Argan oil (or Moroccan oil as it is also called) is a plant oil derived from the argan tree, which can only be found in Morocco. It has become increasingly popular throughout the world for its many medicinal and cosmetic uses. Argan oil also has plenty of culinary uses and is often used for dipping bread and on salads, among other things.
Argan oil was traditionally produced from the undigested argan pits taken from the excrement of goats who eat the fruit from argan trees. These pits were ground into a nutty oil that was used in food preparation and in cosmetics. These days, the oil is more often harvested directly from argan trees and processed through modern machinery. The argan kernels intended for culinary uses are roasted before the oil is extracted. Those that are used for cosmetic purposes are not roasted; this keeps the oil from having too much of a nutty scent.
Cosmetic Use of Argan Oil
The oil derived from unroasted argan kernels has traditionally been used as a moisturizer, as a treatment for acne and to treat flaking of the skin. It has also been used to nourish hair and as a treatment for burns and rheumatism. The oil has also become increasingly popular in the United States for its cosmetic uses. The number of commercially sold beauty products that contain the oil as an ingredient has gone from just two in 2007 to well over one hundred by 2011. The ingredient is often paired with pomegranate seed oil, which has been shown to be a powerful antioxidant. An excellent website that sells 100% Pure Argan Oil worldwide is purearganoil.co.uk they also just re branded and plan to launch a whole new product range under the Mevrea, you can read more on their website here - http://www.purearganoil.co.uk/exciting-news-for-pure-argan-oil-customers/
Culinary Use of Argan Oil
The oil extracted from roasted argan kernels is often used in salads and on couscous. It’s also a key ingredient in amlou, a thick paste with the color and consistency of peanut butter. Amlou is made from roasted almonds, ground argan kernels and honey. It’s very popular in Morocco as a bread dip.
Numerous studies have been performed on the nutritional benefits of argan oil, studies that have suggested that daily consumption of the oil may contribute to the prevention of obesity, cardiovascular disease and various cancers. One 2005 study found that replacing animal fats such as butter with the oil extracted from argan kernels may help to lower levels of harmful cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood.
The rising popularity of this Moroccan oil has not been lost on the Moroccan government. Plans are currently underway to triple the production of the oil by 2020. The production of the oil is often handled by women’s co-operatives, and it often provides a steady income for these women and their families.