‘The Elixir of Youth’ Marula Oil
HISTORY OF MARULA OIL USAGE
Marula Oil is derived from the nuts of the Sclerocarya birrea botanical – better known as the Marula Tree – which is a member of the same botanical family as Cashew, Mango, and Pistachio trees. Found growing naturally in the woodland areas of the southern parts of Africa, the useful and versatile Marula Tree is highly respected and carefully safeguarded, as each part of this tree yields benefits, including its nut kernels, roots, leaves, bark, wood, flowers, and fruits.
Over the centuries, the Marula Tree has also earned several nicknames, including Morula, Dania, Cat Thorn, Jelly Plum, Canhoeiro, Mushomo, Mutsomo, Umganu, The Cider Tree, and The Elephant Tree. It was believed that the Marula Tree was bestowed upon the people of Africa by a significant spiritual power or entity, thus it was perceived to be consecrated. The sanctity of the tree was evident in its nicknames, such as The Marriage Tree, and in its symbolism, which was believed to represent fertility and purity, hence the reason behind its use in purifying rituals before marriages took place.
According to historical sources of evidence, the entire Marula Tree has had a vital role in African civilization for nearly 10,000 years, its various parts having been used to create insecticides, dyes, medicine, food, fodder for livestock, materials for construction, treatments for leather, protective agents for skin and hair to shield them against the effects of harsh weather, and for various other applications.
Many African communities applied this softening, revitalizing, and wholesome oil to the skin in diverse cosmetic applications such as body lotions and cleansers while other communities made it a staple food in their daily diets. In traditional culinary applications, Marula Oil was used to preserve meat for up to one year.
The Marula nut was fondly referred to as “The Food of Kings,” and it is from this nut that the revered “Miracle Oil” continues to be cold pressed. With potent and protective properties as well as an aroma that is both floral and pleasantly nutty, Marula Carrier Oil is characterized as a tonic with healthful effects that have earned it nicknames like “The Elixir of Youth” and “The African Beauty Secret.”
Marula Carrier Oil abounds in antioxidants and vitamins C and E, and it is considered to be the richest plant source of Omega-9 fatty acids. This article highlights the properties, therapeutic benefits, and safe uses of Marula Oil, a gentle yet effective and fast-absorbing oil that contributes long-lasting moisture, among several other advantages.
MARULA OIL BENEFITS
The main chemical constituents of Marula Carrier Oil are Oleic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Stearic Acid, Linoleic Acid, and Arachidonic Acid.
Used cosmetically or topically in general, Marula Oil is known for its antioxidant activity, which supports skin health, repairs damage caused by pollutants, and delays the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and discoloration. Being a light and non-comedogenic oil that exhibits anti-microbial properties, Marula Oil is reputed to calm acne-prone skin and to reduce other blemishes as well as scarring. Its deeply hydrating qualities are known to prevent skin from losing moisture, thereby softening, nourishing, and protecting the skin, which ultimately revitalizes and rejuvenates the complexion. Marula Carrier Oil is reputed to enhance elasticity and firmness by boosting collagen production, and it is also reputed to facilitate the healing of irritation, inflammation, redness, and chapping, especially in association with sunburned skin and conditions such as dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis.
Used in hair, Marula Oil exhibits the same protective qualities as it does on the skin. It balances the scalp’s natural oils, thus reducing and preventing dandruff.
By sealing the strands with its smooth but thin gloss, it prevents hair from experiencing frizz. It strengthens the strands against damage caused by environmental stressors, such as harsh weather, UV radiation, as well as heat and residue from hair styling products, thus leaving it lustrous and resilient.
Used medicinally, Marula Oil works to diminish the appearance of scars, stretch marks, dryness, and cracking. The consistency of Marula Oil resembles that of the natural oil found in human skin, and its fast-absorbing action moisturizes without leaving an oily residue, making it suitable for all skin types. By effortlessly penetrating the skin’s surface, it nourishes to help address dryness and flaking and, by shielding the skin with fortifying vitamins, minerals, flavonoids, and essential amino acids, Marula Carrier Oil promotes healthy cell renewal for the regeneration of skin.
