There is no evidence to show that soursop leaves can be used to treat cancer, Thailand’s Department of Medical Services warned.
However, the department’s director-general Dr Somsak Akksilp said soursop leaves do contain substances that may help with inflammation and tumours.
The soursop tree is also known by its botanical name Annona muricata and is native to the tropical regions of the Americas and the Caribbean.
Its leaves are hailed in Cambodia and around the world as a proficient treatment for a myriad of ailments, but its cancer-related claims have drawn the most attention.
Dr Somsak said: “Though some studies are indicating that soursop leaves can treat cancer better than chemotherapy, these studies were only conducted on cells and animals.
“Hence, it cannot be definitively said that soursop leaves can treat cancer in humans.”
National Cancer Institute director Dr Jinda Rojanamatin said human studies are necessary and must cover several areas such as effects on cancer stem cells, cell signalling, separation of substances, toxicology, safety, quality control and product standards.
He said: “There are a variety of soursop-derived products available, such as capsules and tea, but consumers must check the ingredients before consuming and consult a doctor immediately if there are any abnormal symptoms.
“Cancer patients should see a doctor before using the product.”
THE NATION (THAILAND)/ASIA NEWS NETWORK