Viewed by some cultures as a symbol of life and hope, cactus is an amazingly strong plant that survives under the harshest of conditions. A mainstay in Chinese medicine, cactus has become increasingly popular as an ingredient in mainstream health and wellness products because of its powerful benefits.
Difficult to harvest because of its prickly exterior, the plant requires a long growing period; the cactus fruit needs a minimum of four years to grow and ripen before its full nutritional benefits are available.
And those benefits are impressive. The prickly pear cactus is high in fiber and contains antioxidants, carotenoids, flavonoids, and amino acids, including essential amino acids that are not manufactured by the human body. Research indicates that the cactus may provide the following benefits:
- Nourish the immune system, inhibit the formation of free radicals, and boost immunity
- Provide powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral properties
- Aid in tissue repair and collagen formation
- Support and strengthen the cardiovascular system
- Accelerate tissue regeneration by inhibiting inflammation, stimulating the creation of new blood vessels, and speed up collagen formation
- Assist the stomach and gastrointestinal tract, providing some relief from digestive problems
- Play a significant role in skin protection
- Act as a moisturizer
- Improve the skin’s barrier function.
The cactus gel is what is used in E. EXCEL products, a precious commodity that, once extracted from the cactus, is carefully filtered to remove the seeds and cellulose. After that, it is processed immediately in order to produce the purest and most delicious extract possible.
In fact, we’re even picky about when we harvest our cactus. Research shows that harvesting cactus pads earlier in the day when acidity is the lowest is an ideal harvest time. And temperature is important; overheating a cactus can reduce nutrient content and degrade fiber content.
No wonder that for centuries this unassuming, prickly plant has been regarded so highly. While one researcher noted that it may be “too early to call prickly pear cactus a superfood, it can certainly be part of a healthy diet.” E. Excellers around the world agree.