Here’s the thing I grew up as a pre teen in a seaside town where baobab trees were a dime a dozen; and yet I had never heard of baobab oil until two weeks ago when I stumbled on it on a facebook hair group that I am part of. The only part of the baobab tree that I was very familiar with were the seeds that were prepared into a tart but sweet “seedy” snack called “mabuyu” in Swahili. The tree itself is called “Mbuyu” in Swahili its scientific name is Adansonia it has nine species and each having a different sub name and can live for up to 2000 years. It is also called the Tree of Life because it provides water (they store water in their trunks), food traditional medicine and shelter (I sheltered under this tree many times as a child; we had one in our school compound). I am pretty sure the oil was probably used somewhere around me I just never recognized it or paid attention to it. As long as I had my “mabuyu” I was good, forget everything else the tree produces hehehe. I remember at school when we were taught about the benefits of various trees a lot more emphasis was paid on the very versatile coconut tree rather than baobab tree; or maybe I was just not paying attention during baobab tree sessions:)
So what is Baobab oil? Baobab oil is produced by cold pressing baobab seeds this method ensures nutrients found in the oil are conserved and limits any chances of cross contamination of the oil by unwanted chemicals. Baobab oil is high in vitamin C which assists in skin elasticity; I am thinking this may be a perfect anti ageing oil. It contains antioxidants which protects the skin from free radicals, contains vitamins A and B which firms, tightens and hydrates the skin – anti ageing oil anyone?- It is also rich in Omegas 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids which makes it a great anti inflammatory agent.
Baobab oil promotes wound healing, moisturizes skin and protects the skin from extreme temperatures i.e. too hot or too cold temperatures among other benefits. Other than skin and hair the oil can also be used for nail and dental care. The oil can be used on the hair as a hot oil treatment, pre poo, added to deep conditioners or simply used on its own as a sealant or scalp oil. It leaves hair soft, silky and protects it from sun damage. The oil has a good shelf life but just like other oils it is best kept away from light to avoid it getting rancid even though it has a pretty strong resistance to rancidity.
This is an oil that I am definitely going to give a try especially for the benefits to my skin. Please note however that the oil in its natural unfiltered form is not deemed fit for internal consumption but rather external use.
Sources and additional reading