This all-in-one skin moisturizer come hair conditioner come bath oil has the ability to de-clutter your beauty cupboard and replace most of your skin and haircare products all by itself! With its impressive levels of vitamin E, A and F, fatty acids, antioxidants and minerals, the miracle oil has a range of health benefits, from anti-inflammatory and anti-ageing properties, to healing and moisturizing powers. But wait, there’s more… You can actually eat argan oil as well, and in doing so, reap its nutritious benefits, including reducing insulin resistance and helping to fight cardiovascular disease…
What Is Argan Oil?
Sometimes referred to as ‘liquid gold’, argan oil is one of the rarest oils in the world. Despite its recent rise to popularity, it is not a new product. In fact, it’s been utilized in Morocco for its nourishing and healing properties for thousands of years. The robust, nutty oil is most commonly used as a moisturizer on the skin and hair, but can also be used to add flavor to foods, like salad dressings and soups. There are two grades of the oil – culinary and cosmetic. Culinary, unsurprisingly, is the edible version, and is similar to olive oil, and cosmetic is the grade used in skin and haircare products. Argan oil is completely natural, easily absorbed, non-greasy and non-irritating, making it a fantastic all-round beauty product.
The oil is produced from the argan nut, which grows on argan trees, local to south-west Morocco. Argan trees used to cover a large area of North Africa, but have reduced greatly in numbers, making it quite pricey. The Argan forest in Morocco has been a designated UNESCO protected biosphere since 1998, making argan oil a sustainable product. Local Berber women work in fair trade co-operatives, hand cracking the argan nuts between two stones, which is a technique used over centuries. They extract the raw kernels from the hard shell, grind them in a stone grinder and knead them for hours, all by hand. Then they are first cold-pressed into oil. It takes one woman three days to make a liter of argan oil.
This nourishing oil gives has the ability to simplify your beauty routine, giving you a go-to oil to use on its own, or as an essential ingredient in homemade remedies, like body scrubs or lip exfoliators. Argan oil is bursting with healthy fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that promote health through moisturizing, softening and hydrating your face and hair, as well as protecting them from sun damage. And all this without any harmful toxins or Parabens!
Benefits Of Argan Oil
The benefits of argan oil range from nutritional to topical, and can be used as food, skin moisturizer, hair conditioner, topical anti-inflammatory, and much more! Here are 9 surprising benefits of the golden oil…
1. Argan Oil May Reduce The Risk Of Cardiovascular Disease
A number of studies have shown that argan oil may help to prevent cardiovascular disease, and consuming the golden oil could protect against atherosclerosis and cancer through its various biological mechanisms. With its abundance of nutrients, including unsaturated fatty acids, the oil helps regulate blood cholesterol and lower blood pressure. Studies have shown that it can help improve blood circulation throughout the body, ultimately reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Including argan oil in your diet is a safe way of consuming your recommended fat intake without risking heart health.
2. Argan Oil May Help Prevent Cancer
The high antioxidant content of argan oil helps repair cellular damage in the body, which reduces the risk of cancer cells being able to grow. Recent studies have shown argan oil to reduce the rate of cell division of prostate cancer. A 2006 study, in particular, found that it may be able to slow the growth of several types of prostate cancer cells, and could play a role in new prostate cancer prevention strategies. Because of its abundance of antioxidants, it is possible that argan oil could protect against other forms of cancer as well.
3. Argan Oil Decreases Insulin Resistance & The Risk Of Diabetes
Argan oil is used regularly in Morocco to treat diabetes, and studies have found that it does decrease insulin resistance in people, which is usually the first step to diabetes developing. It was found that the oil enhanced the cellular response to low doses of insulin, which is a process that gets disrupted in diabetes. Argan oil has shown to help combat diabetes by reversing metabolic changes in people who consumed high-sugar diets. A 2011 study published in the International Journal of Endocrinology investigated the effect argan oil consumption had on serum lipids, apolipoproteins (AI and B), CRP, and LDL susceptibility to oxidation in type 2 diabetes sufferers. Researchers found that eating the oil might have an antiatherogenic effect, by improving lipids and apolipoprotein AI. They concluded that argan oil could be used in nutritional management for type 2 diabetes patients.
4. Argan Oil Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Not only can argan oil be consumed and used as a skin moisturizer and hair conditioner, but it can also be applied topically to the skin to treat conditions, including eczema, psoriasis, chicken pox, bug bites and skin rashes. Argan oil’s healing power comes from its rich vitamin A and E content, as well as its antioxidants, omega-6 fatty acid and linoleic acid. Research has found that argan oil eases inflammation when applied directly to problem areas. It was initially thought that its anti-inflammatory power might have been because of its high oleic acid content, because a linoleic acid deficiency can cause poor wound healing. However, many other oils are rich with the monounsaturated fatty acid, and yet don’t have the same therapeutic effect as argan oil. Researchers therefore attribute its healing ability to its composition of unsaponifiable matter (although relatively low), and high tocopherol content. Tocopherols are molecules that have strong antioxidant and free radical scavenging properties, and, because tocopherols and sterols can work together, this specific combination of molecules found in the unsaponifiable matter may, theoretically, contribute to the oil’s anti-inflammatory power.
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