Aronia-The Birds and the Bees

Did you know that Aronia is self-pollinating? That means its flowers use their own pollen to reproduce, and don’t have to rely on assistance from bees, butterflies, and other pollinators to produce fruit. Apomictic (self-pollinating) plants maintain the same genetic characteristics indefinitely, which is an advantage when a specific plant is well suited to its environment. It also results in a 100% chance of pollination, and very little waste of pollen granules.

The flowers of the Aronia plant are small and unassuming, with five petals that can range in color from white to pink. They grow in clusters on the ends of branches, and blooming typically occurs in late spring or early summer. The blossoms of the Aronia plant do not need to be flashily brightly colored or have a strong scent because they do not need to attract pollinators. 

Aronia may not rely on bees to pollinate, but the presence of Aronia is vital to the bee population. Aronia bushes can provide an important food source for bees and other pollinators during a time when there might not be many other options available. So even though Aronia doesn’t need bees, bees still need Aronia! 

If you’re looking to do your part in saving the bees, consider growing Aronia, or visit for helpful resources and places to donate.

Aronia History

Even though aronia berries are less common in this part of the world, they are not really a “new” type of berry. Originally from North America, the history of this berry extends back to precolonial times and is associated with the traditions of Native Americans.

Historically, black chokeberry was used by the North American Forest Potawatomi tribe. They called the fruits nîki’mînûn or sakwako’mînûn and used them to make a tea for the treatment of colds. Both the Potawatomi and Abnaki tribes used the fruit for food. The berries were used in the preparation of pemmican, a nutritious and long-lasting foodstuff prepared from animal fat, dried powdered meat, and sometimes fruit. According to an ethnobotanical account from 1933, the Forest Potawatomi reported that “they eat the berries from this plant but they are entirely too bitter to suit the white man.” Among North American settlers, both the berries and the bark were used as an astringent.

Commercial cultivation of black chokeberry is a relatively recent development. Although the plant is a North American species, Ivan Mitschurin, a Soviet botanist, discovered it in 1904 and named it A. melanocarpa after noticing the unusually large fruits at the Belozersk Forestry Office in Russia. He began breeding experiments in Russia in 1910 with the goal of developing a sweet-tasting rowan berry by crossing black chokeberry with Sorbus or Mespilus species. His work resulted in two cultivars, ‘Likernaja’ and ‘Desertnaja Michurina.’ In 1982, Mitschurin’s varieties were named as a new hybrid species A. x mitschurinii.

The following Aronia varieties have been developed through hybridization:

• Nero, Viking, Ahonnen from Finland

Aronia x prunifolia is a cross between Aronia melanocarpa and Aronia prunifolia, which was made in Finland by an amateur breeder in 1945. The variety Ahonnen (or Uhto) was selected from this cross. In 1964, the selection ‘Viking’ was made from it. With its particularly large fruit, Ahonnen has always been the most important cultivated variety of Aronia in Europe.

• Rubina, Hugin from Sweden

• Fertödi from Hungary

• Aron, Serina und Hakkija from Denmark

• Moravska sladkoploda from Slovakia

• Kashamachi und Mandschurica from Estonia

Aronia was reintroduced into the U.S. in the 1970s by botanist Robert F. Hoover while traveling in eastern Siberia. He brought back seeds of nine cultivars, which have been evaluated at numerous research sites since 1980. These Aronia cultivars include ‘Nero’ (or ‘Markka’), ‘Lapponica’, and ‘Rubin’. An excellent selection, especially for juice production, is the Aronia x prunifolia ‘Nero’.

So which variety of Aronia is right for you?

At Tyrian Industries we primarily utilize the Viking variety. Research has demonstrated that it contains some of the highest polyphenol levels among the various cultivars and it grows exceptionally well in the rich farmland of the midwest.

Aronia Harvest

Late summer is a time for everything sweet and delicious. Whether you’re after strawberries, blueberries or raspberries, there is an abundance ripe for the taking on this green planet. The last days of August into September for us, however, mean that the Aronia berry harvest is in full gear.

In the early years, we picked the Aronia berries by hand, grasping the cluster and dislodging the berries in one fell swoop. Some bushes can yield as much as several gallons of berries. Several gallons of fruit can usually be gathered in an hour.

