Medicine of the Amazon Rainforest: Camu Camu

As a writer, and as a health enthusiast, I have learned about a great many supplements, treatments, and healing modalities in my lifetime. I love finding herbs and natural remedies that help to naturally balance the body and mind system. For many years, I have found myself relatively landed and dialed in to the supplements that I need, in the sense that I haven’t needed to try anything new supplement-wise for quite a while—I am quite used to the patterns and trends of my body, and have an arsenal of remedies to meet them. Suffice it to say, my tool kit is well-stocked and fine-tuned.

That said, I am always excited to discover new supplements, and just a few days ago, I learned about something called camu camu. Based on what I learned, I have some on order and I am excited to try it as soon as it arrives in the mail. In the meantime, allow me to share with you the incredible properties and benefits of camu camu.

What is Camu Camu?

Camu camu is a low-growing shrub found throughout the swamps and flooded areas of the Amazon rain forests of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia and Brazil. The camu camu berry comes from the camu camu shrub (Myrciaria dubia) that can grow to be between nine and 14 feet tall. The shrub produces a lemon-sized, light orange to deep-purple red fruit with yellow pulp that looks similar to a large cherry. The shrub is related to the rumberry and guavaberry, a fruit that is quite sour, which is why it is commonly ground into a powder and mixed with other foods. This wild shrub can yield close to 26 pounds of berries per year.

What is in Camu Camu?

Camu camu is packed with more natural vitamin C than any other food on the planet to date, and up to 60 times more than an orange (and half a teaspoon of camu camu powder provides more than 400 percent of the daily value!). It also has ten times more iron, three times more niacin, twice as much riboflavin, and 50 percent more phosphorus than an orange. Additionally, this fruit has high levels of beta-carotene, potassium, calcium, protein, serine, thiamin, leucine, and valine. Camu camu has a strong blend of amino acids such as serine, leucine, and valine, as well as phytochemicals and minerals.

The Overall Benefits of Camu Camu

Thanks to all of these amazing qualities of camu camu, it helps with a range of illnesses and imbalances in the body. Camu camu has astringent, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, emollient and nutritional properties.

As such, I will list here the top 10 most prominent benefits of camu camu:

1. Amazing Levels of Vitamin C

We’ve already read about just how much vitamin C camu camu possesses, but it is significant to add that because of this, it can help with heart disease, cancer, and other chronic illnesses. As you continue to read down the list, you will see just how many ailments vitamin C (as well as antioxidants) can help with.

2.  Strengthens the Immune System

Thanks to its amazing vitamin C content, camu camu can help to strengthen the immune system by increasing the strength of white blood cells, which fight bacteria and viruses. In doing so, the duration and severity of bacterial and viral illnesses (and especially respiratory ones) are dramatically reduced with the help of camu camu.

3. High in Antioxidants

Camu camu contains high levels of beta-carotene, anthocyanins, and ascorbic acid. These antioxidants and others protect cells against damage that can cause uncontrolled growth that can lead to cancer. Additionally, they can help to slow down aging, support the cardiovascular system, and slow down cognitive decline.

4. Anti-depressant Properties

Camu camu has been found to have anti-depressant properties when the fruit is eaten regularly or when powders of this supplement are taken on a regular basis, based on the ways that it can help with the nervous system. While it has indeed been known to help with depression, it is important to know that this is a complement to other treatments and is not intended to be a substitute for regular medication, and the use of it should be discussed with a doctor if you are taking other medication.

5. Anti-inflammatory Properties

Camu camu has excellent anti-inflammatory properties. Having significant levels of vitamin C in the body has been shown to reduce inflammation and reduce the risk for chronic disease.

6. Supports the Liver

It has been established that high levels of vitamin C help the liver in multiple ways. Not only does vitamin C not interfere with prescription medication that helps with liver issues, but it also can help to promote liver regeneration and detoxification, in addition to supporting the overall activity of the liver.

7. Fights Herpes

Consumption of camu camu as a fruit as well as in supplement form has been shown to help with herpes outbreaks. The high Vitamin C content of camu camu as well as its anti-viral properties are what make it such a great remedy for this virus.

8.  Nervous System Support

Camu camu has been known to support the optimal functioning of the nervous system, which includes the function of the eyes and brain.  

9. Arthritic Support

Due to its incredible properties of anti-inflammation, camu camu provides arthritic support by helping to reduce inflammation.

10. Anti-viral

In addition to helping with the herpes virus, camu camu helps with all viruses. This includes those related to herpes—Epstein-Barr, mononucleosis, cold sores (both oral and genital) as well as any other virus that you can think of.