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What is Acai Palm?

By L. Hepfer
Updated Feb 26, 2024
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The acai palm tree, from the genus Euterpe Oleracea, is known for growing along riverbeds and near other waterways throughout South America. The acai palm tree has adapted well over the years to tolerating flooded areas and can grow in soil that is saturated with water. These particular palm trees reach heights of 49-99 feet (15-30 meters) and produce leaves that grow up to 9 feet (3 meters) long. Edible berries grow on the acai palm tree in thick bunches that are eaten and enjoyed by different animals in the rain forest as well as people.

Several different parts of the acai palm tree are used by people. Clothing, drinks, food, building materials and weapons are just a few examples of the benefits that come from harvesting an acai palm tree. Nutritional benefits have been discovered by consuming the acai berry and is often marketed for this reason.

Many people living where the acai palm tree prominently grows have used the acai berry as part of their herbal medicine practices for years. Using the rind of the fruit in an infusion helps with skin ulcers while the oil helps treat diarrhea. The seeds are crushed and sometimes toasted before being used to lower a fever. Although it has virtually no nutritious value, the palm heart is eaten as a vegetable across the world and enjoyed for its taste.

The acai berries create a juice that is enjoyed fresh and is sometimes mixed with tapioca flour or sugar. The acai berries are soaked in water to soften the outer shell. Once the shell is softened, the fruit is squeezed and the juice inside is extracted. The juice is mostly enjoyed fresh, but can be used to make desserts, liquor, mousses and ice cream.

The health benefits from the berries of the acai palm tree has made it popular across the world. Scientific research has proven the acai berries are loaded with antioxidants and many other essential nutrients to help sustain one's health. Various minerals have been found in the acai berry as well as phytonutrients. Daily supplements of the acai berry are sold in forms of juice, drink powders, smoothies, and tablets.

Due to the many advantages of the acai palm tree, farmers have begun to farm the trees and harvest them for profit. The acai palm can also be purchased online and grown at home. In order to grow one of these trees at home, they must not be in any danger of frost. If frost is a danger to the tree, a greenhouse room is required for proper growth.

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Discussion Comments
By anon41545 — On Aug 15, 2009

it was very helpful, and very descriptive with words people wouldn't know very well.

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