How to grow argan tree


Argan tree - How to grow & care

Argan tree grow and care – tree of the genus Argania also known as Argania spinosa plant, Argan tree perennial evergreen plant, used as ornamental plant medical and the nuts use for oil for beauty and it’s also edible and the tree is drought tolerant plant, can grow in desert, mediterranean or subtropical climate and growing in hardiness zone 10-12a and with the right care in hardiness zone 9.

Leaves color green in spoon to elliptic shape.

Flower color yellow in bowl shape.

Fruits in oval shape, color green and inside the is the nut shell in the nutshell there are almond shape nuts and contain 2-3 seeds.

Nuts used for oil after dried and consume by goats or by machine and take one year from flower to fruit.

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How to grow Argan tree growing and care:

Drained soil

What is the best way to start growing?
Plant / Seed / Vegetative reproduction (cutting)

Is it necessary to graft or use vegetative reproduction?
No, but it’s faster to start by air layering or cutting for fruits

Difficulties or problems when growing:
Thorns

Planting season:
Spring in hardiness zone 9, spring to summer in hardiness zone 10a, spring to autumn  hardiness growing zone 10b, all year in hardiness zone 11-12

How to plant:
Dig bigger hole than the root ball and check that the soil has good drainage, put some organic matter

Pests and diseases:
?

Pruning season:
Autumn / Winter (possible to prune all the year)

How to prune:
Just for design, design for harvesting or collecting the nuts from the soil it’s important , consider to cut all the stems in the height of human in order to have easy harvest

Size of the plant:
3-8m, 10-24 feet

Growth speed in optimal condition:
Medium growing / Slow growing

Water requirement:
Small amount of water / Average amount of water ( and it’s important to grow in good drainage) the tree is drought tolerant

Light conditions in optimal condition for growing:
Full sun

Is it possible to grow indoor as houseplant?
No

Growing is also possible in a planter /flowerpot / containers:
Yes, planting in pot need to be at least ~100L (16-25 gallons), need to keep the tree small, grow it as shrub or as bonsai, better to start with pot that 20% bigger than the root ball until the plant arrive to the desirable size of container, wouldn’t be recommend to start from big container on small tree, the plant not react well to overwater, every few years to switch the soil with big container there is no need to switch all just switch part and cut some of the roots ball (can switch from the side and the top of the pot), making enough holes in the container for good drainage also choosing soil for container important and need to be soil ventilated and maybe mix of sandy soil with other parts, don’t use bottom for the pot, important to know that the size won’t be enough and better to plant it in bigger container.

Blooming information

Bloom season?
Spring

General information about the flower:
Yellow flowers that grow on main stems and in bowl

Edible Nuts

Nuts harvest season:
Summer (year after the flowers)

Nuts pests or diseases:
?

What can be done with big quantities of Argan tree nuts?
Oil, possible to cook with the oil, medical or to add it to sweet paste

Work requirements on the Nuts:
Crack the nuts

How long does it take to bear Nuts?
10-15 years

Ripening of Nuts:
When the fruit is dry it’s ready to use

How to grow Argan tree from seeds

Sowing requirement:
Use fruits that are already ripen, clean the fruits and nutshell, better to crack the nutshell, gently remove the nutshell without to harm the nuts

Saving seeds and care until sowing:
Seeds need to be kept in dry and dark location

Sowing season:
Spring / Summer

How to plant:
Plant in well-drained soil that

Planting spacing:
25*25cm (10*10 inches) but better in separate pots

Depth of Sowing:
10mm and part of the seeds need to be expose to the

Conditions for seeds germinate:
Full sun, water and let it dry, well ventilated soil

Watering requires for Seeds:
Average amount of water and let it dry little bit between watering

Germination time:
2-10 weeks

Condition of seedling:
Full sun, do not over water

Scientific name:

Argania spinosa

Alternative names: Argon tree

Categories of growing

Planting Season: Autumn Planting, Spring Planting, Summer planting

Light exposure requirements: Full sun Plants

Climates that the plant can grow: Desert Climate, Mediterranean Climate, Subtropics Climate

Growing speed of the plant: Average growing plants, Slow growing plants

Plant life-form: Evergreen, Perennial plant, Tree

Plant Uses: Drought tolerant plants, Medical uses, Ornamental plants

Requirements for watering the plant: Regularly water, Small amounts of water

Hardiness zones: Hardiness zone 10, Hardiness zone 11, Hardiness zone 12

Ornamental parts: Ornamental fruit, Ornamental leaves, Ornamental plant

Leaf color:

Blooming season: Summer flowers

Flower colors: Yellow flower

Harvest Season:

Edible Parts:

Culinary uses:

Related Plants

  • Candlenut tree

Argan - Argania spinosa - Seeds

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Argan

Argania spinosa

Shrubby tree grown for its almond-sized fruits containing large seeds which contain a highly esteemed oil. The oil is used much like olive oil, and has a similar fat content to olive oil.

Seed Availability

Seeds are now available at our seed store.

Description

Shrubby, thorny tree growing to 30ft, but often remaining much smaller. In its natural range, goats and foraging animals eat the fruits, depositing the hard-shelled seeds in their waste. Seeds are then collected, and later pressed to obtain the valuable argan oil (which is sold for up to 10 times the price of olive oil).

Hardiness

Hardy to the 20's.

Growing Environment

The argan tree is highly tolerant of drought, high heat, and poor soil conditions. Grow in full sun.

Propagation

By seeds.

Germination Info

Argan seeds can be slow and difficult to germinate. Due to their hard seed coat, soaking the seeds prior to planting is essential. Soak in room temperature to warm (90-100F) water for 2-4 days prior to planting. Some sources have suggested good results sprouting the seeds in moist towels kept at warm room temperature. Or, plant seeds in small containers, in well-drained, moist soil at 1" deep. Keep soil regularly watered, though do not over water to the point where soil is dripping wet. Seeds can take several weeks to a few months to sprout.

