Marula (Sclerocarya Birrea)
| Sclerocarya birrea, commonly known as the Marula "nut", in reference to the stone inside the fleshy fruit, is a medium-sized dioecious tree, indigenous to the Miombo woodlands of Southern Africa, the Sudano-Sahelian range of West Africa, and Madagascar.|
Marula fruit has been harvested wild for centuries, used as a natural remedy for healing a wide range of conditions, is considered by some to be the “elixir of youth” with powerful properties, including protective antioxidants, and contains 60 percent more antioxidants than Moroccan Argan oil. It is light in texture, super fast-absorbing, loaded with nutrients and fatty acids that fight environmental damage, and incredibly hydrating.
Marula oil is rare and is obtained by cold pressing the kernels of the Sclerocarya birrea. The oil is then filtered leaving a pale yellow to pinkish colored oil with a bland floral and nutty aroma. Marula oil is noted for its remarkable absorbency into the skin without leaving a greasy residue. This oil is gaining popularity in the personal care and cosmetics industry for its ability to nourish, moisturize and improve skin elasticity. Marula oil is present in many products such as shampoos for damaged dry or fragile hair, skin products including formulations for maturing skin, lotions and other cosmetics. Marula oil contains high levels of omega-3 oleic acids, natural antioxidants and is a stable oil.
Long a part of diets, and for other purposes, in South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique, it’s been used to preserve meats, for a variety of cooking purposes, in cosmetics, to treat leather, and much more. The Tsonga people have used it in place of water for cleaning themselves, as a body lotion, and even as a massage oil for babies. In Southern Africa, it’s been a part of multiple beauty rituals for hundreds of years in order to protect the skin and hair from the harsh weather conditions in the country.
Anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial, Marula oil is a multipurpose tonic that can reportedly reverse photo damage, boost cellular activity, aid in building collagen, protect against environmental toxins, and support the health of the skin and hair. While it’s generally not cheap, remember, you pay for what you get, and you only need two to three drops at a time, so it will last quite a while.
Some of the benefits of Marula oil:
1. Protects against environmental damage caused by harmful UV rays, free radicals, pollution, smoke, artificial heating and cooling, wind, heat and cold.
2. Protecting from irritation which leads to collagen and elastin breaking down in the skin which increases the appearance of age spots, wrinkles, and fine lines, as well as leaving your skin dehydrated, rough and dull.
3. Prevents stretch marks while reducing the appearance of scars. Marula oil can help reduce the appearance of scars and stretch marks, and possibly help prevent them from occurring in the first place, thanks to being rich in essential fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. It absorbs easily, leaving the skin nourished, supple, elastic and firm. Using Marula oil as a massage oil twice daily is ideal, as it offers relaxation benefits while beautifying the skin.
4. Helps relive skin disorders. Marula oil can nourish the skin, while allowing it to breathe, thus expediting the healing process. Marula oil is soothing to eczema and improves skin hydration while boosting its barrier function. Some preliminary studies have suggested that its omega-6 fatty acids can help further reduce eczema symptoms.
5. Smoothes and softens skin. Marula oil has been shown to deeply penetrate the skin, even in areas where it’s the thickest, it can improves the appearance of pores and beautify the complection. It works to improve the firmness of skin, while helping to smooth out areas of cellulite, and reduce the appearance of pigmentation patches as well as scars, resulting in flawlessly smooth, remarkably soft skin with regular applications, thanks to its blend of vitamin C and monounsaturated fatty acids. Marula oil leaves your skin ultra-smooth and soft to the touch with silky texture by hydrating and reversing the skin damage.
6. Works for all skin types. Marula oil is great for all skin types ( dry, mature, oily, sensitive, acneic) as it’s rich in oleic acid, which is a must for beautiful, healthy skin. It’s naturally soothing, fast absorbing without clogging pores, and never leaves that annoying, greasy residue, also helping to balance moisture levels.
7. Anti-aging. Marula oil is rich in omegas and fatty acids, along with vitamin C and E, which all work together to fight free radical damage, which, as mentioned, accelerates the signs of aging. It boosts the skin’s natural ability to repair and regenerate while encouraging it to produce collagen to restore suppleness.
8. Fights acne. Because of its hydrating and antimicrobial properties, Marula oil can fight acne and improve the appearance of all types of blemishes, including acne scars.
9. Helps heal chapped lips. Thanks to its moisturizing properties, Marula oil not only helps to treat dry skin including chapped lips by also locking the moisture inside the skin.
10. Helps restore beautiful hair. Marula oil’s high level of both vitamin C and oleic acid combines to help protect and beautify the hair. While great for all hair types, it protects the hair from the elements, whether it’s the heat of your curling iron, the harsh UV rays of the sun or cold winds. The oil coats the strands of hair to guard against both environmental damage and styling elements due to its ultra-protective shield of essential nutrients, including vitamins, minerals and antioxidants like vitamin E, essential amino acids, and flavonoids, which are all well-known for being outstanding for cell renewal and regeneration. It nourishes everything from the ends of your hair to your scalp, assisting in moisture retention while restoring the health of the hair, due to that impressive list of antioxidants, promoting lustrous hair that’s healthy and strong.
11. Improves brittle nails. Marula oil is great for brittle nails prone to breaking and cracking due to its rich nutrien content. The quick absorbing active ingredients will not only leave hands baby soft, but work to fortify brittle, fragile nails while moisturizing the cuticles too.
Disclaimer: The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.