For the past few years, the world has been caught up in a superfood phenomenon. With an increased emphasis on maintaining health and wellbeing in today’s modern society, we are constantly looking for nutritious and healthy ingredients to give our diets that extra buzz.
Amongst all the talk of quinoa, maca powder and goji berries, there is a lesser known ingredient that is starting to gain international attention. It is indigenous to Australia and has been used by the world’s oldest surviving culture for thousands of years.
The Kakadu plum is harvested predominantly in Northern Australia and although it is called a plum, is actually more closely related to almonds.
What makes it stand out from the suite of other superfoods, is that it is the world’s richest natural source of vitamin C, making it a healthy dietary supplement, but also a potent ingredient for modern skincare and beauty products.
Without delving too deeply into the science, research has shown the Kakadu plum to have strong antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal activities and also, anti carcinogenic effects on human tissue. In addition, it contains high amounts of folate, magnesium, iron and zinc, among other properties.
Traditional Aboriginal communities used the Kakadu plum for medicinal purposes, and it is only recently that scientists and health companies are starting to work with organizations and communities to make this elixir accessible to Australians, as well as to a worldwide audience.
Kakadu plum is now available in both juice and powder form, and although it has been criticized for a higher than average price point , in many cases, it negates the need for other supplements. Making Kakadu plum that little bit easier to purchase and store, means it can be used in the same way as many other supplements, such as sprinkled onto cereals, whizzed up in super smoothies or simply mixed in with water for a nourishing, nutrient hit.
But it isn’t just the foodies getting excited about this little gem. With an increase in the use of natural and organic ingredients in skin and beauty products, the Kakadu plum is also finding its way into our bathroom cabinets. A whole raft of Australian skincare companies such as Mukti, Li’tya and Uandi Naturals are infusing Kakadu plum into their concoctions and pitching it as a new skin elixir. The vitamin C content is used to improve the visual appearance of skin, reduce irritation of dry skin and prevent future skin damage, making it a coveted ingredient for Australia’s harsh climate.
It has only been in recent times, that the world has started to take notice of Australia’s Indigenous superfoods like lemon myrtle, Davidson plum and wild rosella. The Kakadu plum may be the first to be gaining momentum in the health and beauty industries, but it may just be only the beginning of what we will uncover from Australia’s ancient wisdom.