The extensive health benefits of Aronia are perhaps only surpassed by their ability to stain everything! After a day of harvesting, our hands and clothes came away dyed a luxurious reddish purple. In fact, the color of Aronia juice is remarkably similar to the royal purple of antiquity or Tyrian Purple.

These days, however, there are harvesting machines that do the job better than any human could ever hope to. The berries are plucked from the bush and quickly transported to a harvest bin. The machine also separates out the leaves and stems. The berries are then loaded in a refrigerated trailer to be cleaned, sanitized, and quickly frozen to lock in the nutrition.

Although colloquially known as chokeberries for their tart, astringent taste, I promise that if you ever have the chance to eat fresh-picked Aronia in the field, you will be pleasantly surprised.

Aronia Berry vs Blueberry

It is well established within the health food community that Blueberries are a superfood with a wealth of health benefits. However, there is another superberry that packs an even more powerful punch – the Aronia berry. Let’s put these two fruits to the test to see exactly how they can improve both your physical and mental health.

The Aronia berry is 344% higher than blueberries in total Antioxidants

There is often a lot of talk of antioxidants within the health community, but not everybody is clear on exactly what they are and why they are so important for our health. Antioxidants are molecules within the body that fight off harmful free radicals, compounds that if too high are linked to illnesses such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

When free radicals outnumber the levels of antioxidants in the body it leads to a state known as oxidative stress. Being in this state for long periods of time can cause damage to DNA and other molecules. Therefore it is important to maintain a healthy balance within the body so that you can reap the benefits of free radicals in smaller numbers, which are essential for fighting off infection with your immune cells.

The Aronia Berry is 429% higher than Blueberries in Proanthocyanidin

Proanthocyanidin is a plant-based super-antioxidant containing various cardioprotective, antidiabetic, anticancer, neuroprotective and antimicrobial qualities. They have also been shown to prevent sun damage and improve vision. Impressively they also improve flexibility to the joints, muscles, arteries and body tissues such as the heart.

They are also able to improve blood circulation, particularly beneficial to those who suffer from high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Proanthocyanidin also helps support anti-inflammatory actions within the body, reducing the effects of autoimmune diseases caused by chronic inflammation such as arthritis.

The Aronia Berry is 177% higher than Blueberries in Flavonols

Flavonols are a subgroup of flavonoids, a type of polyphenol or put more simply, a category of plant compounds found within various fruits, vegetables, teas and even wine that offer various health benefits. As well as providing similar antioxidant boosting benefits as above, these compounds can also promote healthy digestion and brain function.

The benefits to digestion are thanks to the way polyphenols encourage healthy gut bacteria while defending against harmful bacteria. Recent studies have also suggested that polyphenols may also help probiotics occurring in some fermented foods thrive within the gut. Foods rich in these compounds may also boost focus, learning and memory skills in adults when incorporated into your daily diet, however, more research is required to identify their full benefits.

The Bottom Line
As you can see, both blueberries and Aronia Berries offer a fantastic range of health benefits when consumed as part of a balanced diet. However, if you are looking for a more impactful berry when it comes to nutritional value and added health benefits, Aronia berries are the superior berry of the superfood world!

Aronia and Woiapi: A Traditional Native American Dessert

Woiapi: A Traditional Lakota Dessert

One group who have known and appreciated the health benefits of Aronia for hundreds of years are the Lakota! Lakota utilize Aronia, which is indigenous to the United States, on a daily basis in meals and medicine, and have done so for centuries.

Pemmican, a sort of Native “energy bar” consists of tallow, dried meat, and often, dried Aronia pressed into a cake. A caloric rich food, it can be used as a key component in meals or eaten raw as a portable snack with a long shelf-life.

Tea made with Aronia and Aronia juice itself are often used to fight the common cold. Aronia’s high levels of antioxidants and polyphenols make it a convenient and highly effective ingredient for remedies against myriad illnesses.

One of the most notable Lakota uses for Aronia today is in Wojapi, a traditional berry sauce made with Aronia and root flour. The dessert is a favorite across South and North Dakota, and is as versatile as it is tasty: It can be paired with corn bread, cake, ice cream, fry bread, or just about any dessert you’d like. Below is a recipe for Wojapi from if you would like to try it for yourself. Enjoy!

