Why did I start this blog? I have been having episodes of inflammation in my hands and fingers, feet and toes, and joints for some time now. I’ve consulted the doctor and have had tests done. It’s not rheumatoid arthritis and my uric acid is normal (tho at times borderline normal). In an effort to determine which food triggers the inflammation, I have been systematically eliminating certain foods from my diet and then bringing them back. After several years, I have now come to the conclusion that I seem to be reacting to animal protein in general (like some sort of allergic reaction). Different animal proteins affect me to different degrees; some cause inflammation faster than others. So I have decided to reduce my intake of meat. No, I am not going vegetarian; maybe semi-vegetarian if there is such a thing. I will be adding interesting and not too difficult recipes here as I find them. I will also include arthritis management tips that have worked for me.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Guyabano (Annona muricata L)

The fruit of the guyabano (aka soursop, guanabana, graviola) is usually ovoid; it is covered with small spine-like structures. The pulp is fleshy, soft, white and fibrous; it is high in carbohydrates and contains considerable amounts of Vitamin C, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, potassium and dietary fiber. Guyabano is low in cholesterol, saturated fat and sodium.  

The fruit, seeds, and leaves have a number of herbal medicinal uses among indigenous peoples of regions where the plant is common. It is considered to be antispasmodic, sudorific and emetic. A decoction (boiling in water) of guyabano leaves is used to kill bedbugs and head lice. The decoction can also be taken internally to reduce fever; leaves added to bathing water is also said to have the same effect.

Crushed fresh leaves may also be applied to skin eruptions to promote healing, with less scar formation. A poultice of young guyabano leaves applied on the skin may help alleviate rheumatism and other skin infections (like eczema). It can also be used as a wet compress to provide relief for swollen feet and other inflammations.

The juice of the fruit can be taken orally as a herbal remedy for urethritis, haematuria and liver ailments.

There are studies being conducted to look into the healing properties of guyabano against cancers. Initial findings show that certain compounds and chemicals extracted from guyabano leaves, seeds, fruit and bark appear to kill cancer cells while leaving normal cells remain unaffected.

For more information on the health benefits of guyabano, check out the following links

Regardless of the many benefits that can be derived from guyabano, I have always enjoyed eating the ripe fruit as it is or making it into a shake. For the shake, I blend together the fruit pulp (remove the seeds!), low-fat yogurt, honey and some calamansi (for added tang). 

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