Ohelo Berries-Vaccinium reticulatum



Ohelo Berries Quick Facts
Name: Ohelo Berries
Scientific Name: Vaccinium reticulatum
Origin Available at high elevations on an Islands of Hawaii and Maui.
Colors Blue to purple to red to yellow to orange (Fruit)
Shapes Berry, Diameter: 8-14 mm (0.31-0.55 inch) (Fruit)
Taste Tart, sweet
Calories 39 Kcal./cup
Major nutrients Vitamin C (9.33%)
Vitamin A (8.43%)
Carbohydrate (7.37%)
Vitamin B2 (3.85%)
Vitamin B3 (2.36%)
Health benefits Prevents scurvy, Treats common cold, Vasodilator activity, Lead toxicity, Treat cancer
More facts about Ohelo Berries
Vaccinium reticulatum is a species within the family Ericaceae commonly referred to as Ohelo Berries. This particular species is also known by the common names Tree Ohelo and Ohelo Kau La’au. It is available at high elevations on an Islands of Hawaii and Maui. It grows well in subtropical, tropic or Mediterranean climates and well-drained soils. It is a perennial plant which bears flower during April to September and fruits on autumn.


Vaccinium reticulatum is the small and evergreen shrub growing upto 0.1-1.3 m (0.33-4.27 ft.) in maximum height. An evergreen leaves are spirally arranged, oval, leathery, red, green and 1-3 cm (0.39-1.18 inch) long. The bell shaped flowers are yellow to red, pink and 8-12 mm (0.31-0.47 inch) long. The flower turns into a fruit which color ranges from blue to purple to red to yellow and orange. Fruit is a berry of 8-14 mm (0.31-0.55 inch) as diameter. It possess small, numerous and flat seeds. The fruit has insipid, tangy to sweet flavor and tart or sweet taste.

Nutritional value

The serving size of one cup (140 g) provides 129.22 g of moisture, 39 calories, 0.53 g of protein, 0.36 g of ash and 9.58 of carbohydrate. It grants 8.4 mg of vitamin C, 59 µg of Vitamin A, 0.05 mg of Vitamin B2, 0.378 mg of Vitamin B3, 14 mg of Phosphorus, 0.024 mg of Vitamin B1, 8 mg of Magnesium, 0.13 mg of Iron, 53 mg of Potassium, 0.53 g of Protein and 10 mg of Calcium.

Health Benefits of Ohelo berries

Ohelo berries has adequate amount of nutrients, minerals and vitamins which helps to maintain the health. Some of the benefits are described below:

  1. Prevents scurvy

The deficiency of Vitamin C is the cause for scurvy. The symptoms occur due to the weak bones, connective tissues and blood vessels that involve collagen. Vitamin C is considered as a strong antioxidant which is essential for the collagen production.

  1. Treats common cold

Vitamin C stimulates the immune power which helps to prevent from the coughs and colds. It enhances iron absorption and enhances the body to counteract the infection. It helps to defend the body against viruses.

  1. Vasodilator activity

Vitamin C helps to dilate the blood vessels in the health conditions such as high cholesterol, congestive heart failure, atherosclerosis, high blood pressure and angina pectoris. The results show that Vitamin C supplements helps to enhance the dilation of blood vessels and protects the cardiovascular health.

  1. Lead toxicity

Lead toxicity is the health ailment which occurs in the children of urban areas. Those children who are exposed to lead results in abnormal growth and development. They experiences learning disabilities, behavioral problems and have low IQ. In adults, it increases the blood pressure and harms kidneys. The supplements of Vitamin C can lower the level of blood lead.

  1. Treat cancer

The high intake of fresh fruits and vegetables helps to lower the chances of cancer. The studies shows that high intake of vitamin C helps to reduce the lungs, vocal chords, mouth, colon, throat, rectum, stomach and esophagus cancer.

  1. Eye health

Vitamin A helps to enhance the vision. It helps the eyes to adjust in the light changes, moist eyes and promotes the night vision. It prevents the dry eyes and improves the weak eyes. It secures a retina and prevents the night blindness by raising the eye’s adaptability to both darkness and bright light. It also reduces the chances of macular degeneration and cataracts which are related with ageing. It is helpful for the people with glaucoma.

  1. Skin health

Vitamin A helps to eliminate toxins and free radicals which harms the skin. It provides soft and supple skin by promoting the retention of moisture and prevents keratinization, dryness and skin ailments such as psoriasis.

  1. Treat measles

Measles is caused due to the insufficient Vitamin A in the body. The intake of foods with high vitamin helps to provide relief from diarrhea, fever caused due to measles and supports healing process.

  1. Enhance immunity

Vitamin A promotes the immune power to counteract the infections by raising the responses of lymphocytic against antigens. It maintains the moisture in the mucus membranes which ensures immunity and promotes the white blood cells activity. It prevents the germs and counteract with the infections. It ensures the double core protection.

  1. Treat urinary stones

Vitamin A helps to ensure the muscle growth in the teens and children. It ensures the healthy bones and retains its shape. It prevents the development of muscular dystrophy.

Traditional uses

  • It helps to treat the stomach pains.
  • The fruit, root, coconut and white sugarcane is mashed. This mixture is strained with Ohelo berries which are drunk once in the morning and evening.
  • Medicinally the plant is mixed with other plant which helps to treat an abdominal pain.
  • The intake of Ohelo berries juice helps to enhance the immune power in the body.
  • It also promotes the digestion of food.

How to Eat

  • Ohelo is consumed raw but is tart in taste.
  • They are cooked into jellies, jams, spreads and pies.
  • The fruits are used as an appetizer.