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A Brief History Of Moroccan Argan Oil
Moroccan oil has become one of the hottest beauty products on the market; it has been used by the Amazigh women for its healing properties in reducing rheumatic problems, skin damages and hair loss.
Argan oil, now produced by local indigenous women through cooperatives, has been used for centuries by locals for medicinal and culinary purposes. But recently it's gathered a cult-like following in the global cosmetic market. Full of antioxidants and vitamin E, the oil has been praised as having conditioning and anti-aging properties that benefit hair, skin and nails. Argan oil is cold pressed from the seed kernels of the Argan fruit and is rich in fatty acids.
Argan is dotingly called as the ‘Tree of life’ by the Moroccan populace and is awarded with the title ‘Liquid gold’, for its innumerable healing benefits. Despite attempts to export and grow the argan tree to and in other areas worldwide, the region surrounding Essaouira and Agadir is the only place in the world the argania spinosa grows. Given its ability to survive the region’s hot climate with temperatures that climb to +50 ºC, the tree produces a fruit that is harvested each spring and cold-pressed to create the oil. To make the oil, indigenous women peel the outer layer of the tree's fruit and pound its inner nut with a rock to extract kernels which are used to create the precious golden-colored oil.
For a while, the value of the trees went unnoticed -- until the oil industry boomed -- bringing millions per year into Morocco's economy. While the trees are important environmentally, locals also work hard to keep up with the booming business.