Marula oil is a vegetable oil that is hauled out of the kernels or nuts of the marula tree (Scleocarya birrea). Marula trees are native to South Africa and belong to the Anacardiaceae family. In fact, there are two varieties of marula oil - the first type of this oil is extracted from the seeds of fruits borne by marula trees, while the second type of oil is hauled out of the nuts and hard shells of the fruit.
Traditionally, marula oil has been used in making cosmetics, for cooking food and also as a preservative for meat. This oil also has some industrial applications and is used to treat leather.
Marula trees are usually medium-sized. These trees are dioecious in nature. In other words, the male and female parts occur in different trees of the species.
People in Africa use the various parts of marula tree as traditional medicine and also in the form of food ingredients.
Marula oil offers a number of health benefits. It is highly absorbable and supplies the body antioxidants through the skin. As a result, marula oil is effective in combating the aging effects caused by the detrimental free radicals as well as environmental stress. This oil can be applied directly onto the skin and hair independently or combined with serums, other lotions, or even shampoo. People who apply marula oil on their skin regularly experience decreased redness of the skin, reducing fine lines, wrinkles and blotchiness as our skin soaks up this nutrient-rich oil easily.
Marula oil is very lightweight and, hence, our skin is able to absorb it easily. This oil is also an excellent moisturizer for aging as well as dry skin. The moisturizing properties of this oil helps to soften and smoothen the fine lines, keep the skin nourished and hydrated. At the same time it is also useful in putting off stretch marks when it is applied on the skin regularly. In fact, marula oil is an excellent moisturizer for the oily skin because it is not greasy. Applying this oil also helps to prevent and treat acne.
However, as of date there is no scientific evidence that marula oil is helpful for other skin disorders like psoriasis and eczema. Nevertheless, since this oil possesses anti-microbial properties, it may be helpful in combating bacteria that are responsible for blackheads, white heads and pimples. As mentioned earlier, it is also effective in preventing as well as treating acne.
In addition to nourishing your skin and keeping it hydrated, marula oil also helps to nurture hair - right from the root to tip. At the same time, it does not make the hair excessively greasy because it is a lightweight oil. Marula oil possesses occlusive (something that prevents loss of water) and moisturizing properties and, hence, it is very useful for frizzy, dry and brittle hair.
Marula oil is also beneficial for the nails, as it keeps the nail beds and cuticles soft and supple. As a result, it helps in reducing incidents such as painful, cracked skin around the nails and also helps to prevent hangnails. In fact, it is recommended that you apply this nourishing oil on your hands on a regular basis to remain free from the above mentioned problems.
In addition, marula oil also contains omega-3 as well as omega-6 fatty acids, which help to boost the health of our skin. In fact, both these essential fatty acids are vital for the normal functioning of the skin and also to make the skin look healthy.
Lots of people, especially expecting mothers, have great problems with stretch marks. Since marula oil contains lots of polyunsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants, it may be helpful in enhancing the hydration as well as the suppleness of the skin. In this way, it can also help to prevent the occurrence of undesirable and ugly stretch marks. However, it is essential to apply this nutrient-rich oil onto your skin daily if you wish to get rid of stretch marks and improve the appearance of the skin.
As this oil aids in removing stretch marks and improving the appearance of the skin, it can also aid in preventing scarring. This is primarily owing to the fact that marula oil is loaded with essential fatty acids (both omega-3 fatty acid and omega-6 fatty acid). Moreover, this oil also contains rich amounts of vitamin C and vitamin E, which are both beneficial for the health of our skin. You may use this oil for removing facial scars or scars on any other part of your body.
Some people claim that applying marula oil on the skin daily possibly helps to lighten dark spots owing to its high content of vitamin E. However, it is still not clear how this oil works vis-à-vis fading dark spots.
When marula oil is used for culinary purpose or you cook your food in marula oil, it has the potential to offer a number of additional health benefits - thanks to the presence of several fatty acids in this oil. These fatty acids are known to be "good" or “beneficial” cholesterol and possess the ability to balance the levels of "bad" or low density lipo-protein (LDL) cholesterol in the body. As a result, this oil helps to prevent atherosclerosis, reduce the chances of developing heart attack and stroke. These properties of marula oil are attributed to its ability to reduce strain on the cardiovascular system. In other words, this oil is healthy for your heart.
Various different forms of antioxidants are present in marula oil and ingesting this nutrient-rich oil supplies our body with adequate amounts of antioxidants, which help to neutralize the harmful free radicals in our body. Precisely speaking, this oil not only boosts our health in general, but also protects us from oxidative stress. It is effective in lowering the oxidative stress, which is responsible for many ailments, especially cardiovascular disease.
It is worth mentioning here that sometimes marula oil is also used in the form of massage oil. However, this is not a very common use of this oil. Considering this oil's natural rejuvenating and anti-inflammatory properties, it works wonders when used as a massage oil. Marula oil has the ability to facilitate the body to get rid of all environmental toxins present on the skin. At the same time, it appeases the aching muscles and boosts the growth of new and healthy cells in the body areas that are massaged with this oil.
People who are suffering from dandruff may turn to marula oil to get rid of the problem, which is often persistent unless treated properly. Since marula oil is an excellent moisturizer, applying this oil onto the scalp helps to get rid of the dead skin even before they develop into dandruff.
The therapeutic applications of marula oil are many. It can be applied to scrapes, scratches, wounds and cuts to facilitate healing by aiding the immune system to keep of pathogens and other alien substance from entering the body through these openings. At the same time, the antioxidants and tocopherols present in marula oil possess antibacterial properties and help to keep the skin safe from any infection.
It is well known that several problems we suffer, right from skin disorders to appetite and mood, are due to hormonal imbalances. Active ingredients present in marula oil possess the ability to neutralize such fluctuations in the levels of different hormones and ensure that your body functions optimally.
Irrespective of whether you apply marula oil onto a dry skin patch, an aching joint or consume this oil hoping that it will help to ease and upset stomach, this nutrient-rich oil's anti-inflammatory properties aid in alleviating the inflamed tissues and reinstate their normal functioning. Hence, this oil is also beneficial for people who are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, as it helps to lubricate the joints.
Aside from protecting us from various ailments and treating them too, marula oil also forms a vital constituent in an assortment of cosmetic items. In fact, you can purchase marula oil as an essential oil.
The various health benefits offered by marula oil are attributed to the array of nutrients contained by it. Some of the beneficial constituents of marula oil include amino acids such as glutamic acid and L-arginine, which possess anti-aging and dehydrating properties. In addition, it contains the essential fatty acids, which include oleic acid, palmitic acid and myristic acid that offer moisturizing and emollient benefits. Last, but not the least important, marula oil contains high levels of antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E and phenolic compounds, which combat the dangerous free radicals and may also prevent skin damage due to environmental pollution and the ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun.