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Annona muricata


Annona bonplandiana, Annona muricata, Guanabamus muricatus, Annona cearensis, Annona macrocarpa.

Vernacular Names:


Durian Mekah, Durian Belanda, Nangka Belanda, Hampun Kapal (Kadazan); Seri kaya belanda, Durian Europa

English Soursop, Prickly custard apple

Sirsak, Nangka londo, Nangka sabrang, Nangka manila


Guayabano, Guyabano, Bayubana, Ilabanos, Babana, Atis



Rodrigues Island

Corosol, Annone sapotille

Latin America



Toge-ban-reishi (spiny Annona squmosa)


Eko oyinbo, Eko omode


Anyigli, Apele

West Indies

Apple leaf, Corosol, Kowosol, Soursop, Soursop leaf


Beleda, Dian


Corossol, Soursop, Ualapana

Dominican Republic

Guanabana, Soursop

Rodrigues Islands

Corossol, Custard apple


Guanabana, Soursop



Panama Guanabana
Puerto Rico Guanabana, Soursop
Cook Islands Katara Ara Tara
Haiti Korosol

Laguana, Soursop




Pumo, Puntar waithia, Quanabana, Saput, Sarifa, Seremaia, Soursop, Sowasap




Soursop tree



Virgin Islands

Soursop [6] [9] [10] [13]

General Information


Annona muricata is small tree of the Annonaceae family that could reach up to 7m in height. The leaves are oblong-obovate to oblong in shape, measure 2 to 15cm long, pointed at both ends, smooth, shiny, usually with petioles measuring 5cm long. The flowers are large and solitary, yellowish or greenish-yellow in colour. Three outer petals are broadly ovate with heart-shaped base, inner 3 also large, elliptical and rounded. The fruit ovoid, 18cm long or more is covered with scattered spine-like structures. The pulp is soft white in clour, and rather fibrous and fleshy, with an agreeable sour flavor.[9]

Plant Part Used

Seeds, Leaves, Bark, Fruit [1][2]

Chemical Constituents

Acetaldehyde; amylcaproate; amyloid; annomonicin; annomontacin; cis-annomuricin-D-one; trans-annomuricin-one; annomuricine A – C; annonacin A; cis-annonacin; 2-4 trans-iso-annonacin; iso-annonacin; annonacin; cis- annonacin-10-one; neo-iso-annonacin-10-one; iso-annonacin-10-one; neo-annonacin-10-one; annonacin-10-one; annonacinone; annonain; annonaine; annopentocin A; annopentocin B; annopentocin C; anomuricine; anomurine; anoniine; anonol; arginine; arianacin; ascorbic acid; asimilobine; atherospermine; atherosperminine; b-carotene; b-sitosterol; caffeic acid; campesterol; caproic acid methyl ester; caprylic acid methyl ester; carbohydrate; cellobiose; cholesterol; citric acid; citrulline; (+)coclaurine; cohibins C; cohibins D; corepoxylone; (-)coreximine; (+)coreximine; coronin; corossolin; corossolone; deacetyl uvaricin; dextrose; D-sucrose; epomuricenin A; epomuricenin B; epoxy murin A; epoxy murin B; ethanol; folic acid; fructose; galactomannan; gamma amino butyric acid; gentisic acid; geranyl caproate; gigntetrocin A; gigantetrocin  B; gigantetrocin; gigantetronenin; glucose; cis-goniothalamicin; goniothalamicin; HCN; hex-trans-2-en-1-ol; howiicin A; 4-deoxy howiicin B; howiicin B; howiicin F; howiicin G; Iron; isocitric acid; javoricin; lignoceric acid; longifolicin; malic acid; mericyl alcohol; methanol; methyl-hexanoate; montanacin; montecristin; diepoxy-muricanin; muricapentocin; muricatacin; muricatalicin; muricatalin; muricatetrocin A; muricatetrocin B; muricatocin A; muricatocin B; muricatocin C; muricin A; muricin B; muricin C; muricin D; muricin E; muricin F; muricin G; muricine; muricinine; muricoreacin; murihexocin C; murihexol; murisolin; myricyl alcohol; myristic acid; nornuciferine; oleic acid; ornithine; palmitic acid; cis-panatellin; paraffin; p-coumaric acid; potassium chloride; procyanidin; resin; cis-reticulatacin; reticulatacin-10-one; (+)reticuline; reticuline; rolliniastatin 1; rolliniastatin 2; scyllitol; cis-solamin; solamin; stearic acid; stepharine; stigmasterol; tannin; cis-i-uvariamicin; cis-iv-uvariamicin; xylosyl cellulose. [9]

