Did you know that the Mapuche Indians in Chile were one of the only indigenous people in the Americas that remained undefeated by the invading colonialists? It seems there was at least one secret weapon in their arsenal that increased their stamina and helped them win against colonial onslaught – the humble maqui berry. Growing extensively in the wild Patagonian region in southern Chile, this berry is said to be rich in natural goodness and has been used as the key go-to ingredient in home remedies by Chileans for centuries.
Now though the world has awakened up to the inherent goodness of this humble berry, so much so that it is being hailed as the Superfood of 2019. While food trends come and go – think green tea, cucumber, avocado – it is indeed undeniable that maqui berry is an worthy contender to last out the fad, thanks to a perfect combination of great taste and great nutrients.
Packed with antioxidants – antioxidant content of maqui berry, measured by the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) value, is 19,850 for 100 mg of fresh fruit – it can be consumed in a variety of ways. Although traditionally consumed by Mapuche Indians as fresh fruit or juice, it is now sold as freeze-dried powder, capsules, food supplements and liquid extracts. Perhaps predictably, the skincare industry too has caught wind of this superfood, infusing in into a variety of creams, masks and whips.
In Hong Kong, loose maqui berry powder can be found at greenmas and other such online stores. For a marvellous maqui beauty fix, look no further than Skin Owl’s Maqui Berry Beauty Whip, available at Lane Crawford.
Text: Suchetana Mukhopadhyay