Moringa oil is extracted from the seeds of Moringa oleifera, also known as the Drumstick tree. Moringa oil has got a special name, it is Ben oil. It is called so because it has high amounts of behenic acid. Moringa oil has been mentioned as a very useful oil in the medicinal books of Greece and Rome. Even today, this oil is used for a number of industrial applications. It is great for topical use on the skin and the hair. It is also a nice cooking oil with a soft, appealing taste.
Moringa oil is extracted by pressing the seeds of Moringa oleifera. This tree is native to the Himalayan foothills. This tree grows long pods which contain seeds. It is quite nutritious. The nutrition of moringa leaves is even superior to the highly nutritious vegetables like spinach. Its seeds are also quite nutritious as they contain high levels of B vitamins and Vitamin C. The oil can be extracted either by cold pressed method, or by solvent extraction . In olden times, it was extracted using hand pressing.
The Moringa seeds yield 38–40% edible oil (called ben oil, from the high concentration of behenic acid contained in the oil) that can be used in cooking, cosmetics, and lubrication.
Moringa oil exerts many therapeutic properties because of its unique nutrition.
- Antioxidant – Ben oil has strong antioxidant capacity.
- Anti-inflammatory – The oil reduces inflammation both topically and internally.
- Anti-aging – The oil provides nutrition to our skin and relieves aging signs.
- Anti-microbial – It is traditionally used in Sudan to purify water and is shown to reduce bacterial counts.
- Disinfectant – can be used to treat wounds.
- Carrier – It is excellent carrier oil for aromatic compounds.
- Hepatoprotective – Moringa oil protects the liver from damage.
- Emollient – Moringa oil is a great moisturizer for the skin.
- Preservative – This oil resists rancidity and also used as preservative in certain products.
- Exfoliant – drives away dead skin cells.
- Enfleurage – Moringa oil absorbs the aroma of essential oils and other fragrant compounds like herbs, nuts, seeds, spices and chemicals. This makes it the perfect perfume base.