Along with the latest advances since cracking the genetic code, our world is quickly changing from day to day. As one new discovery leads into another, we learn more about how our bodies function, what they are affected by, and how they relate to what we eat, drink and how we live! And, while all this information and change can be exciting, it can also be confusing to those of us who aren’t scientific experts in genetics! The good news is that scientists are excited about the relationship between our bodies and the wonderful plant medicines found in Nature that protect us, nourish us and heal us, and more studies are taking place to let us know how we can benefit.
One amazing plant medicine is found in the Argan Tree (Argania spinosa), which is native to Morocco. It is the oil from the kernel of the bitter fruit of the Argan tree that is most used throughout the world, and is obtained by roasting, grinding, mashing or cold-pressing them to extract the argan oil. Cold-pressing has the least impact on the nutritional value of the kernel, and produces the purest, most effective oil, which supplies Omega-6 fatty acids, linoleic and oleic acid, Vitamin E as well as biological compounds like sterols, carotenoids, polyphenols, xanthophyls and potent antioxidants which are all highly beneficial to health and wellness.
Argan oil is not the new kid on the block, though! It has been around for centuries, called “Liquid Gold” by the ancients, and was prized as a soothing and healing balm for skin, nails and hair, for its anti-aging properties, and for relieving painful joints and symptoms of many diseases. As a nut oil, argan oil is also used as a flavoring for many traditional Moroccan savory and sweet entrees and desserts…even as a topping for ice cream!
Recent scientific studies report that argan oil has shown significant results as a nutritional supplement for prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer, with emphasis on inhibiting cancer growth, as well as reducing elevated blood pressure, blood sugar, and insulin resistance. A recent laboratory study added 10% glucose to the drinking water of a designated group of rats, with half receiving corn oil supplement and the other half receiving argan oil. The group that received the argan oil had notably lower systolic blood pressure, and improved blood sugar and insulin numbers.1 More studies on the effects of argan oil on the cardiovascular system note that daily argan oil supplements taken over a period of 5-8 weeks, resulted in significant improvement of blood lipid levels, prevention of blood clot complications, improved oxidative stress and resistance to hemolysis (destruction of red blood cells)2
The antioxidant properties of argan oil make it of particular interest in scientific studies with regard to prevention and treatment of many types of cancer, including breast and prostate cancer3. With its unique composition of antioxidant compounds and Omega-9 unsaturated fat, argan oil can be a significant nutritional component for cancer disease prevention. In the area of aging, rheumatoid arthritis, neurodegenerative diseases, and pain due to injury, argan oil can provide relief and reduce stress and symptoms, beginning in as little as 5 to 8 weeks, with improved pain levels and ease of walking.
Our skin is often overlooked, even to the point of neglect, when we decide on vitamins, minerals, supplements and food choices, and yet it is the largest organ in the human body! We cleanse it with chemicals that strip the natural oils, we clog the pores with creams, lotions and makeup, we prevent sweating with deodorants and anti-perspirants, and then we wonder why we have itching, rashes, blemishes, dermatitis and more! Argan oil is ideal for balancing the skin, restoring the barrier function and maintaining the skin’s ability to retain water, or hydration, with daily application. Similar benefits are found when even a few drops a day are applied to the scalp, balancing both the skin and hair follicle, and reducing hair loss, supporting hair regeneration, and ridding the scalp of dandruff. Whether ingested or applied topically, argan oil nourishes the body with vitamins, minerals, Omega fatty acids, and beneficial compounds that help the body help itself to repair skin, hair, nails, organs and systemic function.
When selecting the best argan oil for your nutritional needs, be sure to look for a cold-pressed brand, with bright golden oil color. Cold-pressed oil processing ensures the purest and most potent oil quality. 100% pure argan oil will always have a rich, golden color, hence it’s ancient name “Liquid Gold”!
Make sure that the brand you select uses amber glass bottles to protect the potency and freshness of the argan oil from destructive UV ray exposure, and make sure that the brand you select has a valid expiration date so that it is guaranteed to be fresh. Find out if the bottle and packaging are marked USDA Organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, Vegan, and free of chemical additives, and that you are receiving 100% argan oil, and not blended, with a small amount of argan oil in a cheaper and less effective filler oil. Choose a company that cares about the customer’s well-being and satisfaction, and provides a No Questions Asked Money Back Guarantee on all their products, and one that clearly offers a way to contact them 24/7 with questions.
Argan oil can be added to raw and cooked food, such as salads and roasted meats or veggies, in dressings, sauces and salsas, and in smoothies and shakes. It can be blended into nut butters, blended with honey as a breakfast spread, as well as into melted chocolate to drizzle on desserts and ice cream. It is not recommended to use for high temperature cooking, such as frying, but is ideal for medium temperature cooking like sautéed onions, veggies and meats. It is equally delicious with savory and sweet dishes, adding a light nutty flavor that enhances most dishes. And, like olive oil, it makes the perfect oil to add herbs and dip bread as an appetizer. You will be experiencing a treat, while getting your nutritional daily requirements of a very beneficial oil!
For more information on argan oil and modern studies, check out these links:
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