About Argan Oil
The Argan tree: The tree of life
The precious Argan Oil is produced from the seeds of the Argan tree (Argania Spinosa), which only grows in south-western Morocco. The Argan tree can live 150 to 200 years and produces its yellow (plum-like) fruits every other year during the dry months (July till September). UNESCO has certified the Argan tree forests that spread over 1,970,000 acres throughout the semi-desert. The 30 meter long roots of the Argan tree sends water deep into the ground rather than leaving it to dry on the surface, which is important in preventing the desert from advancing further and destroying livelihoods.
The Argan tree itself is a multi-use tree and plays a significant part in Moroccan life:
- provides shade for people and other plants (crops etc.)
- the leaves and pulp is used as food for cattle
- the roots maintain the soil by fertilising and protecting it from erosion
- the nuts are used for Argan Oil and provide jobs for more than three million people, mostly in rural areas.
Producing Argan Oil
Our partner cooperatives use Argan fruits that have been protected from animals, as this is a vital step in achieving the best quality and tastiest Argan Oil. In order to produce 1 litre of Argan Oil, about 30kg of Argan fruit (the complete harvest of one tree) must be collected. The Argan fruits are then dried over several weeks, before they are opened to gather the nuts. The Argan nuts are 16x harder than a hazelnut and their opening requires skilful hands to obtain one kernel within the nut (if you are lucky, up to three kernels!). For culinary use, the Argan kernels are roasted according to a family secret to unlock a wonderful aroma and taste. Lastly, the Argan kernels are either cold-pressed manually ('traditional') or mechanically ('classic') to produce delicious Argan Oil.
Nutritional properties of Argan Oil
Argan Oil is not only greatly appreciated for its deliciously nutty taste and versatile dressing application, it is also valued for its high Vitamin E content and unsaturated fatty acids.
Argan Oil naturally contains double the amount of Vitamin E than most Olive Oils. Vitamin E is an essential component for the body, as it acts as an antioxidant, helps with lipid balance, supports a healthy immune system, heart and circulation. Argan Oil is naturally rich in the rare gamma tocopherol (75% of total Vitamin E forms). Gamma tocopherol protect against nitrogen-based free radicals, which play an important role in chronic inflammation. Vitamin E also stimulates oxygeneration in cells, where the skin becomes more elastic, smooth and shiny through the restoration of the skin cells' hydrophillic layer.
Unsaturated fatty acids
Argan Oil is also naturally rich in unsaturated fatty acids (>80%) . Unsaturated fatty acids are associated with cardioprotective qualities and promote cell hydration to make the skin well mosturised, revitalised and nourished.
Argan Oil contains a high amount of Squalene, which is said to act as an antioxidant and help reduce cellular damage caused to the skin. The properties of Squalene could help to reduce signs of Eczema and help strengthen nails the naturally.
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