Herbs & Plants

Graviola (Annona Muricata)

Botanical Name :Annona Muricata
Family: Annonaceae
Genus: Annona
Species: A. muricata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Magnoliales

Common names:
#English:Graviola, Brazilian pawpaw, soursop, prickly custard apple, Soursapi
*Ewe: Evo
*Akan: Aborofontungu
*Spanish: guanábana, guanábano, sinini, anona, catche, catoche, catuche, zapote agrio
*Chamorro: laguaná, laguana, laguanaha, syasyap
*German: Sauersack, Stachelannone, Annona, Flaschenbaum
*Fijian: sarifa, seremaia
*French: anone muriquee, cachiman épineux, corossol épineux,anone, cachiman épineux, caichemantier, coeur de boeuf, corossol, corossolier epineux
*Haitian Creole: kowosòl
*Indonesian: sirsak
*Malay: Durian Belanda
*M?ori: k?tara‘apa, k?tara‘apa papa‘?, naponapo taratara
*Dutch: zuurzak
*Portuguese: graviola, araticum-grande, araticum-manso, coração-de-rainha, jaca-de-pobre, jaca-do-Pará, anona, curassol, graviola, pinha azeda
*Samoan: sanalapa, sasalapa, sasalapa
*Swahili: mstafeli
*Tahitian: tapotapo papa‘a, tapotapo urupe
*Thai:  (tu-rian-tet)
*Vietnamese: mãng cou xiêm, mãng cou gai
*Filipino: guyabano

Habitat : Graviola trees are native to the Caribbean and Central America but are now widely cultivated – and in some areas, escaping and living on their own – in tropical climates throughout the world.These trees are tolerant of poor soil and prefers lowland areas between the altitudes of 0 metres (0 ft) to 1,200 metres (3,900 ft). It cannot stand frost.

Graviola is a small, upright, evergreen tree that can grow to about 4 metres (13 ft) tall.
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Stems and leaves:
The young branches are hairy.
Leaves are oblong to oval, 8 centimetres (3.1 in) to 16 centimetres (6.3 in) long and 3 centimetres (1.2 in) to 7 centimetres (2.8 in) wide. Glossy dark green with no hairs above, paler and minutely hairy to no hairs below.

The leaf stalks are 4 millimetres (0.16 in) to 13 millimetres (0.51 in) long and without hairs.

Flower stalks (peduncles) are 2 millimetres (0.079 in) to 5 millimetres (0.20 in) long and woody. They appear opposite from the leaves or as an extra from near the leaf stalk, each with one or two flowers, occasionally a third.
Stalks for the individual flowers (pedicels) are stout and woody, minutely hairy to hairless and 15 millimetres (0.59 in) to 20 millimetres (0.79 in) with small bractlets nearer to the base which are densely hairy.

Petals are thick and yellowish. Outer petals meet at the edges without overlapping and are broadly ovate, 2.8 centimetres (1.1 in) to 3.3 centimetres (1.3 in) by 2.1 centimetres (0.83 in) to 2.5 centimetres (0.98 in), tapering to a point with a heart shaped base. Evenly thick, covered with long, slender, soft hairs externally and matted finely with soft hairs within. Inner petals are oval shaped and overlap. 2.5 centimetres (0.98 in) to 2.8 centimetres (1.1 in) by 2 centimetres (0.79 in). Sharply angled and tapering at the base. Margins are comparatively thin, with fine matted soft hairs on both sides. The receptacle is conical and hairy. Stamens 4.5 millimetres (0.18 in) long and narrowly wedge-shaped. The connective-tip terminate abruptly and anther hollows are unequal. Sepals are quite thick and do not overlap. Carpels are linear and basally growing from one base. The ovaries are covered with dense reddish brown hairs, 1-ovuled, style short and stigma truncate.

Fruits and reproduction:
Dark green, prickly (or bristled) fruits are egg-shaped and can be up to 30 centimetres (12 in) long, with a moderately firm texture. Flesh is juicy, acid, whitish and aromatic.

