Crazy for cupuaçu
This exotic ingredient from deep in the Amazon rainforest may hold the secret to healthier skin and hair
Cupuaçu seed butter ( Theobroma grandifl orum) pronounced “coo- poo- wa- soo,” played an important role in the history of Amazon cultures. The name translates to “food for the gods” or “divine food.” The fruit looks like a cross between a papaya and a coconut, and has been described as tasting like a combination of chocolate, bananas, and passion fruit — not surprising since the cupuaçu tree is related to the cocoa plant. If eaten raw, the fruit may taste slightly sour.
In its native Brazil, cupuaçu is used to help heal various skin conditions; fi ght fatigue and boost energy; relieve abdominal pain and other digestive concerns; and increase libido and fertility. Cupuaçu is currently being studied for its potential to strengthen the cardiovascular system by reducing high blood pressure and cholesterol. And research continues on its use as a natural therapy for cancer— the seed has shown promise for its ability to fi ght cancer cells.
In beauty products, cupuaçu seeds are cold pressed to create a creamy, moisturizing butter with a remarkable capacity to absorb water and lock in moisture. Cupuaçu seed butter is rich in essential fatty acids, phytonutrients, and vitamins A, B, and C, as well as minerals such as calcium and selenium. Used in face and body lotions, cupuaçu quickly absorbs, soothes and smoothes dry skin, reduces fi ne lines and wrinkles, and increases elasticity. Hair products also contain cupuaçu fruit extract, butter, and oils, all of which help to strengthen and moisturize dry, brittle, or damaged hair.