Graviola Tea

Harvesting graviola (aka soursop) leaves is more than just plucking any old leaf off of the the tree. It takes know-how and a bit of skill to identify mature leaves and ensure that a new leaf will take its place.

The majority of herbal soursop remedies use the soursop leaf, where the active ingredients may be found. The primary way of using graviola is in the form of an infusion or tea.

Graviola leaves for tea, soursop leaves for tea. Graviola tea is made from graviola leaves. The tea takes on a dark green color, somewhere between the color of green and black tea. The flavor is smooth and enjoyable with no after-taste. Graviola blends well with other herbs, making it a neutral base for many herbal infusions.

The best-quality soursop leaves are the mature leaves harvested from an adult graviola tree. Some websites suggest that the young leaves are better, but we beg to differ. Mature graviola leaves contain more of desired properties than young leaves. Also, people who sell young leaves most likely chopped down a young tree in order to quickly harvest all of its tea, therefore contributing to deforestation...

At the Graviola Tea Company, they only hand-pick mature leaves from adult trees, and only from stems where new leaves are already beginning to sprout. Check out this video showing how we harvest leaves:

Once picked the leaves are washed and then left to dry in the shade for a period of 10 days to several weeks. Shade-drying is important because as it helps to preserve the leaf's color, flavor and chemical properties.

The graviola fruit is generally not used in the tea and the seeds are never be used as they contain a high concentration of a poisonous yellow oil which native people use as an effective means to combat various pests including head lice, worms, bedbugs and other human parasites. Soursop tree bark and roots are high in hydrocyanic acid, and are therefore mainly used for non-medicinal purposes including for tanning or as a fish poison, and should not be consumed orally.

Soursop tea is therefore best when only the leaves are used. You can learn more about how to brew graviola tea (soursop tea) here.


Pregnant woman and patients with Parkinson's disease should not consume soursop products. Patients undergoing chemotherapy should consult their physician before drinking graviola tea.


For general information about the plant, its origins, distribution and uses, we recommend “Fruits of warm climates” (Morton, J. 1987. Soursop. p. 75–80. In: Fruits of warm climates. Julia F. Morton, Miami, FL.), available online through Purdue University.

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center offers a detailed webpage outlining the known facts about graviola, including health benefits and side effects. The page includes references and links to the various studies about soursop.

An excellent source about the health benefits of graviola can be found in Leslie Taylor’s, The Healing Power of Rainforest Herbs, (copyright 2005) a complete extract of which is made available online by the Tropical Plant Database.


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