The Argan tree or Argania spinosa is commonly found in the southern part of Morocco as well as some parts of Algeria. It has a rough, thorny stem and its leaves are small and oval-shaped. It is believed that the roots of an Argan tree penetrates deep within the soil to absorb necessary nutrients, especially since it thrives in areas not ideal for plant growth, thus an argan tree can live up to four hundred years. For centuries, locals have used the Argan as food for farm animals. However, it has been found most beneficial for its health benefits, most prominently for the argan oil that can be extracted out the seeds of the fruit. The many benefits of this oil might be very popular to the rest of the world now; it has already been widely used in parts of Morocco where it thrives. This is the reason why many still adhere to the traditional way of collecting this oil from the seeds.
What is Argan Oil?
Argan oil, also known as Moroccan argan oil is a dark yellow colored oil, produced from the seeds of the argan fruit and has been popular for its many beautifying, nutritious, and therapeutic benefits. Probably unknown to the public, there is a huge demand for this oil, especially by those people who understand its many uses. In fact, aside from its pure state which has been used over time, many companies have either used this as a special ingredient in their products, or have enhanced this oil to fully utilize its many benefits.
The production of argan oil has perhaps remained unchanged. The same traditional process of cracking the seeds one by one is still being practiced by the locals, to collect the oil. This is the reason why it would usually take a few hours just to collect a small bottle of argan oil.
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Nutritional Benefits of Argan Oil
According to some studies, argan oil has many nutritional benefits. This is the reason why many people incorporate this ingredient in their dishes. First of all, argan oil is an excellent source of Vitamin E, which of course is a powerful vitamin as it improves the speed of healing, prevents the clogging of veins and arteries to avoid heart disease, and even slows the effects of aging. Argan oil also helps in hypertension as it reduces high blood pressure. Lastly, argan oil assists in the normalization of high cholesterol by increasing the bodys good cholesterol and ridding the body of the bad ones.
Not just for its health benefits but argan oil is famous for its characteristic flavor which has the ability to improve and enrich both the taste and aroma of many delicacies. As a matter of fact, argan oil has become a sought after ingredient by both home cooks and gourmet chefs. It can enhance the taste of pasta, seafood, and vegetable dishes.
Cosmetic Benefits of Argan Oil
The bad effects of sun and environment exposure, smoking, drinking, and stress can be sometimes reflected in the skin. Because of this, more and more people spend so much money on trying to correct these effects and want to retain their youthful looking skin. They use cosmetic products or undergo surgical procedures, unaware that some of these treatments and chemicals actually cause more harm than good. What they do not know is that there is one oil that can do wonders for them. This oil has been present for over centuries and women from all across the world can attest to its effects. This oil does not only help maintain the health and beauty of the skin, but also of the hair as well.
Argan oil can reduce dark spots, help clear up acne and treat wrinkles, dry skin, and hair loss. In fact, this oil has been called by many as liquid gold, since it is most sought after by celebrities and models for their beautifying effects. Needless to say, it gives the skin that healthy glow, and hair that beautiful shine.
For dry, damaged hair, argan oil has the ability to give it new life. To begin with, argan oil hydrates the hair naturally. It prevents the hair from becoming frizzy and rough while maintaining the hairs youthfulness. Also, this oil is very good in controlling unmanageable hair as it retains the hairs smoothness and keeps it manageable and well-organized. Lastly, for hair that has been through so many salon treatments, hair that has been damaged by too much chemical, argan oil has been the secret weapon of many hair stylists for restoring and healing dry, damaged hair.
For the skin, this oil is a highly effective moisturizer due its low to zero content of cholesterol and high content of fatty acids. It locks in moisture to prevent dehydration of the skin. It also has the ability to make stronger brittle nails, promoting healthier nails. Another benefit is that argan oil is able to regenerate dead cells to prevent premature skin aging brought about by many harmful elements. It reduces scarring of the skin, the appearance of stretch marks, and restores the nutrients of the skin. Ultimately, argan oil has been widely sought after for its anti-aging benefits.
Therapeutic Effects of Argan Oil
Used externally, argan oil has many therapeutic benefits. For years, this oil has long been used for massage, and it also helps that it is a very effective moisturizer. It has the ability to heal scar tissues and protect the skin from the harmful rays of the sun. It also has positive effects for burns and scars. Lastly, argan oil has the ability to reduce pain felt in joints and tissues.
The Future of the Argan Tree
Argan trees are neither easy to cultivate nor grow. As previously mentioned, the entire process is a lengthy one as most people adhere to the traditional way of collecting. The vast deforestation due to need of farmland and firestone in the last fifty years have been unsafe for the Argan Tree. Thankfully, UN agency UNESCO has made measures to preserve this miraculous plant. As responsible stewards, people too should help.
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