Traditional Used:

Actions: Antibacterial, anthelmintic, anticancerous, anticonvulsant, antidepressant, antifungal, antimicrobial, antineoplastic, antiparasitic, antispasmodic, antitumorous, antiviral, astringent, cardiodepressant, cytotoxic, febrifuge, hypotensive, insecticide, nervine, pectoral, piscicide, sedative, stomachic, vasodilator, vermifuge. [5]

Gastrointestinal Diseases

The astringent properties of various parts of the plant especially the bark and the half ripe fruit renders them useful in the treatment of diarrhea, a remedy for distention and dyspepsia.[1][2][5] The fruit and the fruit juice is taken for diarrhea and dysentery.[5] Tea made from the leaves and also fruit juice can be used for liver problems including cholecystosis.[4] In Malaysia a decoction of the unripe fruit is a remedy for jaundice and diarrhea.[7]

Respiratory Diseases

The leaves and bark in the form of a lotion is used for treating asthma, influenza and cough.[2] It has been recorded that in Malaysia, the Caribbean and South America the decoction of the leaves is a remedy for cough, cold and fevers.[3][6]

Central Nervous System Diseases

The leaves of A. muricata is believed to have sedative and tranquilizing properties. The oil of the leaves and unripe fruit mixed with olive oil is a remedy for neuralgia for the Brazilians in the Amazon.[5] In the Cooks Island the scent from crushed leaves of A. muricata is used to treat vertigo and fainting spells while in Caracoa the hot water extract of the leaves is taken orally with Citrus aurantium every morning to relieve nervousness. In the British Guyana the crushed leaves in water together with lime juice is rubbed on to the head of a drunkard to render him instantaneously sober.[9][15] It can act as an anticonvulsant when the leaves are given in a decoction form.[12]

Obstetrics and Gynaecology

The leaves and barks are used to ease difficult labour. The leaves have lactagogue properties.[9]

Inflammatory Diseases

The leaves of Annona muricata has been used for viral and bacterial fevers.[1] In Malaysia the leaves are macerated in water and the infusion is used to sponge down high fever.[6] A decoction of the fruit is given for the same purpose.[7] Crushed leaves are applied over abscesses as an aid to resolving the inflammation.[2][10][11][14]

Antidiabetic effect

In the Peruvian Amazon the bark, roots and leaves are used to treat diabetes.[5]

Parasitic Infestations

Crushed leaves of Annona muricata are used to treat scabies, head lice and other skin diseases of children.[2][6] Another method for getting rid of head lice is by applying the juice of the fruit on the head.[6] Chiggers are removed by applying the poultice of the pulp for three days.[4][15] The crushed seeds are considered more potent remedy for worms and parasites.[1] The heart of the fruit and fruit juice is also used for worms and parasites.[5][7][11][12] Hot water extract of dried leaves can be used to treat ringworm.[9]

Genito-urinary Diseases

Juice of the fruit of A. muricata is considered a diuretic and is a remedy for haematuria and urethritis.[15]

Pre-Clinical Data


Antidiabetic activity

Diabetes mellitus contribute amongst the various uses of A. muricata in traditional medicine. Two studies on the hypopglycaemic effects of various extracts of A. muricata were conducted. In the first study [17] they demonstrated the ability of methanolic extract of A. muricata to reduce blood glucose level significantly in streptozotocin-induced diabetic Wistar rats. In another study [18] they showed that the aqueous extract of the leaves was able to stimulate the secretion of insulin.

