Posted by: sakalaradiance | December 19, 2008

Superstar Botanical Ingredient: Cupuacu!

 

 

Cupuacu

Cupuacu, also Cupuassu or Copoasu, is a fruiting tree that grows in the rain forests of Brazil. Though it is farmed only in very few places in the Amazon river basin, the demand for cupuacu has been increasing rapidly. The increase in demand is due to the popularity of the fruit produced by these trees, and the many consumer products that can be made from it. The fruits are relatively large, about melon-sized with a husk-covered coconut-like shell. Inside the cupuacu fruit there are large seeds and creamy white pulp. It is the pulp of the cupuacu fruit that is so sought after. As a species, the cupuacu plant (Theobroma grandiflorum) is related to cacao, and the flavor is often compared to that of chocolate.

Part of the demand for cupuacu is the result of the limited supply. Though agriculturalists believe that it can be farmed in warm, tropical climates in many parts of the world, the farms are limited primarily to Brazil. Combine this with the existing local demand and the growing overseas demand, and there is just not enough cupuacu to go around. The fruit can only be harvested once a year, usually between February and April. The trees appear in size and shape very similar to their cousin cacao, growing to heights of anywhere between 15-60 feet, with broad, bright green leaves. A new cupuacu tree will normally grow between three and five years before bearing fruit.

Uses

With a taste that is often compared to already very popular foods, such as chocolate, banana, melon, or bubble gum, the cupuacu fruit is served in a wide variety of ways. When the seeds are processed using a method like that used to refine cacao seeds into chocolate, you get the base flavor for cupulate, a hot drink that is very much like hot chocolate. From the sweetened pulp of the cupuacu fruit comes a variety of desserts, including candy, jelly, ice cream, and juice. In addition to the sought-after taste, cupuacu is often harvested and sold as a health supplement.

Health Benefits

On the Today Show, Andrew Zimmern of the Travel Channel described cupuacu as “the pharmacy of the Amazon.” According to him, the populations that have been eating and cultivating cupuacu for generations look to the plant for a variety of treatments. Cupuacu is often used as a pain killer. It provides antioxidants and other benefits to the digestive system. In addition, the theobromides in cupuacu act like caffeine to provide energy and alertness. Finally, cupuacu is often sold as a lotion or cream because it has rejuvenating effects on skin. Source: www.cupuacu.com

 

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DoshaCare is proud to say that Cupuacu is used in our Vata Hydrating Mask and the Sakala Eye and Neck Balm, two of our most luxuriously moisturizing products, due to the following properties.  www.doshacare.com.

Known in the skincare world to soften skin and supports skin moisture and elasticity, Capuacu has an extremely high water absorption power (240% more than that of Lanolin). Cupuaçu butter (botanical source) can replace Lanolin (animal resource) in terms of water absorption being an excellent emollient that provides a pleasant touch and softness to the skin, facilitating the natural humidity and elasticity in damaged and dehydrated skins. If you compare Shea butter against Cupuaçu butter, you have the same performance in the skin, because it has a great quantity of stearic and oleic acid (around 40% each) like in shea butter.

 

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Responses

  1. I have been a huge fan of cupuacu and can attest to the health benefits. I havent’ used the butter, but I hear good things.


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