Like most palm trees, pejibaye grows tall, with one stem or a cluster of stems. It has black spines arranged in circular rows at its base and up the stem. The fruit is usually orange, yellow, or red in color when ripe. It grows to about the size of a plum, in clusters of up to hundreds of fruits. It has a texture similar to a sweet potato. The plant is usually harvested twice a year, in January and May. Common names include peach palm, pixbae, pijuayo, pupunha, and peewah.
WHERE IT CAN BE FOUND:
Native to the tropical forest areas in Central and South America, including Costa Rica, Honduras, Brazil, and Bolivia
PROPERTIES AND USE:
Anti-aging, hypotensive. Pejibaye is high
in vitamins A and C, nicotinic acid, fat, and calories, making it a staple for many in Central and South America. Used to treat headache and stomachache.
Pejibaye is most commonly used as a food. Boil the fruit for 3 hours in salted water. Traditionally, pork fat is added to the water, but you can forego this. Drinking the salted water is used to treat headaches. You may also eat the young flowers on salad for headaches or stomachaches. For headaches, peel the fruit and mash it in a small bowl. Apply to the forehead. You may also use this as a facial mask.