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2-Amino-2-Deoxyglucose, Acanthopanax senticosus, Achillea, Achillea millefolium, Ackerkraut, African Pepper, Agathosma betulina, Agrimonia, Agrimonia eupatoria, Agrimony, Alfalfa, Alhova, Allium, Allium sativum, Altamisa, Amachazuru, American Cranberry, Angelica polymorpha, Angelica sinensis, Anthemis nobilis, Apricot Vine, Arandano, Ardeparin Sodium Injection--No longer available, Armoracia rusticana, Arnica, Arnica montana, Asian Ginseng, Awa, Barosma betulina, Basket Willow, Bee Bread, Bird Pepper, Bird's Foot, Black ginger, Bloodwort, Borage, Borago officinalis, Bridewort, Bucco, Buchu, Bugloss, Buku, Cabbage Palm, Canton ginger, Capsicum, Capsicum annuum, Capsicum frutescens, Carica papaya, Chamomile, Chili Pepper, Chinese Angelica, Chinese Ginseng, Chinese Sage, Chitosamine, Chondroitin, Chondroitin Sulfate, Chrysanthemum parthenium, Church Steeples, Ci Wu Jia, Cochin ginger, Cochlearia armoracia, Cocklebur, Common Borage, Common Bugloss, Common ginger, Corona de Cristo, Coumadin, Coumadin Injection, Cow Clover, Crack Willow, Cranberry, Curcuma, Curcuma species, Daidzein, Dalteparin Injection, Danaparoid Injection, Danggui, Danshen, Devil's Bush, Devil's Claw, Devil's Leaf, Diosma, Dong Quai, Dropwort, Eleuthero, Eleutherococcus senticosus, Enoxaparin Injection, Evening Primrose, Fan Palm, Fe-Tinic, Featherfew, Fenugreek, Ferrex 150, Feuille de Luzerna, Fever Plant, Feverfew, Filipendula ulmaria, Flaxseed, Flaxseed oil, Flirtwort, Fragmin, Funffing, Garden ginger, Garlic, Ge Gen, Genuine chamomile, German Chamomile, German Mustard, Gingembre, Ginger, Ginkgo, Ginkgo Biloba, Ginseng, Panax, Glucosamine, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Glucosamine Sulfate, Glycine max, Glycine soja, Goat's Pod, Graine de lin, Granadilla, Grape Seed, Grape Seed Extract, Grapple Plant, Great Raifort, Greek Clover, Greek Hay, Green Arrow, Guigai, Gynostemma, Gynostemma pentaphyllum, Harpagophytum procumbens, Heparin Injection, Herbe de Saint-Guillaume, Horse Chestnut, Horse Radish, Horseradish, Hu Lu Ba, Huang Ken, Hungarian chamomile, Imber, Indian Saffron, Innohep, Ipe Roxo, Ipes, Jamaican ginger, Jantoven, Japanese Arrowroot, Japanese Ginseng, Japanese Silver Apricot, Jiaogulan, Kava, Kava-Kava, Kawa, Kew, Kew Tree, Korean Ginseng, Kudzu, Lady of the Meadow, Lapacho, Leinsamen, Leopard's Bane, Linseed, Linseed oil, Lint bells, Linum, Liverwort, Lovenox, Lucerne, Maidenhair Tree, Matricaria chamomilla, Maypop, MEL, Meadow Clover, Meadowsweet, Medicago, Medicago sativa, Melatonin, Methi, Mexican Chillies, Milfoil, Miracle Grass, MLT, Mossberry, Mountain Radish, Mountain Snuff, Mountain Tobacco, Muscat, N-acetyl Glucosamine, N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine, Nettle, Nettle Tops, Niferex, Niferex 150, Ninjin, Normiflo - No longer available, Nosebleed Plant, Nu-Iron, Nu-Iron-150, OEP, Oenothera species, Orgaran, Oriental Ginseng, Ox's Tongue, Panax Ginseng, Panax schinseng, Papain, Paprika, Passiflora incarnata, Passion Flower, Passion Vine, Pau D'arco, Pepperrot, Piper methysticum, Polysaccharide Iron Complex, Polysaccharide Iron Complex Elixir, Pueraria, Pueraria lobata, Pueraria montana, Pueraria thunbergiana, Pulmonaria Officinalis, Purple Clover, Purple Medick, Pyrethrum parthenium, Queen of the Meadow, Radix Salvia, Red Clover, Red Cole, Red Ginseng, Red Pepper, Red Sage, Red Wine Extract, Roman Chamomile, Roman Nettle, Russian Root, Rustic Treacle, Sabal, Sabal serrulata, Salix, Salix alba, Salix fragilis, Salix purpurea, Salvia miltiorrhiza, Salvia Root, Saw Palmetto, Scrub Palm, Seng, Serenoa, Serenoa repens, Shigoka, Siberian Ginseng, Southern Ginseng, Soy, Soya, Soybeans, Spirea, Spirea ulmaria, Starflower, Staunch Weed, Stickwort, Stinging Nettle, Stingnose, Stinking Rose, Sun Drop, Tabasco Pepper, Tabebuia species, Taheebo, Taiga, Tanacetum parthenium, Tang-Kuei, Ten Shen, Thorny Pepperbush, Thousand-Leaf, Tinzaparin, Tonga, Touch-Me-Not, Trefoil, Trifolium pratense, Trigonella, Trigonella foenum-graecum, Trumpet Bush, Turmeric, Urtica species, Vaccinium species, Vegetable pepsin, Vitis pentaphyllum, Vitis vinifera, Warfarin, Warfarin injection, Water Lemon, White Willow, Wild Chamomile, Wild Clover, Wild Pepper, Wild Quinine, Winterlein, Wolf's Bane, Wolfbane, Wood Spider, Wound Wort, Xianxao, Yagona, Yarrow, Yarroway, Yege, Yinhsing, Zanzibar Pepper, Zingiber officinale.

