Marula Oil (kernel oil) (ONC)

Marula Oil (kernel oil) (ONC)
Botanical Name: Sclerocarya birrea (Marula)
Country of Origin: South Africa
Method of Cultivation: Organic Not certified (ONC)

Extraction Method: Cold Pressed (no solvent used)
Parts Used: kernels

Shelf Life: 2 years + (has a long shelf life due its natural stability)


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History ~
The knowledge about Marula oil starts in 9000 BC on the African continent when they discovered the Marula fruit. Stones of the fruit from this period were found in the Pomongwe Caves in Zimbabwe, and since then the wonders of Marula have been enjoyed by animals and man.

The fruit, bark, kernels, roots and even the leaves were used in indigenous medicines, as preservatives and for food.

Since ancient times, African women knew that the Marula kernel yielded oil that could both moisturize their skin and even preserve meat.

Marula production has it s roots in a community development project.

Production Process ~
A long and difficult process called 'decortication' is used to extract the kernels from the nut once the fruit part has been separated from the nut. The nuts are cracked and crushed by hand using rocks.

To get top quality oil, the Marula will need to go through a manufacturing process which consists of simple hand pressing and filtration techniques. (no solvents are used in the process).

This gives the oil a high quality, which is sometimes, on request, improved by light refining, making the oil more suitable for cosmetic application.

Marula oil has been found to be tremendously stable and stands above all known natural liquid oils.

Sustainability of Product ~
The women of Bushbuckridge gather the ripe fruit from the ground once it has fallen off the tree. Any fruit that is picked off the tree will be rejected, this is done to ensure that the project remains environmentally sustainable.

Once the fruit has been gathered, it will go through a process of hand washing, followed by peeling by the community of women.

The fruit will be used to make into fruit pulp and the kernel will be cold pressed and the oil will be gathered.

Empowerment ~
Marula is uniquely African as it grows especially well in the Northeast area of South Africa and is indigenous to Africa. The Marula product has a heritage that is proudly South African.

With its unique qualities and fabulous uses, it is a product that is supplied to you as an "environmentally friendly and socially conscious product."

The Marula project is a source of income for many women who live in communities around South Africa. The women harvest the fruit and use the kernel to produce the oil. They have home-based work places.

Uses ~
Marula oil has remarkable qualities:

- It is rich in antioxidants and oleic acids, both the essential components for the maintenance of healthy skin.

- With its combination of high nutritional value and excellent stability, Marula oil is an ideal and innovative choice for modern cosmetic formulas and as a carrier oil for Aromatherapy uses.

- To feel the texture of the oil on your skin and to understand the rich history of its cultural uses is to appreciate the unique heritage of Marula oil.

Social Uses / Folklore ~
The Kernels that are given as 'gifts' is the greatest mark of friendship; the fruit of the tree is much prized, hence the value of the gift.

The Tonga people call the Marula kernel the 'Food of Kings', and they celebrate the 'Feast of the First Fruits' by pouring an offering of the fresh juice over the tombs of their dead chiefs.

The Marula tree is known to the Zulus as the 'marriage tree,' since it is a symbol of fertility and is used in a cleansing ritual before marriage.

Marula trees are dioecious, which means they have a specific sex. This fact contributes to the belief among the Venda that bark infusions can be used to determine the sex of an unborn child.

If a woman wants a son the male tree is used, and for a daughter, the female tree.
If the child of the opposite sex is born, the child is said to be very special as it was able to defy the spirits.

Common uses of Marula Oil ~
- Soap and skin care products
- Carrier oil for aromatherapy formulas

Benefits ~
- Hydrates the skin and reduces redness
- Minimizes the transepidermal water loss
- Helps heal skin tissue
- Absorbs quickly and is non greasy
- Has a high concentration of palmitic acid which forms a protective coating on the skin's surface.
- A wonderful ingredient for dry skin care products.
- Commonly used as a super fatting oil in soap formulas.

Fatty acids:
* Palmitic acid
* Stearic acid
* Oleic acid
* Linoleic acid

Applications: 3 - 10%
* Skin care products
* Aromatherapy
* Products for dry skin
* Skin and massage oils

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