BAOBAB SEED OIL
Few trees present a more strikingly bizarre appearance than the Baobab tree, a native of Madagascar and the African savannahs. Yet, in the hearts and minds of the people it is revered like no other. A tree that provides so many gifts to humans and animals - gifts of food, medicine, clothing and shelter - is widely celebrated as a tree of life. In France, the Baobab is called the monkey-bread tree because baboons love to eat the ripe, fallen fruit. Another common name is the â''Cream of Tartarâ'' tree, so called because of the fruit's traditional use as a source of potassium bitartrate. The leaves provide nourishing wild food to humans and animals alike, while the seeds yield a powdery pulp that is mixed with water to obtain a replenishing drink. They also yield a wonderfully moisturizing and rejuvenating oil that has become very popular in natural skin care preparations. It is rich in palmitic acid as well as various vitamins that nourish and replenish the skin thus helping to maintain its youthful elasticity. This oil is easily absorbed, leaving the skin feeling smooth and velvety. Baobab oil is very stable and has a naturally long shelf life of about two years.
There are dozens of stories and myths about the Baobab tree. Its odd appearance, with its branches looking more like roots, has given rise to the belief that it grows upside down. It is believed that spirits gather in its branches and it has strong connections with the African ancestor cult. Occasionally, the hollow trunks are used as birthing chambers or even tombs. Yet it is also regarded as a tree of fertility and life and often a repository of life-giving water. Thus, in many African tribal cults it plays a role in the mysteries of life, death and regeneration.
Vegetable oils and butters are derived from seeds and nuts or very oily vegetables like olives or avocadoes. Just as such nuts and vegetables are healthy and nutritious for the body when included in the diet they also nourish and help to maintain healthy skin, nails and hair when used in cosmetic preparations. Each type of oil has its own specific characteristics, feel and consistency. Some are quite drying, while others are rich and thick. Some have a chemical structure that is very similar to the skin's sebum and are thus particularly healing. Some oils are particularly rich in unsaturated essential fatty acids (also known as EFAs, such as oleic or linoleic fatty acids) and vitamin E and other fat soluble vitamins, which are essential to our health and well-being. Such oils are considered vitalizing and rejuvenating and are thus particularly suitable for tired and worn skin.