Acérola, Acerola Cherry, Barbados Cherry, Cerise des Antilles, Cerise de la Barbade, Puerto Rican Cherry, West Indian Cherry. Malpighia glabra, Malpighia punicifolia.<br/><br/>


Overview Information

Acerola is a fruit. It is rich in vitamin C, and also contains vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin. People use it for medicine.

Acerola is used to treat or prevent scurvy, a disease caused by vitamin C deficiency. Acerola is also used for preventing heart disease, “hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis), blood clots, and cancer.

Some people use it to treat the common cold, pressure sores, bleeding in the eye (retinal hemorrhages), tooth decay, gum infections, depression, hay fever, and collagen disorders. Athletes use acerola for improving physical endurance.

How does it work?

The health benefits of acerola are due to its vitamin C content.


Uses & Effectiveness?

Likely Effective for

  • As a source of vitamin C to prevent scurvy.

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Preventing heart disease.
  • Treating the common cold.
  • Cancer prevention.
  • Tooth decay.
  • Depression.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of acerola for these conditions.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

Acerola is POSSIBLY SAFE for most adults. It can cause some side effects including nausea, stomachcramps, sleepiness, and insomnia. Doses that are too high can cause diarrhea.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of acerola during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Gout: The vitamin C in acerola might increase uric acid levels and make gout worse.

Kidney stones (nephrolithiasis): In large doses, acerola might increase the chance of getting kidney stones. That’s because of the vitamin C in acerola.



Moderate Interaction

Be cautious with this combination

  • Fluphenazine (Prolixin) interacts with ACEROLA

    Acerola contains vitamin C. Large amounts of vitamin C might decrease how much fluphenazine (Prolixin) is in the body. This might decrease how well fluphenazine works.

  • Warfarin (Coumadin) interacts with ACEROLA

    Warfarin (Coumadin) is used to slow blood clotting. Acerola contains vitamin C. Large amounts of vitamin C might decrease the effectiveness of warfarin (Coumadin). Decreasing the effectiveness of warfarin (Coumadin) might increase the risk of clotting. Be sure to have your blood checked regularly. The dose of your warfarin (Coumadin) might need to be changed.

Minor Interaction

Be watchful with this combination

  • Estrogens interacts with ACEROLA

    Acerola contains a large amount of vitamin C. Vitamin C can increase how much estrogen the body absorbs. Increasing the absorption of estrogen can increase the effects and side effects of estrogens.<br/><br/> Some estrogen pills include conjugated equine estrogens (Premarin), ethinyl estradiol, estradiol, and others.



The appropriate dose of acerola depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for acerola. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

View References


  • de Assis, S. A., Martins, A. B., Guaglianoni, D. G., and Faria Oliveira, O. M. Partial purification and characterization of pectin methylesterase from acerola (Malpighia glabra L.). J.Agric.Food Chem. 7-3-2002;50(14):4103-4107. View abstract.
  • de Medeiros, R. B. [Proportion of ascorbic, dehydroascorbic and diketogulonic acids in green or ripe acerola(Malpighia punicifolia)]. Rev.Bras.Med. 1969;26(7):398-400. View abstract.
  • Derse, P. H. and Elvehjem, C. A. Nutrient content of acerola, a rich source of vitamin C. J.Am.Med.Assoc. 12-18-1954;156(16):1501. View abstract.
  • Hanamura, T., Hagiwara, T., and Kawagishi, H. Structural and functional characterization of polyphenols isolated from acerola (Malpighia emarginata DC.) fruit. Biosci.Biotechnol.Biochem. 2005;69(2):280-286. View abstract.
  • Hwang, J., Hodis, H. N., and Sevanian, A. Soy and alfalfa phytoestrogen extracts become potent low-density lipoprotein antioxidants in the presence of acerola cherry extract. J.Agric.Food Chem. 2001;49(1):308-314. View abstract.
  • Leme, J., Jr., Fonseca, H., and Nogueira, J. N. [Variation of ascorbic acid and beta-carotene content in lyophilized cherry from the West Indies (Malpighia punicifolia L.)]. Arch Latinoam.Nutr. 1973;23(2):207-215. View abstract.
  • Trindade, R. C., Resende, M. A., Silva, C. M., and Rosa, C. A. Yeasts associated with fresh and frozen pulps of Brazilian tropical fruits. Syst.Appl.Microbiol. 2002;25(2):294-300. View abstract.
  • Visentainer, J. V., Vieira, O. A., Matsushita, M., and de Souza, N. E. [Physico-chemical characterization of acerola (Malpighia glabra L.) produced in Maringa, Parana State, Brazil]. Arch.Latinoam.Nutr. 1997;47(1):70-72. View abstract.
  • Back DJ, Breckenridge AM, MacIver M, et al. Interaction of ethinyloestradiol with ascorbic acid in man. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981;282:1516. View abstract.
  • Bowry VW, Ingold KU, Stocker R. Vitamin E in human density lipoprotein. When and how this antioxidant becomes a pro-oxidant. Biochem J 1992;288:341-4. View abstract.
  • Burnham TH, ed. Drug Facts and Comparisons, Updated Monthly. Facts and Comparisons, St. Louis, MO.
  • Kagan VE, Serbinova EA, Forte T, et al. Recycling of vitamin E in human low density lipoproteins. J Lipid Res 1992;33:385-97. View abstract.
  • Morris JC, Beeley L, Ballantine N. Interaction of ethinyloestradiol with ascorbic acid in man [letter]. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981;283:503. View abstract.

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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2018.