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Maqui Berries

Maqui Berries
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Maqui Berries

Aristotelia chilensis (Maqui or Chilean Wineberry) is a species of the Elaeocarpaceae family native to the Valdivian temperate rainforests of Chile and adjacent regions of southern Argentina. Maqui is sparsely cultivated.

Maqui is a small dioecious tree reaching 4–5 m in height and is evergreen. Its divided trunk has a smooth bark. The branches are abundant, thin and flexible. The leaves are simple, opposite, hanging, oval-lanceolate, with serrated edges, naked and coriaceous. The leaf venation is well visible and the leaf stalk is strong red. In the beginning of spring, the tree sheds the old cohort.

Flowers and berries
Maqui flowers at the end of spring. The white flowers are unisexual and small. They yield a small edible fruit. A tree at the age of seven years produces up to 10 kg berries per year. The small, purple-black berries are approximately 4–6 mm in diameter and contain 4-8 angled seeds. With a taste similar to blackberries, maqui is also known as the Chilean wineberry, and locally in Spanish as maqui or maque.

Maqui berries are used for food and dietary supplements, mainly due to interest for color and anthocyanin content. The berries are raw, dried or processed into jam, juice, an astringent or as an ingredient in processed foods or beverages.

In traditional medicine, maqui extract may be used to treat diarrhea, inflammation, or fever.

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Maqui Berries
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