In jargon it is called "Maqui" but its botanical name is Aristotelia maqui, an evergreen shrub that produces small and pretty purple-tinged berries that tend to be blackish. It grows in Patagonia and in the Juan Fernandez Islands in the South of America. It is a shrub with smooth bark with very thick branches that fall harmoniously with the pendulous and lanceolate leaves. The flowers are small and the fruits ie the berries, have a circumference of just half a centimeter and are reminiscent of blueberries or even elderberries. They are the ideal food for birds that appreciate it very much. The Spanish colonizers called this shrub but here and so its name has remained. From the beginning of its discovery, the maqui berries and leaves aroused attention for its therapeutic properties as well as for the daily nutrition of the population. The tree can reach about eight meters in height and has no precise habitat, in fact it adapts to any type of terrain. In fact we find it both in the valleys and in the mountainous areas but also in the coastal ones. The but here It is a dicoltilene angiosperm that belongs to the Malvales or Oxidales family and to this species belong about four hundred specimens with different characteristics.
The shrub adapts to all soils but prefers very wet ones especially in areas where it rains often. It produces beautiful white flowers that are characteristic because they come into perfect harmony where the Maqui grows spontaneously in those forests full of mosses and lichens. It seems that the shrub bears very cold temperatures and even night frosts that can freeze any plant and even withstand those areas like the Andes where the weather conditions are quite severe. It grows at an incredible speed and germinates very quickly. Given the therapeutic properties of the plant that are highly appreciated all over the world, it was thought to transplant the maqui also to Spain, the United States and California where the climate is quite similar to that in which the Maqui is used to survive. In fact, thanks to popular wisdom, the virtues of this shrub that has highly appreciated anti-tumor and antibacterial powers were known for a long time and since it seems to have anti-oxidant virtues, it has attracted attention in the sports and fitness sector. The Maqui is now cultivated almost everywhere and has unintentionally created a very important business also because it has become part of the pharmacopoeia and phytotherapic media culture. The Maqui crops are also gaining ground in Italy while in Chile, which is the original country of this shrub, no industrialized airfields have been planted, perhaps due to lack of funds, and only fruit is harvested. This harvest takes place from December to March and it seems that every year about 90,000 kilograms of fruit are harvested.Therapeutic properties of the Maqui
The maqui berries are rich in natural antioxidants that neutralize free radicals, greatly protecting the body. Free radicals are those substances that are harmful to our body because they also cause very serious damage to the cellular structures and favor the aging process and unfortunately cause a series of serious diseases, including some tumors. This is why the maqui has become famous for its anti-age therapeutic powers and has achieved a well-known reputation throughout the world, on a par with the renowned aloe. In Herbalist shops and in specialized shops, we find it in the form of a food supplement widely used by athletes and people who regularly practice sports because it ensures good muscle oxygenation and brings great benefits to the liver. The maqui berry, properly treated, benefits the metabolism and seems to help you lose weight. At the University of Texas in Austin, the Maqui berry product was tested on 500 subjects who not only lost weight on a regular basis but maintained their ideal weight for six months. The Maqui also has anti-inflammatory therapeutic powers, in fact its derivatives are taken by those people who suffer from rheumatism and joint pain. The constant use of maqui berries allows the skin to be lightened by eliminating unsightly age spots and also accelerates heavy digestion, strengthens bones and helps heart health. According to very recent studies, it seems that the Maqui berry, combined with other fruits such as blueberry and pomegranate, has an immediate benefit on the organism because the collimation of this fruit, manages to obtain a balance of vitamins and minerals.
Maqui: How to use the Maqui
As we mentioned earlier, maqui is used both as an extract and as an infusion. The infusion is prepared by pouring hot water over a handful of leaves placed in a cup. The mixture is left to cool and with this solution packs can be applied to be applied to wounds and bruises. This infusion is also very useful for gargling in the case of small ulcers in the oral cavity. The infusion can also be prepared with a spoonful of fruits and after having allowed it to rest, it can be sweetened three times a day as desired. The maqui extracts are found in the form of juice and also in capsules that contain all the whole part of the berries. Sportsmen usually take two capsules a day as food supplements but it is always good to listen to the advice of a doctor. When preparing an infusion or any other Maqui-based product, you must never use aluminum pans but always steel ones stainless.