Antioxidant activity

In a study on the antioxidant potential of extracts of leaves of three Annona species, Baskar et al. [19] showed that the ethanolic extract of the leaves of A. muricata has antioxidant activities. They found that 500mg/ml of the extract showed maximum scavenging acitivity of 2,2-azinobis-(3-ethylbenzothizoline-6-sulphonate (90.05%), followed by scavenging of hydroxyl radical (85.88%) and nitric oxide (72.60%) at the same concentration. There was only moderate lipid peroxidation inhibition activity.

Study [18] on of the activities of aqueous extracts of the leaves of Annona muricata showed that this extract was able to increase antioxidant enzymes activities significantly.

Cytotoxic activity

The cytotoxic activity of A. muricata is attributed to the presence of many Annonaceous acetogenins. These array of compounds are found in most of the Annonaceae family of plants. Listed are the annonaceous acetogenins found in Annona muricata :

  1. Annomuricin C, muricatocin C are active against the A-549 human lung and the MCF-7 human breast solid tumour cell lines [20]; gigantetronenin [20];
  2. Annomutacin, (2,4-trans)-10R-annonacin-A-one, (2,4-cis)-10R-annonacin-A-one are active against the human A-549 lung tumour cell line [21];
  3. Cis-annonacin, cis-annonacin-10-one, cis-goniothalamicin, arianacin, javoricin where annomutacin selectively cytotoxic to colon adenocarcinoma cells (HT-29) [22];
  4. Annomuricine, muricapentocin showed significant cytotoxicities against sixt types of human tumours with selectivities to the pancreatic carcinoma (PACA-2) and colon adenocarcinoma (HT-29) cell lines.[23]
  5. Annopentocins A, B, C, cis-annomuricin-D-ones, trans-annomuricin-D-one where annopentocin A is selectively cytoxic to pancreatic carcinoma cells (PACA-2), annopentocin B and C are selectively cytotoxic to lung carcinoma cells (A-549) and mixture of cis- and trans-annomuricin-D-ones are selectively cytotoxic to lung (A-549), colon (HT-29) and pancreatic (PACA-2) cell lines.[24]
  6. Muricoreacin, murihexocin showed significant cytotoxicities among six human tumour cell lines with selectivities to the prostate adenocarcinoma (PC-3) and pancreatic carcinoma (PACA-2) cell lines.[25]
  7. Annonacin, annonacin A and annomuricin A showed cytotoxic activity against cell line U-937.[26]
  8. Muricatetrocin A and B, longifolicin, corossolin, corossolone showed significant selectivite cyctotoxicities towards human hepatoma cell lines Hep G(2) and 2,2,25.[27]
  9. Muricatenol, 2,4-cis-gigantetrocinone and 2-4-trans-gigantetrocinone, 2,4-trans-isoannonacin-10-one, 2,4-trans-isoannonacin, gigantetrocin A, B, annomontacin, gigantetronenin. In this study the CHCl3 fraction of the seed extract showed strong anti-tumour activities.[28]
  10. Muricin H and I, cis-annomontacin, cis-corossolone, annocatalin, annonacin, annonacinone, solamin and corossolone. They showed significant activity in in vitro cytotoxic assays against two human hepatoma cell lines ie. HEPg(2) and 2,2,25 with annocatalin showing high selectivity against the Hep 2,2,15 cell line.[29]

Antimicrobial activity

Antiviral (HSV-1) activity

The ethanolic extract of A. muricata in a concentration of 1mg/ml was found to inhibit the cytopathic effect of HSV-1 (Herpes simplex virus-1) on vero cells.[30]

