Argan oil is a natural oil procured from the Argania Spinosa’s kernels (Argan tree), which is native to Morocco. High in antioxidants and fatty acids, argan oil is often used in skincare as an anti-aging product .
Argan oil is also used for culinary reasons, the consumption of which is believed to have medical benefits, including the treatment of diabetes and high blood pressure.
What is argan oil?
Argan oil, which is also referred to as “liquid gold,” — is made from the Argan tree fruit’s fresh kernels in Morocco. Pure argan oil has been in use for hundreds of years for cooking and as a home remedy for beauty and health, including hair loss. Today it can be found in several skin and hair care products.
Argan oil has been shown to provide numerous health benefits when applied to the skin, and several of those benefits extend to the hair.
Benefits Of Moroccan Oil
Argan oil for hair benefits
Argan oil is full of powerful antioxidants, such as vitamin E and fatty acids, that have been proved to have benefits for the hair and scalp . Here are some benefits of argan oil for hair that can help safeguard against hair loss.
1. Conditions and moisturizes
Argan oil is largely used as a moisturizer for hair and skin because it is full of fatty acids, mainly linoleic acid and oleic acid. These oils have been proved to lubricate the hair shaft and help the hair maintain moisture .
Argan oil is also plentiful in vitamin E, which provides a fatty layer to the scalp and hair that can help reduce fizziness, prevent dryness, and boost shine.
2. Improves scalp health
Argan oil has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that are beneficial for the skin. This can help improve or prevent skin conditions, including those that can affect the scalp that can cause hair loss, like:
- seborrheic dermatitis
Limited scientific research has been done on argan oil’s antifungal effects, though it can help treat dandruff . Sometimes dandruff is induced by a yeast-like fungus on the scalp.
3. For A Glowing And Healthy Skin
Loaded with essential fatty acids and assorted antioxidants, this oil has immaculate restorative properties. Just apply a little on the skin and massage it just before you hit the bed to find yourself with healthy, soft, and glowing skin.
4. Delays the Onset Of Premature Ageing
The harsh sun rays and the alarmingly increasing levels of pollution leave no chance to damage the skin. The result – the skin is jammed with free radicals. These free radicals diminish the moisture levels, leaving the skin dry. This, on the other end, sets the stage for premature aging.
While Vitamin E in Moroccan oil prevents free radical damages, the saponins enhance the moisture level, ensuring that the skin doesn’t lose its elasticity, firmness, and radiance.
5. Oral Therapeutic Uses
Some proponents believe that argan oil consumption can help prevent or treat certain medical conditions, including high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, epilepsy and diabetes, and atherosclerosis. To date, there is limited scientific research to back these claims.
A 2013 research in the Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine concluded that diabetic mice given argan oil experienced far more significant blood sugar reductions than untreated mice with the condition. Moreover, the oil appeared to stabilize blood pressure, which did not occur in the mice who did not receive treatment.
A similar study in NMCD (Nutrition, Metabolism, and Cardiovascular Diseases) noted that argan oil weakened the effects of obesity in mice given a high-fat diet. Related to untreated mice, those given argan oil had lower total cholesterol, glucose, triglycerides, insulin, and “bad” LDL cholesterol levels.
Having said that, argan oil did not increase “good” HDL cholesterol levels critical to cardiovascular health.
Whether these same benefits can be simulated in humans has yet to be seen. Unfortunately, argan oil remains understudied compared to other heart-healthy polyunsaturated oils.
6. Lowers Cholesterol Level
Argan oil is rich in plant sterols (spinasterol and schottenol), which are found in no other vegetable oil. Research has proven that these plant sterols help reduce inflammation in the body and inhibit cholesterol absorption by the intestine. It also improves circulation and helps to enhance the body’s immunity.
The phytosterols are unsaturated fatty acids, increasing the good cholesterol (LDL level) in the body.
7. Healthy Digestion
If you suffer from indigestion frequently, try using Argan oil. It increases the concentration of enzyme pepsin in the gastric juice, thus facilitating healthy digestion. It contains flavonoids, an antioxidant that reduces inflammation both internally and externally.
Possible Side Effects
Argan oil is usually considered safe for topical use and consumption. However, in some individuals, argan oil may cause a form of allergy known as contact dermatitis, characterized by the development of redness, rash, and itchiness at the spot of application.
Argan oil also has tocopherols, a form of vitamin E, which can slow blood clotting and interact with anticoagulants like warfarin (Coumadin). It is unclear whether the concentration of tocopherols in argan oil is adequate to spur interaction.
Dosage and Preparation
Argan oil is sold as a general health tonic and as a culinary ingredient. Oftentimes, there will be no noticeable difference between the two options other than the cost. Argan cooking oil is usually cheaper, although high-quality, cold-pressed oils can sometimes be as pricey, ounce-per-ounce, as therapeutic oils.
There are no instructions for the proper use of argan oil. When used topically, most manufacturers suggest massaging the oil into the scalp or dabbing a few drops onto the skin before combing it through the hair.
Argan oil has been used for hundreds of years for a variety of cosmetic, culinary, and medicinal purposes. It is plentiful in antioxidants, essential nutrients, and anti-inflammatory compounds.
Early studies indicate that argan oil may help prevent chronic illnesses, including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. It can also treat a range of skin disorders. While current research cannot definitively state that argan oil effectively treats any of these conditions, many people report desirable results after using it.
If you’re curious about argan oil, it’s easy to find and start using today.