The Beauty Secret
As a legend goes, in the ancient Egyptian time, there was Karisuma (sacred tree) growing in northwest Sahara area whose fruit was presented as tributes to powerful Egyptian kings. It is said that the oil extracted from the fruit nuts has marvellous effect on hair and skin for its exceptional anti-aging property. It soon became popular in the imperial harem.
Through research, some were sure that it was the argan tree that has such magic effect. For centuries, the Berber’s women (also known as the Amazighs) of Morocco would apply “liquid gold” to their hair and skin for beauty. The “liquid gold” is argan oil from argan tree.
Nowadays Argan oil is one of the three treasures in Morocco. Argan oil is produced from the nuts of argan tree and endemic to Morocco, a country in North Africa. The tree is extremely well adapted to drought and other harsh environmental conditions of south-western Morocco and provides food, shelter and protection from desertification.
The argan tree can reach a height of 32 feet and live up to 200 years. It is thorny with gnarled trunks.
Argan trees were first reported by the explorer Leo Africanus in 1510. Ever since, many tourists there have bought the argan oil called “God Lotion” as gifts for friends and relatives for hair or skin.
The Manual Processes
- In harvest, people could not pick the fruits on thorny trees but only wait until the fruits fall onto the ground. They are first dried in the open air then the fresh of fruits are removed.
- The women gather together to crack the argan nuts to obtain the kernels -only two to three in a nut. The mechanized process is unsuccessful therefore it is still carried out by hand. A time-consuming and labor-intensive process!
- They are assessed for quality and then ground and pressed. The brown-colored mash expels pure, unfiltered argan oil.
- Later, the unfiltered argan oil is decanted into vessels and left for approximately two weeks. It creates natural sediment and pure argan oil is further filtered.