The term coffeeberry refers to the fruit of plants in the coffea genus, a group of more than 125 species that grow throughout the world. Plants within this genus are also the source of coffee beans, which are used for brewing coffee beverages. Although it is not known precisely when people began harvesting the fruit of coffea plants, most anthropologists agree that the use of the plant likely began during the 9th or 10th centuries in what is now the African nation of Ethiopia.
The fruit of coffea plants is plump and red in color and is sometimes referred to as a cherry due its appearance. History tells us that coffee plants were originally harvested for the coffeeberries, which were used as a food source. The seed contained inside of the berries was likely discarded or retained to plant more crops.
By the middle of the 15th century, monks in monasteries in Yemen had discovered that the beans could be steeped in boiling water to create a drink. Over the following centuries, the practice of coffee drinking spread around the world, and people began growing coffea plants for their beans rather than for their berries. Because of this, the use of the coffeeberry was largely forgotten with the fruit typically being disposed of during the commercial coffee manufacturing process.
In recent years, research into the health effects of the beans has revealed that there are many benefits to drinking coffee, including a decreased risk for type 2 diabetes, heart attacks, strokes and Alzheimer's disease. These discoveries led to interest into whether or not coffeeberries provided any additional or similar health benefits. These studies have concluded that not only are coffeeberries packed with vitamins, but that they also possess incredible antioxidative properties.
Formulas that contain coffeeberries help to shield the complexion from developing fine lines and wrinkles.
Antioxidants are nutrients that help prevent oxidative damage. This destructive force is responsible for aging the cells of the human body and contributes to everything from the development of fine lines on the complexion to some forms of cancer. Oxidative damage occurs from the actions of free radicals, highly reactive particles that are naturally present in the environment. When an antioxidant comes in contact with a free radical, it neutralizes the particle, preventing it from causing oxidative damage.
The antioxidative activities of foods are measured using the oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC), which is approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Studies on the coffeeberry have found that the fruit has the highest known ORAC of any food to have been previously tested. This means that the antioxidative benefits of the coffeeberry are greater than other top antioxidants, including blueberries and green tea.
Because of their incredible ability to protect the skin from the damaging actions of free radicals, coffeeberries are used as an ingredient in anti-aging skin care products. Formulas that contain coffeeberries help to shield the complexion from developing fine lines and wrinkles. The berry also has the ability to help rejuvenate the skin to reverse previous oxidative damage. As a result, skin care products that contain the ingredient may make existing signs of aging less noticeable.Because of their incredible ability to protect the skin from the damaging actions of free radicals, coffeeberries are used as an ingredient in anti-aging skin care products. Formulas that contain coffeeberries help to shield the complexion from developing fine lines and wrinkles. The berry also has the ability to help rejuvenate the skin to reverse previous oxidative damage. As a result, skin care products that contain the ingredient may make existing signs of aging less noticeable.
In addition to its brightening and age-fighting benefits, coffeeberry is also an anti-inflammatory.
The coffeeberry has also been found to have skin brightening abilities. When applied to the complexion, products that contain coffeeberries can help to lighten hyperpigmentation or discoloration caused by sun damage and inflammation. The skin lightening effects of the coffeeberry have led to its inclusion in products designed to reduce the appearance of age spots, freckles, melasma, acne marks and other common types of skin discoloration.
In addition to its brightening and age-fighting benefits, coffeeberry is also an anti-inflammatory. Its inclusion in eye products can help to reduce puffiness and under eye bags. Some products designed to reduce irritation in sensitive skin may also contain coffeeberries.
When discussing the use of the coffeberry in skin care products, confusion sometimes arises, as other plants are referred to by the nickname coffeeberry. One of these is the Rhamnus californica or California buckthorn, while another is the Simmondsia chinensis or jojoba plant. Both of these species produce fruit that resembles coffee beans, which has led to the nickname of coffeeberry. Neither plant produces the coffeeberries that are used for their antioxidative benefits in skin care products and should not be confused with the plants in the coffea genus.