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CAMU CAMU HERBAL DESCRIPTION
Camu Camu (Myrciaria dubia) is also known as Camucamu, Cacari, and Camocamo.
Camu Camu is a small bushy tree (about 3 to 5 meters). It is native to the lowland riversides, growing in swampy or flooded areas of the Amazonian Rainforest of Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Venezuela, and Colombia. Its distribution extends from the center of Para state, Brazil, along the mid and upper Amazon River to the eastern part of Peru, in the north, it appears in the Casiquiare and the upper and middle Orinoco River. In Brazil, it is found in Rondonia along the Macangana and Urupa Rivers and in Amazonas, in the municipalities of Maanaus and Manacapuru and along the Javari, Madeira, and Negro Rivers.
Camu Camu leaves and fruit are used as medicine. It produces a reddish purple cherry-like fruit, about the size of a grape with red skin. Camu Camu has small flowers with waxy white petals and a sweet-smelling aroma. It has bushy, feathery foliage. The evergreen, opposite leaves are lanceolate to elliptic individual leaves are 3 to 20 cm in length and 1 to 2 cm wide. It is a close relative of the jaboticaba (Myrciaria cauliflora) and the guavaberry or rumberry (Myrciaria floribunda). The extraordinarily high vitamin C content (on the order of 2 to 3% of fresh weight) is the most important property of the fruit, which has been exploited in positioning Camu Camu on international markets.
VITAMIN C & NUTRIENTS
Camu Camu berries have become widely known for their high amounts of Vitamin C and is rich in phytochemicals, amino acids, minerals, and other vitamins. Vitamin C is a vital antioxidant molecule located in the brain. In addition to its high levels of ascorbate, camu camu contains amino acids such as leucine, thiamin and valine, which are also essential for healthy brain functioning. This fruit is packed with more natural vitamin C than any other fod source recorded in history. In addition to beta-carotene, potassium, calcium, iron naicin, phosphates, protein, serine, thiamin, leucine, and valine. These powerful phytochemicals and amino acids have a surprising range of therapeutic effects. Camu Camu has astringent, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory, emollient and nutritional properties.
HARVESTING CAMU CAMU BERRIES
Long used by native peoples, the wild Camu Camu super fruit is traditionally harvested directly into canoes, and one wild tree can produce up to 25 pounds of fruit a year. The fruit has only recently come into large-scale cultivation and sale to the world market, with Japan being the major buyer. It is relatively easy to cultivate. It survives best in hot, damp, tropical climates, but will grow in the subtropics, surviving temperatures down to just above freezing. It requires copious water. Fair trade is present in low-land production from the Association of Camu Camu Producers of the Peruvian Amazon.
CAMU CAMU USES, HEALTH BENEFITS & SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE
Documentation of traditional Camu Camu uses is scarce. In traditional Amazonian societies camu camu is not likely to have ever been nutritionally relevant. The fruit is extremely acidic, and the flavor can only be appreciated in recipes requiring a blender, dilution in milk or water, and the addition of sugar.
Camu Camu has an extraordinarily high vitamin C content (on the order of 2 to 3-percent of fresh weight, second only to the Australian native Terminalia ferdinandiana, and this property of the fruit has been exploited in positioning it on international markets. Vitamin C content declines as full maturity is reached, with a trade-off between vitamin C and flavor expression. As a myrtaceous fruit, Camu Camu most likely provides other nutritional benefits, but these are less understood and communicated to consumers. Camu Camu has a unique aroma and fruit pigmentation. A reddish pigment in the leathery skin (probably anthocyanins) imparts an attractive and unique pink color on juices extracted from camu camu. The aroma is subtle, but is not as captivating as in more popular fruits. Camu Camu is more recently also used in ice creams, sweets, etc.
Processed powder from the fruit pulp is beginning to be sold in the west as a health food in loose powder or capsule form. In addition to the high vitamin C content, it contains the amino acids valine, leucine, and serine. It is also rich in flavonoids, such as anthocyanins, flavonols and flavanols, catechins, delphinidin 3-glucoside, cyanidin 3-glucoside, ellagic acid, and rutin; other analysis revealed the presence of gallic and ellagic acids, suggesting that the fruit possesses hydrolyzed tannins (gallo- and/or ellagitannins).
