Maqui berry (Aristotelia chilensis), a lovely deep purple berry, comes to us from one of the cleanest environments on earth, the Patagonian region of South America. Despite the harsh climate, this super-berry has thrived there for centuries.
Maqui has long been a dietary staple of the indigenous Mapuche Indians of Central and Southern Chile, who used it medicinally to treat a full range of ailments. In the harsh winters, consuming the berries helped their bodies generate warmth! The name ‘maqui’ means benevolence and peaceful intention and the plant is sacred to the Mapuche, who use it to this day in ceremonies and celebratory events. Interestingly, it just so happens that the Mapuche Indians are the only Indian group on the entire continent who were never conquered, despite the best and most strenuous efforts, first by the Inca, and then later by the Spaniards. Because the Mapuche prevailed over the Spanish throughout 300 years of attempted conquest, their strength and stamina took on mythological power.