Abundant seeds the average weight of 1000 fresh seeds is 470 grams (17 oz) and had an average oil content of 24%. When dried for 3 days in 60 °C (140 °F) the average seed weight was 322 grams (11.4 oz) and were tolerant of the moisture extraction; showing no problems for long-term storage under reasonable conditions.

Edible Uses:
Graviola is a member of the family of custard apple trees called Annonaceae and a species of the genus Annona known mostly for its edible fruits. Annona muricata produces a fruit that is usually called soursop due to its slightly acidic taste when ripe.

Medicinal Uses:
 Indigenous Traditional Use:
Graviola has a long history of use by Indigenous people of the Amazon Basin who use all parts of the Graviola tree – the bark, leaves, roots, fruits and seeds – for various ailments. For example, the fruit and seeds are used for intestinal health, namely to eliminate intestinal parasites and for stomach and bowel discomforts. Women also eat paw paw (the fruit of Graviola) or drink its juice to increase lactation. Teas are made from the Graviola root, bark and leaves as a sedative and a nerve tonic, as well as to help maintain healthy glucose levels. In other parts of the world, such as the Polynesian Islands,
Graviola tea is consumed daily to elevate mood and increase quality of life. Graviola tea taken orally or applied on the skin is also used as an insect repellent.

In Brazil, Indigenous people crush Graviola leaves and blend the oozing oil from the leaves with the Graviola fruit. This preparation is used topically for the alleviation of muscle and joint pain.

Aside from its medicinal use, Graviola fruit is eaten regularly throughout South America as a delicious and refreshing fruit during a hot summer day.

Scientific Studies – Mechanism of Action:
Many of the indigenous applications of Graviola have been substantiated by science, and further exceptional properties have been discovered.

First, the nerve tonic, calming and mood elevating properties of Graviola have been demonstrated through several studies. The calming effect on the whole body has been linked to the ability of Graviola leaf extract to lower blood pressure.

In addition, the fruit was shown to contain a serotonin uptake inhibitor. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter involved in the experience of joy. When serotonin is released at the synaptic level, stimulating the post-synaptic neuron, the effect of serotonin is stopped by recapturing serotonin within the pre-synaptic terminal. This process is called “reuptake.” A way of enhancing the “joy system” in the brain and alleviating mood swings is to increase the
concentration of serotonin in the synaptic cleft by blocking the reuptake of serotonin. Compounds that block this process are called “serotonin reuptake inhibitors,” commonly referred to as SRI. Several common medications are SRI. Another way to increase the “serotonin joy system” is to consume compounds that mimic serotonin, acting in the brain like serotonin. An extract from the Graviola fruit was shown to contain three compounds that act like serotonin in the brain.

Another interesting application of Graviola, well known by Indigenous people, is its ability to repel insects. In 1988 a patent was filed describing the insecticidal properties of annonin, a natural compound present in Graviola. Since then, shampoo and skin care products have been
developed for the management of lice. However, the claim to fame of Graviola is its, which means its ability to kill cells. Cytotoxic often refers to the ability to kill cells that are not functioning properly and which can put the whole body at risk. More than 34 cytotoxic compounds have been isolated from Graviola, some of them being up to 100 million times more potent than commonly used cytotoxic compounds. The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) prevents making health claims. Therefore, one cannot recommend using the cytotoxic properties of Graviola for the treatment of any disease. However, given the demonstrated properties of Graviola, and given the role of the immune system in eliminating dysfunctional cells, we can say that Graviola is a natural plant that can support the functions of the immune system in an exceptional manner.

Other Benefits & uses:

For a bug-free hike in the woods!:
To repel insects” add some Graviola extract to a glass of juice or water and drink it# You can
also put a small amount of extract in your hand and rub your skin with it.*

Intestinal health:
Taking Graviola extract daily will help maintain a good intestinal environment.*

Mood elevation:
Graviola contains components known to enhance the “serotonin joy system” of the brain#
Drink some Graviola extract in water daily or as needed.*

Taking Graviola daily will help support immune functions.

Known Hazards:The compound annonacin, which is contained in the seeds of soursop, is a neurotoxin associated with neurodegenerative disease.

