Natural Argan Oil.
Natural Argan Oil, also known as LIQUID GOLD, is the real treasure of Morocco. It is extracted from Argan tree kernels. Aside from its cosmetic and nutritive value, pure oil extracted from the Argan fruit also possesses excellent homeopathic and medicinal properties.
Even before modern men discovered the usefulness of oil derived from the Argan tree, an ancient Moroccan tribe called Berbers was already aware of its benefits. The edible fruit of the tree was part of their diet. Eventually, some tribe members would discover that the oil extracted from the fruit can be used for cosmetic and culinary purposes
History of Argan Oil.
The Argan tree is found mostly in southern Morocco like Agadir and the Atlas mountains. It is a thorny, weather resistant fruit producing tree. It has a prominent place in the Moroccan civilization heritage. It was named Argania Spinosa in the early 20th century.
Argan tree can live hundreds of years, 150 to 200 years according to an estimate. They are very well-suited even to extremely harsh and dry environmental conditions. The roots of the Argan tree grow deep under semi-arid and even arid soil types. This makes them very well-protected from soil erosion.
Future Of Argan Tree.
Conversion of forests into farmland and the ever growing need of firewood has done great harm to Argania Forest. Vast swathes of Argania Forest have been cleared in the last four to five decades. Worst side of the picture is that it is not easy to cultivate or grow Argan trees.
But UNESCO, a UN agency has intervened to save this unique and very useful species of plants. The growing demand of Natural Argan Oil due to its increasing fame is a hopeful sign for the preservation of this amazing plant.
Anatomy of Argan Fruit.
It takes about one year for the fruit of Argan tree to ripen. Ripened dry and black fruits become useable and fall from the tree in June and July. The fruit has three main layers: outer, middle and inner. Seeds are preserved inside the inner layer while the outer layer is peeled. Nuts inside the fruit are actually used for making oil. Goats also feed on fruits of Argan.
Natural Argan Oil Extraction Methods.
Natural Argan oil is the ONLY cosmetic product of such multiple usages that has ever been produced. Natural Argan oil is extracted out of the seeds of Argan fruit. These seeds are obtained by tearing apart the hard nut inside the Argan fruit. These kernels are then processed using various methods to extract the most precious Argan oil.
Natural Argan oil is so PRECIOUS and RARE because it takes up to 2 days and about 30kg of Argan fruit to extract one liter of oil which is about one tree’s full season of produce !! Argan fruit appears in late spring and ripens and falls from tree in the months of June and July.
Natural Argan oil has been extracted by the indigenous Berber women for a long time. They used it in their cuisine and as simple beauty oil. But with the discovery of its unique chemical composition especially the presence of abundant antioxidants, some other more efficient methods of extracting Argan oil has been introduced in the market.
High heat or chemical extraction
Commercial oils for skin care are processed with high heat or chemical extraction using solvents like hexane to get rid of the insecticides used to grow the seeds, nuts and vegetable oil crops. High heat ALTERS the nature of the oil, stripping it from all its beneficial properties. As for hexane, they will show up as trace amounts in the extracted oil which are considered to be toxic to our body.
Cold pressed natural extraction
Nowadays, natural argan oil is extracted from the kernel argan seeds with cold pressed machines to produce pure, bio- organic natural argan oil. This is less time consuming than the manual traditional extraction methods. It also allows for more Argan oil to be extracted. During the cold-pressed extraction process, the substance is not heated, and no solvents are used. This allows the oil to PRESERVE its high anti-aging and healing properties. Purchase organic cold pressed oils for skin care as far as possible. This cold-presssed organic unrefined oil is over 80% unsaturated fatty acids, with a very large percentage of essential fats.
At the same time, natural argan oil is highly resistant to oxidation. It contains high amounts of natural vitamin E. Organic, cold pressed oils are substantially more EXPENSIVE than commercial oils but this is because they are processed without chemical extraction or heating.