Annonaceae
Annona muricata • Graviola

 

Annona muricata (soursop) is a fruit-bearing tree originally from South America and the Caribbean. Troughout this region it is known for a variety of medicinal applications. In Brazil for example, its seeds, leaves (which are strongly aromatic), young shoots, flowers and root bark are used in traditional medicine (1). Recent studies have shown that Annona muricata and other plants of the Annonaceae family contain isoquinolinic alkaloids, which are potential neurotoxins implicated in atypical forms of parkinsonism (2,3).

(1) Mors, WB, Rizzini, CT and Pereira, NA (2000) Medicinal Plants of Brazil. Reference Publications Inc: 501 p.

(2) Champy, P, Melot, A, Guérineau, V, Gleye, C, Fall, D, Höglinger, GU, Ruberg, M, Lannuzel, A, Laprévote, O, Laurens, A, Hocquemiller, R (2005) Quantification of acetogenins in Annona muricata linked to atypical parkinsonism in Guadeloupe. Movement Disorders 20: 1629-1633

(3) Lannuzel, A, Michel, PP, Caparros-Lefebvre, D, Abaul, J, Hocquemiller, R, Ruberg, M (2002) Toxicity of Annonaceae for dopaminergic neurons: Potential role in atypical parkinsonism in Guadeloupe. Movement Disorders 17: 84-90