The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider


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Fruits & Vegetables Herbs & Plants


Botanical Name :Annona glabra
Family: Annonaceae
Genus: Annona
Species: A. glabra
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Magnoliales
Synonyms:Annona australis,Annona chrysocarpa,Annona laurifolia,Annona palustris,Annona peruviana

Common Names: Pond-apple, Alligator-apple, Corkwood, Bobwood, and Monkey-apple. The name Alligator-apple derives from the fact that American Alligators sometimes eat the fruit.

Habitat : The tree is native to Florida in the United States, the Caribbean, Central and South America, and West Africa

Pond-apple tree is generally semi-decidious.It grows in swamps, is tolerant of saltwater, and cannot grow in dry soil. The trees grow to a height of around 10–12 m. They have thin, gray trunks and sometimes grow in clumps. The leaves are ovate and  alternate.  They are   oblong with an acute tip, 8–15 cm long and 4–6 cm broad.They can be more than 4 in (10 cm) long, and are shiny green on the upper face.The pond apple has flowers with white petals which have a pink base. They are about 1 in (2.5 cm) in diameter. The fruit is oblong to spherical and apple-sized or larger, 7–15 cm long and up to 9 cm diameter, and falls when it is green or ripening yellow. It disperses by floating to new locations, and it is food for many animal species. It is edible for humans, and can be made into jam, although the taste is usually not preferable to Soursop and other related fruits. The flesh is sweet-scented and agreeable in flavor, but it has never attained general popular use.

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The pond apple is a rounded fruit that is similar either to a rounded mango, or an apple. This fruit can be up to 4 in (10 cm) long and more, and is yellow-green when ripe. Its flesh is edible and aromatic, even if this fruit is seldom consumed. In fact, this wild fruit is considered to be inferior in quality to its more well-known relatives like cherimoya, atemoya and custard apple. However, the pond apple can be eaten raw, or transformed into juice.


*Annona glabra requiert les expositions suivantes : lumière,soleil
*This tree can grow in very moist soils.

Experiments in South Florida have been made in an attempt to use it as a superior rootstock for Sugar-apple or Soursop. While the grafts initially appear to be effective a high percentage of them typically fail over time. Soursop on Pond-apple rootstock has a dwarfing effect.

Although tropical, a mature pond apple can withstand brief negative temperatures down to about 28°F/26°F. (-2°C to -3°C) This tree is considered as invasive in many tropical areas.

It is a very troublesome invasive species in Australia. There it grows in estuaries and chokes mangrove swamps, where its seedlings carpet the banks and prevent other species from germinating or thriving.


On a preliminary screening, substantial antimicrobial, antifungal and moderate insecticidal, sporicidal and cytotoxic activities were observed for the hexane extract of the stem bark of Annona glabra L. Chromatographic fractionation of this extract led to the isolation of kaur-16-en-19-oic acid in a large amount as the main constituent, which was found to be largely responsible for the biological activities possessed by the crude extract.

Medicinal Uses:
A recent study suggests that its alcoholic seed extract contains anticancer compounds that could be used pharmaceutically.

Traditional remedy or use: Wood used to make rafts, sharpen blades and bottle corks. Insect repellent and fish poison. Emetic; Used to treat tuberculosis, abdominal cramps, colic, diarrhea, dysentery, jaundice and rheumatism. Tea was used as a vermifuge.

Modern remedy or use: Genus being researched as a treatment for cancer, malaria and H.I.V.

You may click to see :Anticancer effects of Annona glabra plant extracts in human leukemia cell lines.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


Herbs & Plants

Nona (Annona reticulata Linn)

Botanical Name :Annona reticulata Linn
Family: Annonaceae
Species: A. reticulata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Magnoliales
Common Names :Ramphal, Bullock’s heart, Nona, Luvuni, West Indian Custard-Apple, Anta, Nena, Lavati, Aninuna, Ramachita.

