The acai tree is a type of palm tree that has become very popular. It is sometimes referred to as the ‘Acai Berry Tree’. The popularity of the acai palm tree is attributed to the fact that many people have sought out information on the acai berry that is used for dietary purposes because it is an anti-oxidant.
Acai Tree Facts and Information
The acai palm (Euterpe oleracea) is a type of palm that is cultivated for their fruit, both the berry and the hearts of palm. The acai tree grows in Central and South America and has a very distinctive growth pattern that is easily recognized. There are seven species of the acai palm that can be found in this area of the world. It grows from 70-80’ tall and has 9’ fronds branching out from the trunk. You will find the palms growing in wetter areas, such as swamps and areas prone to flooding.
Uses of the Acai Tree
The tree produces two crops a season and is used for many different things. The foremost is the demand for the berries of the acai palm and the inner heart of palms that are eaten in salads. In Brazil, they use the acai palm for flavoring their ice cream, yogurts, and puddings.
In early Brazilian history, you could find acai in the form of an oil, as a pulp or root form, or as a tea that was used for medicinal purposes, much as our lavender and herbs are used. The people used the substances to combat ulcers, diarrhea, diabetes, malaria, bleeding, and as a pain reliever. Even today, there is a continuing effort being made to find new ways to use all of the parts of the acai palm.
You will find that other parts of the tree are very useful too. The wood is used for many purposes since it has a natural resistance to bugs much like our cedar trees in the United States. The leaves are used to make household products, such as baskets, hats, and outdoor thatched roofs. The South American people have used the Acai palm juices for curing many types of illnesses.
Harvesting Acai Fruit
The fruit, berries, of the acai tree are harvested by hand. They branches are cut off with machetes and fall to the ground. The fruit is quickly picked off since it has to be picked within a 24 hour period are it will perish. The berries range from dark purple to a green shade.
The color depends on how ripe the fruit is. In the past, people around the world were not able to get any of these products since the trees will only grow in these tropical places, and the fact that the berry could not be preserved. With modern refrigeration available, the acai juice can be frozen and transported easily to other countries.
Here are some products made from the Acai Tree.
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