Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Is there a cure for cancer growing in my backyard? - The healing plants of Costa Rica

This is a post from my blog I'm Just Sayin dated May 7, 2013, on our stop in Antigua. It's interesting to look back because soursop aka guanábana is not allowed in the U.S but is very prevalent in the Caribbean. It grows here in Costa Rica and is available at the local feria. Most Costa Ricans are very aware of its healing powers.

Thought it made sense to re post here

So looking back...Here's the post

Is Soursop a cure for cancer?

Instead of swimming or snorkeling at one of Antigua's 366 beaches, we decided to take a tour that would give us a taste of the culture of the island.

One of the stops on the tour was to Rosemac's Herb Garden, located in the coastal village of Johnson's Point. The garden belongs to Rosalyn Simon. She lead us through her herb garden and shared her wealth of knowledge of each plant. We found her talk to be very informative. We learned about many herbal remedies (both culinary and medicinal) that have been used by the people of Antigua for centuries. From these herbs in her garden she creates her natural products to soothe and heal the body. We also had a chance to sample some of the fruits and teas. One such remedy which was discussed was soursop.

Soursop -- what's soursop? 
Soursop (Annona muricata) is a fruit mainly grown in tropical climates. It has many other names, including guanábana, graviola, anona, and sirsak. As a member of the Annona genus of flowering plants, its most recognizable relative for Americans is the pawpaw.
Soursop is a strange-looking fruit; imagine a Granny Smith apple crossed with a pineapple... on steroids. This should give you a mental image of the spiky fruit, which can weigh up to 15 pounds. Cutting open the green rind reveals a white pulp with a consistency similar to that of cooked fish, and rows of dark seeds.

we sampled the soursop
Soursop has been linked as a possible cure for cancer (and a way to prevent cancer) but it is not acknowledged as such here in the U.S. I won't go in to why I think this is being done, but suffice it to say, if you decide you want to use soursop you will not be able to walk into your local Whole Foods and ask for it. It is very difficult to get, however it grows wild in Antigua.

I am in no way endorsing soursop as a "cure" for cancer. If you are interested in learning more please listen to the video below. Then research and draw your own conclusions.

Rosemac's Herb Garden - Antigua West Indies from Devon on Vimeo.

Fast forward 3 years to 2016. We now live in Costa Rica where guanábana is quite common. As a matter of fact I think there is a tree right in our backyard.

We bought our 1st guanábana last week at the feria (the ones in our yard are not ripe). It was pretty big and cost $8.
The fruit, roots, leaves and bark are all used in natural treatments, however, the active ingredient, Acetogenin, is most concentrated in the leaves of the plant. (As I understand it, the fruit is for prevention and the leaves made into a tea are for treatment.)

Below is our video

Our 1st Guanabana from Devon on Vimeo
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