Uses

Seeds are pressed to obtain argan oil, an expensive and highly useful cooking oil--popular in Morocco, and used much like olive oil. When cooking with the oil, it is said to impart a subtle nutty flavor to foods.

Native Range

Native to southwestern Morocco.

Related Species

Sapotaceae  
Argania spinosa
Argan
Chrysophyllum cainito
Star Apple
Chrysophyllum oliviforme
Satin Leaf Tree
Chrysophyllum soboliferum (Pradosia brevipes)
Armadillo Fruit
Manilkara bidentata, Mimusops balata
Ausubo
Manilkara huberi
Massaranduba
Manilkara zapota
Sapodilla
Mimusops elengi
Spanish Cherry
Pouteria bullata
Abiurana
Pouteria caimito
Abiu
Pouteria campechiana
Canistel
Pouteria gardneriana
Abuai
Pouteria hypoglauca
Cinnamon Apple
Pouteria lucuma (Lucuma obovata)
Lucuma
Pouteria multiflora
Bully Tree
Pouteria pachycalyx
Bapeba
Pouteria pariry
Frutao
Pouteria ramiflora
Macaranduba
Pouteria sapota
Mamey Sapote
Pouteria torta
Curiola
Pouteria ucuqui
Ucuqui
Pouteria venosa
Aboirana
Pouteria viridis
Green Sapote
Sideroxylon foetidissimum
Mastic
Sideroxylon obtusifolium
Jungleplum
Synsepalum dulcificum
Miracle Fruit
Synsepalum subcordatum
Giant Miracle Fruit

where it grows, fruits, application, cultivation

Few people know how the world-famous argan oil is extracted. This is a product whose "parent" is argan. It is this plant that makes it possible to obtain fruits for their further processing and obtaining a universal oil.

From this article you will learn:

  • 1 Argan plant
    • 1.1 Where does the argan tree grow?
  • 2 Application of Argan fruit: obtaining oil
  • 3 Useful properties and application in cosmetology
  • 4 Argan tree at home

Argan plant

Argan (lat. Argania) is a monotypic genus of plants from the Sapotaceae family. The only species is the spiny argan, which in Latin is called Argania spinosa. This is a unique piece that is appreciated all over the world.

Argan tree attracts attention with thorny branches and a height of up to 10 meters. Such a plant lives up to 200 years, but some species have "lived" up to 400 years. The deep root system goes down to 30 meters underground. Thanks to this, the tree extracts valuable water, which makes it possible to develop and bear fruit.

Argan tree

Small leaves up to 4 cm long, oval in shape. Miniature flowers with yellow-green petals appear only in April. The fleshy fruits resemble a yellow plum variety in their appearance. Each fruit hides a hard-shelled bone and several kernels that look like almonds. The fruit ripens within a year, but in harsh and arid conditions, it takes more than two years.

Reproduction of the tree occurs with the help of seeds. However, only a small part of them germinate, so it is very difficult to grow a plant. If you did not know why argan oil is so expensive, then this is a rational answer to this question.

The argan plant does not grow in all climatic zones. This is due to the fact that it is extremely demanding on environmental conditions. So where can you find him?

Where does the argan tree grow?

Not all people know where argan grows. They are sure that any conditions are suitable for her. But this is far from being the case, since this plant can only be found in some regions.

A unique tree can only be found in the southwest of Morocco in the valley of the Dra River on the outskirts of the Sahara. It is here that the environmental conditions are optimal for its stable development. But how did the argan tree become valuable? Morocco was not previously interested in oil producers, since the product was not appreciated. But as soon as the beneficial properties of argan were discovered, the plants were on the verge of extinction. At the moment, they are considered the main exhibits of the biosphere reserve, so not all people have access to them.

How and where the argan tree grows

It is noteworthy that the North African tree also grows up to 15 meters in height. A deep root system is provided so that it receives water from the bowels of the earth. The circumference of the crown of African trees is up to 14 meters. They are drought tolerant and continue to bear fruit for many years.

Use of Argan fruit: obtaining oil

Argan fruit is used to extract oil from it. When they are ripe, they are laid out in the sun and given time to dry. After that, they are broken to get valuable seeds. From them, an ingredient is obtained that has been widely used in the modern world.

Getting argan oil involves several basic processes. To get a liter of the component, it is necessary to process up to 100 kilograms of fruits. Such a crop is harvested from 12-14 trees. Such a quantity of fruits contains up to 30 kilograms of seeds, in which 3 kilograms of nucleoli can be found.

Argan fruit

Processing the fruit by hand takes approximately 1.5 days. This is a very complex and painstaking work, which implies the use of considerable effort. At the very beginning, they need to be dried, and only then they should be cleaned of fibers. Then the argan seeds are taken out, and the shell of the fruit seeds is broken. This is the most difficult stage of work, since the strength of the shell is very high. Oil is squeezed out of the seeds using a mechanical type press. After that, it is filtered with a special type of paper.

In order for the edible argan seed oil to begin to be produced, everything must be fried over very low heat. This makes it possible to give the product a tart flavor. But to create a cosmetic oil, the seeds do not need to be fried, because they should not have a pronounced smell.

But there are other methods for obtaining oil from the fruit of the tree. This is a mechanical method, which is considered the most efficient and comfortable. After such processing, the product will retain its basic properties for 1.5 years. There is also a chemical method, which is considered cleaner. But it is suitable for industry or for research in the laboratory.

Useful properties and application in cosmetology

Prickly argan, the properties and application of which have been studied by specialists for a long time, is in demand in many areas of life.