Antiprotozoal activity

In a screening activity for antiparasitic activity of Colombina Annonaceae, Ororio et al found that the extract of Annona muricata was active against the three Leishmania spp. tested.[31] Study found that their ethyl acetate extract of the pericarp of A. muricata to be most active against Leishmania braziliensisi and Leishmania panamensis promastigotes.[26]


A number of potential toxic alkaloids were isolated from A. muricata. They include anonaine, anoniine, muricine and muricinine. Muricinine has a structure similar to reticuline. The bark contain high amount of hydrocyanic acid.[15] There was a report of a single fatality in a child who had over consumed tea made of the leaves of A. muricata.[4]

Clinical Data

Clinical Trials

No documentation

Adverse Effects in Human:

The seeds contain 45% of yellow non-drying oil which is an irritant poison causing severe eye inflammation.[15]

Tropical Myeloneuropathies

An interesting neurological syndrome, characterized by recurrent optic neuritis, cervical myelopathy from syringomyelia, paraparesis, amenorrhoea-galactorrhoea and other endocrine problems, had been described among young black women in the French West Indies. While the etiology remain obscured a possible link with Devic’s disease, actue disseminated encephalomyelitis and neurotoxicity from quinoline in A. muricata teas have been postulated.[32]

Atypical Parkinsonism (Gaudeloupean Parkinson’s Disease)

The Annonaceae family of plants contained neurotoxic benzyltetrahydoisoquinoline alkaloids which had been implicated as the cause of Atypical Parkinson’s Disease found in the French West Indies. This form of Parkinson’s Disease are typically resistant to L-DOPA. Lannuzel et al. [33] found that the total extract of alkaloids from A. muricata root bark and two of the most abundant subfractions, croeximine and reticuline affected the dopaminergic neurons and GAPAergic neurons by causing cell death through condensation and fragmentations of DNA in the nuclei. The effect was not excitotoxic and did not require toxin uptake by the dopamine transporter. The neurodegenation could be attenuated by increasing the concentration of glucose and toxin withdrawal after short term exposure arrested cell death. Acute treatment with totum, coreximine or reticuline reversibly inhibited dopamine uptake by a mechanism that was distinct from that causing neuronal death. They concluded that the alkaloids can modulate the function and the survival of dopaminergic nre cells in vitro. They further isolated annonacin a major acetogenin of A. muricata and studied its effects on dopaminergic cells. They found that it was a potent killer of dopaminergic neurons and its effects was via impairment of energy production of these cells.[34][35]

It was estimated that the average fruit would contain about 15mg of annonacin, a can of commercial nectar 36mg, and a cup of infusion or decoction of the leaves 140mg. As an indication of its potential toxicity, an adult who consumes one fruit or can of nectar a day is estimated to ingest over 1 year the amount annonacin that could induce brain lesions in rats receiving purified annonacin by intravenous infusion.[36]

Used in Certain Conditions

Pregnancy / Breastfeeding

A. muricata has demonstrated uterine stimulant activity in an animal study (rats) and should therefore be avoided during pregnancy.[5]

Age Limitations

Neonates / Adolescents

No documentation


No documentation

Chronic Disease Conditions

No documentation


Interactions with drugs

No documentation

Interactions with Other Herbs / Herbal Constituents

No documentation



Patients with Parkinsonism should avoid taking fruit juice of A. muricata for fear of worsening effects and development of L-DOPA resistence.

