History Of ACAI Berry
The Amazon Rainforest is home to more than half of the Earth's estimated 10
million species of plants and animals. It is the source of about 20% of the
It has also been called "Nature's medicine chest", as a majority of
pharmaceuticals, and drugs are derived or are active constituents of plants that
have come from there. The fruits like the ACAI Berry of the rainforest, have been
enjoyed by native Indians for centuries. Experts estimate that these indigenous
people routinely utilize as many as 2,000 of the 3,000 known rainforest fruits.
For over 2,000 years people of various countries, have used the ACAI fruit to
remedy many ailments.
Found on rainforest palms, the Brazilian ACAI (AH-sci-EE) Berry is the
supermodel of fruit. The ACAI Palm tree is a genus of 25-30 species of palms,
native to tropical Central and South America, from Belize south to Brazil, and
Peru, growing mainly in floodplains, and swamps. They are tall slender
attractive palms growing to 15-30m tall, with pinnate leaves up to 3m long.
The ACAI Berry fruit is a very small, round, black-purple drupe, produced in
branched panicles of 700-900 fruits. Its appearance is similar to that of a
grape, but it has a smaller amount of pulp, and a single large seed.
The Legend of ACAI
The legend spans a few hundred years. There existed a populated village at
the edges of the Pará river that was growing rapidly. Due to this increment in
the population, the food began to become scarce and the leader of the tribe,
call Itaki, did not have another alternative, and decreed that the people could
not have any more children, and from that moment, any newborn child should be
At the time, the daughter of the leader, call Iaçá, was pregnant. Her father
was both excited and abhorred, because his grandchild would be treated like
During the pregnancy, Iaçá prayed to Tupá (God), that he would show her
father a food that could save the tribe. Nothing happened.
A precious girl was born as predicted, but soon after, she was
sacrificed. Iaçá was devastated, completely destroyed. She cried day and night,
did not eat any food and was enclosed in her hut for days.
One night, she heard the crying of her daughter in the forest. She ran, with
the little energy that remained in her, directed by the sound, and there, she
saw her daughter at the side of a slender palm tree. When she tried to embraced
her, the image disappeared. On the following day, they found her dead, with a
smile on her lips, embracing the palm tree and with open eyes, looking up, to
the many bunches of dark purple fruits.
They ordered the descent of the fruits and the removal of the juice. They
obtained a reddish wine, that soon became the diet for the tribe.
Itaki called the fruit ACAI (Iaçá inverted), in memory of her daughter. He
raised the prohibition, and the tribe began to prosper again. Nowadays that
population is known as Belém, in the state of Pará, Brazil.
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