Camu Camu Benefits

Camu Camu
Latin Name

Mycaria dubia

Also Known As

Rumberry

Origin

Amazon rain forest

Parts Used

Fruit

Traditional Use and Health Benefits

Native to the Amazon rainforest, the Camu Camu berry has been used by the indigenous tribes of this area for over 1,000 years. In the city of Iquitos in Peru, the local people eat the fruit when it is still green with a sprinkling of salt.

As an important source of vitamins and phytonutrients, Camu Camu has many traditional uses. It has invariably been used as a pain reliever, treatment for infection and to promote a long and healthy life. The bark of the tree was used to make poultices for rheumatism and as a topical treatment for wounds. The people of the rainforest also make Camu Camu into a hair tonic to strengthen the hair and give it a lustrous sheen.

Camu Camu Benefits

High Vitamin C Content

With over 20 times the vitamin C content of most citrus fruits, Camu Camu is the top food source for this important vitamin. Mario Pinedo of the “Research Institute of the Peruvian Amazon” says, “people who eat it never get colds”.

Colds/Flu

Mario Pinedo may have hit the nail on the head with this comment, as recent research investigated the effects of vitamin C on diverse infections. The study, published in “Nutrients”, was undertaken by the Department of Public Health at the University of Helsinki in Finland. They found that regular administration of vitamin C shortened the duration of colds. In two controlled trials they reported that there was a “significant dose response” for the duration of common cold symptoms with up to 6g – 8g per day of vitamin C. Two additional trials found vitamin C to be beneficial for pneumonia patients and the researchers recommended that the effects of vitamin C against infections should be investigated further.

Another 2012 study found that combining high dose vitamin C with zinc was significantly more effective at reducing cold symptoms than the placebo.

Immune System

The key to vitamin C’s success in combatting and preventing colds, flu and other infections lies with its ability to greatly boost the immune system.

During times of sickness and infection, blood levels of vitamin C drop because immune cells use this vitamin to neutralise and eliminate the toxin/virus/bacteria, thus bringing diseased cells back to a healthy state.

This is why it is especially important to keep one’s vitamin C levels topped up during times of illness. Not only does Camu Camu deliver high amounts of vitamin C, it is easily absorbed by the body due to a complex combination of minerals and amino acids, making it much more effective than synthesised vitamin C.

Camu Camu also supports gut health which is closely connected to the immune system – optimum gut health is a must for a strong immune system.

Antioxidant Powerhouse

As well as being packed with vitamin C – one of the most powerfully antioxidant vitamins, Camu Camu is rich in antioxidant compounds such as anthocyanins and flavonols.

A review of the Antioxidant and Associated Capacities of Camu Camu was published in the “Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine” in 2015. It reports a human study of 20 habitual male smokers who were considered to have an accelerated oxidative stress state. They were randomly assigned either 1050mg of vitamin C or 70ml of 100% Camu Camu juice containing 1050mg of vitamin C to take daily.

After 7 days, the oxidative stress markers of the Camu Camu group had significantly decreased. No changes were observed in the vitamin C group. The authors concluded that Camu Camu has more powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects than 1500mg of vitamin C. They also concluded, given the equivalent vitamin C contents, that Camu Camu possibly contains other antioxidative substances, including and in addition to the known presence of carotenoids and anthocyanins. A further possibility was that Camu Camu had substances, such as potassium, that increase the in vivo availability of vitamin C by absorption or excretion.

Typical Use

Organic Camu Camu Extract Powder

Take upto 5 grams per day in a smoothie, fruit juice or diluted in water.

Folklore and History

The fruit and leaves of the Camu Camu shrub have long been used in the Amazon rainforest to treat a variety of ailments ranging from cold sores to shingles. Tales from the indigenous Indians tell of how it was used to treat infections, to relieve pain and to promote longevity.

The exceptionally high vitamin C content of this superberry came to light when Peruvian government state officials conducted an analysis of the fruit in the 1950’s. However, it wasn’t until the 1990’s that the urban South American population caught on and let to the organised cultivation of this wild and abundant berry.

Camu Camu
Constituents

Amino acids serine, valine, and leucine.

Precautions

None documented.