Marula Carrier Oil is reputed to have many therapeutic properties. The following highlights its many benefits and the kinds of activity it is believed to show:
- COSMETIC: Antioxidant, Anti-Inflammatory, Tonic, Collagen-Enhancing, Protective, Conditioning, Revitalizing, Moisturizing, Strengthening.
- MEDICINAL: Antioxidant, Anti-Inflammatory, Anti-microbial, Tonic, Collagen-Enhancing, Protective, Skin, and Hair-Enhancing, Strengthening.
MARULA OIL USES
Used in cosmetic and topical applications, Marula Oil can soothe redness and inflammation while hydrating the skin to smooth the appearance of wrinkles. To apply it directly, simply massage 3-4 drops of Marula Carrier Oil twice daily into the preferred area of skin. Regular application of this oil is reputed to protect skin against environmental toxins and pollutants. If applied before bed, this oil is known to strengthen and condition the skin overnight with enriching and reparative nutrients that facilitate the growth of newer, healthier skin. Alternatively, 1-2 drops of Marula Carrier Oil can be added to a regular cleanser to enhance its potency and increase the skin’s absorption of moisture.
Marula Carrier Oil can be applied to the face, neck, and décolletage as a makeup primer 10-15 minutes before makeup application. This regimen will boost skin’s collagen production to replenish suppleness and promote the appearance of smooth, firm, soft, blemish-free skin. Marula Oil promotes a silkier, radiant, and more evenly toned complexion with improved clarity and brightness without causing the skin to look greasy or the pores to become congested.
For an oil cleanser that is ideal for acne-prone skin, combine ½ Tsp. Jojoba Carrier Oil into a small mixing bowl or into the palm of the hand, then add in 6 drops of Marula Carrier Oil. This blend of two lightweight oils can be massaged into the face and neck for several minutes to allow it to disintegrate any congestion-causing oils that may be trapped inside the pores. The massaging motion will also enhance circulation. Next, soak a small, clean towel in warm water, wring it out, and lay it flat on the face for a few minutes. When the towel has cooled, use it to gently wipe the oil off. The rest can be washed off with lukewarm water or it can be left on the skin to absorb over time.
For a body oil that is known to firm skin and reduce the appearance of stretch marks as well as cellulite, apply 3-4 drops two to three times per day to areas of skin affected by stretch marks, bumpiness, and discoloration. This is known to contribute moisture that improves skin elasticity, especially for users that are pregnant. It is also believed to help reduce the chances of tearing and scarring.
Used in hair, Marula Carrier Oil conditions, shields against sun damage, and prevents frizz by sealing the cuticles. To easily and naturally smooth down hair, apply 2-6 drops of Marula Oil to the ends of the hair and slowly move upward to work the oil into the rest of the hair and scalp.
A deep-conditioning Marula Oil hair mask can be made by mixing 10 Tbsp. Marula Carrier Oil with 5 Tbsp. Argan Carrier Oil. In a separate small bowl, thoroughly whisk a small amount of a preferred hair conditioner. Next, gently heat the oil blend in the microwave at 30-second intervals until it is warm to the touch, ensuring that it is not so hot as could potentially cause the skin to burn. Combine all the ingredients from the separate bowls and whip them together. After shampooing the hair, apply the blend to the hair, paying special attention to the tips. Cover the hair with a shower cap and let the conditioner soak in for 45-60 minutes, then rinse it out in the shower or the sink. After this, hair can be styled as usual.
Used in medicinal applications, Marula Oil is known to facilitate the healing process with its anti-bacterial properties that prevent infections and promote tissue regeneration. For faster healing, Marula Oil can be applied as a spot treatment to areas of skin affected by scratches, scrapes, cuts, and wounds. It is known to soothe inflammation and to reestablish tissue strength and to restore their ability to function. Used in a massage, Marula Carrier Oil not only relaxes and rejuvenates the body but it also works to enhance the beauty of the skin. It facilitates the expulsion of bodily toxins while soothing aching muscles and regenerating healthier skin in the area of application.