It is used in cosmetology to restore the hydro-lipid layer of the skin and to improve the condition of the cells. The remedy has been used by the Berbers since ancient times to treat sunburns or to cope with acne and blackheads. The oil is able to bind free radicals, due to which the aging process is significantly slowed down.

The product is available for use in the prevention of scarring. It eliminates stretch marks after bearing a child and promotes weight loss. If you use the tool while waiting for the baby, you can prevent the appearance of stretch marks. The oil is indispensable for the treatment of sensitive skin, which is prone to irritation and dryness.

The product has properties that protect against sunlight. It is also able to strengthen the hair and moisturize the skin from the inside. With its help, the cells begin to recover faster, so all sorts of problems with the skin condition are completely excluded.

Obtaining argan oil

Argan oil is often used to treat skin conditions. It relieves neurodermatitis, psoriasis, dry eczema. You can do massages using a unique tool. Its regular use will help with arthritis, rheumatism and muscle pain. But it is recommended to mix it with black cumin for it to give an effective result.

The use of argan oil is recommended for people who suffer from high blood cholesterol levels. It stabilizes its content without the use of dangerous and unhealthy drugs.

You can add this product to the bathroom. It contributes to complete relaxation and getting rid of fatigue. With the help of the product you can cope with pain in the muscles and joints.

It is noteworthy that argan fruits have a unique chemical composition. They are rich in various acids, vitamins E and sterols. All these components have a positive effect not only on health and well-being, but also on appearance.

Argan oil has a high level of carotenoids. It is rich in oleic omega-9 fatty acids.and linoleic Omega-6 fatty acids, which are not produced by the human body. Oils are also obtained from argan fruits, which include other types of fatty acids. In particular, the products are valued due to the fact that they contain a powerful natural antioxidant called squalene.

As you can see, the royal argan is a plant that produces useful fruits. They are highly valued among people who are interested in excellent health and beautiful appearance.

Argan tree at home

Many people want this plant in their home. But is it even possible? Remember that it is impossible to grow an argan tree without conditions for its stable development. A considerable number of attempts by people to bring seedlings or seeds of a plant to their country in order to plant it have not been successful.

Argan tree at home

But if you really want to grow an argan tree at home, you will have to organize a greenhouse. This plant loves warm and dry climates. But for its stable development, a sufficient amount of moisture is needed. It is necessary to choose for planting a tree the place where its root system will reach groundwater. You also need to regularly treat it so that it is not destroyed by pests and diseases.

Argan is a unique plant that gives the opportunity to obtain useful fruits for further oil extraction. Unfortunately, it grows very far, so the cost of the finished product in our country is high. But you can try to grow it at home, organizing everything as needed. In this case, it will delight you with its fruits all year round.

Information sources

Grow argan tree. Tree of life - argan tree

) provides life for a whole two million tribe of Moroccan Berbers. The tree belongs to the sapote family, it is a relative of the iron tree and some other tropical trees and shrubs. Argan grows only in southwestern Morocco, on the outskirts of the Sahara, although in previous geological eras it occupied large areas in North Africa and southern Europe.

Prickly Argan reaches a height of 10 meters, crown circumference is 14-15 meters, and the roots in search of water penetrate the sand to a depth of 30 meters. Thousands of thorns save the tree from being eaten by animals, but dromedaries, whose oral cavity is lined with a keratinized membrane, willingly feed on the leaves and fruits of argan. Adapted to the thorns and goats climbing right up the tree.


Argan fruits are similar to yellow plums, the flesh is bitter in taste, up to three seeds inside with a very strong shell (16 times stronger than that of hazelnut). These fruits appear on the tree only once every two years - argan cannot gain more strength for reproduction in the harsh conditions of the desert. In a particularly severe drought, the tree sheds its leaves and stops growing, sometimes for several years. It will rain - and in two or three days new leaves, sprouts and flowers appear.


Perhaps it is these long periods of hibernation that allow the tree to reach a very respectable age. Argan lives 150-200 years, but there are also four-hundred-year-old specimens.


In any case, reproduction is not very efficient: only a small part of the seeds germinate. There are suspicions that only those seeds that have passed through the intestines of a camel or goat germinate. Therefore, it is not possible to propagate argan with seeds collected from a tree. Only Israeli biologists in the Negev desert were able to grow a small plantation from offspring. It is curious that the trees grow better if they are watered not with fresh, but with brackish water.


Botanists estimate that an area in southwestern Morocco recently declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO has about two million trees growing on an area of ​​8,000 square kilometers. They provide life for two million Moroccans belonging to the Amazir tribe. The members of the tribe refer to the argan tree as the tree of life because it provides material for building, fuel, human and animal feed, oil and medicine.

From the bare branches of the argan tree, the natives build frames for their adobe huts. Wood is used for firewood or for burning charcoal. Argan seed oil is one of the most expensive plant products in the world, comparable in price to truffles, oysters or caviar. From one tree you can collect about 30 kilograms of fruit. They are cleaned of pulp (and often the Berbers collect goat droppings, in which these seeds are already cleaned of it), crushed with stones, dried on a flat roof under the sun, then lightly roasted and ground in a stone mill. Oil is pressed from flour mixed with water. The paste remaining after squeezing the oil is mixed with honey and spread on bread. A liter of oil is obtained from the fruits of one tree, and it takes a day and a half to make it.


Experts estimate that the Berbers collect about 350,000 tons of argan seeds a year and extract 12 million liters of oil from them. This is very little: almost 9 billion liters of sunflower oil are produced annually in the world, and about 3 billion liters of olive oil. A liter of argan oil costs at least 60 euros in Europe, and three times cheaper in Morocco.

