Andiroba Oil

Carpa guianensis is a species of tree from the Maliaceae family in which andiroba oil is made from. It is a canopy tree found in the tropical forest of the Amazon, Central America and as well as Africa. It is largely used in folk medicine and thus commonly used in underdeveloped countries.

The Andiroba tree/Crabwood tree as it is commonly known is composed of :-

Andiroba Oil

1. Oleic acid

Oleic acid is an omega 9 fatty acid that is odorless, colorless oil that can be found in animal and vegetable fats. It is commonly used in the prevention of great disease and reducing cholesterol.

2. Palmitic

Palmitic acid is the most common saturated fatty acid found in animals, plants, and microorganisms. This acid has been used in skin care products as an emollient (this protects the skin) surfactant, emulsifier ( since it allows fats and suspended oils to be washed away) and a pacifying agent. This acid also helps to improve the texture of formations.

3. Stearic

Stearic acid is also an emulsifier, emollient and lubricant that can soften skin and prevents products from separating in essence. It is a natural cleaning agent which helps to remove excess dirt etc.

4. Linoleic

Linoleum acid or Vitamin F provide moisture and plumpness to the skin. It also protects the skin’s barrier and is helpful in fending off UV rays and air pollutants.

5. Vitamin A

Vitamin A boosts cell turnover in the skin and helps to speed up healing, prevents breakouts and it also supports the skin’s immune system and promotes natural moisturizing.

6. Vitamin C

Studies have shown that daily usage of Vitamin C for at least three months can improve the appearance of fine and coarse wrinkles on the face and neck.

7. Myristic

Myristic acid is commonly found in facial cleansers as well as in cosmetics that are used to preserve the skin’s moisture barrier.

8. Limonoids

Limonoids have health promoting as well as disease preventing properties. Studies have shown that they inhibit the proliferation of the cancer cells in the stomach, colon, breast, and even the skin. It can also reduce blood cholesterol. Limonoids are anti-inflammatories that is why you would find andiroba oil in products used for muscular aches, pains and to reduce swelling.

Extraction

There are many ways to extract andiroba oil. Some of which include: –

1. Extraction via boiling

The seeds are first shelled and boiled in water until they come apart. Sometimes salt is added to the process. As the seeds break, the oil will float to the surface of the water. Once the water cools the oil is skimmed off from the water’s surface.

Andiroba Oil

2. Extraction by hand press

Andiroba Oil

Andiroba is first ground to the pulp. The pump is then pressed between two hard surfaces (this would remove the pulp moisture which contains the oil and water). The oil and water mixture is then collected because the oil will float to the surface.

3. Extraction via an expelled press

The expelled press machine is used to force the andiroba nuts through the open cavity. Inside the cavity the nuts are subject to friction and as well as pressure. As the cavity narrows only moisture can pass through (all of this happens because of the heat). The oil emerges from the expelled press and as a result, the dry parts of the nuts are left behind.

As previously mentioned, Andiroba is largely used in folk medicine. Uses include:-

  • As a mosquito repellent
  • For fevers
  • Herpes
  • Intestinal worms
  • Coughs
  • Skin conditions
  • Sores
  • Ulcers
  • Removing ticks (have used it for this before)
  • Skin parasites
  • Arthritis
  • Muscle and joint aches and injuries
  • Wounds
  • Raw materials used for the making of soap
Andiroba Oil

In terms of usage in Skin conditions, the oil is also effective in moisturizing cracked skin and used in products that heal eczema and psoriasis. This oil can penetrate the skin quickly. It has no known side effects.

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