Shop for top-quality, pure certified organic Argan Oil at www.healthpost.co.nz today!
Argan Oil is currently enjoying worldwide popularity for its restorative and anti-ageing effects on your skin, nails and hair. Both traditional herbal lore and modern scientific research into this highly valued Moroccan oil highlight its nutrient and medicinal properties. Since ancient times North African women have relied on Argan oil to nourish their skin and hair against the harsh drying effects of the desert sun and winds. It is also used as a treatment for skin diseases. They apply the oil topically and also eat it with bread or mixed with almonds and honey.
Argan Oil comes from the kernel of the Argan tree (Argania spinosa), an 80 million year old relic tree that was known to the Phoenicians. Once found throughout North Africa, it has now been declared rare and endangered. Production and export of Argan Oil to meet a growing international market is providing reforestation funds and helping achieve important social, economic and environmental goals for the people of Morocco. Here is a great example of an inclusive cooperative programme of sustainable development that is both thinking globally and acting locally for mutually beneficial outcomes.
The local Berber (Amazigh) women of the Argan forest region work in a profit-sharing fair trade union of cooperatives as the predominant harvesters and producers of Argan oil. As well as providing for their health care, education and improved working conditions, the money earned by the women’s cooperatives funds the reforestation project that aims to sustain the supply of Argan oil and the income they derive from it.
The specific growing area of the Argan tree in Morocco’s southwest was recognised and protected by UNESCO under the World Biosphere Reserve Network in the late 1990s. It’s hoped that a resurgence of market interest in its oil, coupled with sustainable practices and active reforestation measures, will reverse its rapid deforestation over the last 100 years and halt the resulting soil erosion and northern advance of the Sahara. The Argan tree’s gnarly twisted trunk puts down deep roots, providing a critical protective buffer to the ever-encroaching desert sands.
What are Argan oil’s special healing properties?
Growing wild in this very arid climate on the edge of the Sahara Desert, the Argan tree has adapted over millions of years to drought and the harsh conditions of the semi-desert scrublands it inhabits. It grows very slowly but is extremely resistant and can live to more than 200 years old. The kernel of the Argan tree packages these abilities in its rare concentration of active nutrients designed for maximising hydration and resilience.
Argan oil contains unusually high levels of Vitamin E (tocopherols) and essential fatty acids (including Omegas 3, 6 and 9) plus several other important antioxidant compounds. These combine to condition and revitalise damaged hair, penetrating the hair shafts, roots and pores to nourish and hydrate while repairing the cellular membrane. Damage done by overuse of hair styling products can be treated with Argan oil. Dry hair and scalp, split ends and dandruff are all indications for applying Argan oil treatment.
The combined oxygenating, hydrating and elastifying effect Argan oil’s nutrients have on the skin have given it a reputation as an anti-ageing treatment. It has scar healing properties and can help relieve skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. Weak or brittle nails can also be strengthened with Argan oil.
Research studies have mostly focused on the health benefits of taking Argan oil orally and support its probable anti-cancer action as part of the Moroccan diet. Also well indicated are a hypotensive action, heart disease prevention, reduction in cardiovascular risk and counteracting pre-diabetes insulin resistance.
With such a range of important health benefits emerging from preliminary research, other potentially effective medicinal applications for the Argan tree’s nutrient rich oil can be anticipated as the scope of studies is widened.
By Carolyn Simon ND, DipMedHerb
Want to try argan oil? Shop for top-quality, pure Certified Organic Argan Oil at www.healthpost.co.nz today.
We’d Love Your Feedback
Have you tried argan oil?
What effect has it had on your skin, hair or nails?
Are there other skin or beauty oils which you’ve found more or less effective?