LATIN NAME: Malpighia Glabra
OTHER NAMES: Barbados cherry, acerola cherry, acerola cherry, Malpigiya naked, Puerto Rican cherry, Garnet malpigia, Caribbean cherry, Tropical cherry.
BOTANICAL INFORMATION: Acerola is an evergreen tropical plant. It`s a large, dense bush or low tree, from 4 to 6 metres height and grows about the same in width. Numerous tree bodies are thin and look like reeds. The fruit is round or oval, looks like a cherry, but closer to citrus due to its properties. The berry is divided into 3 segments, it has a bone inside and thin, smooth, easy to damage skin. The color of the skin is bright red and the flesh is orange with a bitter-sweet flavor.
HABITAT: The origin of Malpighia Glabra is Lesser Antilles, including Barbados and the north of South America. Today, it can also be found in Cuba, Jamaica, Florida, Puerto Rico and the Philippines.
CHEMICAL COMPASITION: The fruit of Acerola is a storehouse of Vitamin C: for 100gr of product there are 3300mg of ascorbic acid, which is 100 times more than in orange. The chemical composition of Acerola is rich in different vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin B1, B2, B5, B9 K, E, A, beta carotene, zinc, selenium, copper, phosphorus, sodium, magnesium, calcium, potassium, bioflavonoids and many others.
ACTIONS: It is assumed that Acerola can prevent heart disease, depression, can boost immunity and improve metabolism. It was also believed that Acerola was able to be anticancer and anti-aging remedy. The natives believe that Acerola can promote antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, detoxicant, liver tonic, alkaline effects on our body.
HEALTH BENEFITS: Malpighia Glabra is an evergreen flowering tree that is valued for its high vitamin C and is believed to promote many health benefits:
- It maintains heart and lung health, due to the content of Vitamin B, as well as high content of Vitamin C;
- It boosts the immune system, as it is extremely rich in Vitamin C;
- It is used in case of infertility. It helps for the treatment of infertility caused by sperm abnormalities in me;
- Eye problems. It has a high Vitamin A substance, which is very important for your eyes. What is more Acerola is very sweet and delicious, so it is good for those who want to improve eyes in a pleasant way;
- Acerola berries increase immunity, as these fruits are a storehouse of Vitamin C and other important vitamins for our body, such as vitamin A and B;
- Improve brain function, because berries are high in powerful antioxidants-anthocyanins, which are very beneficial for the human`s brain;
- Prevent tooth decay and gum problems. It contains a very good calcium for health;
- It can help to overcome cancer. It is believed that due to the content of anthocyanin such as flavonoid molecule acerola can protect the organism from free radicals;
- Acerola can reduce swelling, as it is rich in anthocyanins, which can help to stop pain and swelling.
- Avoid consuming it if you have gastric ulcer and gastritis with high acidity;
- It is not recommended to use if you have any chronic diseases;
- Individual intolerance is also one more contraindication;
- Try to avoid it during pregnancy and lactation period;
- Should not be consumed by people with diabetes, due to high amount of sugar in Acerola;
- People suffering from obesity are also advised avoiding Acerola consumption.
Acerola has traditionally been used in the folk medicine of the peoples of Latin America as a means of strengthening immunity. In Barbados, for example, in the case of a cold, the local population tended to eat acerola. The juice from acerola, is used in South and Central America to normalize the kidneys and liver. Also acerola juice is used as a natural cardiotonic and antioxidant.
For several years, American doctors George T. Grossberg and Barry Fox studied the properties of Acerola and found out that regular consumption of the fruits of Barbados cherry reduces blood cholesterol levels, which in turn helps prevent atherosclerosis and the appearance of atherosclerotic plaques. It is also known that in 2004 a group of scientists from the University of Pharmacy of Tokyo suggested the possible use of an extract of Barbados cherry for the treatment of certain forms of cancer.
*This article is for informational purposes only. We suggest consulting a physician before using these or any other herbal supplements.