Benefits of Argan Oil
The benefits of Argan oil seem to be truely unique to this ancient tree from north Africa. Argan oil comes from the kernels of the nuts of the Argan Tree. The tree was once found in the entire North Africa regions but is now mainly in Morocco and has spread to Tunisia, Libya and Israel. The trees can live to be 150-200 years old, however, each Argan tree only yields from 10 to 20 fruit, and each fruit only has about 3 kernels. The fruit takes a year to ripen and is harvested in July of each year.
Argan oil is very expensive due to the limited growing area and the fact that the kernels are pressed by hand by the local women. It can take 45 minutes to extract just 4 oz of argan oil, a very time consuming and labor intensive process. Fortunately, with the increased demand of Argan oil the women now also have machines to process the kernels. Their other obstacle is that of the local goats which love to climb the argan trees to eat the nuts! It appears they have discovered the benefits of Argan oil, too!
The benefits of Argan oil comes from a combination of its fatty acids: oleic acid 44%, alpha-linolenic acid 30%, palmitic 12%, stearic acid 6%, linoleic acid 5%, and myristic acid 3%. Argan oil has a high amount of vitamin E, nearly twice that of olive oil! This anti-oxidant creates benefits of argan oil that make it a fabulous skin protector & nourisher.
Its plant sterols of schottenol and spinasterol also add to the benefits of argan oil. These sterols are unique to Argan oil, no other vegetable oil has a comparable phytosterol composition. They reduce inflammation and promote excellent moisture retention. It has been used for acne, psoriais, dry eczema as well as arhtritis.
Another benefit of Aragn oil is that it has moisturizing properties stronger than olive oil and even shea butter, but also has a sebum regulating action that reduces the oiliness of the skin. Plus it also has antimicrobial as well as pH balancing properties that help to reduce acne.
Interesting fact: In times of drought, the Argan tree can go dormant for as long as 7 years.