Maqui Berry – The History and Legends of This Magical Superfruit
The maqui superberry is a dark purple berry that can only be found deep within the Patagonia region of Chile. Known as a powerful and sacred plant, the Mapuche Indians of Central and Southern Chile have enjoyed its many benefits for hundreds of years. From the history, legends and myth behind this maqui berry, the many uses the Mapuche Indians were able to discover and some of the health benefits they enjoyed. This article aims to explain the history and untold legends of this magical maqui berry.
Unlike virtually every other Native American Indians, the Mapuche Indians have been able to remain unconquered. No other Indian group in the entire continent has been able to avoid this. First the Inca and then later the Spaniards attempted conquer without success. It has been said that they fought the Spanish for over 300 years. Legend would have it that their mythological power, strength and stamina was largely due to drinking the fermented maqui berry juice several times each day.
Over the centuries the maqui berry become a symbol or icon for strength and stamina. Its healing powers were believed to be profound and mystical. This was especially true during the winter months when the berries were used to increase warmth and stamina. Traditionally the Mapuche Indians would use the maqui berries for ailments including tumors, fever, sore throat, diarrhea, birth delivery, ulcers and hemorrhoids. There have been reports of the maqui leaves being used to treat diabetes, and reduce inflammation.
Today the Maqui berry and the native forests of the Mapuche Indians are under constant threat of deforestation and industrialization. Although there are a number of projects underway to help prevent this, the story of the maqui berry and the Mapuche Indians must be told before its it’s too late. Even today the berries are hand picked and harvested by the native families. Their environmentally friendly methods and plant sustaining practices are a great example for all of us.