Info about Cacari

Scientific Name: Camu-camu

Other Names: Cacari, Camocamo, Guavaberry, Rumberry

Who is this for?

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, has been promoted for the prevention and treatment of viral illnesses such as colds, cold sores, influenza, and shingles. In the early 1990s, camu-camu was discovered to contain more vitamin C per weight than any other fruit. Since then it has been promoted — particularly in Japan — as an antiviral agent. However, little scientific evidence supports the theory that large doses of vitamin C can increase the body's resistance to colds or any other conditions.

When should I be careful taking it?

Because vitamin C is water-soluble, excess doses of it are lost in the urine. No toxic build-up occurs in the body. Therefore, taking even very large doses of camu-camu is not thought to present risks for most individuals.

What side effects should I watch for?

While taking camu-camu does not appear to result in severe side effects, very large doses of vitamin C (more than 2,000 mg per day) taken for prolonged periods of time have been associated with the development of bladder stones and kidney stones. Studies of this effect are inconclusive, but individuals who have or who have had urinary tract stones may want to avoid using large amounts of camu-camu.

In very rare cases, vitamin C has caused sickle cell crisis; therefore, individuals with sickle cell disease should not take camu-camu.

Less Severe Side Effects

Taking camu-camu by mouth has not been linked with side effects, although very large doses of vitamin C have occasionally resulted in side effects such as:

  • Headache
  • Heartburn
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea

What interactions should I watch for?

Prescription Drugs

Large doses of vitamin C may increase the effectiveness of the anticoagulant drug, warfarin. As a result, blood may not clot properly and uncontrolled bleeding may occur. It is advisable to avoid taking camu-camu while taking warfarin.

Non-prescription Drugs

If vitamin C is taken at the same time as iron tablets, the amount of iron absorbed by the body may increase. No serious results are thought to occur, but certain blood diseases such as hemochromatosis or thalassemia may be worsened by elevated iron levels in the blood. Individuals who have these blood diseases should avoid taking camu-camu.