Argan oil is very useful: it consists of 80 percent unsaturated fatty acids, which heal the heart and blood vessels. Contains antioxidants and vitamin A. Moroccan biochemist Zubeida Sharruf found in it a large amount of vitamin E, as well as substances such as antibiotics and fungicides.


Berbers have long used argan oil to treat sunburn, neurodermatitis, ringworm and other skin diseases. European doctors who tested the effect of this remedy confirmed its effectiveness.

French cosmetologists have found that the oil of a unique tree binds free radicals and thus delays skin aging. Several laboratories around the world are testing argan oil for anti-cancer activity.

An international program has now been launched to protect the wonderful tree. It is estimated that due to the expansion of the Sahara, overgrazing by goats and other reasons, 25,000 trees die every year.


Scientific classification

Synonym: argan, argan, iron tree.

The argan or argan tree is an evergreen tree found only in Morocco and Algeria. From its seeds, argan oil is obtained, which is used in cosmetology and in cooking.

Ask the experts a question

In medicine

Argan is not included in the Russian Pharmacopoeia and is not used by official medicine. Oil made from the fruits of the argan tree is widely used in Moroccan folk medicine for neurodermatitis, for healing burns and cracks in the skin. The oil is rich in useful substances: tocopherols, carotene, essential and unsaturated fatty acids.

Contraindications and side effects

There is only one contraindication to the use of argan oil - individual intolerance to the components. It is also better not to abuse this product for those who are prone to overweight, since the oil has a very high calorie content (about 900 kcal per 100 g).

In cooking

In cooking, roasted seed oil is more commonly used. Processing in this way gives the oil a characteristic unusual smell and taste. It turns out a little tart, with a nutty smell. Argan oil is best used in small amounts, as a dressing, but it is not recommended to fry with it in order to retain more of its beneficial properties.

Argan oil is found in the traditional cuisine of Morocco and other African countries. Moroccan chefs use the oil as a dressing for various salads, in the preparation of desserts, as well as meat and fish dishes.

Argan oil is added before serving in traditional couscous and tajine dishes. And as a healthy breakfast, Moroccans eat yogurt with honey, to which they add a small amount of argan oil.

Argan oil is very high in calories and is one of the ingredients of the traditional amlu paste. This paste consists of argan oil, crushed almonds and honey. Amla is usually eaten with bread or wheat cakes.

Today, argan oil can also be found in international restaurants. Chefs add it to soups made from vegetables and legumes, to complex salads (argan oil is especially good at emphasizing the piquant taste of blue or goat cheese). Argan oil is also sprinkled on grilled meat, fish and vegetables before serving. This gives the dishes a special taste.

In cosmetology

Argan oil is one of the valuable and rare components of the highest quality and effective creams, lotions and shampoos.

Argan oil nourishes dry skin, smoothes fine wrinkles, especially around the eyes, restores elasticity, freshness and healthy color to mature skin. Prevents the appearance of stretch marks.

The oil gives a healthy shine to the hair and eliminates dandruff.

Unlike other types of oils, argan oil is perfectly absorbed, does not leave greasy marks on the skin, clothes and bed linen. It is also very economically consumed: if you apply argan oil on your face in its pure form, just a few drops are enough. With dry facial skin, cosmetologists recommend mixing argan oil with aloe gel in half.

Elsewhere

In Morocco, the local tribes call the argan tree the “tree of life”. After all, it not only protects the soil from erosion and retains moisture, but also provides the Berbers living in the desert with wood, which is used as a building material and as fuel.

The tree also provides food for people - argan oil, food for goats and other animals raised by tribes (animals eat the bark, leaves of this tree, fruit pulp and cake left over from oil production).

Classification

Argan (lat. Argania) is a monotypic genus from the Sapotaceae family. The only species is prickly Argan (lat. Argania spinosa).

Botanical description

Argan is a tree with thorny branches, up to 10 meters high, with a crown of 14-15 meters and living 150-200 years (sometimes there are trees aged 400 years). The root system is deep, up to 30 meters.

Leaves small, 2-4 cm long, oval. Small flowers with five pale yellow-green petals bloom in April. The fruit is fleshy, 2-4 cm long and 1.5-3 cm wide, larger than olives and similar to a yellow plum. In each fruit, in a stone with a very hard shell, 2-3 almond-shaped nucleoli. The color of the fruit is dark yellow, ranging from golden to deep red. The argan fruit ripens in one year, and if the growing conditions are harsh and arid, then two years.

The smell of argan is light, with pronounced tones of nuts and spices. The taste of the pulp is similar to the taste of pumpkin seed, but more piquant and noble.

Argania propagates by seeds, but only a small part of them germinates, because of this it is almost impossible to propagate argania with seeds collected from a tree. There is an assumption that only seeds that have passed through the intestines of a camel or goat germinate. At the moment, only a small plantation of argan shoots has been grown by Israeli biologists in the Negev desert.

Distribution

The distribution area of ​​the African argan tree is very limited: the tree grows only in the south-west of Morocco, in the Sahara desert region in the Draa river valley.

Procurement of raw materials

Argan oil is obtained from the seeds of the fruit of the argan tree. To obtain one liter of this rare oil, you need to process about 100 kilograms of fruits (as much can be harvested from 12-14 trees). This number of fruits contains about 30 kg of seeds, which contain 3 kg of nucleoli, and argan oil is already made from them. If the processing of fruits is done manually, then it takes about one and a half days of hard, painstaking work that requires physical strength. First, the argan fruits are dried in the sun, then the fibers are removed. After that, the seeds of the argan are taken out, breaking the shell of the fruit stones - this is the hardest part of the work, because the shell of the stone of the argan fruit is 16 times higher than the strength of the shell of the hazel nut. Next, the oil is pressed from the seeds with a mechanical press, and then filtered using special paper.