Vernacular Names :
English: bullock’s-heart, custard-apple, ox-heart, wild sweetsop
French: annone réticulée, coeur de boeuf, cachiman, cachimantier, corossolier sauvage, cachiman créme
German: Netzannone, Ochsenherz, Schleimapfel
Portuguese: biribá, fruta-de-condessa, fruta-do-conde, biribarana
Spanish: anona corazón, corazón de buey, mamán, cachimán, candón, cherimoya.
Swahili: mtomoko
Indonesian: Srikaya, Buah Nona
Malay: Buah nona, Lonang, Nona kapri
Indonesian: Srikaya, Buah Nona
Malay: Buah nona, Lonang, Nona kapri
Vietnamese: Bình Bát
Telugu: seetha phalam

Bengali Name: Nona

Habitat :
Possibly a native of the Caribbean and Central America, Annona reticulata is now pantropical and can be found growing between altitudes of 0 metres (0 ft) to 1,500 metres (4,900 ft) in areas of Central America that have alternating seasons.

Cultivated and naturalized in many parts of the world including Southeast Asia, Taiwan, India, Australia, and West Africa.

Central Mexico: Veracruz
Central America: Belize, Chiapas, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama
Caribbean: Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Martinique, Puerto Rico, Trinidad
Northern South America: Guyana, Venezuela
Brazil: Acre, Amazonas, Bahia, Mato Grosso, Minas Gerais, Para, Rio Grande do Sul, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo
Western South America: Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Paraguay


It is a small deciduous or semi-evergreen tree reaching 8 metres (26 ft) to 10 metres (33 ft) tall with an open, irregular crown.
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Stems and leaves

The slender leaves are not hairy, straight and pointed at the apex (in some varieties wrinkled), 10 centimetres (3.9 in) to 20 centimetres (7.9 in) long and 2 centimetres (0.79 in) to 7 centimetres (2.8 in) wide.

The yellow-green flowers are generally in clusters of three or four 2 centimetres (0.79 in) to 3 centimetres (1.2 in) diameter, with three long outer petals and three very small inner ones.

Fruits and reproduction
The fruit is variable in shape: heart-shaped or spherical. The size ranges from 7 centimetres (2.8 in) to 1 centimetre (0.39 in), depending on the cultivar. When ripe, the fruit is brown or yellowish, with red highlights and a varying degree of reticulation, depending again on the variety. Skin is thin, covering a cream-colored juicy and sweet pulp.The flesh varies from juicy and very aromatic to hard with a repulsive taste.

Chemical constituents and characteristics:-
*The bark yields an alkaloid of the aporphine type.
*The bark and seeds are high in tannic acid.
*The fresh leaves are antihelminthic internally and suppurant externally.
*The bark is astringent and tonic.

Edible Uses:  Fruits are edible

Medicinal Uses:

Parts used :
Leaves and fruit.

Indigestion: Warm the leaves in open fire. Apply to stomach while still warm; use abdominal binder. Renew every 2 hours. Also used for babies and children.
The powdered bark used for dysentery and diarrhea.
Fruit is antihelminthic; the dried unripe fruit is astringent and used for diarrhea and as vermifuge.
The unripe fruit is dried, pulverized and used for diarrhea and dysentery.
The roots used for epilepsy.
Crushed leaves or paste of the fruit used as poultice for boils, abscesses and ulcers.
Decoction of the bark is astringent and taken as tonic.
In severe diarrheal cases, a potent decoction is made from the leaves, bark and green fruits, boiled together for five minutes in a liter of water.
Fragments of root bark are packed around the gums to relieve toothache.
Root decoction as febrifuge.The roots used for epilepsy.

Other Uses:

Fruit used in the New Year tradition of “bilog-bilog” for good luck – a bowlful collection of fruits (anonas, mansanas, ubas, pakwan, pinya, bayabas, etc) with other sundry items like cotton, salt, and coins.
Leaves used in tanning, yields a blue or black dye.
Young twigs yield a superior fiber.


