Aguaje , also known as buriti and miriti, is the fruit of the moriche palm (Mauritia flexuosa), native to the Amazonian regions of Peru and Brazil, and known for its sweet and mildly citrus flavor, as well as for its medicinal benefits, which include restoring hormonal balance, as well as promoting eye health and skin regeneration.1 Although the aguaje fruit have been traditionally used for treating the symptoms of PMS and menopause, the mechanisms of action behind its benefits were unknown, and attributed mostly to the presence of phytoestrogens. However an in vitro study has finally shade light on the bioactive compounds responsible for hormone regulating benefits of aguaje.
The aim of the study, carried by a team of researchers at the Kyoto Pharmaceutical University, in Japan, and published on the journal Bioactive Compounds in Health and Disease (2019), was to identify the compounds responsible for aguaje estrogenic activity using chromatography technology, which analyzes complex mixtures by separating them in their different constituents.
From the substances obtained, which included healthy fatty acids and triglycerides, two aguaje active compounds were present in high concentrations: lespeflorin G8 (LF) and 8-hydroxyhomopterocarpan (8-HHP). Both compounds, which are unique to aguaje, were proved to bond with estrogen receptors in the body, however LF was identified as a major estrogenic compound.
What Does this Mean?
This in vitro study was the first to uncover aguaje estrogenic compounds and reveal how they work within the human body. These results not only corroborate the validity of moriche palm fruit's traditional uses for the treatment of female conditions related to estrogen deficiency, but also pave the way for novel nutraceutical and pharmacological applications.
Other herbs with estrogenic properties are black cohosh, dong quai, ginseng, and soy, all of which can be beneficial for women with hormonal imbalances, particularly those who are going through menopause, since they have naturally low estrogen levels.
- Bioactive Compounds in Health and Disease, Hydroxypterocarpans with estrogenic activity in Aguaje, the fruit of Mauritia flexuosa (Peruvian moriche palm), 2019
- Food research International. (2022). Buriti (Mauritia flexuosa L. f.): An Amazonian fruit with potential health benefits. Retrieved March 3, 2023, from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35940819/