To make edible oil, argan seeds are first roasted over low heat to give them their characteristic tart flavor. For cosmetic oil, the seeds are not roasted to keep it odorless.

There are other ways to get oil. The mechanical method is the fastest and most convenient. Such argan oil retains its beneficial properties for up to a year and a half. Chemical is the cleanest method of extraction, however, this method of extracting oil is only suitable for industrial purposes or for laboratory research.

Chemical composition

Argan oil is an oil with unique chemicals in its composition: various acids, vitamin E (argan oil has 3 times the composition of olive oil), and sterols - substances very beneficial for the skin.

Argan oil also has a high content of carotenoids, Omega-9 oleic fatty acid and Omega-6 linoleic fatty acid. Other fatty acids are also present in argan oil: palmitic, stearic, ferulic, as well as polyphenols, phytosterols, triterpene alcohols, as well as a powerful natural antioxidant squalene.

Pharmacological properties

Argan oil contains unsaturated fatty acids that heal the heart and blood vessels. It helps with Alzheimer's disease. Oleic acid and sterols contained in the oil reduce cholesterol in the blood and do not allow it to be absorbed into the blood from the intestines.

Vitamin E has a beneficial effect on the functional state of the heart and circulatory system (restores normal blood pressure, strengthens blood vessels, improves blood rheology), improves the condition of the organs of vision, skin and mucous membranes. In addition, vitamin E is involved in the formation of immunity, maintains optimal hormonal balance. Also, this vitamin is necessary for the full process of spermatogenesis and improving the functioning of the muscular system.

Argan oil contains antioxidants, as well as substances similar in composition to antibiotics and fungicides.

Argan oil helps with digestive difficulties, arthritis and rheumatism, because the substances contained in it inhibit the destructive processes in tissues.

Argan oil contributes to the stabilization of blood sugar in diabetes mellitus, prevents the development of cancer.

Also, argan oil is useful for women in menopause.

Use in folk medicine

Doctors use argan oil externally for massage in gout, osteochondrosis, arthritis, arthrosis, and also recommend making applications with argan oil in the treatment of traumatic skin lesions and dermatological diseases (fungal dermatosis, psoriasis, neurodermatitis, dry eczema). , acne, urticaria, lichen and other skin diseases). The oil is used in Moroccan folk medicine after sunburn, in order to avoid the formation of scars and scars after thermal burns, cuts, and also after chicken pox.

1. Arganeraie. Biosphere Reserve Information

2. Berrougui H, Ettaib A, Herrera Gonzalez MD, Alvarez de Sotomayor M, Bennani-Kabchi N, Hmamouchi M (2003) Hypolipidemic and hypocholesterolemic effect of argan oil (Argania spinosa L.) in Meriones shawi rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 2003 Nov;89(1):15-8. PMID 14522427

3. Berrada Y, Settaf A, Baddouri K, Cherrah A, Hassar M (2000). Experimental evidence of an antihypertensive and hypocholesterolemic effect of oil of argan, Argania sideroxylon. therapy. 2000 May-Jun; 55(3): 375-8. PMID 10967715 (fr.).

A unique argan tree whose fruit is the raw material for making oils, grows only in one place - in the South-West of Morocco, which is located in Northwest Africa. Unassuming to conditions, perfectly adapted to the tropical climate and drought evergreen tree can reach 15 meters in height and be considered a rare "long-liver" in the Moroccan flora.

The stone of the yellow, bitter-tasting, fleshy fruit of the tree contains 2-3 nucleoli, almond-shaped walnut. Cold pressed argan oil contained in the pits of the fruits of the nucleoli, has long been considered one of the most expensive herbal products.

The high cost of the oil is due to the limited distribution area wood, a large amount of raw materials required to obtain it, and also due to the fact that the manufacture of this most valuable product is a laborious and lengthy process.

Thus, to obtain 1.5-2 liters of argan oil, almost 100 kg of fruits (harvest from 12-13 trees) containing 30 kg of seeds, from which about 3 kg of nucleoli are used for the production of oil.

Moroccan oil can be of 3 types: cold pressed from roasted seed (for culinary use only), cold pressed raw seed (due to high concentration of substances beneficial to health, suitable for therapeutic culinary uses and uses), cosmetic oil from unroasted seeds .

How to choose

Following the Berber tradition, oil is still produced by women manually. Remember that oil produced in this way cannot be cheap. So pay attention to the price.

Be sure to check the percentage of oil in the product. It should be 100 percent. There should not be any additives in the composition. Also refrain from buying oil produced in China or other country other than Morocco. Such a product may contain many additives, chemical elements and fragrances, and the content of the there may be very little oil.

Be sure to smell the oil. Moroccan product will never be have a strong odor and contain synthetic fragrances. Natural oils have a subtle nutty smell.

How to store

The most important rule is to keep the oil in a dark container. To follow this rule is not difficult, because argan oil is often sold in dark bottles. This greatly simplifies use. But in that case, if manufacturers put argan oil in a transparent or light bottle, it must be poured into a dark one. Special attention in the choice of packaging it is necessary to give the neck - it should not be too open or wide. Drip-type bottles or bottles with a neck are great, whose hole can only pass a pipette. But experts are not advise to purchase this product if this condition has not been met at the manufacturing stage. This means that the product is in the wrong packaging. it is better not to buy, as there is a high risk of getting counterfeit.

In addition, it is important to remember that oil can be stored for no longer than two years. This way you can check its authenticity. If the package says longer shelf life, then, most likely, the oil contains additives that kill beneficial properties. From such a tool there will either be no benefit at all, or it will be negligible in comparison with the benefit of natural.

