Marula oil is known as the “elixir of youth.”
It is an incredible oil obtained from the marula tree (Sclerocarya birrea) and is native to Southern Africa. It has been used as a natural remedy for centuries to treat a wide range of health conditions.
More recently its oil has been found to be an effective moisturiser for dry or aging skin, and it has been found to be beneficial for treating acne, smoothening, and softening fine lines, also preventing stretch marks. Its use is hair treatment is legendary.
Enzymes like elastase and collagenase accelerate the signs of aging. Marula oil prevents the skin from losing its elasticity by inhibiting the activity of these. It may help to fight the signs of aging like fine lines, wrinkles, dryness, and dullness. It can also boost the natural ability of your skin to regenerate and repair itself.
Marula oil is rich in nutrients, antioxidants, and fatty acids. Thus, it may play a role in keeping the scalp healthy and boosting healthy hair growth. It may help nourish your hair from root to tip without making it overly greasy, making it beneficial for dry, frizzy, or brittle hair. Afrika Botanicals highly recommends Marula oil.
Marula oil is a lightweight and antioxidant-rich oil that hails from the nuts and kernels found in marula trees. The light-yellow oil has a faint nutty scent and is fast absorbing. It also has cellular regeneration, hydrating, occlusive, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. The amino acids found in marula oil (L-arginine and glutamic acid) help restore hydration and have anti-aging properties, which is why it’s found in so many beauty products, and it helps neutralise free radicals from pollution and sun exposure.
The marula is widespread in Africa from Ethiopia in the north to KwaZulu-Natal in the south. In South Africa it is more dominant in the Phalaborwa area in Limpopo. It occurs naturally in various types of woodland, on sandy soil or occasionally sandy loam. The marula is a medium-sized to large deciduous tree with an erect trunk and rounded crown. It is one of the plants that played a role in feeding people in ancient times.
The powdered bark is used to treat pregnant women to determine the gender of an unborn baby. If a pregnant woman wishes to have a girl, she will take a preparation from the female plant and for a boy she will use the male plant. Traditional healers use the hard nut in their divining dice.
A decoction of the bark treats dysentery, diarrhoea, rheumatism and has a prophylactic effect against malaria. The bark is an excellent remedy for haemorrhoids. Roots and bark are also used as laxatives. A drink made from marula leaves is used for the treatment of gonorrhoea. Sometimes one finds a tree with a wound, probably caused by a traditional healer or someone who collected material for medicinal use.
Male and female flowers are borne on separate trees, the flowers of male plants producing pollen and the female flowers producing the fruit for which the tree is so well known. These are green on the tree and turn yellow after falling (Feb-June).
References: Pza.sanbi.org, essentiallynatural.co.za