Aronia | What's that?
Originating from eastern North America, the dark purple aronia plant (Aronia melanocarpa L.) is similar in colour to a blueberry. It is shaped like a tiny apple, and is sometimes known as a ‘chokeberry’.
In botanical terms, it is closely related to the rowan tree. This bright green shrub has delicate spring flowers and turns a vibrant red in autumn. It is grown in Poland, the Ukraine, Bulgaria and Germany.
The bitter taste of aronia berries mean they cannot be eaten raw. The first indications of the plant’s medicinal effects were documented over 50 years ago. Numerous studies and clinical trials produced promising results regarding their use in treating various diseases and disorders. Its high polyphenol content has a beneficial effect on both the plant itself and us as humans.
These polyphenols are active substances mainly found in the outer layer of the aronia plant in the form of flavonoids and anthocyanins. They give the fruit its vibrant colour and protect it against harmful external influences. This high concentration of flavonoids has a positive effect on the human metabolism, boosting cell regeneration in the blood, muscle and bones, and protecting cells from oxidative damage caused by free radicals.
In high doses, the medicinal powers of vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as B vitamins and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron and zinc, are also released. Aronia berries are either used in dried form like raisins or drunk as a juice.