Prickly Pear (Opuntia Ficus-indica)
The Opuntia Ficus-indica in Latin is a member of the cactus family and is commonly known as the prickly pear, Barbary fig, cactus pear and Indian fig. Also known as the Aknari to the Berber people of Morocco.
The origin of the Opuntia cactus is rather vague, mainly because it has been farmed since days of old for its fruit but it is believed to have originated in the south American country of Mexico and originally imported from the Americas in the sixteenth century. One thing is clear though, that the Optunia cactus has been in existence in Morocco for more than four centuries. Today, the Optunia ficus-indica can be found not just in Africa but also other arid or semi-arid areas of the world such as south Asia, south America, Australia, southern Europe and a number of islands with temperate climates.
The Opuntia cactus is considered to be both miraculous and an affliction in South Africa and Ethiopia. It has been included in the Global Invasive Species Database, but additionally it performs an essential part in supporting people and cattle throughout drought and famine. For this reason, the Opuntia ficus-indica was introduced into northern Ethiopia. This plantation has now increased to cover an estimated area of three hundred and sixty hectares. These Cacti, present a threat to both people and animals, cutting down grazing land, taking the place of indigenous plants and devaluing land.
More recently, the Opuntia cactus has been hailed as a miracle product, not for its pads or fruit, but for the oil that can be extracted from the tiny seeds contained within the fruit, commonly known as the prickly pear. The prickly pear seed oil, is now recognised for its anti-ageing properties and many cosmetic companies are showing a strong interest in this precious oil. The small prickly pear fruit also contains numerous effective chemical ingredients that are now being used by pharmaceutical laboratories for medicinal purposes.
Prickly pear is extremely high in essential fatty acids, Omega 6 and 9, and the natural antioxidant Vitamin E. “It’s also rich in amino acids, which stimulate collagen production to promote faster cell turnover. It also contains Vitamin K, which brightens under-eye dark circles and also promote skin’s elasticity. Prickly Pear seed oil is great for all skin types, and especially great for mature skin. Prickly pear oil is a light oil with a thin texture.
Prickly Pear seed oil has been used in cosmetic industry to address many conditions. The reports of miricle results are rapidly emerging. Some of the conditions Prickly pear oil is great for are as follows:
Prickly Pear seed oil is a superb moisturizer. It plumps the skin and helps erase fine lines and wrinkles, as well as other signs of aging, including hyperpigmentation and blemishes.
Oily/Acne prone skin
Prickly pear oil is one of the few oils that can be safely used on acne prone skin. It is non-comedogenic and will not clog pores.
Brightening and plumping the skin
Prickly pear oil is rich in some unique antioxidants. Antioxidants protect skin against free radical damage and reduce the chances of premature wrinkles and age spots.
Prickly pear sead oil is not greasy and absorbes quickly. For spreadablility need to be mixed with other carrier oil.
It’s a good idea to start protecting your skin against wrinkles even before they appear. Prickly pear oil has anti-aging properties that prevent fine lines and reduce wrinkles.
Prickly pear oil has healing properties that help reduce dark circles around the eyes.
Prickly pear gives hair a sleek, tangle-free sheen without leaving it heavy or oily.
Hydrating and Moisturizing
Prickly pear is quickly absorbed by the skin, thus moisturizing and plumping the skin.
Use prickly pear oil for oil cleansing. It has a light consistency and is perfect for cleansing all skin types.
Prickly pear oil contains large amounts of linoleic acid, Vitamin E, phytosterols, and polyphenols, prickly pear seed oil stimulates healthy cell production and turnover, provides protection, and helps skin retain moisture. These components make the oil an extremely rich and skin-nourishing oil. It soothes, hydrates, and reduces inflammation that can damage collagen, and it can prevent skin aging and wrinkles. Prickly pear oil is costly to extract, but every drop is well worth the benefit.
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.