Avocado oil is extracted from the fleshy pulp surrounding the pip of the avocado. When refined it is yellowish-green in colour. The avocado dates back as far as 291BC but the oil itself has only been commercially available for less then a decade. The first manufacturing of the oil for commercial purposes can be traced back to 2004 when a group of entrepreneurs in Chile got together to invest in extracting the new oil for its potential health benefits both internally and externally.
The avocado (Persea Americana) originally grew wild in the highlands of Central America and Mexico and the lowlands of Colombia in South America. The fruit was later transported to Europe in the 16th century after the Spanish conquistadors invaded Mexico and Peru. The Aztecs dubbed the unique green fruit with a seed in the center, ‘ahuacati’ which evolved over the centuries into the word avocado.
The first avocados arrived in Australia in seed form in 1840 and were planted in the Royal Botanical Gardens in Sydney. It wasn’t until 110 years later in the late 1960s that a developing Australian industry began to take shape.
Today, avocados are grown in all states of Australia due to its widespread and climatically diverse growing regions. However, only a few companies manufacture the avocado oil with its amazing health benefits.
AVOCADO OIL NUTRIENTS
Avocado oil is extremely deep penetrating, rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, D and E. The oil contains high levels of potassium known as the youth mineral as well as lecithin and proteins. It is very rich in unsaturated fatty acids containing high percentages of the fatty acid stearic as well as palmitic, palmitoleic, oleic (Omega-9), linoleic (Omega-6) and linolenic (Omega 3).
NUTRIENTS NATURALLY OCCURRING IN AVOCADO OIL:
VITAMIN A - aids cell reproduction, antioxidant, strengthens skin cells, antibacterial
VITAMIN B1 – regulates cell function
VITAMIN B2 – antioxidant, regulates cell production
VITAMIN D - antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial
VITAMIN E - antioxidant, reduces sun damage
Lecithin – emollient, hydrator
Proteins – helps maintain healthy cell nutrition, structure and cell function
Sterols – anti aging, stimulates collagen production
Rich in fatty acids; stearic acid, palmitic, palmitoleic, oleic (Omega-9), linoleic (Omega-6) and linolenic (Omega 3) - The abundance of fatty acids in the oil works as a natural skin hydrator and facilitates repair of damaged skin.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF AVOCADO OIL
The impressive list of vitamins, minerals and fatty acids contained in avocado oil is of immense benefit to the beauty industry.
Vitamin A (carotene) and Vitamin E (Tocopherol) help prevent dry skin. Vitamin E is also healing and along with vitamin D is known to be effective against wrinkling and sun damage.
The abundance of fatty acids in the oil and the fibrous proteins (around 4 per cent), act as a natural skin moisturizer helping the skin to look soft and young.
The combination of the vitamins, protein, lecithin and amino acids and high percentage of unsaponifiables is what makes this oil highly therapeutic giving it its healing and regenerating properties.
One of the sterols, phytoserol has the same penetrating abilities as lanolin allowing it to penetrate deep into the epidermis. It is this ability to penetrate the skin, which has lead to the success of avocado oil in the beauty industry.
USES FOR AVOCADO OIL
Avocado oil improves dry skin, wrinkles, sunspots and uneven-skin tone by significantly increasing the amount and stores of collagen in the skin. In a study done at the Department of Food Engineering and Biotechnology, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in 1991, it was found that avocado oil significantly increases the amount of collagen in the skin—an essential component in preventing the development of wrinkles. This action also helps the skin to look smooth, firm and younger looking.
Avocado oil also works on blemished skin, acne, scars and skin damage because of the combination of sterolins found in avocado oil along with the healing vitamins A, E and D and the fatty acids that are reputed to help heal, soften and moisturize the skin.
Avocado oil can help heal minor skin burns, abrasions and wounds faster due to the combination of healing vitamins A, B, D and E that it contains. Damage on the cellular level by free radicals can be prevented by the vitamin E found in avocado oil.
The essential fatty acids in avocado oil are believed responsible for the reduction of inflammation of the skin, which is why it is proven to be good for un-even skin with blemishes and acne, though it’s oil.
Avocado oil is rich in all the Omegas 3,6 and 9 that help regulate the skin. And because of its deeply penetrating ability due to its mono-saturated fats, avocado oil is beneficial for extreme dryness and itching of skin like eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis, chapped lips, hands and feet as it nourishes, enriches and revitalizes the skin.
Omega 3 contained in the oil is thought to be responsible for its protective effect on the skin from the effects of UV solar radiation thereby protecting the skin from sunburn.
Anthropologist and author John Heinerman noted in his travels through Guatemala that the women looked younger then their age due to avocado oil use.
“Through our interpreter, I learned that they were using avocado oil to keep their skin from getting burned by the hot, glaring sun and the rough elements of wind and rain. They even rubbed some on their lips to keep them nice and moist. Some of the Chorti women seemed to be in their late 20s or early 30s. Imagine my utter astonishment when my interpreter told me that most of them were in their mid-to-late fifties! Now I'm a pretty good judge of age because of my training in anthropology, but their constant use of avocado oil sure fooled me about how old I thought they were.” John Heinerman 1.
The protein in avocado oil strengthens the hair shaft and is helpful in treating hair concerns such as thinning, dryness and dandruff. The essential acids in the oil help keep hair strong, healthy and shiny and the nutrients penetrate the scalp to promote healthy hair growth by regenerating hair follicles.
CHILDREN & BABIES:
The deep moisturizing properties and rich supply of vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids of avocado oil help relieve and soften cradle cap in babies and quickly soothe and heal nappy rash and chaffing.