The Macadamia tree is native to the Queensland region of Australia, where it is also known as 'Bushnut'. However, Australians failed to see the commercial potential of this delicious and healthy nut. In 1881 it was brought to Hawaii, where it became very popular and Hawaii soon became the worlds leading producer of this nut. For a long time it remained a relatively obscure delicatessen snack food, but recent interest in health conscious eating has stimulated more in-depth research. Macadamia nut oil turned out to have one of the best overall vegetable oil profiles in terms of nutrition and due to the prevalence of monosaturated fats its stability is excellent. It is rich in omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids and makes a great choice both for cooking in salads and as nutritional supplement. The overall composition of Macadamia oil is quite similar to human sebum, which makes it an excellent choice as massage oil and for aromatherapy skin care products. It contains Palmitoleic acid, a substance that naturally occurs in the skin sebum composition. However, as the skin matures it the composition changes and Palmitoleic acid is reduced. Thus, supplying it in the form of a nourishing oil can help the skin to maintain its youthfulness. Macadamia nut oil is easily absorbed by the skin and may be used on all types of skin including very sensitive areas e.g. around the eyes.
Macadamia nuts have long been one of the most important food sources of Australia's aborigines. The nuts have a very high caloric value thus providing ample nutrition. However, they are also very hard to crack. There is no information available on the role of Macademia nut in aborigine mythology. Nuts generally are regarded as tokens of health, fertility and prosperity.
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.