It is absolutely impossible to surf the internet and not come across one or two latest trends in the field of health and beauty. There is constant posting on new super foods and exotic ingredients that are not only a rarity (and therefore expensive) but also promise in solving some of the everyday health and personal care issues. On further analysing such trends for the past few years, it wouldn't be wrong to say that now super seeds and essential oils are ruling the charts. So munch on the goodness of flaxseeds, chia seeds, goji berries and the like, and make way for exquisite oils into your personal regime. This piece aims to unveil one such oil from the heart of Morocco. It is excellent for your beauty related woes - introducing argan oil.
Extracted from the kernels of argan tree found primarily in Morocco, argan oil has been used in the region traditionally for treating hair and skin, as well as in a handful of culinary preparations. Argan oil is a rich source of linoleic acid - a polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid, which is easily found in other ingredients like sesame seeds and flaxseeds. It is also enriched with omega 3 fatty acids (alpha linolenic acid), antioxidants, Vitamin A and E. Though the Moroccans are known to extract its oil traditionally and use it for various purposes, reportedly, the un-roasted version of the oil is used as a natural remedy to treat skin infections, acne and hair troubles. For culinary purposes argan oil is extracted from the dry-roasted kernels, while on the other hand, its cosmetic brilliance is derived out of the non-roasted kernels.
Though not much research has been conducted on the health benefits of argan oil, the locals use the oil in their salads, as well as in dips and sauces. You can try making the traditional dip of Morocco by grinding together peanuts, sugar/honey, almonds with a bit of argan oil. Other than this, the oil is 80% poly unsaturated fats, which are known to be protective against cardiovascular diseases.
Why Should You Give it a Try: Benefits
1. Hair Conditioning: Argan oil is great for taming dry and frizzy hair. Not only does it add sheen to your lack-lustre hair but also conditions and arms it against further damage. You can also leave a few drops of it in your hair and let it work as a leave-in conditioner.
2. Skin Moisturising: It is used as a traditional Moroccan remedy for skin infections, rashes and acne, as well as a moisturising agent (in case of using the oil directly, make sure to use not more than two drops as it may get greasy).
3. Nail Care, Lips and Heels: It is excellent for treating rough nails, cuticles, chapped lips and cracked heels.
4. For Stretch Marks: Using it during pregnancy over concerned areas can help fight stretch marks. It is rich in vitamin E which has skin soothing and rejuvenating properties that also increses the suppleness and elasticity of the skin.
6. Source of Anti-Oxidants: In a research study published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Argan oil was found to lower bad LDL cholesterol and have anti-oxidant properties.
Argan oil is considered a luxury product in Morocco and is gradually making a mark in the cosmetic industry across Europe for its nourishing properties. A bottle of it won't come in easy of course, but its many benefits are certainly meant to be reaped.