Friday is Mail Day: Argan oil and Camellia oil

Today we are going to take a quick trip to Morocco to discover argan oil and then hop on over to Japan to learn about camellia oil (or tea seed oil not to be confused with tea tree oil!).

I love learning and when I hear names that I have never seen I am inspired to learn more. Therefore when Milan commented on argan oil, I hopped on and found out as much as I could.

Argan oil is a traditional moroccan oil and both the oil and the tree (meaning leaves, bark etc) are currently of high scientific interest because of their medicinal properties. These are some interesting facts about argan oil

1. The argan tree grows exclusively in Morocco. There is currently some buzz about protecting this right similar to the way cheese is protected (like roquefort cheese exclusively from Roquefort in France or parmigiano-reggiano aka parmesan exclusively from Italy).
2. It is one of the most expensive edible oils
3. Staying with diet, it is also a cholesterol reducing oil.
4. Skipping to skin, scientific tests have shown that it can reduce oil production and prevent acne.
5. For hair, it is traditionally thought to soften and fortify hair. Scientifically it has been shown to be able to protect skin from damage from UVB rays (sun damage). Therefore it could protect hair too from sun damage.
6. Finally extracts from the leaves are shown to be antifungal and antibacterial.

The second mail item today comes from Yoko in New Zealand who asked about camellia oil. This oil comes from China and Japan and has been used for centuries (why haven't I heard of it?!). Similar to argan oil, all parts of the camellia plant are used from tea making to medicinal properties. Here are some facts for you on camellia oil

1. It is traditionally used as a skin and hair protectant
2. It has been tested scientifically for antiwrinkling (yes it worked too in the study)
3. It has been tested on hair for prevention or reduction of dandruff and that worked too.
4. Tests on camellia oil as a sunscreen were actually unsuccesful but extra virgin olive oil which previously had no sun exposure was actually good for protecting against sun damage!
5. Extracts of the oil, seeds and/or leaves have been shown to have potential for treating or preventing cancer, viral infections and ulcers.

Thankyou Milan and Yoko for your contributions to the haven!!


Argan Oil

Ecological Economics, 64, 1, pp 12-18, 2007

Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 6, pp113-118, 2007

Eur. J. Lipid Sci.Technol, 110, pp632-636, 2008

African Journal of Biotechnology, 4, 5, pp 381-388, 2005

Phytochemistry Reviews, 1 , pp345-354, 2002

Camellia Oil

Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 112, 1, pp127-131, 2007

Eur Food Res Technol, 220, pp401-405, 2005

Skin Research, 4, 3, pp309-316, 2005

Carcinogenesis, 21, 11, pp2085-2090, 2000

FEBS Letters, 581, 13, pp2541-2548, 2007

Chem. Pharm. Bull, 52, pp153-156, 2004

Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotheraphy, 42, pp211-216, 1998

J. Nat Prod, 69, 2, pp185-190, 2006
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  1. JC, you are are a GENIUS. That's right. A genius. Bye bye acne and dandruff lol

  2. lol Kadiane - not me, it is the Chinese and Japanese people! I hope it works for you, the trials in these cases were small but successful.Hopefully it will be for you too.

  3. i'm totally willing to try camellia oil as my itchy scalp is back with vengeance. was there any advice on how to use the oil?

  4. I'll check for you and post it up later eccentric!

  5. To reduce acne do we have to eat it or put it on the skin though

  6. Kadiane - The argan oil was applied to the face twice a day. There is also a cream which was tested - AROMA PURE (AROMA,Sofia, Bulgaria)

  7. Eccentric - Camellia oil was applied to the scalp and then rinsed 5-10 minutes later. Hair was then washed with shampoo containing camellia oil.This procedure was repeated daily (Bear in mind that this was done on Japanese people so they may not have super curly hair which might not withstand daily washing).

  8. Yaaaaaay! Thanks for the info on argan oil Jc! It sounds good. I guess I'll pluck up the cash to try some. Lol.

  9. Argan oil did not work for my acne. It actually said it prevents it not that it cures it and i did not get the nuance lol. It works when excessive oil production is the only problem you have. It says on another science blog that even though it reduces oil production, it is comedogenic due to the big amount of oleic acid. Oh well...i'll have tried...

  10. I love Argan oil for my face and hands especially. It's not a greasy oil and my skin just drinks it up!


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