Argan oil is one of the most precious oils in the world because of its special properties and the combination of its ingredients. The country of origin of the expensive and exclusive argan oil is Morocco. It is obtained from the seeds or seeds of the argan fruit, which carries the argan tree. However, it thrives worldwide only in a limited region in south-western Morocco. Many scientific studies have already dealt with argan oil. Its effects are considered proven.
The origin of argan oil: the argan tree from Morocco
The origin of argan oil is unique in the world. The argan tree thrives, as mentioned, only in one region – in southwestern Morocco near and around Agadir. Botanically, the argan tree is a relic from a bygone era, the Tertiary. For many reasons, it is valuable and its preservation and care almost a state matter. Its current distribution area, the “Arganeraie”, is about 8000 square kilometers. Since 1998, UNESCO has designated it as a biosphere reserve. This will ensure that the trees can be used in a traditional way and provide livelihoods to about two million people while providing the highest level of protection.
Its economic and environmental significance for the Amazigh, the resident Berber, is immense. The argan oil they produce first for their own use, because it is a traditional part of their kitchen and as a domestic “medicine”, but also serves the skin care. Targeted production for sale brings cash and is an economic pillar for an otherwise very poor population.
The yield of argan oil extraction is extremely sparse in relation to the cost: about 30 kilograms of fruit – not harvested from the tree, but matured and collected – contain enough seeds to make a liter of precious oil.
The application of argan oil is versatile
Having pure argan oil in the home has many advantages. Its fields of application are versatile. Its healing and nourishing effect on skin and hair is proven, as well as its effectiveness in internal use against various ailments. The locals of southwestern Morocco have known this since ancient times. They use the oil as naturally as other olive or black cumin oil is used.
Argan oil is a blessing for the hair
Argan oil as an ingredient in shampoos and conditioners is becoming more and more fashionable. When it comes to hair problems, it pays to invest in a small amount of pure argan oil. Dry, brittle or prone to split ends hair becomes smooth, supple and better combed by the use of argan oil. Even a few drops massaged into the hair and scalp can literally work wonders here. After the desired exposure time under a towel, the oil is rinsed out. A weekly application is enough.
Dry, itchy scalp, stubborn or itchy dandruff or hair growth problems can be successfully combated with regular use of argan oil – pure or as a care product.
Read on here: argan oil for the hair
The positive effect of argan oil on the skin has been proven by scientific studies
The beneficial effect of argan oil on the skin has been proven by scientific studies. Argan oil not only protects the skin from dehydration and in its extremely hot dry home is the ideal care product: the skin can regenerate well with its help even after too much sun. Incidentally, the vitamin E content naturally provides for a sun protection factor 3. Since the oil absorbs extremely quickly, no visible traces remain after application. But the skin can store more moisture, looks fresh and firm.
Scientifically proven (see studies on argan oil ) is also that in a hormonal dehydration of the skin, the argan oil has good effect: If during menopause, the estrogen production decreases, this leads to the fact that the skin loses elasticity and moisture less good can save.
The combination of the highly antioxidant vitamin E and the ferulic acid, a substance exclusively contained in argan oil, is probably also responsible for this particular effect of the oil. Useful for the skin is not only the external application, but also the longer-term intake. Both help to improve the overall appearance of the skin.
Read on here: argan oil for the skin
Especially the face is fresher thanks to argan oil
Whether as a replacement for a night cream, as a component of packs or as a light day care: After just a short time of use, the skin on the face with the help of argan oil is fresher and firmer. Small wrinkles and “crow’s feet” around the eyes can be mitigated and even scars become paler. Because Argan oil normalizes the sebum production of the skin instead of clogging the pores, neither remains a greasy shine nor form blackheads – because argan oil has been shown to be non-comedogenic.
Read on here: How argan oil makes your face look fresh every day
Argan oil for cellulite
Only skin care products can not combat the painful problem of cellulite or orange peel. But argan oil for massage is better able than other substances to change the appearance of the skin positively and to support the necessary measures – nutritional change, muscle building and special skin care – effectively. Also for the prevention of stretch marks during or after a pregnancy argan oil is a good remedy.
Concomitant internal use benefits the connective tissue: The recommended dosage is three tablespoons daily.
Read on here: Natural cellulite treatment with argan oil
Nicer nails thanks to argan oil
Even the heavily damaged skin of the hands and the nails benefit and thank such a treatment with a neat, healthy look.
