Does it grow in cold climates and do Canadians eat it?
Graviola in Canada is not as easy to find, say, like maple syrup.
That is for two reasons.
1) It is a tropical fruit and tree. So it is not grown here.
2) Most Canadians call graviola by a different name.
The word "graviola" relates to a tropical fruit tree and its fruit that it bears that grows in tropical and sub tropical regions of the world.
In Canada, it is also better known as soursop. If you go to the Caribbean you might hear the word either soursop or graviola interchangeably, while Spanish speakers don't use the word "graviola" at all, they use the word guanabana.
If you visit a store in Canada, you will almost always see labels that say "soursop". Though a few might list it as graviola/soursop.
Graviola Trees Don't Grow in Canada
Since soursop and graviola are synonyms, they relate to the fruit of the tree known in botany called: Annona muricata.
It is a broadleaf, flowering, evergreen tree. The exact origin of graviola is unknown. But the tree does not grow in Canada. The Canadian climate is too cold. Graviola trees are hypersensitive to cold temperatures.
Graviola thrives in the tropical regions of the Americas and the Caribbean. The graviola tree also grows well in Asia, so you will see it the fruit markets of the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand. All these countries are tropical or sub-tropical.
Of note, the graviola tree is in the same genus, Annona, as cherimoya, or sugar apple, and is in the Annonaceae family. It is also related to jack fruit.
Is Graviola is a nutritious food?
Canadians use graviola for a variety of purposes.
As a fruit, it is consumed in smoothies and can even be used in ice cream. You can remove the pulp of the fruit and take the seeds out and then blend it in with other ingredients.
It is high in vitamin C.
Some people simply eat it for breakfast in chunks. Or they drink graviola leaf tea. The tea is soothing and good fo digestion. It also has a soporific effect, so people like to drink it before bed.
Graviola in natural medicine
The graviola tree and its by products has a bunch of amazing health applications. For those Canadians that come from Caribbean countries, they know a few secrets about graviola. It is used in natural medicine, in places like Jamaica, Grenada, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and the various islands of both the Greater Antilles and Less Antilles. It is also used as a natural remedy in South and Central America.
Graviola leaf tea
The most common, and affordable way to consume graviola for health benefits is as a leaf tea. The leaves, when dried, can be steeped in boiling water. The leaves and stems have a very high concentration of the health-giving phytochemicals in the tree.
It is traditionally consumed to treat dysentery and various stomach and digestive ailments. It is also consumed to help with anxiety, depression and insomnia.
Graviola is also a known anti-bacterial agent and anti-virus agent.
Some drink graviola as a naturopathic protocol as a tool against cancer. (See more on this below.)
Graviola fruit seeds
When the large black seeds of the graviola fruit are ground into a paste, they can be used to treat skin bumps, acne, bug bites and even eliminate lice from the head and from hair.
Since it is a natural remedy, Canadians that practice natural medicine like to use it to augment or as a replacement for harsher pharmaceutical approaches.
Whether you choose this approach or not is a personal choice. Always consult with your doctor or naturopath before attempting any natural medicine therapies.
Graviola and cancer
Graviola is most famous as an anti-cancer remedy. In fact there is a well-known study from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana in the U.S. that shows what practitioners of natural medicine have long known: That graviola can be used as a tool to shrink cancer tumors, especially those that are chemo resistant.
Sloan Kettering Cancer Institute says this about graviola:
"Extracts of graviola have been shown to be effective against a number of viruses, bacteria, and parasites in test tubes. Laboratory studies have also shown graviola to be effective against some types of cancer cells. It contains chemicals called acetogenins, which are thought to be the active ingredient. However, substances derived from graviola damaged nerve cells and caused neurological side effects similar to Parkinson’s disease in laboratory and animal experiments. In addition, some animal studies suggest long-term use may increase the risk of other neurological diseases. Graviola may also affect nuclear imaging because it has been shown to decrease the uptake of radio pharmaceuticals used in such procedures."
Graviola as anti-cancer tool is highly controversial because claims have been made in the past that it will cure cancer.
While there are lab studies that show an extract from graviola does have anti-tumor cell effects, there has yet to be a full study that definitive shows that soursop is a cure for cancer. That is because a full clinical research study would be required to demonstrate this and that would be prohibitively expensive from a commercial perspective, especially for a non-patentable plant extract.
Still, Canadians in the know, use graviola, either by drinking the tea, or eating the fruit, to fight tumors and their cancer, trusting in age old natural medicine practices and consumer testimonials.
There are also significant testimonials that suggest graviola has some anti-cancer value. Still, that is not scientific evidence.
Some people simply love the taste of graviola, which is described as a mix between banana and strawberry. Its pulp has a creamy texture and is slight sweet and can also have a slight sour citrus edge to its flavor.
Graviola Capsules in Canada
In Canada graviola products are most commonly seen on the shelves of nutrition stores or on Amazon.ca. Often people will buy graviola capsules and consume them as a daily supplement.
However you would need to take a lot of pills to match a cup of fruit or full cup of tea (uses 2-3 whole leaves) to match the ingestion of quantity needed to have an effect.
Where to buy graviola products in Canada
In Canada, fresh soursop fruit can be found in Asian and Latin American grocery stores. Try Chinatown in Toronto or Vancouver and Montreal.
Dried soursop leaves can be found in some grocery stores. You can also order them online for delivery via Canada Post here. Tea bags are here.
Freeze dried soursop fruit is available online for delivery via Canada Post here.
The site ships its graviola products via Canada Post and ships from the Toronto. The sites homepage is here: http://soursopstore.ca.
- Asian grocery stores
- Chinatown in major cities
- Latino markets and grocery stores
- Click to get alerted when SoursopStore.ca starts shipping fresh soursop fruit
- Health food stores
- Asian and Latino grocers
Soursop Tea Bags
Freeze Dried Soursop Fruit
Soursop Fruit Powder
- Vitamin Shoppe
Graviola Questions Answered
Where can I find Graviola in Montreal, Canada?
Try grocers in Chinatown in Montreal. And try Latino grocery markets. SoursopStore.ca also ships graviola products to all addresses in Montreal and the province of Quebec.
Does Graviola cure cancer?
If you live in Canada and want to consume graviola because you are fighting cancer then here is the official answer: There is no proven evidence that graviola CURES cancer. However there is substantial lab research that shows it can be consumed to attack tumor cells. There is also years of anedoctal evidence that it can be a great tool to help fight cancer. It is nutritious. And it has phytochemicals in it that is toxic to tumor cells.
What does the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) say about graviola?
The CCS has not made any public statements about the efficacy of graviola as a remedy for cancer or that it cannot help cancer patients.