A focus on Argan Oil
Argan oil is a plant oil produced from the kernels of the argan tree (Argania spinosa L.) that is prevalent to Morocco in particular the western part. In Morocco, argan oil is used to dip bread in at breakfast or to drizzle on couscous or pasta and is also used for cosmetic purposes which is where its popularity has exploded in the UK.
When I was in Agadir we visiting an argan oil farm and was fascinated, the trees themselves have twisted branches and more often than not can be covered in goats that feed on the leaves and fruit. They go so high you have to see it to believe it. Argan grows wild in semi-desert soil, its deep root system helping to protect against soil erosion and the northern advance of the Sahara.
I was amazed at the complexity of the process (hence the high price), each nut must be cracked open to remove the kernels then the nuts are roasted and then ground and the result mixed with water. This creates a brown paste which the oil is then extracted from.
Argan is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids and contains a large amount of vitamin E which is a powerful anti-oxidant and quenches free radicals. It also has a high content of oleic acid making it particularly interesting in the regulation of blood cholesterol.
The oil I purchased from the farm was beautiful, it was fluid but with a thicker consistency and it was a deep golden colour almost with a reddy tinge and I used it every day as a facial oil until I ran out as it so good at restructuring and regenerating properties due to all the essential fatty acids it contains. Argan is also claimed to stimulate the circulation and strengthen the body’s natural defences.