4 cups Aronia berries, fresh or frozen
1-2 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot
Maple syrup
¼ cup water

In a saucepan, simmer berries and water over low heat, stirring occasionally. (If using fresh berries, you may need more water to keep them from scorching.)
Once the berries are broken down into a sauce, spoon out some sauce and whisk in the thickener.
Fresh berries should need 1 tablespoon, frozen might need 2 tablespoons thickener.
Whisk until completely dissolved, then add back to the rest of the sauce.
Sweeten to taste with maple syrup.
Serve on cornbread or ice cream.

Aronia berry – Beyond Jams and Jellies

We know that Aronia berry is excellent for your health, but besides eating them raw in salads, what other ways are there to use this berry?

We may know that Aronia is a valuable addition to recipes for jams, jellies, pies and sauces. The tart flavor of Aronia berries balances well with the sweetness of desserts, what is less well known perhaps is that Aronia is starting to gain a following among chefs.

Chefs have traditionally turned to black currents, raspberries, cranberries and other tart berries in their cooking; Aronia is an interesting new addition to this list.

Chef Sean Brock of McCrady’s Restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina prepares a recipe called “Aronia Berry Soup” that uses the tartness of the Aronia berry to balance the saltiness and fattiness in a typical bacon broth dish. Its earthy flavor provides an interesting twist to this dish (and you get all the health benefits from this berry at the same time).

Reductions of Aronia berries are made into syrups and sauces. The syrup works well with desserts such as pancakes, waffles, French toast and crepes. These also work well to top ice cream or heated pound cake.

You can also use the juice from this fruit by combining it with mustard sauce to create a tasty aioli condiment for meat and seafood.

Aronia berries also work well as a spice to be added to red meats such as lamb or as a marinade for meats.

Many people think that to counteract the tartness and bitterness of Aronia that you would add sugar, but that is not necessarily true. Chefs know that these are complementary flavors to rich savory dishes.

It seems that beyond jams and jellies, there are many different ways you can incorporate the Aronia berry into your cooking. Bon appétit!

When is the last time you ate something purple?

Whether it was an aronia purple, a blueberry purple, or even an eggplant purple – have you been making the most of your color palate lately?

If not, here are just a few reasons why you should.

Eat purple to keep your heart healthy

Heart disease is when blood vessels in the heart are blocked or narrowed which prevents proper blood flow through them. This can lead to chest pain, heart attack, stroke, and even death if left untreated or unmanaged.

The anthocyanins found in purple foods help improve circulation and reduce LDL cholesterol (or “bad” cholesterol). Aronia berry has been shown to increase flow mediated dilatation of blood vessels and nitric oxide production. Keeping blood vessels more pliable. (1,2)

Eat purple to keep your brain healthy

Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that can happen when plaque builds up in the brain and restricts important mental functions such as memory, thinking, and behavior.

In a comprehensive meta-analysis recently published titled, Effects of Berry Anthocyanins on Cognitive Performance, Vascular Function and Cardiometabolic Risk Markers: A Systematic Review of Randomized Placebo-Controlled Intervention Studies, there was conclusive evidence for the beneficial effects of berry anthocyanins on cognitive performance. (3)

Eat purple to fight against diabetes

Diabetes is a disease in which the body either doesn’t produce enough insulin (type 1) or becomes insulin-resistant and unable to use it properly (type 2). This can lead to increased sugar levels in the blood that cause damage over time.

A recent study published in the journal Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity found that anthocyanins in Aronia berry acted to defend pancreatic β-cells against hydrogen peroxide and high glucose-induced toxicity. Even though this was a laboratory in vitro study, physiologically achievable concentrations of Aronia anthocyanins were used. The authors concluded that this supported the use of anthocyanins as a preventive treatment for diabetes. (4)

Eat purple to fight inflammation

Chronic inflammation is when your body’s immune system can’t stop causing damage to healthy cells. The magnitude of chronic inflammation cannot be overemphasized. It is now recognized that chronic inflammation is the most significant cause of death in the world today, with more than 50% of all deaths being attributable to inflammation-related diseases such as ischemic heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease and non-alcoholic fatty liver.

Numerous studies have found that anthocyanins are powerful anti-inflammatory agents.

