Aristotelia chilensis (Molina) Stuntz
Plant Family: Elaeocarpaceae
An evergreen shrub or small tree belonging to the Elaeaocarpaceae family and native to the temperate rainforests of Chile and Argentina, the Maqui has smooth bark, reaches about 3-4 meters in height, and bears small star-shaped yellowish-green flowers that produce edible purple-black berries much favored by birds. Chilean Wineberry has been cultivated in England since the 1700s, and was cultivated sparingly in the United States by the early 1900s. In 1844 the French botanist Claude Grey documented that Maqui berries were widely consumed by the Mapuche natives as a tonic to improve stamina and strength, and also to prepare chicha, a low-alcohol fermented drink. The berries, which taste like tart huckleberries, can also be used to make jam or eaten raw, and are extremely rich in antioxidant and anthocyanin properties. The glossy dark green leaves of the tree were used for wound dressings or to prepare an infusion to soothe sore throats, and the bark was peeled to make strings for musical instruments.
The whole berries, dried at low temperatures.
As a tea, or mixed into yogurt, a smoothie, or an energy bar.
Maqui berries are relatively new to the American herbal market, and are primarily being sold as one of the latest "superfoods." Maqui berries have reportedly been used by the Mapuche natives of Chile and Argentina for centuries.
Specific: No known precautions.
General: We recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.