A Miracle in the Moroccan Dessert
- (ICON) Grows in: Essaouira and Agadir in Morocco
- (ICON) Source from and processed: Morocco
- (ICON) Packaged and Labelled in: Norway and Sweden
WHAT IS ARGAN TREE?
Argan tree belongs to the argania spinosa family and grows exclusively in the south-west of the country between Essaouira and Agadir, in an area covering 700,000-800,000 hectares. Indeed, within the area where Argan grows, there are about 21 million trees. Notably, this area was declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve for its ecological and local economic importance in 1998.
The Argan tree is known as the "Tree of Life" to the Berbers for the many health benefits it brings. In addition, the Argan tree plays a vital role in the food chain and the environment.
It thrives well in a harsh environment, as it survives heat, drought, and poor soil. It is estimated that the tree can live up to 250 years but would only be fully productive when it reaches 40-60 years old. The Argan tree can reach a height of between 8 and 10 meters. On the other hand, the Argan fruit that it produces is 2 to 4 cm long and 1.5 to 3 cm in diameter. Each fruit has a thick, fleshy, bright green peel surrounding the hard nut-like an olive, but larger and rounder.
The Argan trees around Essaouira are frequently adorned with goats, which climb into the tops of the trees and nimbly nibble the fruit from between the armored branches. Historically, the goats formed part of the production process of what the local Berber people consider to be arboricultural gold; Argan oil.
Notably, extracting the oil from the drupes is a long and labor-intensive task that has traditionally been undertaken by Berber women. For centuries, women in Southern Morocco gathered together in cooperatives, and passed down the traditional methods of extracting how they gather and dry the fruit, crush the nuts, roast and grind the kernels, and finally knead the paste to extract the oil. It can take about 30 Kg of Argan Nuts and 10 to 12 hours of work to produce just one litre of oil.
BENEFITS OF ARGAN
Argan is a rich source of vitamin A, E, antioxidants, Omega-6 fatty acids, and linoleic acid. Argan oil contains 80 percent unsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants that neutralize free radical agents, protect conjunctive tissue, and restore the skin's water-lipid layer.
Argan oil is rich in vitamin E and antioxidants that repels the elements responsible for visible signs of aging. According to a 2015 study, in Clinical Interventions in Ageing, the topical use of Argan oil in postmenopausal women led to a significant increase in the elasticity of the skin after 60 days. The oral consumption of Argan oil further enhanced this effect in half of the participating women.
Promotes Healthy Hair
Argan oil is thought to improve the quality of hair by preventing damage while preserving the natural pigments (melanin) that provide hair its color. According to a 2013 study from Brazil, Argan oil enhanced hair quality and dye retention after undergoing multiple hair coloring treatments. Hair coloring is one of the harshest procedures hair can undergo, and Argan oil appears to have a protective effect when compared to commercial hair conditioners.
Argan oil is most commonly used as a skin moisturiser to hydrate and soften skin. With its high vitamin E and fatty acid content, Argan oil is the ideal product to nourish the skin. It absorbs easily and is non-greasy and non-irritating, which makes it a great natural moisturizer.
TRADITIONAL USE OF ARGAN
Argan oil has been a component of Berber folk medicine for centuries, used in the treatment of skin conditions, rheumatism, and heart disease. It has traditionally been used both topically and orally to improve the health of skin, hair, and nails.
It is an important source of edible (cooking) oil, which is an excellent source of vitamin E. This oil has a high nutritional value in the human diet. The locals mix the oil with almonds and honey to make almond butter. It is also mixed with wheat germ and honey to make gruel. The residue from the kernels after oil extraction is a thick chocolate-colored paste called 'amlou' which is sweetened and served as a dip for bread at breakfast time in Berber households. Its flavour is similar to that of peanut butter.
PUBLISHED ARGAN RESEARCH
Qiraouani Boucetta K, Charrouf Z, Aguenaou H, Derouiche A, Bensouda Y. The effect of dietary and/or cosmetic argan oil on postmenopausal skin elasticity. Clin Interv Aging. 2015;10:339-349 https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S71684
- Faria, L. Camargo, R. Carvalho, L. Paludetti, M. Velasco and R. Gama, "Hair Protective Effect of Argan Oil (Argania spinosa Kernel Oil) and Cupuassu Butter (Theobroma grandiflorum Seed Butter) Post Treatment with Hair Dye," Journal of Cosmetics, Dermatological Sciences and Applications, Vol. 3 No. 3A, 2013, pp. 40-44. doi: 10.4236/jcdsa.2013.33A1006.
Lizard G, Filali-Zegzouti Y, Midaoui AE. Benefits of Argan Oil on Human Health-May 4-6 2017, Errachidia, Morocco. Int J Mol Sci. 2017;18(7):1383. Published 2017 Jun 28. doi:10.3390/ijms18071383
PICTURE OF PRODUCT
SAWA ARGAN OIL
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SAWA Argan Oil is 100% organic oil extracted from the seeds of the
Argan tree. It’s rich nourishing oil that treats splits ends on your hair; while hydrating all types of skin for healthy-looking glow. Packed with omega-6 fatty acids that create smooth and healthy complexion