The Aronia Berry (Aronia melanocarpa)
Dr. med. Heinz Lüscher
That berry’s a tough nut to crack! It trumps with a sensationally high content of antioxidants, which gives it an incredible health potential. It can therefore be used to prevent or treat a wide range of diseases.
Origin of the Aronia Berry
The chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) originally grew wild in the USA, but has been cultivated in Europe, including Switzerland, for several years. The plant grows like a bush and can grow to a height of two to three metres. It is extremely hardy and frugal and does not require any pesticides. What is really astonishing, however, is the enormous health potential of these berries, which are not very noticeable both visually and in taste!
Berries have long attracted the attention of complementary medicine because of their high content of polyphenols: flavonoids, proanthocyanins, carotenoids, vitamin C and many others. These secondary plant substances (also called micronutrients, vital substances or phytochemicals) have numerous positive effects on health, e.g. they reduce the risk of cancer and have a positive effect on the immune system.
The total content of polyphenols is 10-20 g/kg (University of Illinois study), which is much higher than that of raspberries, strawberries or blueberries. Polyphenols occur exclusively in plants and are found in the outer layers of fruits and vegetables, but also in cereals. In their chemical structure they show several aromatic rings (phenol). They have an antioxidant effect, they eliminate the so-called harmful free radicals in our body, which are partly responsible for numerous serious diseases and also promote the ageing process. For this reason, the effects of polyphenols in the body are not limited to one organ, as with a drug, but these substances have several positive effects on different organs at the same time.
More than 200 studies prove the connection between the intake of more berries, fruits and vegetables (in organic quality) and the decrease of cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Some of these studies have been published in well-known medical journals and are still ignored by most doctors.
OPC, the strongest known antioxidant
The main effect of the aronia berry is based on its high content of antioxidants. There are many antioxidant substances in the diet, such as vitamins C and E, selenium and various polyphenols. The high content of OPC (oligomeric proanthocyanidins) makes the chokeberry the health fruit with the highest potential and the highest ORAC (measure of antioxidant capacity) value ever measured.
What are antioxidants?
An antioxidant, also known as a free radical scavenger, can interrupt the chain reactions of free radicals and thus prevent cell damage and thus diseases. Free radicals are oxygen-containing molecules that are dangerously unstable because they lack an electron in their chemical structure. In their “search” for the missing electron, free radicals are extremely aggressive. The next best intact molecule in the body is simply “robbed” of the required electron. This “electron theft” is called oxidation. If the oxidations in the body’s cells exceed a tolerable level, so-called oxidative stress occurs. The cells are damaged, which can lead to various diseases. This is where the antioxidants come into play, because they release one of their electrons “voluntarily” and thus protect the cells.
Ingredients of chokeberry:
- 85% Water
- 12% glucose and fructose
- All vitamins except B12 and D, most
- vitamin C and vitamin K
- Folic acid
- 0,7% Protein
- OPC (oligomeric proanthocyanidins)
Aronia has a preventive or curative effect on the following conditions:
- Cardiovascular: Atherosclerosis, Heart attack, High bloodpressure, Angina pectoris, varicoses, swollen legs, High cholestrine
- Joints: Arthritis, Goat, Rheumatism
- Allergies: Asthma, Hay fever
- Brain: brainstroke, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Depression
- Eyes: Cataract/Glaucoma, Age amblyopia
- Skin: Collagen buildup (less wrinkles, more delicate skin), Rash (eczema, acne, allergies etc.)
- Men: prostata issues
- Women: menstrual irregularity, Menstrual molimen
- Nervous system: Lack of concentration, tiredness, forgetfulness
Even at extremely high doses of up to 20g of chokeberry extract per day on volunteers, there was not a single side effect! But it must be noted that the active ingredients can only be absorbed in the intestines if people have a balanced, healthy diet with plenty of fibre.
Natural cortisone replacement
Aronia also serves as a natural cortisone substitute. Many of the polyphenols contained in chokeberry have an anti-inflammatory effect. Among other things, they weaken the effect of the two inflammation factors COX1 and COX2. Cortisone also has an anti-inflammatory effect, but if taken over a long period of time it damages the lymphocytes (white blood cells). This is not the case with chokeberry. Chokeberry has proven to be very effective in allergies, but also in chronic inflammatory processes, such as arthritis. Experience shows that the cortisone dose can often be at least halved in chronic inflammations.
Selected studies on chokeberry (English)
- The clinical effectiveness of chokeberry: a systematic review
- Current knowledge of Aronia melanocarpa as a medicinal plant
- Bioavailability and Antioxidant Activity of Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) Polyphenols: in vitro and in vivo Evidences and Possible Mechanisms of Action: A Review
- The multifunctionality of berries toward blood platelets and the role of berry phenolics in cardiovascular disorders
- Effects of polyphenol-rich extract from berries of Aronia melanocarpa on the markers of oxidative stress and blood platelet activation
- Extracts, anthocyanins and procyanidins from Aronia melanocarpa as radical scavengers and enzyme inhibitors
- Aronia melanocarpa extract reduces blood pressure, serum endothelin, lipid, and oxidative stress marker levels in patients with metabolic syndrome
- Aronia melanocarpa fruit extract exhibits anti-inflammatory activity in human aortic endothelial cells
- Aronia melanocarpa and its components demonstrate antiviral activity against influenza viruses