Vitamin C may also increase the amount of aluminum absorbed from antacids that contain aluminum. Consequences of increased aluminum levels are not known.

Some interactions between herbal products and medications can be more severe than others. The best way for you to avoid harmful interactions is to tell your doctor and/or pharmacist what medications you are currently taking, including any over-the-counter products, vitamins, and herbals.

Should I take it?

Camu-camu grows on bushy trees in the Amazon rainforest, where it thrives along waterways and in swamps. With peach-like leaves and white flowers, camu-camu trees begin to bear fruit after about 4 to 6 years. Ripe fruits resemble small plums — having dark reddish or purple skins and yellowish interiors surrounding large seeds. The fruits ripen between December and March — summer in the Southern Hemisphere. Residents of the area often harvest the fruits directly into small boats or canoes that can be rowed under the trees. Fruits that fall into the water are a major food source for animals, birds and fish, as well as for residents of the area. Due to the sour taste of camu-camu, however, it is usually made into a sweetened product such as juice for human consumption. Currently, the over-harvesting of wild camu-camu threatens to make it an endangered species. Efforts are underway to encourage the commercial growing of camu-camu in the Amazon River Basin.

Although camu-camu has been a local food source for many years, it has only recently become recognized as an herbal medicine. It is especially popular in Japan, where it is included in multivitamins and sports drinks. For use in medicine, the ripe fruits of camu-camu are peeled and made into juice, which is then dried into a tannish colored powder. Significant percentages of the vitamin C content may be lost if the powder is exposed to heat or stored for periods longer than a year.

Dosage and Administration

No recommendations for dosing amounts or intervals are available in scientific literature. If you decide to use camu-camu follow the recommendations that come with the product you purchase.

Summary

As a good source of vitamin C, camu-camu may help to prevent colds and other viral illnesses. It may also shorten the duration of conditions caused by viruses.

Risks

Due to its vitamin C content, camu-camu should be avoided by individuals with sickle cell disease and individuals with bladder or kidney stones.

Side Effects

Generally, side effects from very large doses of vitamin C are mild. They may include headache and heartburn.

Interactions

Camu-camu may possibly interfere with warfarin. Using it may also result in increased blood levels of iron or aluminum, if it is taken with vitamins, antacids, or other products that contain iron or aluminum.

References

Dib Taxi CM, de Menezes HC, Santos AB, Grosso CR. Study of the microencapsulation of camu-camu (Myrciaria dubia) juice. Journal of Microencapsulation. 2003;20(4):443-448.

Franco MR, Shibamoto T. Volatile composition of some Brazilian fruits: umbu-caja (Spondias citherea), camu-camu (Myrciaria dubia), araca-boi (Eugenia stipitala), and cupuacu (Theobroma grandiflorum). Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2000;48(4):1263-1265.

Gorton HC, Jarvis K. The effectiveness of vitamin C in preventing and relieving the symptoms of virus-induced respiratory infections. Journal of Manipulative Physiologic Therapy. 1999;22(8):530-533.

Justi KC, Visentainer JV, Evelazio de Souza N, Matsushita M. Nutritional composition and vitamin C stability in stored camu-camu (Myrciaria dubia) pulp. Archives of Latin-American Nutrition. 2000;50(4):405-408.

Morton JF. Fruits of Warm Climates. Miami, FL. Julia F. Morton Press. 1987.

Penn J. Camu camu: a conservation and development issue in Peru. The Rainforest Conservation Fund. No date given. Available at: http://www.rainforestconservation.org/articles/camu-camu.html. Accessed September 4, 2003.

Taylor L. Herbal Secrets of the Rainforest, 2nd edition. Roseville, California. Prima Publishing, Inc. 2002.


(Note: The above information is not intended to replace the advice of your physician, pharmacist, or other healthcare professional. It is not meant to indicate that the use of the product is safe, appropriate, or effective for you.)

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