Case Reports

No documentation

Read More

  1) Botanical Info


  1. Neil McKinney,  Naturally There's Always Hope, Liaison Press,Vancouver,  2008.  pg211
  2. Thomas S. C. Li, Vegetables and fruits: nutritional and therapeutic values, CRC Press, Boca Raton,  2008.  pg176
  3. Tom Alexander, Don Parker,  The Best of Growing Edge, Volume 1, New Moon Publishing, Inc., Corvallis, 1994.  pg88
  4. James A. Duke, Judith L. DuCellier, CRC handbook of alternative cash crops, CRC Press, Boca Raton,  1993.  pg41
  5. Technical Data Report for Graviola. [Accessed on 11/7/2010]
  6. Kamarudin Mat-Salleh, A.Latiff, Tumbuhan Ubatan Malaysia, Pusat Pengurusan Penyelidikan, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi,  2002. Pg 96-97
  7. Ong Hean Chooi, Buah khasiat makanan & ubatan, Utusan Publications, Kuala Lumpur,  2004. Pg49
  8. Bep Oliver-Bever , Medicinal plants in tropical West Africa, Cambridge University Press, New York, 1986.  pg112
  9. Ivan A. Ross, Medicinal plants of the world: chemical constituents, traditional and modern medicinal uses,  Humana Press, New Jersey,  2003. Pg133-136
  10. Adi Permadi, Membuat Kebun Tanaman Obat, Pustaka Bunda(Grup Puspa Swara), Jakarta, 2008. pg51
  11. Prof Ali Khomsan Rahasia sehat dengan makanan berkhasiat, Penerbit Buku Kompas, Jakarta, 2009. pg82
  12. H. Arief Hariana, Tumbuhan Obat & Khasiatnya 3, Niaga Swadaya, Jakarta, 2006.  pg90
  13. Umberto Quattrocchi, CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names: Common Names, Scientific Names, Eponyms, Synonyms, and Etymology, CRC Press, Boca Raton, 2000. pg151
  14. Tropical Plant Database - Graviola. [Accessed on 16/7/2010]
  15. Soursop. [Accessed on 16/7/2010]
  16. Ira Loren Wiggins, Duncan M. Porter, Edward F. Anderson Flora of the Galapagos Islands Stanford University Press Stanford, 1971 pg. 523
  17. Adeyemi DO, Komolafe OA, Adewole OS, Obuotor EM, Adenowo TK. Anti hyperglycemic activities of annona muricata (linn). Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med. 2008 Oct 25;6(1):62-9.
  18. Adewole SO, Ojewole JA. Protective effects of annona muricata linn. (Annonaceae) leaf aqueous extract on serum lipid profiles and oxidative stress in hepatocytes of streptozotocin-treated diabetic rats. Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med. 2008 Oct 25;6(1):30-41.
  19. Baskar R, Rajeswari V, Kumar TS. In vitro antioxidant studies in leaves of Annona species. Indian J Exp Biol. 2007 May;45(5):480-5.
  20. Wu FE, Zeng L, Gu ZM, Zhao GX, Zhang Y, Schwedler JT, McLaughlin JL, Sastrodihardjo S. New bioactive monotetrahydrofuran Annonaceous acetogenins, annomuricin C and muricatocin C, from the leaves of Annona muricata. J Nat Prod. 1995 Jun;58(6):909-15.
  21. Wu FE, Zhao GX, Zeng L, Zhang Y, Schwedler JT, McLaughlin JL, Sastrodihardjo S. Additional bioactive acetogenins, annomutacin and (2,4-trans and cis)-10R-annonacin-A-ones, from the leaves of Annona muricata. J Nat Prod. 1995 Sep;58(9):1430-7.
  22. Rieser MJ, Gu ZM, Fang XP, Zeng L, Wood KV, McLaughlin JL. Five novel mono-tetrahydrofuran ring acetogenins from the seeds of Annona muricata. J Nat Prod. 1996 Feb;59(2):100-8.
