Botanical Name: Malpighia emarginata
Species: M. emarginata
*Malpighia berteroana Spreng.
*Malpighia lanceolata Griseb.
*Malpighia punicifolia var. lancifolia Nied.
*Malpighia punicifolia var. obovata Nied.
*Malpighia punicifolia var. vulgaris Nied.
*Malpighia retusa Benth.
*Malpighia umbellata Rose
*Malpighia urens var. lanceolata (Griseb.) Griseb.
Common Names: Barbados Cherry, West Indian Cherry, Cereza, Cerisier, Semeruco
Habitat : The acerola is believed to originate from the Yucatan (linguistic evidence) and is distributed from South Texas, through Mexico (especially on the West Coast from Sonora to Guerrero) and Central America to northern South America (Venezuela, Surinam, Columbia) and throughout the Caribbean (Bahamas to Trinidad). Acerola has now been successfully introduced in sub-tropical areas throughout the world (Southeast Asia, India, South America), and some of the largest plantings are in Brazil.
Acerola is an evergreen shrub or small tree with spreading branches on a short trunk. It is usually 2–3 m (6.6–9.8 ft) tall, but sometimes reaches 6 m (20 ft) in height.
The leaves are simple ovate-lanceolate, 2–8 cm (0.79–3.15 in) long, 1–4 cm (0.39–1.57 in), and are attached to short petioles. They are opposite, ovate to elliptic-lanceolate, and have entire or undulating margins with small hairs, which can irritate skin.
Flowers are bisexual and 1–2 cm (0.39–0.79 in) in diameter. They have five pale to deep pink or red fringed petals, 10 stamens, and six to 10 glands on the calyx. The three to five flowers per inflorescence are sessile or short-peduncled axillary cymes.
After three years, trees produce significant numbers of bright red drupes 1–3 cm (0.39–1.18 in) in diameter with a mass of 3–5 g (0.11–0.18 oz). Drupes are in pairs or groups of three, and each contains three triangular seeds. The drupes are juicy and very high in vitamin C (3-46 g/kg) and other nutrients. They are divided into three obscure lobes and are usually acidic to subacidic, giving them a sour taste, but may be sweet if grown well. While the nutrient composition depends on the strain and environmental conditions, the most common components of acerola and their concentration ranges, per 1000 g, are: proteins (2.1-8.0 g), lipids (2.3-8.0 g), carbohydrates (35.7-78 g), calcium (117 mg), phosphorus (171 mg), iron (2.4 mg), pyridoxine (87 mg), riboflavin (0.7 mg), thiamine (0.2 mg), water (906-920 g), and dietary fibre (30 g). Acerola cherries also have antifungal and antibacterial properties.
The fruit is edible and widely consumed in the species’ native area, and is cultivated elsewhere for its high vitamin C content. About 1677 mg of vitamin C are in 100 g of fruit. The fruit can be used to make juices and pulps, vitamin C concentrate, and baby food, among other things.
A comparative analysis of antioxidant potency among a variety of frozen juice pulps was carried out, including the acerola fruit. Among the 11 fruit pulps tested, acerola was the highest-scoring fruit, meaning it had the most antioxidant potency, with a Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity score of 53.2 mg.
It is used worldwide as an effective remedy for common cold, hay fever, depression, gum infection, tooth decay, and several other health issues. But thorough researches have revealed that it can be consumed to get rid of a number of chronic and deadly diseases too.
Health Benefits Of Acerola:
Acerola comes packed with nutrients, which helps to keep the body fit and disease-free. Here are the top 15 acerola health benefits:
Table Of Contents:
- Vitamin C Supplement
- Prevents Scurvy
- Vitamin A Supplement
- Boosts Visionary Health
- Provides Essential Nutrients
- Rich In Antioxidants
- Enhances Immunity
- Increases Collagen Production
- Improves Metabolism
- Less Gastrointestinal Issues
- Offers Better Cardiac Health
- Reduces Blood Sugar Level
- Fights Against Oxidative Stress
- Prevents Lung Cancer
- Promotes Weight Loss
Acerola is a popular bonsai subject because of its small leaf and fruit, and fine ramification. It is also grown as an ornamental and for hedges.
It is one of three ingredients in a proprietary herbal medicine for allergic rhinitis.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.