The Buriti is a majestic palm tree that spreads through South America, especially in the Amazon areas.
This exuberant tree grows in shallow valleys between the plateaus and highlands of the Brazilian Savannas (Central Brazil), in swamp forests usually found on the slopes of valleys along watercourses and surrounded by humid grassland rich in biodiversity.
In the Amazon basin, it can be found in savannas, wetlands and flooded sites, often forming dense populations (called “buritizal” or “miritizal”) that completely dominate vast areas.
These buriti populations are considered to be “pockets of abundance” for animals. The buriti is part of an intricate web of ecological relations, providing shelter and food to many species of birds, mammal, reptiles and fish.
“Buriti wants all that is blue, and will not be separated from water – it craves that mirror” (Guimarães Rosa 1986)
Another important role that the buriti palms play in regional ecosystems is the protection of water resources.
The deep root systems of these palms create natural filters regulating the flow of ground water to rivers and flooded forests.
In the savannas of Central Brazil which contains the headwaters of many of the principal rivers in Brazil, the veredas (bottom lands) serve as collection basins for waters draining from adjacent plateaus, and they contribute to the perennial and regular water courses in that biome.
The removal of the buritis or the devastation of the buritizais would almost certainly result in the drying out of these humid environments during the dry season.
The loss of these humid habitats would represent an ecological disaster for many species of plants and animals – including human populations that depend on the hydrological equilibrium promoted by these ecosystems for their well-being and survival.
The buriti is considered to be “The tree of Life” by ethnobotanists and local populations alike. All parts of this palm are used for their fruits, leaves and woods.
The sustainable harvesting of the Buriti fruits for skincare offers a solution to help to protect these forests. The fruits are harvested by hand and pressed into a thick oil, orange in color and rich in palmitic, linoleic and arachidic acids.
This oil is also an excellent source of tocopherols, which provide superior antioxidant activity. Additionally, the oil is a rich source of carotenoids, which are natural precursors to vitamin A.
The antioxidant activity of buriti oil protects the lipid membranes that surround all skin cells, keeping cells healthy longer. The anti-inflammatory activity of the oil is beneficial in cases of rough or sensitive skin, redness, rashes, and irritation.
By sustaining biodiversity in the forest and promoting skin health and vibrancy… Buriti is a beautiful species in all of its expressions.
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