  23. Kim GS, Zeng L, Alali F, Rogers LL, Wu FE, McLaughlin JL, Sastrodihardjo S. Two new mono-tetrahydrofuran ring acetogenins, annomuricin E and muricapentocin,  from the leaves of Annona muricata. J Nat Prod. 1998 Apr;61(4):432-6.
  24. Zeng L, Wu FE, Oberlies NH, McLaughlin JL, Sastrodihadjo S. Five new monotetrahydrofuran ring acetogenins from the leaves of Annona muricata. J Nat Prod. 1996 Nov;59(11):1035-42.
  25. Kim GS, Zeng L, Alali F, Rogers LL, Wu FE, Sastrodihardjo S, McLaughlin JL. Muricoreacin and murihexocin C, mono-tetrahydrofuran acetogenins, from the leaves of Annona muricata. Phytochemistry. 1998 Sep;49(2):565-71.
  26. Jaramillo MC, Arango GJ, González MC, Robledo SM, Velez ID. Cytotoxicity and antileishmanial activity of Annona muricata pericarp. Fitoterapia. 2000 Apr;71(2):183-6.
  27. Chang FR, Wu YC. Novel cytotoxic annonaceous acetogenins from Annona muricata. J Nat Prod. 2001 Jul;64(7):925-31.
  28. Li DY, Yu JG, Zhu JX, Yu DL, Luo XZ, Sun L, Yang SL. Annonaceous acetogenins of the seeds from Annona muricata. J Asian Nat Prod Res. 2001;3(4):267-76.
  29. Liaw CC, Chang FR, Lin CY, Chou CJ, Chiu HF, Wu MJ, Wu YC. New cytotoxic monotetrahydrofuran annonaceous acetogenins from Annona muricata. J Nat Prod. 2002 Apr;65(4):470-5.
  30. Padma P, Pramod NP, Thyagarajan SP, Khosa RL. Effect of the extract of Annona muricata and Petunia nyctaginiflora on Herpes simplex virus. J Ethnopharmacol. 1998 May;61(1):81-3.
  31. Osorio E, Arango GJ, Jiménez N, Alzate F, Ruiz G, Gutiérrez D, Paco MA, Giménez A, Robledo S. Antiprotozoal and cytotoxic activities in vitro of Colombian Annonaceae. J Ethnopharmacol. 2007 May 22;111(3):630-5.
  32. Román G. Tropical myeloneuropathies revisited. Curr Opin Neurol. 1998 Oct;11(5):539-44.
  33. Caparros-Lefebvre D, Elbaz A. Possible relation of atypical parkinsonism in the French West Indies with consumption of tropical plants: a case-control study. Caribbean Parkinsonism Study Group. Lancet. 1999 Jul 24;354(9175):281-6.
  34. Lannuzel A, Michel PP, Caparros-Lefebvre D, Abaul J, Hocquemiller R, Ruberg M. Toxicity of Annonaceae for dopaminergic neurons: potential role in atypical parkinsonism in Guadeloupe. Mov Disord. 2002 Jan;17(1):84-90.
  35. Lannuzel A, Michel PP, Höglinger GU, Champy P, Jousset A, Medja F, Lombès A, Darios F, Gleye C, Laurens A, Hocquemiller R, Hirsch EC, Ruberg M. The mitochondrial complex I inhibitor annonacin is toxic to mesencephalic dopaminergic neurons by impairment of energy metabolism. Neuroscience. 2003;121(2):287-96.
  36. Champy P, Höglinger GU, Féger J, Gleye C, Hocquemiller R, Laurens A, Guérineau V, Laprévote O, Medja F, Lombès A, Michel PP, Lannuzel A, Hirsch EC, Ruberg M. Annonacin, a lipophilic inhibitor of mitochondrial complex I, induces nigral and  striatal neurodegeneration in rats: possible relevance for atypical parkinsonism in Guadeloupe. J Neurochem. 2004 Jan;88(1):63-9.
  37. Champy P, Melot A, Guérineau Eng V, Gleye C, Fall D, Höglinger GU, Ruberg M, Lannuzel A, Laprévote O, Laurens A, Hocquemiller R. Quantification of acetogenins in Annona muricata linked to atypical parkinsonism  in guadeloupe. Mov Disord. 2005 Dec;20(12):1629-33.

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