Cooking

For making cooking oil argan seeds roasted to give the final product a pleasant nutty flavor, the color may vary from dark yellow to red. Edible argan oil tastes like pumpkin seed oil, but has slightly sharp, tart aftertaste with hints of spices and nuts.

For culinary purposes, the most commonly used oil is roasted seeds, with a characteristic pleasant taste and smell. Recommended use in cooking in moderation (just a few drops to successfully emphasize the taste and aroma of the dish). It is worth noting, that oil intended for use in cooking is not advised use for frying, since heat treatment can deteriorate organoleptic and health benefits of the product.

Argan oil has been used for centuries in Cuisine of Morocco and other African countries. Most often this product Africans use for dressing fruit and vegetable salads, in cooking desserts and fish or meat dishes. Yes, tomato salad. dressed with argan oil mixed with basil and salt, and with added to fruit salad, this product is recommended to be mixed with lemon juice. Oil is traditionally added to dressing for meat dishes, previously mixed with mustard.

Breakfast in Morocco is amla pasta which represents roasted almonds mixed with honey and argan oil (this the mass is wrapped in wheat cakes or spread on bread).

Calories

As with any oil, this herbal product has a very high calorie content - 828 kcal. Therefore, when adding argan oil in dishes it is not advised to be zealous with its quantity.

Nutritional value per 100 grams:

Useful properties of argan oil

Composition and presence of useful substances

Argan oil intended for medicinal use is produced by cold pressing the unroasted seed, so it is lighter in color than food, and practically odorless.

The highest vitamin content in this product E (in terms of its content, argan oil is three times higher than olive oil), carotenoids, oleic (40-60%) and linoleic (28-36%) fatty acids. In addition, the oil contains stearic (6-8%), palmitic (13-16%), ferulic acids, polyphenols, triterpene alcohols, phytosterols, as well as squalene, a powerful antioxidant.

Useful and medicinal properties

In order to treat and prevent various diseases, it is better to use oil from raw seeds - in it due to the minimal processing of raw materials there are more useful vitamins, biologically active and mineral substances than in edible oil.

Argan oil reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and improve the effectiveness of their treatment. It promotes recovery blood pressure and heart rate, decreased cholesterol content, improves blood properties and is able to prevent the development of inflammation in the heart and blood vessels. That's why oil consumption is recommended for the prevention of atherosclerosis, hypertension, ischemic disease, thrombophlebitis, thrombosis, varicose veins.

Increases this oil and the effectiveness of the treatment of infectious and inflammatory diseases of fungal and bacterial etiology, as it has anti-inflammatory properties and bactericidal action.

The use of argan oil promotes cleansing of harmful substances, increase immunity, prevents aging, reduces the risk of developing cancer.

The ability of argan oil to have a beneficial effect on the condition the genitourinary system of men and the genital area of ​​women due to the content vitamin E and carotenoids, which play an important role in the functioning reproductive system (these substances are involved in spermatogenesis and synthesis of sex hormones).

contributes improvement of vision. It has a beneficial effect on the visual apparatus, prevents the appearance of xerophthalmia, blepharitis, blepharoconjunctivitis, "night blindness", cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration.

This product also helps improve glucose utilization, functional state of the liver and gastrointestinal tract, increased insulin production.

When applied externally, the oil improves blood circulation and blood circulation, has anti-inflammatory effect, accelerates skin healing, activates epithelialization and granulation, promotes elimination of pain in joints and muscles. That is why it is recommended use externally massage oil for osteochondrosis, gout, arthritis, arthrosis, make applications in the treatment of traumatic injuries and dermatological diseases. beneficial effect oil on the skin with regular use will help to avoid the formation of scars and scars after cuts, burns or after chicken pox.

Use in cosmetics

Enriched with substances good for skin and hair and nails, argan oil is traditionally used in cosmetology as an independent tool and as an integral component. So, it can be part of hand and face creams, balms and masks for hair and skin, milk for removing makeup, lotions aftershave, lip balms and lipsticks, sunscreens and revitalizing skin "after sun" creams, as well as various hygiene products (soaps, bath foams, shower gels, shampoos).

Fast absorbing, non-sticky and non-sticky oil has a fairly wide range of cosmetic effects. So, it softens, nourishes, moisturizes and refreshes the skin, protects it from peeling and drying. The oil also restores the broken due to the frequent use of soaps, shower gels, shampoos lipid skin balance, enhances its barrier function.

Argan oil can improve skin elasticity and firmness, evens out the relief, helping to smooth out wrinkles and stimulating production of elastin and collagen. This product speeds up the process skin regeneration, protects the skin from inflammation and irritation. Possessing anti-inflammatory and bactericidal properties, normalizing work of sebaceous gland oil is often used in the treatment of acne.

This valuable product is also suitable for gentle care of sensitive and thin skin around the eyes, skin of the décolleté and bust. Improving lymphatic drainage, blood microcirculation and blood circulation in the subcutaneous fat fiber oil is often used as an integral component of massage oils (including for anti-cellulite massage). Very effective argan oil and in the fight against stretch marks that appear over time pregnancy. In addition, argan oil is often used as a base oil along with essential oils in aromatherapy.

It should be noted that argan oil is also known as an effective treatment for brittle, damaged and split ends. Oil that restores the structure of lifeless and dull hair, gives them a healthy shine, silkiness and softness, protecting them from harmful influence of the external environment. Nourishing and moisturizing the skin, improving blood supply to the hair follicles, which has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal action, normalizing the work of the sebaceous glands of the skin, the oil is used in the treatment of alopecia, dandruff and seborrhea.

Dangerous properties of argan oil

Argan oil is not recommended for use in case of possible individual product intolerance. For other people, its use in reasonable quantities is absolutely safe.

An interesting video about aragana trees, the process and methods of making this oil in Morocco.