HEALTH BENEFITS OF CAMU CAMU
The Camu Camu fruit and leaves are used as a medicine for common colds, cold sores, shingles and herpes. it is also believed that Camu Camu can be used for the treatment of eye conditions such as cataracts and glucoma.
CAMU CAMU BENEFITS SUMMARY
- Anti-Inflammatory, reduces inflammation.
- Joint Repair.
- Improve Hair quality.
- Lessen Chance and Pain of Shingles.
- Reduce Stress.
- Decrease flare-ups of Viruses.
- Fights colds and flu.
- Improve Memory.
- Improve Vision.
- Improves respiratory health.
- Helps maintain healthy gums, eyes and skin.
- Supports healthy liver, lings, lymphatic and nervous system.
- Decrease Aging.
- Increase Brain Funtion.
- Strengthens the Immune System.
- Energizes the body.
- Good source of Beta Carotene.
- Helps to prevent cancer.
- Lowers blood pressure.
- Promotes mood balance.
- Powerful antioxidant.
- Improves circulation.
- Improves your mood.
ANTIOXIDATIVE & ANTI-INFLAMMATORY BENEFITS
Camu Camu berries have been found to exhibit notable antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties. According to a study published in a 2008 issue of the Journal of Cardiology, extracts of the Camu Camu berry were found to decrease the levels of oxidative stress markers such as urinary 8-hydroxy-deoxyguanosine. By taking regular doses of Camu Camu juice, patients exhibited significant benefits in their oxidative stress and inflammation levels after seven days. As a result, Camu Camu may be as effective as vitamin C tablets in fighting free radicals and reducing oxidative stress in the brain. Camu Camu also contains dietary amounts of beta-carotene, calcium and protein.
Some extraordinary properties of this Amazon rainforest fruit are described by Gary Null, Ph.D., a nationally known nutritionist and researcher. In his Clinician's Handbook of Natural Healing, (1998), Null lists disease conditions and the herbs that have been found effective for their health promoting properties in reference to specific organ/system weaknesses and problems. In discussing the holistic treatment of depression, he lists 19 plants containing chemical compounds with antidepressant properties, in order of potency - Camu Camu is #2 on his list. Null also lists 19 plants which contain anti-herpetic phytochemicals. The plant with the largest amount of these phyto-chemicals is Camu-Camu.
For many people, organic Camu Camu has become their choice for providing vitamin C supplementation. There are downsides to taking vitamin C in pill form, but Camu Camu offers a natural form of vitamin C that also increases energy and lifts mood. In fact, organic Camu Camu has a reputation for being a mood stabilizer in addition to its other health benefits. Perhaps the best thing about natural supplements is that there are no side effects. Thus, organic Camu Camu can be used as a substitute sweetener without any negative effects. It is therefore no wonder that organic Camu Camu has become a favorite of health food fanatics. It offers a number of health benefits and more still may be discovered!
BRAIN FUNCTION BENEFITS
Ascorbate participates in many crucial enzyme reactions in the brain, including catecholamine synthesis and collagen production. According to a report published in a 2009 issue of Free Radical Biology & Medicine, ascorbate performs complex neuromodulation functions involving the management of glutamatergic, dopaminergic, cholinergic and GABAergic transmissions. In other words, it is considered a crucial aspect of brain function. Since many neurodegenerative diseases are caused by oxidative stress, it is possible that the high ascorbate levels of Camu Camu can play a therapeutic role against conditions such as ischemic stroke, Parkinson's, Huntington's and Alzheimer's diseases.
Unlike some animals, humans are unable to manufacture ascorbate. As a result, we must consume foods containing vitamin C, or ascorbate, in order to receive enough for proper brain function. Oranges are a common dietary staple for vitamin C, and contain between 500 and 4,000 parts per million in each fruit. Comparatively, Camu Camu provides up to 500,000 parts per million of vitamin C per serving. In addition to its significantly higher vitamin C content, Camu Camu also contains 10 times more iron, three times more niacin and twice as much riboflavin as oranges. Since these and other nutrients found in Camu Camu are responsible for optimal mental function, it is possible that Camu Camu offers a number of benefits for the brain.
