For radiant, silky skin and hair, the solution grows in an extremely arid environment where plants and animals have had to adapt to survive. This beauty bloomer is in a drought-tolerant, evergreen shrub, called Jojoba (pronounced huh-how-buh). Its formal name is the simmondsia chinensis bush, also known to some as: oat nut, goat nut, wild hazel, coffee berry, quinine nut, deer nut, and gray box bush.
Jojoba is a perennial, native to the Southwest of the United States, Northern Mexico, South America, Australia, and Israel. It is so hearty, it is known to flourish in regions that receive as little as three inches of precipitation per year.
For more than 30 years, the jojoba plant has been cultivated worldwide in places as far away as Chile, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia because of its propitious value. The United States is considered the largest producer of Jojoba oil with Mexico a running second. The greatest market for jojoba in the U.S. is primarily for the cosmetic and skincare industry.
As a testament to Jojoba’s ability to improve skin and hair is regularly seen in commercial shampoos, conditioners, soaps, moisturizers, lotions, and acne creams.
Commonly called jojoba oil, what makes this so-called oil so beneficial as a beauty enhancer is because it is not oil. In all fairness, jojoba oil does look appear as light-golden oil. It is, however, a high-viscosity, expeller-pressed liquid ester - from the jojoba seeds.
The skin and hair are never left feeling greasy with Jojoba oil but the “oil” will carry ingredients deep into the skin; which is why often added to cosmetics and moisturizers, or as a “carrier oil” to absorb substances better. With jojoba oil, healing essential oils can penetrate deeper.
Jojoba oil is an excellent choice for people who struggle with overly oily skin. In facial blends it helps to remove excess oils, without clogging pores or leaving a greasy residue.
Volumes can be written on all the history and the wonders of the jojoba plant and its beneficial golden oil. For a sampling:
- Jojoba oil is used as a primary cooking oil in several parts of the world. The oil is edible but does not provide any calories. The body is not able to digest jojoba oil, but instead acts as a lubricant in the digestive system. Jojoba oil is exceptionally stable, resistant to oxidation, high temperatures, and remarkably has no expiration date.
- Scentless jojoba oil is an excellent ingredient in perfumes as a fragrance carrier. Jojoba oil is stable out-lasting alcohol based perfumes.
- Jojoba oil is credited with single-handedly slowing down the hunting, and saving sperm whales from going extinct. For over one hundred years, sperm whales were used for fuel, industrial lubricants and cosmetics. Researchers discovered that jojoba oil secreted a peculiar kind of oil, not present in other plants. It has fatty alcohols as found in marine animals to aid buoyancy. Why a desert plant would need to be buoyant, who knows?
- Native Americans used all parts of this desert evergreen bush for medicinal purposes. The meal (left from grinding the oil out of the seeds) was applied to open cuts to reduce scaring and speed up healing.
- Jojoba seeds are abundantly rich, yielding between 46 to 65% of oil from the seeds. This makes Jojoba one of the top benevolent producers for efficiency in “oil-bearing” crops there is. As productive as it is, the jojoba plant generally does not produce a useful yield until five years after it has taken root.
- Chemically jojoba oil is a liquid wax when hydrogenated it converts to a hard white wax.
- Native California Indians used jojoba oil as medicine to treat kidney disorders, cancers and sore throats.
- The O’odham Indians of Arizona made an antioxidant salve from the jojoba nut to treat burns.
- On the hunting trail, Indians often ate jojoba to stave off hunger.
- The first impression of jojoba is of a prehistoric mini tree, as ancient as the landscape it wildly grows in; primitive and unassuming. Yet this bushy species is so far advanced in its chemical makeup - it is space age – even having been discussed as an alternative to biodiesel fuel. At present it cannot be cultivated on a large enough scale to meet the demand.
For now, the volumes of books will have to wait. For now, here are a few jojoba oil benefits.
10 Jojoba Oil Benefits
Jojoba oil mixed with essential oils such as frankincense, lavender and peppermint, inhaled and rubbed on forehead, temples, nose, behind the ears and neck helps to alleviate headaches.
Jojoba is a natural anti-bacterial, anti-itch, anti-inflammatory. Put it on insect bites, bruises, minor cuts and abrasions, to reduce swelling, scaring and protect against infections.
Docosanol is a primary anti-viral additive in cold sore creams. The liquid wax of long-chain fatty acids and alcohols contain a plentitude of docosanol in jojoba oil. Jojoba oil is nature’s remedy for cold sores.
Skin is the largest organ of the body, the interface between our internal and external environment. Jojoba oil has high levels of vitamin E and B, copper, zinc and chromium to nourish and protect the skin. It is anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, blocks microbes, prevents bacteria growth on the skin and is a natural medication applied topically for the treatment of acne, dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, and chapped or sunburned skin.
For balding, jojoba oil is antidandruff and is used in hair-restore products to encourage the regrowth of hair.
In dermatological tests, jojoba oil has been shown to slow the appearance of aging, helping to hydrate, increasing the suppleness of skin, minimizing fine lines, and pores. As an added bonus, jojoba oil is a natural preservative:)
For removing makeup, jojoba oil is safe around the area of the eyes. Many popular makeup removers are oil-based and are not safe around the eyes.
Athlete’s foot (Tinea Pedis) is a common skin infection caused by fungus. As well as its anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory properties, jojoba contains iodine that helps to fight fungal infections.
For those with sensitive skin, jojoba oil is non-allergenic. It is so gentle is recommended for eczema and psoriasis, reducing redness, dryness, keeping the skin calm, clear and comfortable.
Jojoba oil has been reported to improve stability by the coating of foodstuffs, especially when compared to hydrogenate oils. The oil of jojoba is anti-parasitic, anti-pyretic, and anti-microbial.
Rare Instances of Side Effects
Although, jojoba oil is hypoallergenic, considered safe to apply topically, there have been rare cases of an allergic itching or hives reaction to jojoba oil. To be sure, do a patch test before using jojoba oil. If a rash or other allergic response happens, discontinue its use.