) provides life for an entire two million tribe of Moroccan Berbers. The tree belongs to the sapote family, it is a relative of the iron tree and some other tropical trees and shrubs. Argan grows only in southwestern Morocco, on the outskirts of the Sahara, although in previous geological eras it occupied large areas in North Africa and southern Europe.

Prickly Argan reaches a height of 10 meters, crown circumference is 14-15 meters, and the roots in search of water penetrate the sand to a depth of 30 meters. Thousands of thorns save the tree from being eaten by animals, but dromedaries, whose oral cavity is lined with a keratinized membrane, willingly feed on the leaves and fruits of argan. Adapted to the thorns and goats climbing right up the tree.


Argan fruits are similar to yellow plums, the flesh is bitter in taste, up to three seeds inside with a very strong shell (16 times stronger than that of hazelnut). These fruits appear on the tree only once every two years - argan cannot gain more strength for reproduction in the harsh conditions of the desert. In a particularly severe drought, the tree sheds its leaves and stops growing, sometimes for several years. It will rain - and in two or three days new leaves, sprouts and flowers appear.


Perhaps it is these long periods of hibernation that allow the tree to reach a very respectable age. Argan lives 150-200 years, but there are also four-hundred-year-old specimens.


In any case, reproduction is not very efficient: only a small part of the seeds germinate. There are suspicions that only those seeds that have passed through the intestines of a camel or goat germinate. Therefore, it is not possible to propagate argan with seeds collected from a tree. Only Israeli biologists in the Negev desert were able to grow a small plantation from offspring. It is curious that the trees grow better if they are watered not with fresh, but with brackish water.


Botanists estimate that an area in southwestern Morocco recently declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO has about two million trees growing on an area of ​​8,000 square kilometers. They provide life for two million Moroccans belonging to the Amazir tribe. The members of the tribe refer to the argan tree as the tree of life because it provides material for building, fuel, human and animal feed, oil and medicine.

From the bare branches of the argan tree, the natives build frames for their adobe huts. Wood is used for firewood or for burning charcoal. Argan seed oil is one of the most expensive plant products in the world, comparable in price to truffles, oysters or caviar. From one tree you can collect about 30 kilograms of fruit. They are cleaned of pulp (and often the Berbers collect goat droppings, in which these seeds are already cleaned of it), crushed with stones, dried on a flat roof under the sun, then lightly roasted and ground in a stone mill. Oil is pressed from flour mixed with water. The paste remaining after squeezing the oil is mixed with honey and spread on bread. A liter of oil is obtained from the fruits of one tree, and it takes a day and a half to make it.


Experts estimate that the Berbers collect about 350,000 tons of argan seeds a year and extract 12 million liters of oil from them. This is very little: almost 9 billion liters of sunflower oil are produced annually in the world, and about 3 billion liters of olive oil. A liter of argan oil costs at least 60 euros in Europe, and three times cheaper in Morocco.

Argan oil is very useful: it consists of 80 percent unsaturated fatty acids, which heal the heart and blood vessels. Contains antioxidants and vitamin A. Moroccan biochemist Zubeida Sharruf found in it a large amount of vitamin E, as well as substances such as antibiotics and fungicides.


Berbers have long used argan oil to treat sunburn, neurodermatitis, ringworm and other skin diseases. European doctors who tested the effect of this remedy confirmed its effectiveness.

French cosmetologists have found that the oil of a unique tree binds free radicals and thus delays skin aging. Several laboratories around the world are testing argan oil for anti-cancer activity.

An international program has now been launched to protect the wonderful tree. It is estimated that due to the expansion of the Sahara, overgrazing by goats and other reasons, 25,000 trees die every year.


Scientific classification

Advocates of natural cosmetics and alternative medicine know the amazing results that different plants and products based on them can bring. One of the extremely rare representatives of the flora used for such purposes is the argan tree. You may have seen oil obtained from the amazing fruits of this plant on the pharmacy shelves. If its price is too high, then this is the very vitamin product that can significantly transform the epidermis and increase the defenses of the human body. There are good reasons why it costs so much and is considered so valuable. They will be discussed below.

General information about the plant

Argan is a long-lived plant, it can be found only in some parts of our planet. In nature, there are specimens whose age is calculated for centuries (the oldest is 400 years old). Where does the argan tree grow? Its distribution area is Algeria, Morocco, some parts of the Sahara desert. In the wild, it can be found in Mexico.

Belongs to the Sopot family, is a monotypic genus - Argan prickly. The plant has another name - "iron tree", it received it thanks to the twisted strong trunks. Their height reaches 6 meters.

A rare specimen has thorny shoots and a fairly deep root system, reaching 30 meters into the soil. A photo of an argan tree perfectly illustrates the power and luxury of this plant. The leaf plates are medium-sized, have an oval shape and a length of about 3 cm. The flowers consist of five petals of a pale green or yellow hue. The fruits are small, similar to plums, slightly larger than olives in size, their skin is yellow. Inside the fleshy pulp is a strong bone, which, in turn, has three almond-shaped nuclei.

The tree blossoms in April, has an interesting aroma, with pronounced accents of spices and nuts.

Cultivating a plant as a crop is rather problematic. It propagates by seeds that germinate very poorly. Currently, biologists have managed to grow a small plantation of argan from cuttings. The location of the exotic garden is the region of the Negev desert.

Although the oil is exported to many countries, according to Moroccan law, it is not allowed to export the fruits of a rare plant outside the state. Eminent cosmetic companies in Europe offered the country's government to draw up a deal to buy out plantations with trees. However, he defended his interests by protecting state property. Now the plantations are still at the disposal of local authorities and are presented as a biosphere reserve.