The most interesting property of Camu Camu is its effectiveness as a natural, drug-free, non-toxic antidepressant without the wide range of dangerous and controversial side effects known with prescriptive antidepressive drugs such as Prozac, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Luvox, etc. To date, we know of absolutely no side effects or contra-indications for Camu Camu, and it is considerably more effective for many depressed people than is the herb St. John's Wort. In addition, unlike St. John's Wort, it is not an MAO inhibitor. Most of the pharmaceutical antidepressants are MAO inhibitors, and therefore St. John's Wort cannot be taken along with them while weaning oneself off the prescription drugs. This prohibition does not apply to Camu Camu. Camu Camu, unlike the drugs, feels very "clean" and has a complete absence of side effects - no headaches, nausea, weight gain, liver toxicity, or loss of libido. In fact, Camu Camu has powerful detoxifying effects and helps to cleanse the body. Withdrawal from prescription drugs have to be done very slowly and under the guidance of a health care practitioner to prevent drug withdrawal effects.
EYE HEALTH BENEFITS
Camu Camu does not pose an increased danger of developing cataracts and glaucoma, but is actually an excellent preventative against these conditions, according to nationally known researcher Gary Null. Null places camu as number one in effectiveness on a list of botanicals which are helpful for these two conditions. Aging individuals can benefit greatly from the addition of this supplemental herb to their dietary plan to combat vision problems associated with growing older.
Herpes can take many forms, from the common cold sores to genital herpes and shingles, and in total affects about 80% of the US population. Among practitioners who recommend it, Camu Camu is reputed to be faster and more effective against herpes than any other natural substance. Some people who are very prone to outbreaks take a small amount daily as a preventative. Others take an extra dose if they feel the tingling pain which precedes the formation of herpes blisters. Loading up on Camu Camu can often ward off colds and flus as well.
Another medicinal property of Camu Camu is its ability to relieve headaches, even migraines. Camu Camu is also good for headaches caused by toxicity (such as from eating allergenic foods, breathing chemical or paint fumes, or from caffeine withdrawal, etc.). It may be helpful for hormonal headaches which tend to occur at a certain point in the menstrual cycle.
CAMU CAMU DOSAGE INFORMATION
Camu Camu powder is made from the red, purple or green, cherry-sized camu camu berries that grow on a small riverside bush (Myrciaria Dubia), native to the swampy lowlands of Peru. The berries, which have been enjoyed by Peruvian Indian tribes for centuries, are hand picked and freeze dried in order to retain an optimum number of their naturally occurring nutrients and to temper their slightly sour flavor. The high amount of Vitamin C found in the Camu Camu fruit is attracting the attention of naturopaths and nutritionists alike. The combination of Vitamin C and the other nutrients in this super fruit is becoming known as a general health boosting essential. The powdered form can be easily added to smoothies or encapsulated. As the fruit naturally ripens and sweetens the Vitamin C content decreases. Because of this the fruit is harvested early resulting in a highly acidic flavor which can be easily sweetened to taste.
Although Camu Camu berries are not exactly sold in your local North American supermarket, you can still include them in your diet in tablet or powder form. The powder can be used to flavor other foods, and Camu-flavored ice creams and drinks are popular in Peru.
Constituents: Vitamin C, beta carotene, iron, amino acids.
Parts Used: Fruit
Typical Preparations: Teas, smoothies or other drinks, and baked goods; the powder may also be encapsulated.
USING CAMU CAMU POWDER
Stir Camu Camu powder into your favorite smoothies, shakes, juices and protein drinks, or sprinkle a small amount over breakfast dishes, fresh fruit salads and desserts. Alternatively use Camu Camu powder as an additional ingredient in raw chocolate and other sweet treats. As Camu Camu powder is extremely concentrated only a small amount is required.
