Sacha Inchi (plukentia volubilis) seed is harvested from star-shaped pods that grow on vines in the Peruvian Amazon. It has been used and grown by indigenous tribes dating back to the Incas, made evident by depictions of the Sacha Inchi plant on Incan tombs. Sacha Inchi grows in warm to hot climates, commonly around waterways and areas with good drainage in the soil. The Sacha Inchi vines typically grow to heights of around 6’, with wide, serrated, alternating leaves.
The star-shaped seed pods, or fruits that contain the Sacha Inchi seeds are composed of 4-7 lobes and are a bright green color until they ripen, upon which they dry to a blackish brown color. The lobes contain the seeds, which are oval shaped and dark in color as they still retain the hull of the Sacha Inchi seed. The pods are dried and then broken open to extract the seeds. After that, the Sacha Inchi seeds are soaked and the hulls are removed.
After Sacha Inchi is harvested, it can be used for a number of different products. Since Sacha Inchi seeds aren’t eaten raw, they are often toasted unti lthey are golden brown for consumption. Sacha Inchi oil can be pressed from raw seeds, however, and is considered a raw food by raw foodists. A number of other products can be made from Sacha Inchi such as protein powder, flavored Sacha Inchi seeds for healthy snacks, and Sacha Inchi nut butter.
Sacha Inchi is best known for it’s vast nutritional benefits. Sacha Inchi is 1/3 complete protein, and is one of the best vegetarian sources of Omega Fatty Acids on the market. The seeds contain a whopping 25% Omega-3’s by weight alone. Rich in Vitamin A and Vitamin E, Sacha Inchi ranks in as one of the healthiest and most nutritionally complete superfoods you can include as part of your diet.