Applications

Oil is highly valued even in its homeland, where it has its own name - "liquid gold". The scope of the argan tree is so wide that superstitious Africans consider it sacred. The oil obtained from its seeds is used in cooking, cosmetology and medicine. In addition, local residents use the wood of the tree as building materials and fuel. The liquid is filled with lamps and lamps. Charcoal is harvested from the solid stem part of the plant. The fruits and branches are fed to animals, goats and camels feed on shoots.

The purpose for which the oil of the plant is used depends on the degree of processing or purification of the fruit. The main product is obtained from the nucleoli extracted from the stone. It can serve as an auxiliary component in various types of production, as well as an independent tool.

Collecting valuable fruits is carried out by cooperatives specializing in the supply of raw materials, the main workers in which are Berber women (representatives of a Moroccan tribe).

Labour-intensive procurement of raw materials

The oil extraction process has basically not changed since antiquity, until now this technology is carried out mainly by hand. It is divided into two types - culinary and cosmetic. The first is characterized by a richer taste, color and aroma.

From 80 to 100 kg of fruits are processed to produce one liter of product. This amount of raw materials can be obtained from 13 argan trees. Since the peel of the bones is very strong, and you need to get the kernels out of them, the work requires great physical effort and a lot of time. As a result, women receive 3-5 kg ​​of seeds. It takes them almost two working days to do this.

The kernels are lightly fried to produce edible butter. Then they are placed under a press and the oil is squeezed out mechanically. The product goes through a filtration process. For this purpose, special paper is used. Before embarking on this laborious process, the fruits of the argan tree are dried in the sun beforehand, and the fibers are removed from them.

Exclusively manual method of obtaining a useful component allows you to save all its substances as much as possible. Recently, a new method has become known - chemical, it is considered sterile, but the oil obtained in this way is only suitable for scientific research and industrial purposes.

In Morocco, one can observe an unimaginably interesting picture, which is not possible to see in any other part of the world - goats freely walk along the thorny branches of an exotic plant. The argan tree is their favorite source of food. It is noteworthy that animals eat only the skin of the fruit, dumping the rest of them on the ground. So they, without realizing it, take part in the preparation of raw materials for a valuable product. After passing the first stage of extraordinary cleaning, the fruits fall into the hands of a person for their further processing.

Composition

Argan product contains fatty acids: ferulonic, palmitic, stearic. The oil contains squalene (antioxidant), triterpene alcohols, phytosterols, polyphenols, vitamin E.

Due to its rich composition, the product has many useful properties, which allows it to be used in various production areas.

Medicinal properties

First of all, the oil of the rarest tree has a beneficial effect on the general condition of the body. In the course of scientific research, it has been proven that the remedy strengthens blood vessels, the heart, normalizes blood pressure and blood glucose levels. If you use two tablespoons of the product every morning, you can lower cholesterol.

The oil is a natural fungicide and antibiotic. Applications with the use of a healing product prevent the destructive processes of tissues in rheumatism and arthritis.

Cooking

The traditional food of the Moroccans in the old days was the sauce in which they dipped bread. This dressing consisted of two ingredients: honey and oil.

The argan tree is known firsthand to the employees of restaurants and elite establishments all over the world. The first dishes of vegetables and legumes, meat, poultry are seasoned with oil. It is added to salads in pure or mixed form. It even goes well with fruits and nuts. To soften the taste of the ingredient, it is diluted with other oils, such as olive or grape seed product.

Add 5 drops of oil to any dish to create a piquant taste and it will pleasantly surprise you.

Medicine

Although a rare plant is not included in the pharmacology of Russia, in our country, oil made from medicinal fruits is known as a product of alternative medicine. It is recommended for burns, cracks in the skin, neurodermatitis.

In dietetics, the argan tree product is only gaining popularity. It has been noted that it improves appetite and at the same time helps to get rid of extra pounds. This is due to its composition, in which 85% are unsaturated fatty acids. These are those that are not synthesized independently and must be supplied to the human body together in food or through the epidermis. Acids are responsible for lipid metabolism, maintain the natural moisture of the skin at the proper level.

Cosmetology

And in cosmetology, argan tree oil is used for the production of soaps, creams, masks and other care products. It is added to products for strengthening nails and hair. The component has a tremendous effect on the epidermis. Due to its soothing and antiseptic action, it quickly eliminates skin irritation, making it velvety and smooth. The oil has high protective properties, nourishes and restores the skin. Due to the presence in its composition of unsaturated fatty acids and a complex of vitamins, it is used in the elimination of sunburn, prevents premature aging of the skin. In the summer, the product is good to use as protection against ultraviolet radiation.

If you use shampoos and masks on a regular basis, you can significantly improve the condition of your hair and its structure. Means that contain oil help fight dandruff, give curls shine and silkiness. Eliminating unwanted shine, they make strands of elasticity, obedient.

Bath and massage oils are on sale. A useful component is part of the cosmetics of French manufacturers. It is they who purchase raw materials in large volumes for the development of their products.

Use of the oil at home

If you have already purchased a healthy oil in a pharmacy, then discover all the beauty and health secrets that the argan tree hides. At home, you can make creams and masks that will turn out to be no worse than production tools. You can add it to absolutely any cosmetic formulations that you are used to using. The main thing is that a high quality product is chosen.

You can prepare a face mask. To do this, you only need a teaspoon of a useful product. It will need to be mixed with a pre-prepared mixture. We take: 2 tbsp. l. oatmeal, 2 proteins, one tablespoon of honey. The resulting slurry is thoroughly mixed with argan oil and applied to the face. After 20 minutes, wash off and conduct a contrast wash - first with slightly hot, and then with cool water.

To restore too dry skin on the hands, you need to mix several types of oils: hazelnut, chamomile and argan. Heat the mixture in a water bath. The product can be rubbed into the skin with massaging movements or used as hand baths.


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