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Amazing Amazonian Superfood, Aguaje : An Exlusive Renegade Health Article by Dr. J.E. Williams

Friday Nov 25, 2011 | BY |
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aguaje-amazon-superfood
Aguaje (Mauritia flexuosa) is a rich source of energy and nutrients, containing one of the highest plant sources of vitamin A as carotenoids – with amounts five times higher than carrots.

Resident Medical Authority: J. E. Williams, OMD, FAAIM

In the upper Amazon, every one eats or drinks aguaje. You’ll find street sellers on every corner peeling the dark, reddish brown palm fruit for consumption with salt or for use as a drink mixed with water and ice. Amazonian native people call it the ‘tree of life’ because of its many health benefits. But, what exactly is aguaje’s magic?

Locals say it’s good for men and women because it refreshes and nourishes the body and balances hormones. Menopausal women eat it to control hot flashes and restore estrogen values. My sources in Iquitos claim it can even restore fertility, therefore cautioning women over 40 against eating too much.

The oval-shaped, fig-sized fruit grows on the Moriche Palm. Aguaje is one of the most abundant South American palm trees and is found throughout western Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia; and, all along the Amazon River and Orinoco River basins – in Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, French Guyana, and Trinidad and Tobago; and, the Brazilian states of Bahia, Goias, Mato Grosso, Minas Gerais, and Sao Paulo.

In Iquitos, you can’t walk more than a few blocks without running into women street sellers, called aguajeras, with buckets of aguaje. It takes a strong paring knife to pare off the hard skin, revealing a thin layer of pale yellow pulp – called mesocarp, which is the part consumed. The taste is slightly salty and plain, and sometimes a pinch of salt is added to make it more palatable. Its nutrient and electrolyte content helps fight the dehydration one experiences as a result from the continual sweating in tropical heat. The antioxidant value helps reduce the effects of sun damage, another consequence of living near the equator.

Also, according to researchers at IAAP (Instituto de Investigaciones de la Amazonía Peruana in Iquitos), aguaje (Mauritia flexuosa) is a rich source of energy and nutrients, containing one of the highest plant sources of vitamin A as carotenoids – with amounts five times higher than carrots. It also is high in vitamin C, and the oil (called Buriti) is rich in vitamin E and emollient factors that are nourishing to the skin. And, it has a decent amount of protein, making it an important supplemental “super” food source.

Its high Vitamin A content makes it an unparalleled dietary source for children and pregnant women since it helps form and maintain healthy teeth, soft tissues and bones, mucous membranes, and skin. Aguaje also promotes good eyesight, especially for forest dwelling people who live in low light environments. Furthermore, it is also necessary during reproduction and enriches mother’s milk during breast-feeding.

Aguaje hasn’t caught on as a health super food in American, yet. However, next time you are in the Amazon, give it a try. But, make sure your source is clean so you don’t get unwanted intestinal bacteria. And, don’t eat too much! At least that’s what the locals caution.

Check out this YouTube video by IAAP (in Spanish):

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Dr. J. E. Williams has over 30 years of clinical experience in the natural health world and has had over 100,000 patient visits over that time.

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Dr. J. E. Williams

J. E. WILLIAMS, OMD, FAAIM

Dr. J. E. Williams is a pioneer in the field of integrative medicine, longevity, and natural health. Dr. Williams is the author of six books and more than two hundred articles. During his thirty years of practice, Dr. Williams has conducted over 100,000 patient visits. Formerly from San Diego, he now practices in Sarasota, Florida and teaches at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Division of Complementary and Integrative Medicine, NOVA Southeastern University, and Emperor’s College in Los Angeles.

He is also an ethnographer and naturalist. Since 1967, he has lived and worked with indigenous tribes, and spends as much time in the high Andean wilderness and deep Amazonian rainforest as possible. In 2010, he founded AyniGLOBAL, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting indigenous cultures, environments, and intellec¬tual rights. His current work is with the Q’ero people of the Peruvian Andes, where he teaches Earth-based wisdom and heart-centered spirituality.

For more information: www.drjewilliams.com

Follow him on Twitter: https://twitter.com/drjewilliams

13 COMMENTS ON THIS POST

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  1. James says:

    Nice. Thanks.

  2. Laurie says:

    Why is it that the superfoods that will do me so much good are always too far away from me for me to get on my own without paying a lot of money? Answer: because there’s no money to be made in getting it from my own backyard or locally, is there? I’d be more interested in the superfoods that are native to me, not something so far away…

  3. Mike Maybury says:

    An interesting post, but not really of much practical help to most of us.
    I hope that it encourages someone to import any existing product, or consider manufacturing some product which might give health benefits. Surely this could help the local populations by providing work. A worthwhile venture to someone.

  4. Cathy says:

    this sounds wonderful, when can we get some?

  5. Mary says:

    Sounds very good! How and where can I get it?

  6. maca says:

    Another excellent article from Dr Williams. I wish we could have more articles from him and also some short videos on specific health issues, particularly on how to lower cholesterol. I’m slim and eat healthily, yet my cholesterol is still to high.

  7. Anna says:

    I agree with Laurie, focus on superfoods that are close to you. Pomegranates are in season right now and they are a wonderful superfood.

  8. roni says:

    i expatriated to Costa Rica in 2005. one of the first things I did in making this decision was list the foods I wanted to be able to eat frequently to grow or purchase locally. on the list were avocados, pineapples, coconuts. mangos, oranges, bananas, lemons and limes, and I realized I needed a tropical or sub tropical climate. happy to say I am growing those and many many more things on my little farm. if I didn’t want to eat quinoa and wheat, I could be totally subsistent. As it is, I have more stuff growing here than I find in the produce sections of the supers!

    if you ever wanted to do this, talk to me, it is not as hard as you might think!

    • Cristina says:

      I want to grow my own aguaje, can you please tell me how I can do that? I live in California and would LOVE to be able to access that fruit from my own backyard. Do you sell the seeds??

  9. Elaina says:

    I have tried the aguaje powder from phenomenalcurves. It’s great for your overall female health and has strangely made my hair grow.

    • Vanessa Harrison says:

      I am also an avid consumer of both Aguaje and Maca root from Phenomenal Curves. I have been taking it for 3 months now and I have lighter periods, no more mood swings, my weight has stopped fluctuating ( I am a tall woman and it has always been an “unhealthy” struggle to keep weight ON my body) I am at 147. These super-foods have changed my life for the better. I will be taking them for life.

  10. meci robinsn says:

    I am 3 weeks preg and have been taking aguaje supplements, Is it ok for me to continue to take them?

    ingredients of supplements : aguaje, citric and stearic acid, and modified cellulose

    plz respond so i know if i need to discard them or not

  11. Janetceno@comcast.net says:

    How can i find this fruits?

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