Making the most of the 'tree of life'

Earthoil uncovers the truth behind the baobab fruit’s legend.

Like many wonder ingredients of the natural world that find their place in personal care products, modern medicines, food and beverages, baobab oil has a unique, fascinating story of origin that is waiting to be told. Here, Earthoil uncovers the truth behind the baobab fruit’s legend and explains how its oil is now being sustainably sourced and finds its way into both organic and conventional natural hair and skin care products around the world.

Nature knows best

Baobab oil, taken from the fruit of the iconic baobab tree, often referred to as the tree of life due its wide-ranging medicinal, nutritional and cosmetic benefits, has been used for centuries by African women to protect their hair and skin against the harsh climate. Like many traditions that pre-date modern scientific research, this use of the fruit of the baobab tree would only have endured if it had provided real benefits.
Other, more fantastical folklore that surrounds the baobab tree may also have some foundation in truth. In West Africa, it is believed that spirits inhabit the flowers that will attract a lion should anyone pluck them. In Zambia, washing baobab seeds in rivers offers protection against crocodiles and in Southern Nigeria, the tree is worshipped as a fertility symbol and people still marry beneath its branches today.

Moisturising properties

Baobab oil is thought to improve the elasticity of the skin and encourage regeneration of skin cells. It is rich in Vitamin A, D, E, F, oleic acid, linoleic acid and Omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids, contributing to its moisturising, emollient and soothing properties. Vitamins A and F specifically support the rejuvenation and renewal of cell membranes and Vitamin E is a superior antioxidant which helps defend against the signs of ageing. Baobab oil is also used to alleviate pain of burns, reduce scarring from acne and heal scars and stretch marks. The moisturising properties of the oil also help improve the condition of hair. Its Vitamin A, E and F aid in soothing itchy and irritated scalps, reducing hair breakage and regenerating hair follicles.

From legend to reality

These numerous benefits to health and wellbeing mean that baobab oil can add real value to body creams, lotions, bath oils, massage products and cosmetics. Earthoil has been sourcing baobab oil for over 10 years – originally sourcing the seeds from the Zambezi valley but more recently from the Kenyan coastal plains. Generally, baobabs are hand-harvested in rural remote regions and the fruit is most often collected by rural collection groups. These collection groups work forests collecting the large seed pods and then remove the seeds from the ‘cream of tartar’ style pulp which surrounds the seeds. Earthoil cold presses this very hard seed at its Kenyan processing facility to produce golden oil.
Earthoil offers both conventional and organic Baobab oil. Please contact us for samples.

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