It was the first time I met my Tia (aunt) Jenny who lives in Caguas, Puerto Rico. As a proper first meeting, we began with feasting on some of her famous Arroz Con Gandules (rice and pigeon peas).
Afterward, she began some of her recollections of our ancestors.
One such recollection was of my great-grandfather.
His grocery store he used to sell items but also to give food away to those in need. At times he gave away so much food (Especially at times of crisis) that great grandfather fell short on the rent.
Despite this, his heart stood strong because he knew that everyone had eaten that day.
Perhaps this is a lesson on prioritizing the well being of our neighbors?
Not only were the neighbor’s helped with food but at times remedies caseros (House remedies) came to the rescue as well.
Tia Jenny, relayed to me a time when she had a stomachache and it was great grandpa who would prepare her Guanabana Anona muricata leaf tea to allay her stomach pain. It worked and in her yard, she keeps a Guanabana plant in remembrance of great-grandfather to use whenever she needs it.
In Maria Benedetti’s interviews with elders in Puerto Rico, an elder relayed to her that the tea of new guanabana leaves is useful for edema (2).
In the tropics, every part of Guanabana is used for natural medicine (1). The fruit is used for parasites as well as to increase mothers milk after childbirth (1) and as an astringent for diarrhea (3). The seeds for worms, the bark leaves, and roots as a relaxant, hypotensive and more (1).
Combating Drug Resistance
One of the potent chemicals in guanabana, Annonaceous acetogenins have been found to have significant anti-tumor properties (1). Purdue University, found cells that have become resistant to cancer treatment thus becoming multi-drug resistant could be combated by using the Annonaceous acetogenins in Guanabana (1). Drug-resistance is a huge threat right now, and many people are scared that one day we will develop a superbug resistant to our present pharmaceuticals. While that may become a reality, many of our herbal allies are not drug-resistant and are very real answers to an impending health crisis and thus have the potential to save our world.
World Wide Use
There is a worldwide utilization of Guanababa, we see it used in Malaysia, the Caribbean, Brazil, Peru and other parts of our world. (1)
Some contraindications are in pregnancy or people taking antihypertensive medications (1). So, of course, ask a licensed professional before use.
It's a popular dessert!!
Guanabana is popularly made into smoothies, milkshakes, mousse, fruit salads and so much more (3).
All in all guanabana fruit and tea is delicious and available in most ethnic supermarkets! It really is one of my favorite fruits.
1)The Healing Power Of Rainforest Herbs: a Guide To Understanding and Using Herbal Medicinals Leslie Taylor - Squareone Pub. - 2005
2)Earth and Spirit: Medicinal Plants and Healing Lore from Puerto Rico-María Benedetti - Botanicultura - 2013
3)Riquezas Verdes: Selección De Plantas, Especies Aromáticas, Árboles Medicinales Y Sus Usos En Puerto Rico Evelyn Avilés - Createspace Independent Publishing - 2013