Brazilian Acai Powder Export - Brazilian herbs powder.
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|HERBAL PROPERTIES AND ACTIONS|
|Main Actions||Other Actions||Standard Dosage|
|· antioxidant||· none||· Fruit juice|
|· astringent||· As desired|
Acai Powder is a very common, tall, slender palm tree in this important palm
family which grows 15 to 25 m in height. The average mature wild tree has 4-8
well-developed stems (10-15 cm in diameter) from a single seed and root system;
however, a single seed can grow a plant providing up to 25 shoots growing individually.
It has pinnate leaves that start from a prominent crownshaft that is reddish color.
It has adapted to live in periodically waterlogged and flooded soils by developing
special root structures called pneumatophores. It produces both female and male
flowers which are quite small and are brown to purple in color.
Acai Powder also produces an edible fruit which grows in bunches. The fruit is round,
1-2 cm in diameter, with a single large seed inside surrounded by stringy fibrous
sheaths and a thin oily coating. It begins as a green color and ripens to a dark purple.
Each tree stem usually produces four to eight bunches of fruit throughout the year but
ripe fruits are the heaviest in the dry season (July to December) Each bunch can weigh
up to 6 kg and one stem/trunk normally yields, on average, 24 kgs of fruit annually.
In its natural habitat under the shady rainforest canopy, the acai tree grows slowly
in low light, often taking 4-5 years before producing fruit. The fruit is favored by birds
and rodents and the seeds are disbursed through the forest in their droppings.
Found throughout the Amazon and especially prevalent in the Brazilian state of Pará,
acai is extremely common throughout the lowland flood areas along the rivers
of northern South America where it forms large groves.
Acai powder and other Euterpe palm trees are the subject of commercial exploitation
in South America. Palm hearts, eaten worldwide as a vegetable, are obtained by cutting
the palm and removing the crownshaft, in which the heart is found.
Palm hearts are the tender, whitish immature leaves of the palm frond just above
the growing point on each stem. Although is has almost no nutritious value, palm hearts
have been a staple food enjoyed by the local populations for generations and have also
become a economic resource and export product for many rainforest countries.
France, followed by the U.S. are the largest importers of palm hearts.
There are over 120 registered palm heart processors operating in the Amazon,
with a multitude of smaller unregistered family operations selling their harvests
to the larger facilities with onsite canning operations. Originally, much of
the commercial palm heart production in South America beginning in the 1960's
came from a different palm tree, Euterpe edulis, which only produces a single trunk.
(However, one large tree can yield up to 50 pounds of palm hearts.) Because the tree
must be felled to extract the palm heart, palm heart exploitation without any adequate
management severely decimated the wild populations of this species at an alarming rate.
BIOLOGICAL ACTIVITIES AND CLINICAL RESEARCHAcai Powder has not been the subject any studies to determine biological activity since it isn't traditionally used for any type of medical condition. Most of the published research over the last few years have concerned pasteurization and extraction methods being developed in an effort to provide for longer storage of a highly perishable fruit. One single in vitro test was reported in which they extracted the well known antioxidant, phenols and anthocyanin chemicals from the fruit and demonstrated these chemicals had the ability to retard cancer cell growth in a test tube. As all the chemicals extracted from acai for this study were well known chemicals (no novel chemicals found yet in acai) found in other common fruits and plants and which had similar in vitro cancer cell studies performed, this was not anything profound or new.
Acai Powder is an interesting fruit and highly popular as a low-cost beverage where it grows, but it has never been marketed or sold in Brazil or in the Amazon for any health benefits whatsoever. (And remember, in one Amazon city alone, over 400,000 pounds of acai fruit is sold daily!) It makes one wonder... could an enterprising American launch an "exotic" cranberry juice drink to Amazonians who'd never heard of or seen a cranberry and get them to pay $40 a quart for it? Who knows... at least cranberries have some medicinal uses for urinary tract health!
Main Actions (in order):
Properties/Actions Documented by Research:
Traditional Preparation: In South America, acai fruit juice is freely consumed as a beverage. The ripe berries are soaked in water to render the juice. Only the roots of this Amazon palm tree are used medicinally. The roots are generally prepared as a decoction and 1-2 cups daily are taken.
Drug Interactions: None
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