The Brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa) is a South American tree which is native to Venezuela, Brazil, eastern Colombia, eastern Peru and eastern Bolivia. It occurs as scattered trees in large woods on the river banks of the Amazon, Rio Negro and Orinoco. This plant is not actually cultivated – the fruits are gathered from beautiful, wild-growing trees, reaching a height of 30-45 m height and a trunk diameter of 1-2 m.

The fruit itself is a large capsule resembling a coconut in size and weighing up to 2 kg. It has a hard, woody shell 8–12 mm thick, and inside contains 8–24 triangular seeds (the “Brazil nuts”) packed like the segments of an orange.

The Brazil nut kernels are exceptionally healthy as they are perhaps the richest source of selenium. They help reducing the cholesterol level and normalizing the blood sugar level. Except for food, the Brazil nut oil is used in the watchmaking, paint manufacturing and cosmetic industries.