How to Use Graviola

By Meg Butler

Graviola is a small evergreen tree that produces large, glossy leaves and heart-shaped, yellow-green fruit. It can be found growing in the wild in the tropics and the Amazon. While the native populations in those areas have been aware of graviola's medicinal properties for centuries, western medicine is just beginning to research the healing powers of this plant. Read on to discover how graviola's leaves, bark, seeds and fruit can be used to fight a number of ailments and disorders.

Video of the Day

How to Use Graviola

credit: Luiz Fernando Souza Fernandes/iStock/Getty Images
Graviola at the market.

Step 1

Eat graviola fruit, if it is available. In the tropics, graviola's fruit is sold in local markets (where it is also called guanábana). The sour, delicious fruit is used to make drinks and frozen deserts or eaten raw. However, while tasty, graviola fruit and fruit juice are also eaten to combat intestinal parasites, bring down fevers, increase mother's milk production and stop diarrhea.

Glass of green tea on coaster, close-up
credit: ULTRA F/Photodisc/Getty Images
Cup of tea.

Step 2

Make tea from graviola bark and leaves. This bitter tea is used to treat a wide range of ailments and disorders including insomnia, hypo- and hypertension, seizures and diabetes.

fruit, Custard apple separated
credit: ceazars/iStock/Getty Images
Graviola whole and cut.

Step 3

Make graviola oil by crushing the leaves and unripened fruit of the plant and then mixing them with olive oil. When rubbed on the body, this oil can treat neuralgia, rheumatism, arthritis, boils, sores, rashes and other dermatological disorders.

Mortar and pestle
credit: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images
Mortar and pestle to crush seeds.

Step 4

Crush the seeds. The seeds of the plant function as a pesticide. When crushed into a powder they can be used to combat head lice. Crushed graviola seeds can be used against external and internal parasites.

Intravenous IV drip
credit: BrianAJackson/iStock/Getty Images
Patient receiving chemotherapy.

Step 5

Wait for the pill. A 1976 study by the National Cancer Institute identified a chemical compound in graviola that may be used in the future to combat particularly resistant forms of cancer. Currently, pharmaceutical companies and universities are conducting research on graviola, to develop a new form of chemotherapy.