Eat purple to keep your vision healthy

The macula of the eye sits right behind the middle of your retina. It’s responsible for much of your sharp central vision. The macula needs the dark pigments found in foods such as anthocyanins and carotenoids as we cannot manufacture them in our bodies. These pigments act as filters that absorb light to protect the retina from oxidative damage.

With such a wealth of evidence for the health advantages of adding more anthocyanins to your diet, again the question is – when was the last time you ate something purple?

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The History of Tyrian Purple


Tyrian Industries is inspired by the ancient Phoenician island city of Tyre and the remarkable natural dye that was its central industry. The trade and prosperity of Phoenicia was dependent on it. Never before in history—or since—has a color brought more prosperity to a nation. Today that dye is known as Tyrian Purple®.

While the true origins of the purple-dyeing industry of Tyre have faded into history, according to Phoenician mythology, the discovery of purple was credited to a dog, but not just any dog. This one was the companion of the quintessential greek hero and demigod Hercules (Greek Heracles).

As the story goes, Hercules was strolling along the shores of Phoenicia with the nymph Tyrus, whom he loved when his dog happened upon a snail protruding from the sand. The dog devoured the shellfish, today known as a Murex snail, and came away with a mouth stained a brilliant purple. Tyrus was enthralled by the color and requested a robe of the same striking shade as the price that Hercules would have to pay for her hand. Thus goes the legend of the origin of Tyrian purple.

Tyrian purple, the most expensive and sought after dye of classical antiquity, was praised by historians and poets. Homer wrote his great epic poems during the heyday of Phoenicia and spoke of the brilliance and beauty of the cloths that Paris brought back from the island to Troy.

Tyrian purple was quite literally worth more than its weight in gold. It is estimated that it took 10,000 shellfish to produce 1 gram of dye – only enough to dye the hem of a garment in deep color. A pound of pre-dyed wool cost its weight in gold, roughly $22,000 at todays prices!

We are familiar with the color purple being associated with royalty. The term “born to the purple” refers to a royal birth because during the Byzantine period empresses bore their royal offspring in special chambers draped in the opulence of purple cloth. Purple was the prerogative only of high priests, Roman senators and the emperor. In fact by the 4th century AD, sumptuary laws or laws that pertained to items deemed extravagant, were so restrictive that only the Roman emperor was allowed to wear the color purple.

Luckily times have changed!

So how does this relate to our company and Aronia?

At Tyrian Industries we are deeply connected to this remarkable berry that is so deeply purple in color that it almost appears black. Our founders have been growing, harvesting and processing Aronia berry for many years. In fact, during the early years we picked the berries by hand! One thing that was evident immediately is that the pigments, primarily anthocyanins, that help give the berry its health qualities are also exceedingly good at staining everything! Our hands, clothing and machinery came away from each harvest dyed a luxurious purple/burgundy which is strikingly similar to the original Tyrian Purple prized by nobility. The intense color of Aronia truly is our modern version of the classical Tyrian Purple. At Tyrian Industries our products are loaded with polyphenols and derive their rich colors only from the natural pigments of the berries.

Today we can all be emperors and realize the wealth of benefits found in TyrianCore® and armé®.


Natural Polyphenols and Covid-19.

Can Natural Polyphenols Play a Role in Reducing the Risks Associated with Covid-19?

As we are all to aware, SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) first emerged in late 2019 and rapidly spread all over the world. The hallmarks of the infection are a hyper-activation of the immune system that results in a severe systemic inflammatory response named cytokine storm which can lead to acute respiratory distress.

In addition to conventional therapeutics, there is intense interest in the possible role of bioactive phytochemicals, particularly dietary polyphenols as potential anti-inflammatory agents.

The health-promoting activities of plant polyphenols have been widely ascertained by numerous scientific publications. Studies on plant extracts and phytochemicals showed that polyphenols can play an anti-inflammatory action in the prevention and the progression of chronic diseases. (1-5)

Cytokine Storm

Cytokine storm is a condition in which the host immune response goes into overdrive, causing an uncontrollable release of cytokines.