A special feature of argan oil: With its help, highly contagious and equally aggressive toenail fungus can be treated in a very simple and effective way. The oil seems to penetrate into the nail bed and kill the nail fungus. However, if the infection is already longer, a doctor should be consulted – the fungal disease can lead to the destruction of the affected nails. In the initial stage, safe results can be achieved with the help of argan oil.
Argan oil and cholesterol levels
Several studies have already been carried out to determine whether argan oil – as compared to virgin olive oil – is able to reduce cholesterol levels and thus the risk of cardiovascular disease as an integral part of the diet.
Blood lipids are composed of HDL and LDL lipoproteins, which carry cholesterol in the body. These are the values for triglycerides and lipoprotein (a). Triglycerides, together with LDL, are considered to be major risk factors in the development of vascular calcification and metabolic diseases. Lipoprotein (a) is actually classified as LDL (Low Density Lipoproteins), but it is a risk factor for vascular health. Cholesterol values increase with increasing age, not only through diet, but also genetically and age-related.
While olive oil consumption is able to positively influence LDL levels, argan oil lowers triglycerin levels by almost 18%. The high proportion of vitamin E in argan oil has another effect on the blood lipid content: its strong antioxidant effect defused in a figurative sense, the negative for the vascular health LDL.
Spinasterol, Schottenol and squalene are ingredients that have already proven their cholesterol-lowering properties in many series of experiments.
Argan oil in the dental care
In the meantime even toothpastes with argan oil and other purely natural ingredients are available on the market. The deep-acting oil certainly supports the regeneration of attacked or inflamed gums. Those who are sensitive to mint or fluoride or are in homeopathic treatment should maintain their teeth at least temporarily.
Lose weight with argan oil, what is it?
Argan oil – like black cumin or virgin olive oil – is certainly a healthy addition to the kitchen. Like black cumin oil, it can even be used as a dietary supplement, providing the body with plenty of vitamin E and essential polyunsaturated fatty acids, among other things.
The fact that it directly stimulates the metabolism and thus accelerates weight loss has not been proven. It is true that argan oil is pure or as an ingredient well saturated, so acts appetiteügelnd and in this way can facilitate weight loss.
Dietary support is also the already mentioned lowering of the cholesterol level with regular use.
Argan oil for psoriasis and atopic dermatitis
The onset of atopic dermatitis is not fully understood. Similar to allergies, the immune system reacts with severe skin irritations to the contact or absorption of certain substances.
The skin inflammation psoriasis (Psoriasis) still requires the cause research. It is debatable whether a hereditary disposition or an autoimmune reaction or both exist.
Argan oil’s vitamin E compounds and other ingredients enhance skin circulation, the skin’s ability to retain moisture and regenerate. Patients report that the use of argan oil reduces the extreme itching in psoriasis. Equally important is the anti-inflammatory effect of argan oil. The internal application modulates the overactive immune system. In both cases, argan oil has a positive effect on the skin metabolism, on the fat and moisture balance. These properties develop their psoriasis in psoriasis as well as strong eczema and dry skin due to eczema.
Related article: Argan oil relieves psoriasis
Are There Studies Related To Cancer?
Some argan oil ingredients have a destructive effect on cancer cells, at least in the lab, but have now been proven in initial clinical trials to slow down tumor growth. In 2006, a study was carried out in prostate cancer patients. Some studies also suggest that chemotherapy is more bearable when patients take argan oil in parallel. It may be possible to find a way to support cancer treatments and prevent tumor growth.
Argan oil is also good for dogs and cats
Skin and hair problems of all kinds in dogs, cats and other pets, also as a result of allergies, can be treated well with argan oil. For shiny groomed coat it always provides. A sore, chapped nose, sunburn on animal nose, eczema or scaly, bald spots heal faster with a drop of argan oil.
Some sources even point out that argan oil in the feed helps cats to carry the bad hair balls out of the stomach (when brushing and licking hair, hair is constantly getting into the digestive tract).
But beware of cats: they lack an enzyme that allows other animals to degrade a component of essential oils, the terpenes, in the liver. Terpenes, phytochemicals, have a toxic effect. Cold-pressed argan oil from unroasted kernels does not appear to contain terpene and can therefore – as a precaution in tiny amounts to avoid possible side effects – also be used in cats. In dogs, these concerns are not displayed. For reasons of economy, the dosage can also be limited to just a few drops.
That’s what science says about the effects of argan oil
The trend is increasingly towards natural care and remedies. These are often, especially by critics, as new, untested and therefore possibly dangerous or ineffective. However, the lack of scientific studies does not say much about the value of a remedy successfully used over millennia.
