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Graviola Benefits and Side Effects

Jeannie Randall
Graviola Soursop Fruit

Graviola is the fruit that comes from a small evergreen tree indigenous to warm regions of North and South America. The leaves, seeds, stem, and fruit have long been used for medicinal purposes. Graviola is also known as soursop or guanaba.


According to WebMD, more evidence is needed to support the medicinal effectiveness of graviola. Graviola has been used to:

  • Treat bacterial, viral, and parasitic infections
  • Induce vomiting
  • Promote relaxation
  • Promote bowel elimination
  • Attack cancer cells

While there are laboratory studies that suggest graviola may be able to effectively fight cancer cells, there have not been sufficient studies on humans to prove this theory.

Side Effects

Graviola is associated with severe toxicity. The alkaloids in graviola can cause neural damage and have been linked to atypical Parkinson's disease.

In a 2009 book, Bioactive Foods and Promoting Health, Dr. Alex Schauss discusses neurotoxicity of graviola due to a high content of an alkaloid known to cause neuronal death. Cancer Research UK does not support the use of graviola as an anti-cancer agent and warns that graviola should be used with great caution due to potential for neuronal toxicity.

Graviola is not suitable for pregnant or nursing mothers.

How It's Taken

According to eMedicineHealth, there is not an established dosage range for graviola. Graviola is available as a capsule, a liquid extract, and a tea.

  • Amazon offers tea leaves for under $20.
  • Swanson Health Products offers 100 graviola capsules for around $18, with a recommended dosage of 2 capsules per day.

Consult With Primary Care Provider

Graviola may have some medicinal uses, but extreme caution should be taken due to potentially toxic side effects. As with any supplement, it is best to consult with your primary care provider before adding a supplement to your routine.

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Graviola Benefits and Side Effects