A GUIDE TO MARULA OIL & ITS BENEFITS
MARULA CARRIER OIL
Botanical Name: Sclerocarya birrea
Method of Extraction and Plant Part: Cold pressed from seeds
Country of Origin: South Africa
- Range in color from Pale Yellow to Golden Yellow
- Contain stratified semi-solids
- Exude a slightly oily aroma, depending on the growing season and time of year during which the fruit was harvested (Spring vs. Fall)
- Be rich in antioxidants and essential fatty acids, which greatly enhance skin suppleness, smoothness, and softness
- Penetrate into the skin rapidly and thoroughly, leaving it feeling velvety and looking polished
- Be an ideal massage oil, both on its own and in an oil blend
- Have exceptional oxidative stability, making it an ideal ingredient for use in cosmetic formulas, such as formulas for lotions, body butters, scalp conditioners, hair lotions, leave-in hair treatments, lip treatments, and even eyeshadows.
CONTRAINDICATIONS FOR MARULA OIL
Marula Carrier Oil is for external use only. It is imperative to consult a medical practitioner before using this oil for therapeutic purposes. Pregnant and nursing women are especially advised not to use Marula Carrier Oil without the medical advice of a physician, as it may have an effect on certain hormone secretions and it is unclear whether these effects are transferable to babies at these stages of development. The oil should always be stored in an area that is inaccessible to children, especially those under the age of 7.
Those with the following health conditions are recommended to be advised by a physician: cancer, heart-related ailments, skin disorders, or hormone-related ailments. Individuals that are taking prescription drugs, undergoing major surgery, or who are at a greater risk of experiencing strokes, heart attacks, or atherosclerosis are also advised to seek medical consultation prior to use.
Prior to using Marula Oil, a skin test is recommended. This can be done by applying a dime-size amount of this oil to a small area of skin that is not sensitive. Marula Carrier Oil must never be used near the eyes, inner nose, and ears, or on any other particularly sensitive areas of skin. Potential side effects of Marula Oil include hypotension, irritation of the skin, inflammation, and gastrointestinal problems such as upset stomach, nausea, indigestion, and vomiting.
Those seeking medical care to manage moods, behaviors, or disorders should treat this Carrier Oil as a complementary remedy rather than a replacement for any medicinal treatments or prescriptions. In the event of an allergic reaction, discontinue use of the product and see a doctor, pharmacist, or allergist immediately for a health assessment and appropriate remedial action. To prevent side effects, consult with a medical professional prior to use.
- Marula Oil is derived from the Sclerocarya birrea botanical, better known as the Marula Tree.
- The Marula nut was fondly referred to as “The Food of Kings,” and it is from this nut that the revered “Miracle Oil” Marula Carrier Oil continues to be cold pressed.
- Used cosmetically or topically in general, Marula Oil is known to support skin health, repair damage caused by pollutants, reduce the appearance of maturing skin, calm acne-prone skin, reduce the chances of further blemishes, and prevent skin from losing moisture. It is reputed to enhance elasticity and firmness, facilitate the healing of irritation, inflammation, redness, and chapping, and ultimately revitalize and rejuvenate the complexion.
- Used in hair, Marula Oil works to protect the scalp against harmful bacteria and inflammation, to balance the scalp’s natural oils, to clean and freshen without leaving it feeling dry or irritated, and to strengthen the strands against damage caused by environmental stressors. Marula Oil is also known to prevent hair from experiencing frizz.
- Used medicinally, Marula Oil works to diminish the appearance of scars, stretch marks, dryness, and cracking. It helps to eliminate harmful bacteria, prevent the onset of acne breakouts, address flaking, facilitate wound healing, and promote skin regeneration.