Origin: The acai berry has been in existence for over a thousand years now, however, it didn’t get famous until 1900. It is believed that it was first used by the tribes of the Amazon jungle. These tribal people used to cook meals with acai as the main ingredient and used it to cure different ailments. as a cure for various ailments.
The Shuar tribe was one of the tribes from the Amazon region that extensively used acai berries. It was used for traditional, culinary and medicinal purposes.
Later now, Acai berry became very popular in Brazil, Peru, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. The word acai comes from the Portuguese adaptation of the Tupian word iwacai. This word iwacai means fruit that cries or expels water.
Acai was the staple food of the Amazon delta region. History also reveals that there used to be chief Itaqui ordered all newborns to be sacrificed to death because of extreme scarcity of food during that period. At that point of time, the chief’s own daughter’s child was sacrificed and due to which the daughter cried and died beneath a newly sprouted tree. Ever since then the tribe called that tree acai named after daughters name when spelled backward (Iaçá).
Scientifically: The botanical name of acai berries is Euterpe oleracea Mart and they belong to the family of Arecaceae (Palmae). Açaí is a berry type fruit and is round or oval in shape. The color ranges from green to violet to black depending on the ripeness of the fruit. It has an edible pulp, enveloping the seed. The flesh or the pulp is soft.
Acai palms usually consist of 4 to 8 slender gray-brown stems and are tall around 80 feet. It has compound leaves and bears yellow to purple flowers. The flowers are pollinated by small bees and flies and produce round fruit known as acai berries. Each acai stem can produce up to eight bunches of fruit a year, with each bunch weighing up to 6 kg (13 pounds). Acai fruits have high-fat content and thus are highly perishable, usually lasting only about a day after being picked. Acai fruits have high-fat content and thus they get easily perishable.
Usage: Acai berries are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory polyphenolic compounds which help in improving heart health and lower the blood pressure levels. Acai berries have also proved to improve memory. Acai berries are rich in fatty acids like oleic, palmitic, and linoleic acids. They are also high in digestive fiber and are loaded with vitamins and minerals.
They are considered a superfood. Acai berries boost immune and improve the body’s metabolic rate. Acai berries are not only nutritious but also have an array of skin and hair benefits. Consumption of these berries help in reversing the signs of aging treats pigmentation and evens the skin tone. Because of anti-inflammatory properties, it helps in controlling acne. It also replenishes the skin and hydrates it from within. Acai berries contain all the important nutrients that make your hair stronger, softer, and shinier. The local people fondly make acai bowls, acai juice, and wine. The acai bowls have now found their place in Urban areas and are a breakfast hit. Acai berries are also famous for providing Acai oil.
Below are some DIYs with acai berries:
- Extract some acai berry juice and apply on the face with a cotton ball as a facial toner. Keep it on for 10 minutes. This remedy helps in treating pigmentation and evens out the skin.
- Take a handful of acai berries and de-seed them. Blend them with 2 tablespoons of yogurt and a teaspoon of honey. Apply this mixture on face and neck. This multipurpose remedy treats acne, smoothens the texture and reverses the signs of aging. Keep this remedy on for 15 minutes and then rinse.
- Applying acai berry juice on hair strengthens the roots and make the tresses manageable.
- Take a handful of acai berries and blueberries. Blend them together and add water for appropriate consistency. Apply this paste on face and provide a blast of nutrients and antioxidants to your face. Rinse it off after 10 minutes.
- Take a few drops of acai oil and apply on the face. Massage until absorbed. This helps in improving the skin texture. You can keep it overnight or wash it off after 30 minutes.