Moringa oil is also extremely healthy and beneficial as a skin care beauty oil even as the plant itself is becoming a well-known superfood in the nutritional supplement field.
It goes back to ancient Eygpt. They left vases of the oil of moringa in their tombs for the dead to use in the afterlife. Medicinal texts surviving from ancient Greece and Roman extol moringa for its health benefits.
The oil contains the plant hormones cytokinins, which delay tissue aging and destruction, a direct anti-aging benefit. They help restore health to damaged skin.
Cytokinins are beneficial biochemical plant hormones. They stimulate the production of new cells to regenerate your skin. They also delay cell death and protect against the oxidation of cells by free radicals.
The most powerful cytokinin is zeatin. Moringa contains a thousand times more zeatin than any other food. And four times as much chlorophyll as wheat grass.
It’s also rich, 72%, in the Omega-9 oleic acid, which acts as humectant by putting a very thin film over your skin to seal in moisture. That prevents it from escaping into the air. Therefore, it helps relieve dry, flaky, scaly, itching, scrunchy scratchy skin, plus dermitis, psoriasis and ezema. It’s also anti-inflammatory, so it soothes red, inflamed, raw and irritated epidermis. That also makes it a spot treatment for acne. And its regenerating ability helps to heal acne scars.
This oil also contains behenic acid, which works on both skin and hair to keep them smoothy and soft. Behenic acid is also called docosanoic acid. It’s a long-chain saturated fatty acid.
Plus essential fatty acids, mostly monounsaturated, Vitamin A and Vitamin C.
Besides containing lots of oleic acid, the oil of moringa has linoleic acid a polyunsaturated fatty acid, palmitic, stearic, myristic, Vitamin E, palmitoleic acid and phytosterin.
It’s rich in copper and calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and zinc, important nutrients for your skin.
Free radicals are the villains in your body that cause wear and tear to your body’s tissues, causing them to age. In skin, free radicals destroy its connective structure, the collagen and elastin, causing wrinkles and skin sagging, including underarm sagging skin and face and jowl sagging. Therefore, Moringa helps protect your skin and reverse the damage.
Other antioxidants in it are: rutin, beta-sitosterol, kaempferol, quercetin, chlorogenic acid, moringine, moringinine, niaziminin, rhamnetin and caffeoylquinic acid.
Moringa seed oil contains antiseptic properties, making it good to apply to cuts, scratches, abrasions, minor wounds, bruises, sunburn, rashes, burns, insect bites and punctures, to help guard you against infection. The antiinflammatory oleic oil soothes the damage, reducing the pain and making you feel better, and helping the damaged area to heal instead of signal more pain.
This oil clears up blackheads, whiteheads and spots. It tightens skin pores.
It has anti-fungal properties, making it excellent for athlete’s foot, jock itch and ringworm.
Because of the high percentage of oleic acid, moringa is similar to olive oil, but is much lighter, and close to clear. It’s carrier oil which your skin absorbs deeply, but it doesn’t leave behind a greasy feel. You can use it to dilute essential oils which you wish to apply to your skin, although moringa is very healthy and beautifying on its own.
Its Vitamin C helps reduce fine line such as crow’s feet at the corners of the eye and wrinkles because it strengthens collagen. Vitamin E is especially important because it protects your skin from photodamage. That’s what happens when your skin gets exposed to direct sunlight, so the ultraviolet rays hit it. That is the biggest single stress on your skin, and so the biggest cause of skin appearance aging. But skin fortified with the antioxidant Vitamin E is much better able to resist the damaging effects of sunlight.
The oil is tremendously stable, with a shelf life of 5 years, far longer than other beauty oils. It’s the most stable oil in nature. It doesn’t go rancid. That indicates it is highly resistant to spoiling, which is caused by oxidation. That’s due to the high concentration of antioxidants in it. Once applied to your skin, those antioxidants help your skin resist free radical damage. And because of this property, it’s used a lot as an additive in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. It’s especially being added to moisturizers, because it softens skin and reduces puffiness, including under the eyes.
Besides helping to beautify skin and hair, this oil is good for condition rough, dry, peeling lips in the cold, dry air and low humidity of winter weather.
For your hair, this oil also works well as a moisturizer, coating the strands to seal in their natural moisture so they continue to look young and healthy. It’s good for weak, dull listless tired hair. For your scalp, it reduces dandruff, itching and flaking. It nourishes your hair follicles, and repairs split ends.
Moringa also works well on dry, dull, cracked finger nails.
Late at night before you go to bed, apply a few drops of moringa oil to your face and any problem areas of skin on your body. To add lots of luster and body to your hair, comb a few drops of the oil through all your hair. Rubs a few drops into your finger nails and toe nails. Then go to bed. Within a few days you’ll notice a great difference in your appearance. You face will glow and your will shine.
Or you can do the same routine, just adding the oil to your usual moisturizer. It will improve the performance of any other cream or oil you are using.
The moringa tree grows throughout South and Southeast Asia, northern South America, the Caribbean region, Central America, some Pacific islands and parts of Africa. It apparently originated in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains. The name comes from the Tamil word murungai for drumstick.
It is the only genus in Moringaceae, the flowering plant family. That genus contains thirteen species, from small plants to large tree. However, moringa oleifera is the most common, and is the species this post is about.
Moringa oil is cold pressed from the seeds of the moringa tree. They yield a 38-40% oil, which is edible as well as a nourishing beauty oil for your skin. It’s also called ben oil, because it contains so much behenic acid. However, only the oil pressed from moringa oleifera tree is called ben oil. You can get oil from other species of moringa, but it’s not the same.
It’s also known as the drumstick tree, the ben oil tree, the benzoil tree and the horseradish tree. Its small leaves are extremely nutrious, and good to add to salads, soups or any dish you can throw in a leafy vegetable. Basically you can eat them like spinach.
Also, they can be dried and crushed into powder. Such powders are being sold as a superfood.
The leaves contain: Vitamin B complex, beta-carotene,vitamin C, manganese and vitamin K. And nine times as much protein as yogurt. The leaves also contain a lot of polyphenols and chlorogenic acid, which slows the absorption of sugar by your cells. And isothiocyanates which, together with the polyphenols and flavenoids, have anti-inflammatory effects.
The tree grows quickly, and is resistant to drought, though it also grows in many tropical areas of Asia where it gets plenty of rain. It grows to 2 to 40 feet high. The trunk has a whitish-gray color, and the flowers are white. The leaves have a sort of rounded trifoil look.
India produces the most moringa, harvesting from 1.1 to 1.3 million tonnes of the fruit.
The seed pods, which resemble drumsticks and are therefore the tree got that name, can also be cooked and eaten.
The oil is even used as a lubricant for small mechanical devices such as watches.
It has the quality of enfleurage. It absorbs aromas of other oils added to it, whether essential oils or herbs, spices, seeds, nuts and chemicals. Therefore, it’s a good base for making perfume. That’s one thing ancient people used it for thousands of years ago, and it’s still being used in perfumes.
Moringa is attracting a rising interest in the developed world as a superfood. People are buying the dried and crushed powder to add to smoothies. In the developing world, where most moringa grows, and where many people are poor and hungry, development agencies are using it to relieve malnutrition.
The Ayurvedic system of healing of India uses moringa for 300 different ailments.