• Phytochemicals: Study isolated two annonaceous acetogenins from the seeds of Anona reticulata: squamone and isoannonareticin.
Anthelmintic: (1) Study showed the ethanol extract of Annona reticulata exhibited anthelmintic activity, taking less time to cause paralysis of the earthworms, Pherentima posthuma. Activity was attributed to a compound present in fraction of the ethanol extract. (2) Extracts from the bark of A reticulata showed potent anthelmintic activity.
Annonacin / Cytotoxicity / Anti-Cancer: Study of annonacin isolated from the seeds of A reticulata showed it caused significant cell death in various cancer lines and suggests a potentially promising anticancer compound.
• Antioxidant Study: In a study of antioxidant potential of leaves of three diffferent species of Annona, A reticulata showed better activity in quenching DPPH and superoxide radical than A squamosa and A muricata.

The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


Anonas – Scientific name: Anona reticulata Linn

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Fruits & Vegetables Herbs & Plants

Sitafal or Sugar -apple

Botanical Name : Annona squamosa
Family: Annonaceae
Genus: Annona
Species: A. squamosa
Order: Magnoliales

Habitat : Native to the tropical Americas and widely grown in India and Pakistan. Its exact native range is unknown due to extensive cultivation, but thought to be in the Caribbean; the species was described from Jamaica.

It is a semi-evergreen shrub or small tree reaching 6–8 meters (20–26 ft) tall. The leaves are alternate, simple, oblong-lanceolate, 5–17 cm (2.0–6.7 in) long and 2–5 centimeters (0.79–2.0 in) broad. The flowers are produced in clusters of 3-4, each flower 1.5–3 cm (0.59–1.2 in) across, with three large petals and three minute ones, yellow-green spotted purple at the base.

The fruit is usually round, slightly pine cone-like, 6–10 cm (2.4–3.9 in) diameter and weighing 100–230 g (3.5–8.1 oz), with a scaly or lumpy skin. There are variations in shape and size. The fruit flesh is sweet, white to light yellow, and resembles and tastes like custard. The edible portion coats the seeds generously; a bit like the gooey portion of a tomato seed. Sugar-apple has a very distinct, sweet-smelling fragrance. The texture of the flesh that coats the seeds is a bit like the center of a very ripe guava (excluding the seeds). It is slightly grainy, a bit slippery, very sweet and very soft. The seeds are scattered through the fruit flesh; the seed coats are blackish-brown, 12–18 mm (0.47–0.71 in) long, and hard and shiny.

There are also new varieties being developed in Taiwan. There is a pineapple sugar-apple, which is similar in sweetness but has a very different taste. Like the name suggests, it tastes like pineapple. The arrangement of seeds is in spaced rows, with the fruit’s flesh filling most of the fruit and making grooves for the seeds, instead of the flesh only occurring around the seeds.

Sitafal is a very common fruit in Indian subcontinent. It is used in many flavouring products but, so far, the plant is known to have various curative properties………
Annona squamosa belongs to family Annonaceae and it is known as Sugar apple or Custard apple in English. A shrub or small tree up to 6 m high, Custard apple is edible fruit with white pulp that contains many black shiny seeds in it. It is commonly found in deciduous forests and also cultivated in many parts of India. Pulp of the fruit is eaten fresh or converted into juice or shake. Fruits are normally eaten fresh.

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In some regions of the world, the sugar-apple is also known as custard-apple, a different plant in the same genus.

Annona squamosa (Sugar-apple, Sweetsop or Custard Apple) is a species of Annona native to the tropical Americas. Its exact native range is unknown due to extensive cultivation, but thought to be in the Caribbean; the species was described from Jamaica.

It is a semi-evergreen shrub or small tree reaching 6-8 m tall. The leaves are alternate, simple, oblong-lanceolate, 5-17 cm long and 2-5 cm broad. The flowers are produced in clusters of 3-4, each flower 1.5-3 cm across, with six petals, yellow-green spotted purple at the base.

The fruit is usually round or oval, slightly pine cone-like, 6-10 cm diameter and weighing 100-230 g, with a scaly or lumpy skin. The fruit flesh is edible, white to light yellow, and resembles and tastes like custard. The seeds are scattered through the fruit flesh; they are blackish-brown, 12-18 mm long, and hard and shiny.

