Maybe you’ve never heard of camu camu. That’s because it’s an exotic berry. It grows along the Amazon River.
It’s dark red and about the size of a golf ball. The fruit inside tastes like a cross between a strawberry and a lemon. It’s very tart. But it’s easy to get past the flavor. That’s because pure camu camu contains a higher concentration of Vitamin C than any other food source, except for the Australian bullygoat fruit. (Plus, it’s delicious sweetened with honey.)
Camu camu also contains B vitamins, along with various amino acids and flavonoids. It’s a super food if there ever was one. I use it as an all natural whole food vitamin supplement.
This is one of the remedies I use to help keep my chronic nerve inflammation under control. I’m so thankful for all the wonderful plant-based medicines God has given us. For me, they seem to work at reining in my runaway inflammation, and reducing my level of pain. This allows me to live a normal life. (My condition was so severe that I was likely headed for a wheelchair.)
Benefits Camu Camu Powder
In South America, camu camu is also called cacari fruit. It’s found along riverbanks in the rain forest, since it requires an enormous amount of moisture to survive. It grows wild in the Brazilian, Colombian, Ecuadorian, Bolivian and Peruvian jungles.
Camu camu harvesters fan out along the Amazon and it’s tributaries in canoes to look for the berries. They become ripe during the rainy season, as the riverbanks flood. That’s also when the fruit, which grows on a bush, is easily visible on the surface of the water.
Amid growing concern of over harvesting, there’s also a move toward trying to cultivate this fruit. Demand for it is increasing, as people learn of its health benefits. More camu camu is shipped to Japan than to anywhere else in the world.
Powdered forms of the berry are widely available in the United States and sold through a number of distributors.
Although the fruit is most appreciated for its health properties, in South America, it’s used to make into ice cream and other desserts. It’s unlikely anyone would eat it raw. It doesn’t taste good unless it’s sweetened.
Adequate levels of Vitamin C are needed for optimal health. Camu camu has plenty of this live-sustaining nutrient. Pound for pound, it contains 30-60 times as much Vitamin C than an orange, as well as three times more niacin and twice as much phosphorus.
Camu camu is also a good anti-oxidant. It’s believed to be very effective in reducing inflammation. (I’m one of its biggest fans.) Some alternative health experts like this Amazonian berry for its immune system-boosting properties and its ability to fight viruses.
Please understand that I’m not a doctor. And I’m not recommending this or any other remedy to treat a specific condition. All I’m doing is sharing my personal story of regaining my health.
Where to Purchase Camu Camu Powder
Because of its high level of nutrients, camu camu has the reputation for balancing chemicals in the brain. Some naturopathic practitioners believe it can alleviate depression. (However, if you’re taking an antidepressant, never stop without your doctor’s approval.)
Since camu is a food, and not a drug, it’s considered safe. But just remember that it’s very potent.
If you’re taking it for supplemental Vitamin C (and for its other vitamins), a little goes a long way. The powdered form is highly concentrated. I take between 1/4 to 1/2 of a teaspoon at a time, according to directions on the package.
I mix camu camu in a glass of water with honey, instead of taking a synthetic multi-vitamin. I’d much rather consume a whole food, than a laboratory-made concoction. With a superfood, the many micro-nutrients assist your body in absorbing the vitamins.
I really like the Navitas Natural brand of camu camu because it costs so much less than a comparable product, which also has the USDA-certified organic seal. Why pay more, I figured, when I decided to try this brand. I’m so glad I did, because it saves me a lot of money every time I order it.
Natural Versus Synthetic Vitamins
Organic whole food supplements are made from wild-harvested plants, or are farmed using no pesticides or chemical fertilizers. They contain nutrients in proportions your body can easily use.
Most people believe that ascorbic acid is the same thing as Vitamin C. But it’s not. Instead, it’s a synthesized component of this crucial vitamin. Taken in isolation, it might have some health benefits. But whole Vitamin C is what the body uses best.
These statements have not been approved by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. People with health concerns should discuss them with a doctor. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not take herbal remedies, unless directed to do so by a healthcare professional.