Gardening

Medicinal properties and applications of Argan oil and how to cultivate it

 

The Argan tree (Argania Spinosa) is from the Sapotaceae family and is an evergreen tree, native to Morocco. It can measure up to 10 meters and live for more than 150 years. It has thorns and its trunk is cracked and rough. Its leaves, very numerous, are small and oval with 5-petal yellow flowers that bloom in April.

The fruits are nuts that are covered by a shell that contains between 2 and 3 seeds. In June, when the walnuts ripen, they dry out and turn brown.

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Tips for growing the Argan tree

The Argan tree is used to dry, arid climates below 800 meters, so it will have a better chance of developing under these conditions.

Argan nuts are sown from January to June. For the seeds to germinate more easily, we must immerse them in warm water 48 hours before sowing them. Once sown they can take up to 3 months to germinate. It is advisable to keep them in a greenhouse or at temperatures between 17 and 23ºC and not to give them direct light to favor the process.

Excess water can be a delicate point in the cultivation of the Argan tree. Remember that it is a tree with great resistance to droughts. For this reason, if we water it too much, rot and other imbalances can occur in the seedling and in the adult tree. That is why it is important to water little and adjust and knowing the water needs you have, these needs are based on the climate and type of soil in which you grow it. Dry soil is preferable to moist soil, especially for seedlings, which are more delicate.

It needs direct exposure to the sun and a minimum of hours for it to develop properly.

We must bear in mind that this tree has very deep roots

The Argan tree can take between 5 and 6 years to bear fruit.

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Properties and therapeutic applications of Argan oil

Argan oil can be enjoyed in the kitchen and its medicinal properties can also be used for health in general and the good condition of the skin and cell regeneration in particular.

The seeds are rich in oleic acid (Omega 9) and linoleic acid (Omega 6), beta-carotene, polyphenols (antioxidants), tocopherols (Vitamin E) or sterols.

In cosmetic use, we can add it when we make soaps, creams, masks for the skin or hair, to strengthen the nails, etc. Although we can also apply and use only the oil and continue thus taking advantage of its benefits.

Argan oil has traditionally been used to

  • Argan oil improves and relieves gastrointestinal diseases
  • Prevents cardiovascular diseases
  • It has great anticancer action due to the sterols.
  • In addition, Argan oil has an antiseptic effect, being very useful for cleaning small wounds.
  • The fungicidal effect makes Argan oil a very effective remedy when it comes to fighting nail fungus, etc. It is applied to the affected area and left overnight. In addition, it will significantly strengthen them.
  • Relieves rheumatic pain if we massage the affected areas with oil.
  • Improves cases of eczema
  • Gives strength and life to weak or brittle hair.
  • Provides elasticity to the skin, hence its benefits of using it to avoid stretch marks or wrinkles
  • Soothes itching and skin irritation.
  • It is a good skin protector against sun exposure
  • It regulates the sebaceous secretion of the skin, that is why it is beneficial in cases such as acne or other problems in the skin and scalp in which there is an imbalance of this type.
  • Soothes and regenerates the skin in cases of burns

In order for the Argan oil to maintain all its properties, the already roasted seeds must be cold pressed.

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