CAMU CAMU POWDER CREAMY DESSERT RECIPE
This is an irresistibly indulgent dessert with deliciously tempting ingredients, including creamy cashew nuts, sweet agave nectar and fresh mandarin orange, in addition to a generous serving of fruity Camu Camu powder. For lovers of good food as well as all those following a vegetarian, vegan or rawfood diet.
1.5 cups Cashew Nuts (pre-soaked for 1 to 2 hours)
1 tablespoon Camu Camu powder
1/4 cup freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
2 Mandarin Oranges (or other fresh fruit of your choice)
Preparation: This rich and creamy dessert is supremely easy to prepare by simply placing all of the above ingredients (except for the mandarin oranges) into your blender and blitz until thick and creamy. Spoon into dessert glasses, top with mandarin orange segments or other seasonal fruits, and enjoy
CAMU CAMU SUGGESTED DOSAGE
Recommended dosage is 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 gram), daily added to smoothies, juices, shakes, protein drinks, fruit salad, breakfast dishes and desserts.
Therapeutic dosage for Camu Camu depends on the condition for which it is being used.
- For depression, an average starting dose is 2 capsules twice daily. Camu Camu works relatively quickly, so if improvement is not noted within a couple of days, the dosage is increased, up to as many as 5 capsules twice daily if necessary.
- People suffering from an acute outbreak of herpes can take 2 to 4 capsules every 2 hours for one day, up to 8 per day, and repeat until cleared. This procedure usually takes no more than 1 to 2 days to fully clear a herpes attack.
- For migraines or toxic headaches, 2 to 3 capsules should be taken every half hour until the headache is gone. Relieving headaches can take anywhere from half an hour to 8 hours depending on severity.
* Do not exceed the recommended daily dose (2.5 grams daily).
* Food supplements should not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet.
* This product should be stored out of the reach of young children.
CAMU CAMU SAFETY, CAUTIONS & INTERACTIONS INFORMATION
No known precautions when taken at recommended dosages.
Camu Camu can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and insomnia when the maximum recommended daily dose is exceeded.
Consult your health care provider before you use Camu Camu powder, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or are undergoing, or about to undergo, chemotherapy.
Do not use Camu Camu powder if you have an allergy to Camu Camu berries or any other of the productís ingredients. Always read product information on the packaging before using Camu Camu powder.
CAMU CAMU HERBAL & RELATED PRODUCTS
QUALITY PRODUCTS & SUPPLEMENTS
CAMU CAMU HERBAL PRODUCTS
Camu Camu is perfect as an addition to teas, smoothies or other drinks, and baked goods; the powder may also be encapsulated. The high amount of Vitamin C found in the Camu Camu fruit is attracting the attention of naturopaths and nutritionists alike. The combination of Vitamin C and the other nutrients in this super fruit is becoming known as a general health boosting essential. The powdered form can be easily added to smoothies or encapsulated. As the fruit naturally ripens and sweetens the Vitamin C content decreases. Because of this the fruit is harvested early resulting in a highly acidic flavor which can be easily sweetened to taste.
