Native to Africa, the Marula Tree produces an oil which is an extremely potent and prized which protects the skin and hair from harsh, dry weather conditions.
It has been used for millenia on the skin and hair of the women of Namibia and Southern Africa for its protective, anti-ageing action. The oil, which is extracted from kernels in the stones of the fruit, contains four times as much Vitamin C as oranges and is packed with omega-9 fatty acids, vitamin E and flavonoids.
These essential fatty acids and powerful antioxidants, particularly the high levels of oleic acid, help maintain the skin’s moisture barrier, provide long-lasting hydration and protect against environmental harshness such as heat, low humidity and UV.
The fruit of the marula is about the size of a plum with a leathery skin that is butter yellow when ripe. The scented juicy white flesh clings to a hard brown stone, inside which are two or three seeds that are so rich in oil that even a squeeze with the hand can release a rich yield.
The flavour of the fruit has been compared with a cocktail of guava, lychee, apple and pineapple, and is popular not only with people but also with elephants which have been known to travel miles to gorge on the fruit. The popular African liqueur Amarula is based on the marula fruit. The marula harvest takes place between February and June.
Marula’s healing oil has long been used as a cosmetic by Southern African women who massage it into their hair and onto the skin of their face, feet and hands. Its moisturising properties make it especially popular as a treatment for dry, cracking skin. In Swaziland it is used traditionally by pregnant women and new mothers to reduce stretch marks.
I highly recommend this oil, both on its own and blended with coco butter oil, as a protective moisturizer for your skin.