Why its Good For Us - Benefits of Raw Argan Oil
Argan oil is a plant oil which is extracted from the kernels inside the heart of the fruits that grow on argan trees. The argan tree is particularly special because it can only be grown in the south West of Morocco, which has a unique eco-system. The argan forest area stretches out over 800,000 hectares across the southern region which reach from the Sous Valley region down to the mountains of the Anti-Atlas surrounding Agadir and Taroudant.
When and how is Argan Oil harvested?
The traditional method of extracting Argan oil from the Argan nut is a laborious manual process;
Argan fruit is taken from the tree during the harvesting period (July / August), it is then laid out to dry for around seven days. Once dry, the pulp is removed to get the argan nut out (known as ‘Akkayn’ in Arabic). These nuts are then cracked open to reveal the kernel.
It takes 2 days just to crack 1.5kg of argan nuts and extract the kernel.
The process itself is very physical, as women traditionally use stones to crack the argan nuts. Unlike culinary argan oil which is first roasted, cosmetic argan needs a lot more work to be processed into a paste which is traditionally made with a stone hand mill. This part of the process is particularly labour intensive for the Berber women. The argan paste is finally further squeezed to produce the argan oil. It takes a staggering 25-30kg of argan nuts to produce just one litre of argan oil! Which makes you understand just how precious this oil is.