Kakadu Plum: How the secret got out!
You could almost make a movie about it: a potent medicine revered by Indigenous people for centuries, discovered by the western population.
When scientists got hold of Kakadu Plum and began testing it, this amazing plant ranked off the charts with the potent levels of vitamin C and antioxidants.
Now hailed as the most potent vitamin C rich food on the planet, it’s loved by foodies and health experts alike.
WHY DID IT TAKE SO LONG FOR KAKADU PLUM TO BE DISCOVERED BY THE WEST?
Kakadu Plum was largely untouched by European settlers to Australia for many years. It remained a revered secret of indigenous people until very recently.
Why the secrecy? Well, a few reasons:
1. It’s hidden in the remote outback
If you look at a map of where Kakadu Plum is harvested, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s a vast area. And it is, geographically.
But in real terms, its native regions of the Northern Territory are extremely remote. They are still home to indigenous Australian people, with few towns.
They are harsh regions, with little rainfall for much of the year (which is actually thought to contribute to the fruit’s high ORAC rating).
“The Kakadu Plum is not just unique to the Northern Territory, but a very small area of the NT, grown in a very harsh environment. That’s what causes all its unique antioxidants and concentrations where it lives in this really harsh wet-dry tropics where it’s extremely hot and extremely wet for a small time of the year. Once you go outside of that, the tree doesn’t last”. David Boehme – Wild Harvest NT.
2. The harvest window is narrow
Native Kakadu Plum is only harvested from March to June. This limits the yield.
Even then, the bush flies can make harvesting fraught. (If you’ve never been in a swarm of blush flies, it’s difficult to imagine the incessant buzzing as they get in your face, mouth, and clothes!)
3. The region is prone to cyclones & storms
Storms can rage through these lands with incredible intensity and have been known to decimate a harvest. The Kakadu plum bushes are vulnerable to a host of harsh weather conditions.
4. Insect infestations
With such a small harvest window, an insect infestation at the wrong time can mean no Kakadu Plums that year.
5. Deep respect for the earth
Kakadu Plum is grown by indigenous communities who have a deep respect for the land.
They grow their plantations sustainably, with reverence and wisdom. This means a slow yet steady harvest for many years to come.
So why all the fuss about Kakadu Plum?
Quite simply, Kakadu Plum is the most potent source of antioxidants and vitamin C ever discovered on the planet- now that’s something to get excited over!
The blueberry is often used as the benchmark for antioxidants among the health-conscious.
Yet when CSIRO and the University of Sydney tested Kakadu Plum in three different tests, they found it had 1936%, 1333% and 236% greater antioxidant capacity than the blueberry.
Scientists did tests of four indigenous superfoods: Kakadu plum, Illawarra plum, muntries and native currant.
The results indicated that only Kakadu Plum had both strong antioxidant and cyto-protective properties.
Why do we use Kakadu Plum in Lovekins baby skincare?
Lovekins is built on potent native Australian superfoods. And Kakadu Plum is the most potent of them all. How could we NOT include it?
When we established Lovekins, we were one of the only skincare companies in the world using Kakadu Plum, and certainly the only one using it for baby skincare.
We love this superfood for its antioxidant benefits!
Antioxidants work to protect AND renew your baby’s delicate skin. They neutralize “free radicals” which can damage the cells of your baby’s skin.
These antioxidants can also help reduce the symptoms of eczema, including redness and itching.
The Kakadu plum also contains phytochemicals – powerful little things that occur naturally in plants. Two of these phytochemicals, gallic acid, and ellagic acid provide anti-bacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties that help keep your baby’s skin healthy.
We also had to have it for its high vitamin C content. Your baby’s skin needs Vitamin C to grow and repair.
Plus, Kakadu Plum also contains minerals such as zinc, iron, calcium, and magnesium. These help your little one’s skin stay healthy and nourished through all seasons.
Kakadu Plum is a core ingredient in our baby skincare range.
What is it, exactly?
It’s a small green fruit. It can be sour to taste, but is also said to have the aroma of stewed apples and pears, with some cooked citrus, pickled and floral musk essence. Some say the fruit looks and tastes like an English gooseberry.
The botanical name of Kakadu Plum is Terminalia ferdinandiana. Common names include Kakadu Plum, Billy Goat Plum, Green Plum, Salty Plum, Wild Plum, Murunga, Marnybi, Manmohpan, Kullari Plum and Gubinge.
What else is Kakadu Plum used for?
While it can be eaten (and you’ll now find powder in health food stores), indigenous people saw it more as medicine than food. Its potency was highly revered. They used the fresh fruit, dried fruit, and even the leaves, and often used it as an antiseptic.
Today, you’ll most often find it in health food stores and online as a freeze-dried powder. People are using powder to add a nutritional boost to smoothies, mueslis and bliss balls.
If you can get hold of the whole fruit, it’s amazing in jams, chutneys or desserts. Have you ever tried Kakadu Plum?
Where does Lovekins’ Kakadu Plum come from?
We source our Kakadu Plum from a sustainable community farm in the Northern Territory. It is run by ‘Wild Harvest NT’, who have a profound respect for the land, and a great passion for the health benefits of their fruit.