Euterpe oleracea, also called Acai, pronounced AH-sigh-EE, is a palm tree that is widely distributed in the northern area of South America. Its berries are used to make medicine.
- People use Euterpe oleracea fruit extract for osteoarthritis, high cholesterol, erectile dysfunction (ED), weight loss and obesity, “detoxification,” and for improving general health.
- As a food, the Euterpe oleracea fruit extract is eaten raw and as a juice. The juice is also used commercially as a beverage and in ice cream, jelly, and liqueurs.
- In manufacturing, Euterpe oleracea fruit extract is used as a natural purple food colorant.
- Health, Wellness, and Longevity: Euterpe oleracea fruit extract has a robust antioxidant profile, though admittedly not as robust as many of its proponents make it out to be (chokeberry extract would be more effective for antioxidant levels alone). Euterpe oleracea fruit extract is protein-rich, which is one reason it’s consumed so heavily by natives to the Brazilian Amazon. Euterpe oleracea fruit extract has many proposed benefits, including helping to regulate diabetes (reminder, do not forgo standard medical care for diabetes in favor of natural remedies), fighting cancer, reducing cholesterol, and improving mental clarity. Acai wine is a good way to enjoy the uniquely delicious taste and antioxidant profile of Acai berries.
- Skin: The main reason Euterpe oleracea fruit extract is promoted for use in skincare is its antioxidant profile, and is claimed to help fight the aging process in skin. Sadly, said antioxidant profile is not nearly as impressive as some would have you believe, and you’d be better off with chokeberry or even some types of grape extract. One less dubious—but still untested—potential use for acai extract is to control acne.
- There is not enough information to know if acai is safe. If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, it’s best to stay on the safe side and avoid use.
- Drinking raw acai juice has been linked to outbreaks of a disease called American trypanosomiasis or Chagas Disease.
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Source: WebMD, http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-1109-acai.aspx?activeingredientid=1109
Image source: Livestrong.com