The superberry has a long history of indigenous use due to its incredible health benefits and has more recently gained more scientific backing in the western world. This small, red, South American superberry grows wild along the rivers of the Amazon rainforest. Similar to tart cranberries, camu camu is usually too strong on the palate for most people to eat fresh and is, therefore, best used as an ingredient blended with juices or freeze-dried into a powder that can be taken as a supplement, added to smoothies, or blended into other foods.
Some of camu camu’s health benefits include:
• Always check with your healthcare practitioner before using medicinal foods/superfoods such as camu camu during pregnancy or on prescribed medication
This type of camu camu powder is a concentrated dried fruit powder. The 30:1 ratio means that 30kgs of fresh berries were used to make 1kg of concentrated camu berry powder. Concentrated camu powder is the most potent source of vitamin C of all camu forms and, depending on how it is processed, can have up to 18% vitamin C. The way the powder is obtained is through a unique, raw production process that carefully maintains the berry’s complete nutrient profile by extracting the juice and air drying it.
Of the wholefood powders (non-concentrates) their nutritional density varies depending on whether it’s raw or heated, wildcrafted, organic or farmed.
Wildcrafted camu berries are generally the most nutrient dense of the wholefood powders, due to the berries growing naturally in the wild on the banks of the Amazonian river. Organic camu differs slightly as the fruit is not intrinsically wild, but instead farmed with organic practices.
The farmed, non-organic varieties are often genetically modified (GMO) and heavily sprayed with pesticides, which, when dried, become more concentrated in the powder. This means the powdered, non-organic camu camu has fewer parts nutrients and more parts pesticides per gram. Not to mention non-organic foods also allow additives to be mixed into the powders such as sweeteners, preservatives, flavourants, colourants and more cell-damaging toxins that do more harm to the body than good.
In terms of nutrient potency, organic camu camu powder is generally made only from the skin and pulp of the camu berry, which is dehydrated and then pulverized (powdered), and will contain around 10% – 12% vitamin C.
Standard wholefood camu camu powder, on the other hand, is made from the skin, pulp and seeds which are dehydrated and then pulverized, making its vitamin C content range between 5% – 6%.
Lastly, you also get camu camu extract powder which comes from the extraction of juices from the fresh fruit, which is then concentrated and atomized to obtain a soluble powder. This camu camu extract powder contains less than 6% vitamin C.
More bioavailable than liposomal vitamin C – Concentrated camu berry powder has been shown to not only be more bioavailable than liposomal vitamin C (which is already more bioavailable than pure ascorbic acid), but is also absorbed into the bloodstream faster. This superberry is also one of the highest sources of vitamin C in the world, containing 50 times more vitamin C than oranges!
Potent source of phytochemical & antioxidants – This highly nutritious, small, red fruit is a rich source of phytochemicals and antioxidants that support healthy ageing and enhances overall health. Natural plant-sourced vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant which prevents damage to your DNA caused by free radicals. This prevents premature ageing and supports supple skin. These berries are also a significant source of potassium, iron, calcium and vitamin A , which all promote healthy skin.
Immune Supportive – Camu supports the immune system by helping the body to fight off viruses that compromise your immune system and is, therefore, a powerful protective agent against colds and flu.
The taste of camu berry is quite tart, similar to that of an unsweetened cranberry, which can be unpleasant to some when eaten on its own. It’s therefore easier to consume when incorporated into your meals instead, or used as a tonic health elixir shot. It can easily be added to smoothies, oats, muesli, yoghurt, sorbet ice-creams and salad dressings. Combining it with other flavours masks the tartness, making it more palatable.
Since camu camu is a nutritional medicinal superfood, it’s recommended to add it to food after cooking to prevent the loss of nutrients from the heat exposure, specifcally vitamin C, which is very sensitive to heat.
Try blending it into water, juice, smoothies or adding to dessert recipes. If you combine camu camu powder with honey, apple juice and ginger you can create your own super immune-boosting flu buster and throat soother. Stir into water and sip throughout the day to maximise your vitamin C uptake – our bodies can only absorb 500mg at a time.
Tip: if you combine camu and MSM, the natural synergy creates a type of vegan collagen that improves skin elasticity, though the sour and bitter taste combination may not be palatable to some.
Camu camu is a South American bush that grows on the river banks of the Amazon rainforest. It occurs naturally in areas of periodic flooding, such as lowlands around river courses and lakes. The berries of the camu camu bush have been used by Amazonian Indians for thousands of years.
Natural antidepressant: Dr James Duke, chief botanist for 30 years with the USDA and author of the best-selling, Green Pharmacy, lists camu camu as number 2 in a list of hundreds of botanicals with natural antidepressant properties.
Nervous system protector: Vitamin C protects the nervous system, which includes your brain, eyes and the nerves running throughout your body. It helps to maintain good eyesight. It also protects the brain from degenerative disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Calming: Camu camu has extremely high concentrations of the plant growth stimulant GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) – up to three times more than other plants. The neurotransmitter GABA, which is known as The Peacemaker, helps to turn off excess adrenalin and calm one down.
Anti-arthritic: The vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals in camu camu help to reduce inflammation, which helps to ease the pain of arthritis.
Antiviral: Camu camu is antiviral. Dr Gary Null places camu camu as number 1 in a list of 18 herbs with anti-herpetic properties.
Longevity: The pink colour of the pulp of ripe fruits is based on anthocyanin pigments as well as major carotenoids, lutein, betacarotene and zeaxanthin. Research indicates that the more carotenoids you have in your diet, the longer you will live. The high concentrations of the potent antioxidant vitamin C protect cells longevity.
What about synthetic vitamin C?
There are several important differences between consuming isolated vitamin C and the consumption of Camu C+.
The industrial production of isolated vitamin C is carried out by genetically modified microorganisms (GMO-vitamin C) or synthetically by means of a chemical-microbiological process (synthetic vitamin C). If vitamin C is mentioned as an ingredient on product labels it usually means that isolated vitamin C has been added.
Much more than ascorbic acid:
The first and obvious difference is that ascorbic acid is just that – 100% pure component (generally just called vitamin C) which does not occur in this isolated form in nature. In comparison, Camu C+ is a fruit powder which contains plenty of different nutrients besides ascorbic acid. In 1880mg of Camu C+ there is 300mg of ascorbic acid, and that means the remaining 1580mg is made up of other important botanical matter. which makes up the whole camu camu fruit: a complete, very complex source of nutrients which goes way beyond the simple, isolated form of ascorbic acid.
The following cited study highlights other differences between camu camu and ascorbic acid:
“Our results suggest that camu camu juice may have powerful anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties, compared to vitamin C tablets containing equivalent vitamin C content. These effects may be due to the existence of unknown antioxidant substances besides vitamin C or unknown substances modulating in vivo vitamin C kinetics in camu camu.”
Bioavailability : Camu C+ powder has been shown to not only be more bioavailable than liposomal vitamin C (which is already more bioavailable than pure ascorbic acid), but is also absorbed into the bloodstream faster.
RESEARCH: 12 Abstracts with Camu Camu Research https://www.greenmedinfo.com/substance/camu-camu