams normally it is served as a drink. It is very rich. They also make it in a dry powder mix like Kool Aid. Not sure if that actually has any fruit in though. I think just the flavor.
I have just checked, it can be grown in the southern states, it needs to be protected from frost though.
You can buy the seeds on Ebay.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on May 15, 2012:
What an interesting article about a fruit of which I had never heard. It is a shame that drug companies do not put more dollars into researching natural healing plants...but like you mentioned, it is all about what will make the most money for them. As to the juice, what does it taste like? Sounds interesting although a bit pricy. I have never seen one in a store for sale up here in Houston. If I ever do, I would be tempted to try one and follow your directions as to how to use it. Thanks! Voted interesting, useful and will share with my followers.