MOUNTAIN ROSE HERBS PRODUCTS
Mountain Rose Herbs: Camu Camu Powder (Myrciaria Dubia), Organic, Bulk Organic Herbs & Spices
HerbsPro: Camu Camu Juice Blend, Dynamic Health Labs, 32 fl. oz. (72873)
HerbsPro: Camu Camu, Doctors Best, 120 VCaps (69108)
HerbsPro: Camu Camu Mega C Wildcrafted Powder, Amazon Therapeutic Labs, 3 oz. (71450)
TakeHerb: Whole Food Camu Camu Vitamin C, Pure Essence Labs, 30 Tabs
Amazon: Camu Camu Herbal Products
Amazon: Camu Camu Herbal Grocery & Gourmet Food Products
Nutrition Basics: Camu Camu Herbal Information
AROMATHERAPY: ESSENTIAL OILS DESCRIPTIONS & USES
Allspice Leaf Oil Angelica Oil Anise Oil Baobab Oil Basil Oil Bay Laurel Oil Bay Oil Benzoin Oil Bergamot Oil Black Pepper Oil Chamomile (German) Oil Cajuput Oil Calamus Oil Camphor (White) Oil Caraway Oil Cardamom Oil Carrot Seed Oil Catnip Oil Cedarwood Oil Chamomile Oil Cinnamon Oil Citronella Oil Clary-Sage Oil Clove Oil Coriander Oil Cypress Oil Dill Oil Eucalyptus Oil Fennel Oil Fir Needle Oil Frankincense Oil Geranium Oil German Chamomile Oil Ginger Oil Grapefruit Oil Helichrysum Oil Hyssop Oil Iris-Root Oil Jasmine Oil Juniper Oil Labdanum Oil Lavender Oil Lemon-Balm Oil Lemongrass Oil Lemon Oil Lime Oil Longleaf-Pine Oil Mandarin Oil Marjoram Oil Mimosa Oil Myrrh Oil Myrtle Oil Neroli Oil Niaouli Oil Nutmeg Oil Orange Oil Oregano Oil Palmarosa Oil Patchouli Oil Peppermint Oil Peru-Balsam Oil Petitgrain Oil Pine-Long Leaf Oil Pine-Needle Oil Pine-Swiss Oil Rosemary Oil Rose Oil Rosewood Oil Sage Oil Sandalwood Oil Savory Oil Spearmint Oil Spikenard Oil Swiss-Pine Oil Tangerine Oil Tea-Tree Oil Thyme Oil Vanilla Oil Verbena Oil Vetiver Oil Violet Oil White-Camphor Oil Yarrow Oil Ylang-Ylang Oil Aromatherapy
Healing Baths For Colds
Using Essential Oils
AROMATHERAPY: HERBAL & CARRIER OILS DESCRIPTIONS & USES
Almond, Sweet Oil Apricot Kernel Oil Argan Oil Arnica Oil Avocado Oil Baobab Oil Black Cumin Oil Black Currant Oil Black Seed Oil Borage Seed Oil Calendula Oil Camelina Oil Castor Oil Coconut Oil Comfrey Oil Evening Primrose Oil Flaxseed Oil Grapeseed Oil Hazelnut Oil Hemp Seed Oil Jojoba Oil Kukui Nut Oil Macadamia Nut Oil Meadowfoam Seed Oil Mullein Oil Neem Oil Olive Oil Palm Oil Plantain Oil Plum Kernel Oil Poke Root Oil Pomegranate Seed Oil Pumpkin Seed Oil Rosehip Seed Oil Safflower Oil Sea Buckthorn Oil Sesame Seed Oil Shea Nut Oil Soybean Oil St. Johns Wort Oil Sunflower Oil Tamanu Oil Vitamin E Oil Wheat Germ Oil
HELPFUL RELATED MOONDRAGON NUTRITION BASICS LINKS
MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Amino Acids Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Enzymes Information MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Herbs Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Homeopathics Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Hydrosols Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Minerals Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Mineral Introduction MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary & Cosmetic Supplements Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary Supplements Introduction MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Specialty Supplements MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Introduction
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RELATED MOONDRAGON HEALTH LINKS & INFORMATION
MoonDragon's Nutrition Information Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Therapy Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Analysis Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Diet Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Recipe Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Therapy: Preparing Produce for Juicing MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Additives Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Safety Links MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Index MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Articles MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Back Pain MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Labor & Birth MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Blending Chart MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Essential Oil Details MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Links MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Miscarriage MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Post Partum MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Childbearing MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Problems in Pregnancy & Birthing MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #1 MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #2 MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Tips MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Uses MoonDragon's Alternative Health Index MoonDragon's Alternative Health Information Overview MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy Index MoonDragon's Alternative Health: Touch & Movement Therapies Index MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy: Touch & Movement: Aromatherapy MoonDragon's Alternative Therapy: Touch & Movement - Massage Therapy MoonDragon's Alternative Health: Therapeutic Massage MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 1 MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 2 MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Nutrition Basics Index MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Therapy Index MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Massage Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Hydrotherapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Pain Control Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Relaxation Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Steam Inhalation Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Therapy - Herbal Oils Index
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