Some Important Facts about The Graviola Tree
Only one thing we know for certain about the graviola tree. A tree by that name does exist. It's a tropical tree, native to the Amazon region and several Pacific islands. According to most articles describing the tree, its leaves, fruit, and bark have long been noted for their medicinal properties. Recently the graviola tree has received quite a bit of attention due to reports that some if its parts contain compounds that been shown to be, or are believed to be, effective cancer cell killers.
It should be noted that the Food and Drug Administration has not approved any part of the graviola tree for use as either a cancer fighter or cancer cell killer. This does not mean the FDA is part of a conspiracy to keep the tree off the market, although some believe that to be the case. But, neither has it been shown or proven that the supposed cancer fighting properties do not exist. It merely means that there is not yet adequate proof that this tree represents any kind of a breakthrough in the battle against cancer.
Too Much Is Left Unsaid
If you read some of the articles that have been published on the Internet and elsewhere, and study them closely, you'll see a disconnect between what the tree's medicinal attributes are claimed to be, and what actually has been proven. What one reads are various claims about the wonderful medicinal properties that have been proven over the centuries. Who proved these claims to be true? Where are the case studies? Where is the historian? We read about various miracle drugs that have been used over the centuries by indigenous people, yet we are healthier than most of these indigenous people ever were. That's the disconnect.
One of the claims made about the graviola tree is that the supplements produced from it help boost the immune system. If there is some truth in this, and there may be, it's a good thing. When one is blessed with a healthy immune system, one is far less susceptible to diseases, including some forms of cancer. The tree is said to contain a chemical that attacks cancer cells. If it has this chemical, then by consuming certain parts of the tree we should be able to combat a cancer that has taken hold in our body. There is a disconnect here also, even if the statement regarding the presence of the chemical is true. We eat chemicals all the time. The foods we eat are made up entirely of chemicals. Some foods are obviously very good for us. Yet, we don't always know how our body reacts to many if not most of the chemicals we ingest. Eating a food that contains a chemical known to attack cancer cells doesn't mean such an attack will actually happen. Our body may use the chemical for some other purpose, or simply dispose of it. Or, the chemical could prove to be toxic if enough of it is ingested. We just don't know. That's the other disconnect.
That doesn't necessarily mean that what we read about the miracle powers of the graviola tree is a scam. It might be and it might not be. Statements such as “research shows”, “studies indicate”, “it has been shown” or “scientists believe” really don't say or prove anything. Scientific and medical facts have to be shown in detail. It would be helpful if any clinical tests done on humans could be cited.
A statement seen in various places is “the chemical compounds in the tree are 10,000 times stronger in slowing the growth of cancer cells than a leading drug used in chemotherapy”. Nowhere is it said how that figure was arrived at. Why 10,000? Why not 6,580? The latter figure would be more believable, since it would seem to be based on actual measurements. 10,000 sounds like arm waving, and probably is. Sometimes the claim reads that the chemical compounds are up to 10,000 times stronger. Does that mean that at other times they are not that much stronger. Twice as strong perhaps?
If In Doubt, Try A Smoothie
Maybe there is something to the properties of the graviola tree. Perhaps the bark, pulp, leaves, or fruit do have amazing healing powers. The problem is, if one tries to do some online research on the subject, one keeps running into the same claims, what my English teacher once described as “glittering generalities”. One thing that does seem to be beyond dispute is that the fruit of the tree is very tasty and is said to make wonderful smoothies. If it is both tasty and healthy it might be worth a try.
There are videos on YouTube describing the benefits of the graviola tree. Most of them are by people who have supplements for sale, which brings up some questions. If it can be assumed graviola supplements are proven cancer fighters, what is the proper dosage? How was the proper dosage determined? Will graviola react with other supplements? Will one experience any side effects? Who has the answers to these questions?