There are many vegetable oils we come to know: they come from distant countries and are described as elixirs for the body.
Let's discover this natural product, used mainly by African women, for skin and hair care.
Marula oil, the African elixir
Marula oil, a plant scientifically known as Sclerocarya birrea, belongs to the Anacardiaceae family - like mango, pistachio and cashew - and is native to areas of southern Africa.
Swaziland, for example, is a well-known producer of marula oil, a country in which there are special favorable conditions, such as low altitudes and vast grasslands. In this small kingdom in the heart of South Africa, natural cosmetics are produced from vegetable marula oil based on ancient secrets of African culture and tradition .
Here we find marula plants that reach up to 20 meters in height, with oblong fruits similar to prunes, which, once ripe, become yellow and house a white fibrous pulp and a very hard stone containing up to three precious seeds, from which the precious oil is obtained.
Benefits of marula
"Birr", as the plant is called by indigenous peoples, is used in many other states in southwestern Africa, such as Namibia, Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
Rich in protein and vegetable fats, the seeds also contain valuable antioxidants . The fruits, which can be eaten fresh, are also used to make fresh juices, jellies and even a liqueur, called Amarula or Ombikè, a wine called Ucanhe or even beer .
The bark is appreciated for its medicinal properties, as, if chewed, it facilitates digestion and is also used in malarial prophylaxis. Once crushed, a natural dye is obtained to paint craft items.
An infusion prepared with marula fruits is also used as an insecticide and is used to relieve the pain of scorpion bites and snake bites.
Marula oil use
Marula oil has been used for centuries by ingene populations, such as the Bushmen, for skin care . First and foremost as a cleaning and cleansing product, also suitable for the most delicate skin types. Secondly it has a noticeably moisturizing and antioxidant effect, which makes it suitable also for mature skin .
Rich in vitamin E and monounsaturated fatty acids, it is an excellent massage oil that has a beneficial action, rebuilding the dermis that has suffered aggression, wounds, burns or burns. These properties make it excellent for regenerating chapped skins of heels, knees, soles of the feet or hands.
The oil, used purely as a hair pack, makes them soft, silky and shiny. Proceed by spreading it all over the hair, then wrap the hair in a warm towel and leave on for at least twenty minutes.
Then rinse everything and wash it with shampoo as usual, then proceed with drying.
Marula oil is used in the composition of other cosmetic products, such as exfoliating creams, lip balms, tanning products, soaps, shampoos or bubble baths.
Where is it? Marula oil is the n specialized sites dedicated to fair trade with Africa . A 50ml bottle of cold-pressed natural oil costs around 10 euros .