Also known as Euterpe oteracea, Acai Palm, Amazon Acai, Assai Palm
Introduction The acai (pronounced a-sigh-e) palm tree and its berries are indigenous to Central and South America. The palm tree is thin and approximately 25 meters high with groups of branches and ribbon-like leaves. The berries hang from the branches in large clusters. Each tree produces about 20 kg of fruit per year and is one of the leading crops in Brazil. It was first used by tribes in the Amazon for various medicinal purposes, among them the ability to build and strengthen the immune system, fight infection, protect the heart, and as a natural remedy for erectile dysfunction. It was also revered as an energy food, and was traditionally pulped to make wine.
Omega 3- 15mg
Omega 6- 300mg
Omega 9 - 900mg
Vitamin A- 4%
Vitamin C- 15%
Parts Used The acai berry is the only part used, and usually with the seed removed.
Typical Preparations Because the berries will start to spoil within 24 hours of being harvested, they must be quickly turned into juice, wine, or freeze dried and turned into a powder. The Acai Berry extracted at Wondrous Roots, Inc., is from freeze-dried berries.
Summary Because the acai berry is relatively new to the western world, very little research has been done on it and its effects, especially in the area of rapid weight loss, which may be exaggerated. What is known is that the acai berry is extremely high in antioxidants and anthocyanins, rich in protein fiber, vitamin E and iron. It is reported that it helps promote cardiovascular and digestive functions. It is naturally low in sugar and the flavor is described as a mixture of red wine and chocolate.
Rebecca Comments Acai berry possesses phosphodiesterase-inhibiting properties. There are 10 subclasses of phosphodiesterase (PDE) identified so far. These are enzymes that cause a degradation of the neucleotides cyclic-AMP (cAMP or cyclic adenosine monophosphate) and/or cyclic-GMP (cGMP or cyclic guanosine monophosphate). Conditions associated with low cyclic-AMP include glaucoma, cardiovascular disease, skin diseases of cellular proliferation (such as eczema and psoriasis), cancers, and difficulty losing weight. Inflammation is a key culprit in the degradation of cAMP, and this in turn can lead to a dysregulation of collagen synthesis. Collagen synthesis is essential to arterial and eye health. When collagen stores are inadequate, the tissues/vasculature become impermeable. in the case of glaucoma, the liquid vitreous humor is unable to exit the eye, causing the ocular pressure to increase. Cataracts form when toxins are unable to exit the eye. "Dry eye" is related to the same phenomenon. Macular (retinal) degeneration is also influenced by this phenomenon. In cardiovascular disease, the lack of sufficient collagen makes the arterial linings brittle and fragile. Plaque is then formed to fill these crevices, which can then lead to occlusion of the vessels and a heart attack. Further, adequate cAMP makes for more active LDL-receptor activity, binding LDL cholesterol and helping to normalize blood levels. Some cases of obesity are correlated with low cAMP; in these cases lipolysis (the breakdown of fat cells) is stimulated by adequate cAMP levels (i.e., the synephrines ephedra and Citrus aurantium are PDE-inhibitors).
Precautions If you are pregnant or breast feeding, consult with your physician before taking. Keep out of reach of children and pets.
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Except for Rebecca's personal comments, this information courtesy of MOUNTAIN ROSE HERBS, with full, written permission for reuse.