Soursop or corossol (Annona muricata) is a miracle fruit and known well in the Caribbean and Asia for its many health benefits.These fine examples of the fruit are from my tree and I consider myself very lucky to have one in my garden. Not only is the fruit prized for its flesh (which is so unique in flavor, musky and akin to a combination of papaya, banana, and pineapple), but there are so many amazing health benefits now being associated and attributed to it.
In Haiti, corossol juice is served in 2 forms: with or without milk; both equally delicious. In both Haiti and Guyana, soursop ice cream is ‘to die for’. A hint of grated nutmeg added to either the juice or ice cream takes the concoction to another level.
I have always been amazed at the level of knowledge and wisdom of the use of herbs and leaves for medicinal purposes that Haitians possess. During my years living here, I have amassed a treasure trove of information of plants from my garden and elsewhere, which I have come to learn and respect. The leaves of the corossol plant are no exception. A tea or tisane made of the leaves is a stress reliever & an excellent way to ensure a good night’s sleep. You are often told after drinking a glass of juice that “you will sleep well after this”. Many a mother has been known to give a fussy baby some Tisane or juice to calm them down for a good night’s rest; especially when they are teething.
The leaves of the soursop are also very potent and have astringent qualities. They are used in medicinal baths to soothe the aching body. Many skin rashes such as measles and chicken pox are soothed by cleansing the lesions with a mixture of corossol leaves and Seville orange leaves boiled in a vat of water, followed by a generous dusting of cornstarch to cool and calm the itching. I can attest to the fact that this helps tremendously. The fresh leaves can be dried and conserved for later use.
Although quite recently there have been claims that soursop was a miracle cure for cancer, there has not been enough scientific evidence to back this up fully. However, miracle fruit or not, I do agree that this exotic fruit with its prickly exterior and creamy pulpy flesh is a wonder in its own right. If you have not as yet tried it, look out for it in Asian or Caribbean supermarkets. You will find the juice in cans but if you have the opportunity to try the fresh fruit, you will be happy you discovered it.
All hail to the mighty soursop/ corossol! I cannot wait for mine to ripen in a few days!!