Marula

MARULA

The King of African Trees 

-       (ICON) Grows in: Sub-Saharan Africa 

-       (ICON) Source from and proc

 
WHAT IS SHEA TREE? 
Shea tree or vitellaria, is a tree of the family Sapotaceae. The shea tree is a traditional African food plant that naturally grows in the dry Savanna of West and South. It has two subspecies: Vitellaria Nilotica found mainly in East Africa and Butyrospermum Parkii, which is found only in West Africa. It grows across the African continent in countries such as Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, and Chad, to mention a few.
The Shea tree is a deciduous small to medium-sized tree that reproduces naturally (by seed) and averages a height of up to 15-25 m. A shea nut tree will start to bear fruit once it clocks 15 to 20 years, reaches the peak of production at 25 years, and can live as long as 200 years. The leaves are tough and clustered at the ends of branches. The bark is dark, thick, and deeply cracked into squares. 
The Shea tree grows in areas with annual rainfall between 400 and 1,800 mm but can withstand multi-year droughts as well as the usual 6 to the 8-month yearly dry season. The flowers bloom during the dry season; they provide nectar for honey bees and can be harvested, fried, and eaten. During the rainy season, ripe fruits fall to the ground making it easy for harvest. 
The inner seed or nut has a smooth, thin, brown outer covering that protects the nutritious nut. A single tree typically produces 15 to 20 kg of fruit; together, the nuts inside those fruits weigh around 3 to 4 kg and contain 1.5 to 2 kg of fat.
Extracting the edible oil from shea nuts is a long and tiring process. First, the fruits are collected from under the trees. The flesh is either eaten or removed by fermentation. The nuts are cleaned, then boiled long enough to prevent germination. They are then roasted or dried in the sun for 5 to 10 days. At this stage, dried seeds can be sold or stored for later processing. 
Most exported shea is sold in dried nut form, and the oil is extracted industrially. Selling at this point makes sense for small-scale farmers because it is during a busy time of the agriculture cycle when labor is at a premium. 

PICTURE OF PRODUCT

SAWA SHEA OIL

Link to online shop

 

SAWA Shea oil is an organic unrefined, cold-pressed oil extracted from the nuts of Shea. The oil is a lightweight type of oil that quickly absorbs into the skin. Shea nut oil has higher levels of oleic and linoleic acids, and can, therefore, stimulate hair growth better

 

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essed in: Namibia

-       (ICON) Packaged in: Norway and Sweden 

 

WHAT IS MARULA TREE?

 

The Marula tree is one of the largest African indigenous plants with Sclerocarya birrea being its scientific name. The tree is also known as "the king of African trees" due to its large size. Notably, the tree originated from the Miombo woodlands of South Africa, and its population has continued to increase across the Sahel regions of Africa, Madagascar, and West Africa thanks to the migration of the Bantu people. As a consequence, the tree now grows throughout most of sub-Saharan Africa outside the humid forest zone, from Mauritania and Senegal to Ethiopia and Eritrea, South to Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, South Africa, and Swaziland.

 

It is also important to point out that the Marula tree belongs to the Anacardiaceae family, with mangoes, pistachio, and cashew nut, also belonging to the same family. In essence, members of this family are deciduous and dioecious, which means the Marula tree has specific sex and has an average height of 20 meters. However, only the female Marula trees that bear fruits, with each tree having a capacity to bear up to 500kg of fruit annually. 

 

Fruits from Marula tree have an oblong size like that of the plum and usually ripen in February. The fruit consists of the Marula stone and is surrounded by the green to yellow colored fruit pulp and has inside fruit kernels or seeds.

 

The Marula tree is historic in the sense that it was considered sacred and was linked to fertility and happy marriage in ancient times in southern Africa. Also, the fermented Marula fruit was thought to intoxicate elephants who seemed to enjoy it as much as humans did. According to archaeological evidence, the Marula tree was a source of nutrition from as long as 10,000 years B.C. Therefore, Marula, Scelerocarva birrea, subspecies cafferra, remain Africa's botanical treasures.

 

 

 BENEFITS OF MARULA  

 

Marula fruits are rich in vitamin C, with nutrition experts terming its level eight times as that contained in an orange. The Marula fruit is also rich in oleic acid and other antioxidants that are essential in strengthening the body's immune system. Additionally, the Marula fruit contains thiamine, riboflavin, and nicotinic acid. Moreover, the fruit also boasts of 85% moisture and 14% carbohydrate, mostly sucrose. The mineral composition of Marula shows high concentrations of potassium, calcium, and magnesium.

 

Rich in minerals and iron

The seeds found in Marula fruit are eaten as nuts by both humans and animals alike. The nuts contain high levels of protein and minerals such as iron, phosphorus, copper, magnesium and zinc, and play an important part of local diets.

 

Fights Signs Of Aging

Marula helps in fighting the signs of aging. Enzymes such elastase and collagenase accelerate the signs of aging. Marula oil helps prevent the skin from losing its elasticity. It may therefore, help promote the disappearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Besides, the Marula oil helps in preventing and treating the damage associated with aging skin. 

 

Helps balance dry and oily skin

Marula helps in balancing dry and oily skin. Notably, Marula is rich in oleic acid, which is vital for beautiful and healthy skin. It is therefore suitable for all skin types with sensitive and dry skins benefiting from oleic acid.

 

TRADITIONAL USE OF MARULA 

 

Many parts of the Marula tree are used as ingredients in food and traditional medicine across Africa. It was traditionally used in cosmetics, as a meat preservative and to treat leather.

 

The Marula fruit is very juicy and aromatic and is the size of a small plum. It is eaten fresh or cooked to produce jam, juices, and alcoholic beverages.

 

 

PUBLISHED MARULA RESEARCH 

 

Abdalbasit Adam Mariod & Siddig Ibrahim Abdelwahab (2012) Sclerocarya birrea (Marula), An African Tree of Nutritional and Medicinal Uses: A Review, Food Reviews International, 28:4, 375-388, DOI: 10.1080/87559129.2012.660716

 

Shoko T, Maharaj VJ, Naidoo D, et al. Anti-aging potential of extracts from Sclerocarya birrea (A. Rich.) Hochst and its chemical profiling by UPLC-Q-TOF-MS. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2018;18(1):54. Published 2018 Feb 7. doi:10.1186/s12906-018-2112-1

 

  

PICTURE OF PRODUCT

SAWA MARULA OIL

Link to online shop

Sawa Marula oil is organic unrefined, cold pressed oil extracted from the seeds of the centre shell of the Marula fruit. It’s rich in vitamin C, tocopherol (Vitamin E) and Omega 6 and 9. Marula oil is high in antioxidants, essential fatty acids and amino acids.

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