In many (especially economically developing) countries such means are known to many people. Scientists from these regions are increasingly trying to systematically examine traditional remedies and methods. They reveal their secrets step by step: In earlier times, only the effect was known, now special ingredients and their composition are tested under stringent test conditions. Often with surprising success. So it is with argan oil.
In 2004, a Moroccan team documented the antioxidant properties of argan oil, which primarily benefit cell protection and regenerative ability. Also in 2004, scientists in Moroccan clinics and laboratories came to the cholesterol-lowering effect of argan oil on the track.
Another very comprehensive megastore study from 2006 looked at the anticarcinogenic effect as well as the properties of the oil to prevent vascular and cardiovascular disease.
In the same year, a Moroccan research team proved that the ingredients in argan oil can positively influence insulin metabolism.
Two other studies, also from 2006, are concerned with the ability of argan oil to regulate the body’s own immune system against cancer cells and to make stressful chemotherapies more treatable for patients.
Read on here: Scientific studies on argan oil
Make delicious recipes with argan oil
Argan oil is naturally used in cooking in Morocco, just like olive oil in Mediterranean countries. And even if it would be a shame to bring it by heating up part of its valuable healthy ingredients: it has a high smoke point at around 250 ° C. Therefore, it can also be used for crisp searing or baking.
There are no limits to its creative use: salad dressings, couscous, baked goods, smoothies, risotto, pesto, casseroles – the series can be continued endlessly.
The subtle, but nutty, almond-like taste of argan oil gives everything a special, exotic touch.
Read on here: Recipes: Tasty cooking and roasting with argan oil
A natural oil, free of side effects
Many even expensive skincare products do not really penetrate the skin, but form a greasy layer on the surface. Fragrances and other additives make the selection for people with particularly sensitive skin often very difficult. This risk does not exist with argan oil. Argan oil is hard to beat as a skin and hair care product. The special composition makes it extremely skin-friendly and ensures that it penetrates especially quickly into deeper tissue layers. Here the valuable ingredients are just as effective as if you took the oil.
If the oil is used purely for care, a few drops are enough. As part of shampoos, wraps, creams, gels and lotions, it is marketed in numerous product lines.
It is important to pay attention to purity when buying. Preservatives or silicones are completely unnecessary for effective cosmetics, only clog pores, irritate the skin and harm the environment.
And who the high price scares, remember: Even high-quality cosmetics is expensive, while far less productive.
Who wants to use argan oil in the kitchen or as a dietary supplement, can be sure that it is well tolerated and does not cause any unpleasant side effects or allergic reactions. It is less stringent and intense in flavor than black cumin oil, yet gives food an exotic touch.
Some things to keep in mind when buying argan oil
Genuine, unmixed argan oil is expensive. Why this is so has already been explained. Up to 100 euros per liter can and should cost rightly. Because the production is laborious, the resources are limited. Even right in Morocco, not all liquid gold is what is offered. The extraction of argan oil takes place mainly by hand, as in ancient times. Several women’s cooperatives in the Arganeraie earn their livelihood for themselves and their families in this way.
The more the benefits of argan oil get around, the stronger the demand. How to recognize pure and high-quality argan oil, which was hand-pressed in the traditional way? The UCFA (Union de Cooperatives of the Femmes de l’Arganeraie), an umbrella organization of women’s cooperatives in Morocco, has developed a manufacturing and quality label that identifies bottles from their production. Anyone who buys them not only procures a high-quality, pure natural product, but also supports the Moroccan producers, contributes to nature conservation and the preservation of biodiversity.
Background knowledge: argan oil and its unique composition: healthy ingredients
At first glance, argan oil may not rank first in all healthy ingredients as far as the pure amount is concerned, compared to other vegetable oils. In its composition, it differs from other vegetable oils. The special combination of all ingredients results in the special effects and successes in health care and beauty care. The ingredients of argan oil, just listed, per 100 mg are:
- saturated fatty acids: 19 g
- monounsaturated fatty acids: 46 g
- polyunsaturated fatty acids: 35 g
- Oleic acids: 48 mg
- Linoleic acids: 32 mg
- Vitamin E or tocopherols: 74 mg
- Provitamin A and E: 63 mg
These values are subject to small fluctuations, because argan oil is a natural product and not standardized.
Omega fatty acids
Humans and animals are not able to form certain fatty acids themselves – but these are necessary for various processes in the organism, therefore essential and can only be obtained through food: long-chain, polyunsaturated fatty acids of this category are the linoleic acid (omega-6) and the alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3). Argan oil contains about 34% linoleic acid and 0.3% linolenic acid. In addition, there is oleic acid with a share of 45.4%, a monounsaturated fatty acid.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids are important “consumables” in the organism: healthy brain development in children is just as dependent on adequate care as a functioning metabolism or a resilient cardiovascular system. About the brain metabolism they provide good mood and balance and are therefore among other things as preventative against depression.
