Botanist's Glossary

Castanha do Pará Brazil Nut - Bertholletia excelsa

  • Description
    • The brazil nut (or castanha do pará) comes from a tall tree (Lecythidaceae family) from the Amazonian forest that can grow to a height of over 30 meters. It has a rounded crown and large, leathery, entire, oblong leaves. The fruits have a thick, woody shell and contain 12 to 20 triangular seeds (the "nuts") which take 14 months to mature. Brazil nut production comes mainly from wild trees.
  • Traditions
    • For thousands of years, the Castanha do Pará, with its excellent nourishing qualities, has been eaten by the indigenous tribes of Brazil. Its oil (up to 75% of the seed) is also used to make soap. Brazil nuts are used to treat stomach aches and certain liver conditions. Due to its multiple applications, the Brazil nut is considered almost sacred by the natives of the Amazonian forest.
  • Properties
    • The oil extracted from Brazil nuts feels incredibly satiny to the touch and is rich in omega-6 fatty acids, which improve the skin barrier and help prevent dryness. It is the ultimate Brazilian beauty oil, packed with Vitamins A, B and E, for healthy, radiant skin.