Different cultures have many names for the species. In English it is most widely known as Sugar-apple or Sweetsop, also sometimes custard-apple (especially in India) though technically incorrectly, as this name usually refers to another closely related species. In Latin America regional names include anón, anón de azucar, anona blanca, fruta do conde, cachiman, and many others. In India it is known as aarticum, “shareefa”, sitaphal or seethaphal (literally meaning “sita fruit” and you can use your imagination to figure out why), and in Indonesia, srimatikiya. The Taiwanese call it Sakya (Traditional Chinese: ??; Pinyin: shìjia; Taiwanese: suck-khia, suck-kia) because one cultivar resembles the top part of Sakyamuni’s  head; it is also known as Buddha Head in Taiwan. Its name in Burmese is aajaa thee. In the Philippines it is called atis. In Thailand it is called Noi-Na  which is also the common name for a hand-grenade because of its explosive taste. In Vietnam, it is called trái mãng c?u ta or na. In Brazil, it is called fruta do conde or pinha.

Cultivation and uses
Tribal farmers in Patalkot prepare a wonderful pesticide from the leaves of Sweet Apple. For this, they crush 500gm leaves of the plant and mix it with cow urine and Tobacco powder and boil it with 10 liter water for 45 mins. The decoction obtained is the concentrated pesticide. 50 ml of this concentrate solution is thus mixed with 15 ltrs of water and sprayed on the insect infested soil.

Like most species of Annona, it requires a tropical or subtropical climate with summer temperatures from 25 ° to 41 °C, and mean winter temperatures above 15 °C. It is sensitive to cold and frost, being defoliated below 10 °C and killed by temperatures of a few degrees below freezing. It is only moderately drought-tolerant, requiring rainfall above 700 mm, and not producing fruit well during droughts.

In the Philippines, the fruit is commonly eaten by the Philippine Fruit Bat (Kabag or Kabog) which then spreads the seeds from island to island.

In the Philippines there is a company that produces Sugar apple wine.

It is a host plant for larvae of the butterfly Graphium agamemnon (Tailed Jay)

It is quite a prolific bearer and will produce fruit in as little as two to three years. A tree five years old may have produce as much as 50 fruit. Poor fruit production has been reported in Florida because there are few natural pollinators (honeybees have a difficult time penetrating the tightly closed female flowers); however hand pollination with a natural fiber brush is effective in increasing yield.

Medicinal uses:
It is known for various medicinal properties too.

The roots of this plant are purgative in nature. Bark is a powerful astringent. Fruits are considered as a good tonic in Ayurveda. It enriches blood and it is used as expectorant. It is known to increases muscular strength. Seeds are cooling and it lessens burning sensation too. It relieves vomiting sensations. Patalkot herbal healers dry the unripe fruit and they prepare powder of it. This powder is mixed with gram-flour to kill intestinal worms. The seed powder is applied on head to kill lice in hair. Tribal ladies apply the seed powder on their scalp for hairwash. Leaves are known to heal ulcers and wounds. Fresh trodden leaves are inhaled to conquer hysteria. Decoction obtained from the leaves is said to be effective in cases of dysentery or severe diarrhea. The bark decoction is also good to stop diarrhea. According to Bhumkas (Local healers) in Patalkot, 500 gm leaves are boiled in water for 5 mins and if taken bath, it cures rheumatoid arthritis. Leaves are good to cure diabetes. Bhagats (Local healers) in Dang district of Gujarat state in India prescribe Sitafal leaves for the arthritis problems. Bark of the plant is crushed and made into powder form. One teaspoon of this powder is thus very effective in stomach problems. There are many other medicinal uses of this plant. Healers claim to cure almost 15 common ailments by fixing Sitafal in their formulations.

Sugar-apple fruit is high in calories and is a good source of iron. It is the most widely cultivated of all the species of Annona, being grown widely throughout the tropics and warmer subtropics; it was introduced to southern Asia before 1590. It is naturalized north to southern Florida in the United States and south to Bahia in Brazil, and is an invasive species in some areas.

It is used by some societies in India to prepare a hair tonic. The seeds are also ground and applied to rid the hair of lice.

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The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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