For example, omega-3 fatty acids are also necessary for fertility and healthy embryonic development. A sufficient supply of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids during pregnancy is therefore mandatory.
Here, the argan oil is different from other vegetable oils: It contains, among other things, the phytosterols D-7-Schottenol (48%) and alpha-spinasterol (37%). Isolated on their own, these two substances are effective in a variety of ways. For example, the laboratory has been proven to inhibit cholesterol uptake in the gut, preventing blood lipid levels from rising – good for maintaining healthy blood vessels and the cardiovascular system.
Among other things, alpha-spinasterol appears to be able to affect blood sugar levels and improve sensitivity to insulin.
Both substances apparently influence the cell metabolism in various ways by acting on the mitochondrial DNA. Their possible anti-carcinogenic properties are still under investigation.
Tocopherols (E-vitamins) are a whole group of active substances, which, unlike vitamin D, however, have to be supplied predominantly from the diet. The fat-soluble vitamins protect the cell membranes – or rather the unsaturated fatty acids that are important for their structure against free radicals. Their cell-protecting properties also extend to the sunscreen, and the protection against all kinds of environmental toxins and harmful waste products of the organism itself. The lion’s share of argan oil deny the alpha-tocopherols with 69%. These prove to be particularly bioactive in the present composition with the other ingredients.
These are phytochemicals with a considerable number of special properties. Triterpene alcohols proved to be antimicrobial in the laboratory (effective against bacteria, viruses, fungi), were able to stop inflammatory processes or prevent tumor cells from growing. Argan oil alone contains seven different of these triterpenes.
This phytochemical is found in many types of fruit and vegetables as well as in roasted coffee or in the outer layers of various cereals. For example, wheat bran contains five milligrams per gram of it. Ferulic acid is highly antioxidant and is even able to absorb UV light. Therefore, it is even used as a component of sunscreen. Argan oil contains plenty of ferulic acid.
Other phytochemicals or polyphenols in argan oil are
Vanilla and syringic acid, tyrosol, quercetin and myricetin. Among other things, these contribute to the special aroma and taste of the oil. Polyphenols are originally intended to protect plants in different ways against pests. New properties of polyphenols are constantly being discovered in the lab – many of them have anti-inflammatory, cell protective and antioxidant properties.
This substance was first discovered in shark liver oil. The origin explains the name, after “Squalus”, the Latin name for shark. It is now known that every living thing forms this substance. Numerous plant and especially fish oils contain them. Squalene is a powerful antioxidant and as the only one of its kind it can be stored in high concentrations in the body. Experience in the field of medicine suggests that it can help with atopic (hereditary) eczema or cancer cancers. Not all properties of squaling are yet unraveled – especially in combination with other bioactive substances in natural products such as argan oil.
Buyers notice a certain price difference when they buy mechanically cold-pressed argan oil in the store. The ingredients are not significantly different. The requirements for the protection of the argan trees and the oil production are the same for everyone: Only fruits that have already fallen from the tree are used. So the tree itself is spared – and nobody wants to mess with the sharp thorns of the argan trees. In addition, the fruits ripen all year round, a fixed harvest time is not possible. What falls from the tree is usable. In ancient times, even the remains of goats and camels were searched for the kernels for oil pressing. But the women saved the work, the hard, inedible for humans fruit from the kernels to solve.
Today, each fruit is removed by hand, the contained two to three argan nuts opened with the help of a stone, without damaging them. There are no machines for that.
Once the kernels are dried, they are either added immediately to the squeeze or roasted over the fire, then ground with primitive stone mills. The addition of lukewarm water and constant kneading, the oil is extracted and collected in containers. Eight hours of intensive work by several women and 30 liters of fruit yield with luck a liter of oil.
The ingredients remain unaffected by whether the kernels are roasted or not. Only the aroma varies: Without roasting the oil is tasteless, the roast takes place over an open fire, creates the typical nut flavor.
After several weeks of storage and several filter processes, the pure, golden-looking argan oil is finally produced. A sediment is normal, it should not be agitated before use by shaking.
The waste products, the inedible fruits and the press cakes, give nutritious, above all, protein-rich cattle feed, which helps the animals to survive the dry periods.
Read on here: A fresh and healthy facial skin with argan oil