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What is Moringa Oil?

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  • Written By: C. Ausbrooks
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 08 December 2016
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Moringa oil is obtained from pressing the seeds of the Moringa Oleifera tree, which is native to the Himalayas in northwestern India. The oil is also known as “ben oil” or “behen oil,” because of the high concentration of behenic acid it contains. Behenic acid is a fatty acid that is poorly absorbed by humans, which makes moringa oil a poor choice for food preparation. The oil is, however, valuable in the cosmetic industry because of its moisturizing, cleansing and emollient properties.

This type of oil is pale yellow in color with a flavor often described as mild and nutty. It is resistant to rancidity, which may be because it contains powerful antioxidants that act as natural preservatives. There have been claims from retailers that the oil will never turn rancid, but this is incorrect, as all vegetable oils will eventually spoil. Moringa oil is long-lasting, but its shelf life is only about five years.

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Moringa oil is most commonly used in hair conditioners, shampoos, lotions, balms, skin moisturizers, body oils, scrubs and perfumes. It is an effective herbal remedy for cleansing and moisturizing the scalp. Simply dampening the hair, massaging the oil into the scalp, and then rinsing thoroughly will effectively lift away dirt and hydrate the hair and scalp. The oil has become a popular choice for blending with essential oils, as its non-drying properties make it ideal for use in massage. Other uses for moringa oil include making lip balms for chapped lips and soap for dry skin.

Perfume makers value moringa oil because it has the ability to absorb and retain even the most volatile scents. It has been used in enfleurage, a process that uses solid, odorless fats to capture the fragrances of delicate plants and flowers. Enfleurage is a traditional method of extracting essential oils from these plants, although it is time-consuming and expensive. Moringa oil, however, is one of the choice oils for perfume manufacturers that still employ the enfleurage process.

Moringa seed oil is rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, copper and calcium, which are all beneficial for healthy skin. The oil is believed to have antiseptic and antibacterial properties, although these claims have not been adequately proven. Traditionally, the oil has been used to treat minor skin abrasions, insect bites, cuts, burns and bruises. Its use can be traced back to the ancient Egyptians, who placed vases filled with moringa oil inside their tombs.

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anon334917
Post 8

Moringa leaf powder is very susceptible to oxidation from oxygen and light. Also, exposing moringa powder to temperatures above 140 degrees will destroy the nutritional value and the enzymes. Also, for breastfeeding mothers, the leaf powder is the best thing and not the flower juice.

anon142207
Post 5

Can Moringa seeds be used for biodiesel production?

googie98
Post 4

These are some uses for Moringa leaves that I read in a book:

For headaches, rub the leaves against your temple. For gastric ulcers or diarrhea, drink some moringa leaf tea.

For breastfeeding mothers, drink the flower juice to improve the flow of the breast milk.

Roast and pound the seeds and mix with coconut oil for arthritis, gout, cramps, and boils.

CarrotIsland
Post 3

@stormyknight: The root of the seedling can also be made into a sauce. The root is ground up well after the bark is removed. Vinegar and salt are added and the sauce is ready to serve. It can be stored in the refrigerator.

It is very important to remove the bark because it can contain harmful substances.

dill1971
Post 2

@stormyknight: Yes, there are many different ways that you can use moringa leaves. You can mix the leaves with other vegetables such as squash and eggplant.

The dried leaves are sometimes crushed and added to sauces for extra flavor. You can also take the leaves and place them in very hot water for about five minutes for a natural tea.

StormyKnight
Post 1

Aren't there many ways that you can use moringa leaves other than for the oil?

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