Among the many natural plants and herbs that grow in Africa and have long been known to be highly beneficial to humans, the oil produced from the pits of the fruit of the Argan tree now enter into the hottest anti-ageing wonders that help indigenous women at the same time.
Once a common tree all over North Africa, the Argan tree dwindled in number until recent government measures were enacted to protect it and preserve the living of thousands of women in the kingdom of Morocco. The species Argania spinosa has been declared rare and endangered, and reforestation efforts are helping it to make a comeback as demand for its oil has increased.
The Berber women of the region have long used Argan oil to nourish their skin and hair against the harsh conditions found in the desert-like environment of southern Morocco. In addition to the oil being applied topically, it is also used for bread dipping and mixed with almonds and honey to make a tasty paste. Today, many of the women in the Argan forest region work in a fair trade union (50+ cooperatives have been established) to produce as much of the oil as possible to meet a world demand that began in the 1990s. Part of their profits is then put back into the reforestation project, which will ensure harvest of the oil for generations to come.
Another benefit of the spread of Argan trees is the help it can give to halt the spread of the Sahara Desert as their twisted trunks sink deep roots into the ground and help to stop soil erosion. The sometimes-200-year-old trees produce numerous kernels that have super-high levels of Vitamin E and essential fatty acids. When placed on hair, for example, the oil penetrates the shafts, roots and pores and repairs cells, giving a shine and healthy look that many women long for.
Argan oil is generally used to alleviate dry hair and scalp, split ends, dandruff and the effects of over-use of hair styling products. Most treatment programs call for leaving the oil on the hair for at least 30 minutes or even overnight as the head is wrapped in a towel. For split ends, a bit of oil rubbed into them can help; for dry scalp and other more serious conditions, the oil should be massaged into the hair.
For the skin, Argan oil should first be applied at night to make sure your skin responds well to it. Once you have seen initial positive results, you can put it on problem areas that need extra hydration up to twice a day. Some women put Argan oil as a base for makeup, while others apply even to their lips for hydration therapy. Only a few drops of the oil are needed at a time.
The other part of the body that can be helped by Argan oil are your nails. Mix equal parts Argan oil and lemon juice and soak for 10 minutes. You can also rub a bit of the oil on your hands before going to bed to keep them looking healthy.
Argen oil is the perfect way to organically protect your skin and hair while providing real support to Moroccan women dedicated to fair trade and environmental sustainability!
For more information, see this article: http://blog.healthpost.co.nz/2012/argan-oil/
Photo courtesy flickr.com, cottonm.
This article comes courtesy of HealthPost New Zealand, a dedicated carbon neutral, natural health store with a wide variety of natural health and beauty products.