Herb Monographs

herbs

Açai Snapshot Monograph

Açai ( Euterpe oleracea )

Most Frequent Reported Uses: - Antioxidant -

Inflammatory conditions such as arthritis or after surgery or tissue injury.

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Enhances immunity

Herb name: Açai ( Euterpe oleracea ) fruit

Introduction: The acai palm tree ( Euterpe oleracea ) is native to tropical Central and South America and grows mainly in floodplains and swamps. Although the soft interior stem can be used as a food source, acai is commonly used for its fruit. Current research centers on acai’s antioxidant capabilities. Acai is used in many functional foods, especially beverages. Functions: Acai berry is commonly used as an antioxidant. There are laboratory studies that support this claim based on the antioxidant potential of the total phenolics and total anthocyanins found in acai berry. A laboratory study found that fractions from acai contributes to antioxidant potential by inhibiting nitric oxide (NO) production through reduction of the levels of inducible nitric oxide synthase expression (Matheus et al, 2006). An in vitro laboratory study measured the inhibition of reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation in freshly purified human neutrophils by extracts of acai (Schauss et al, 2006). Results found that compounds in acai are able to enter human cells in a fully functional form and to perform an oxygen quenching function at very low doses. The study also found that acai had cyclooxygenase (COX)-1 and COX-2 inhibiting properties,

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