The released cytokines cause inflammation, fever, fatigue, malaise, respiratory distress. Multiple cytokines, such as IFN-gamma, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-1, IL-6, Il -12 and IL-18 have been identified. The continual production of these cytokines sets off a feedback loop that results in the overactivation of immune cells, especially T cells, macrophages, dendritic and endothelial cells. The result is a self-amplifying hyperinflammatory condition known as cytokine storm. (6)

Polyphenols and Cytokine Modulation

Polyphenols act on macrophages by inhibiting some of the key regulators of the inflammatory response such as TNF-α, IL-1-β, and IL-6. A diet abundant in fruits rich in anthocyanins (such as red berry fruits) is related to lower serum levels of IL-6, IL-12, and C reactive protein and therefore, to decreased inflammation. (7-10)

Even though there are no current clinical trials testing the effect of plant polyphenols on Covid-19, research published in the journal Molecules. 2020 Dec. titled: Can Natural Polyphenols Help in Reducing Cytokine Storm in COVID-19 Patients? concluded that “bioactive phytochemicals, such as polyphenols may become promising tools for the treatment of COVID-19 in reducing the hyperactivation of cytokines such as TNFα, IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-8. Such nutrients with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties may prevent or attenuate the inflammatory and vascular manifestations associated with COVID-19.” (11)

As previously outlined, products such as TyrianCore® which utilizes Aronia – the highest polyphenol-containing berry in the world could be considered as a safe and effective means to reduce the symptoms associated with Covid-19.


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An Introduction to Super-fruits

When you hear the term “superfruit,” what’s the first fruit that comes to mind? Is it acai, goji, noni, maqui or maybe mangosteen?While all of these fruits are great, there is one that deserves a place at the very top of these powerhouses: Aronia berry. This article provides an overview of some of the additional superfruits and a brief summary of potential uses and benefits

Let’s get started!


Acai is a small, purple berry from the Amazon Rainforest. It’s been heavily marketed in recent years and was even featured on The Doctor Oz Show. In addition to being rich in antioxidants, acai berries have been linked to weight loss prevention and other health benefits. The best part about acai berries is that no extra ingredients are necessary to experience health benefits. Just add a handful of the raw, frozen berries to smoothies, yogurt or cereal for an instant antioxidant boost!

But are the claims legitimate?

Sort of. The antioxidant properties in acai berries may have been oversold, but they are still beneficial for health. According to the comprehensive USDA database for polyphenol levels in foods, fresh Aronia berry contains 7X more polyphenols than acai!


Goji berries come from the goji shrub, also known as wolfberry. These little red berries are packed with antioxidants and nutrients. The Himalayan region where goji berries grow has used them for thousands of years to promote well-being.

Goji juice is available in many health food stores have been around for centuries, but they are enjoying newfound popularity in Western countries. These dried red berries are being added to smoothies, juices, and energy bars with increasing regularity because of their impressive nutrient content.

Goji berry also contains carotenoids which can be beneficial for eyesight.


Noni, also known as Indian Mulberry, is a fruit found in the rainforests of the Pacific Islands. Polynesian people have been using this fruit for medicinal purposes for over 2000 years to treat infections, constipation, and arthritis (by reducing inflammation). The noni fruit is stinky and is usually mixed with the juices of other fruits to mask the unpleasant smell. Noni also contains an abundance of vitamins and minerals – nine times more beta-carotene compared to carrots!


Maqui is a small, purple berry that grows on trees in Chile and Argentina. The health benefits of maqui fruit are attributed to their high polyphenol content as well as their wide variety of anthocyanins and flavonols. The antioxidant properties of maqui berries have been reported to be significantly greater than acai.


Mangosteens are tangy, tropical fruits from Southeast Asia that are high in antioxidants. Traditionally, mangosteen has been used to treat digestive problems and even cancer. Unfortunately, they don’t travel well and aren’t readily available in the United States as fresh fruit because of their short shelf life. Mangosteen is commonly consumed as a juice or supplement.

There are many others! Some of the more interesting names include marula, camu camu , baobab fruit, and feijoa.

So which is the best?

Well, it depends on what you’re looking for.

  • Are you looking for a superfruit that is grown in the United States?
  • Has the highest documented levels of polyphenols of all of these fruits?
  • Has the highest documented levels of anthocyanins of all of these fruits?
  • Has the highest levels of quercetin and proanthocyanins of all these fruits?
  • Can be easily added to smoothies, cereal, and yogurt without additional ingredients?

If you answered yes to any of the above, then you are in luck because Aronia berry checks all the boxes in one power-packed super fruit!

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