WHAT IS MAQUI BERRY?

Maqui berry (Aristotelia chilensis) is a native berry that only grows in the wild forests of Patagonia, in Chile and Argentina. It is an evergreen bush that reaches about 9-13 feet (3 to 4 meters) high with dense and dark green foliage. Its fruits are dark purple berries. Described for the first time in 1782 by the Italian naturalist Juan Ignacio Molina, its definitive name will be attributed by Stephen Conrad Stuntz in 1914.

The Mapuche Indians traditionally lived in south-central Chile and south-western Argentina. It is the only tribe in North and South America that was never conquered throughout the centuries. The Mapuche warriors ate very little solid food and drank both a fresh and a fermented beverage called “Teku“ made from maqui berry. The Spanish conquistadors believed maqui berry might have contributed to the strength and stamina that the warriors exhibited. 

TRADITIONAL THERAPEUTIC USE

The leaves and fruits have been consumed from ancient times by indigenous people in Chilean folk medicine as an anti-diarrhetic, anti-inflammatory and anti-hemorrhagic. The Maqui berries can be eaten raw but the Indians consume them today mainly in the form of infusion, especially to treat angina or as a cataplasm for their inflammatory virtues.

CURRENT USE

In Western countries, Maqui berries are particularly known for the many nutrients they contain. Rich in vitamins A and C, potassium, calcium and iron, these berries also contain significant amounts of flavonoids, molecules belonging to the anthocyanin family (they give the berries their dark purple color). These flavonoids are known to be powerful antioxidants that help neutralize free radicals, increase metabolism and energy levels. Maqui berries also promote the elimination of toxins and chemicals from the body. Considered by nutritionists as a "superfood", Maqui berry is a true treasure for human health.

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