Moringa oil has been used as cooking oil as well as an essential oil. The benefits of moringa oil are high for skin, hair, and nails as it can naturally enhance the production of Keratin which is a type of protein essential for building skin, hair, and nails. It also supports overall health.
Moringa oil is extracted from the seeds of the Moringa tree which is botanically called Moringa oleifera. It is a small tree from Asian countries, native to India.
This tree is often mentioned as “the miracle tree” because all of its parts from leaves, flowers, fruits, seeds, bark, stems, and even roots can be used for medicinal, therapeutic, culinary, and industrial purposes.
The shape of the moringa seed pods is like a drumstick. So, in its native places, the tree is called a “Drumstick tree”.
The plant parts are high in behenic acid values so the tree has other names such as Ben oil tree or Behen oil tree.
Moringa seeds have a high oil content and nutritional values including protein, monounsaturated fats, sterols, and tocopherols.
Related: Health benefits of Moringa seeds.
The industries are doing various processes like cold pressing and solvent extraction to produce moringa oil.
Moringa oil is used as cooking oil and essential oil. The benefits of moringa oil are high for skin, hair, and nails. It also supports overall health.
What is Moringa Oil?
Moringa oil is the second most used product obtained from the tree, the first one will be the leaves.
The leaves alone have 92 nutrients, 36 anti-inflammatories, 46 antioxidants, and 18 amino acids. Tea prepared from moringa leaves is the best herbal beverage to calm the brain and boost instant energy, says a study.
Read also: Health benefits of Moringa tea.
The moringa seed oil is light, sharp, and calms skin and detoxifies it. This essential oil is included in many hair care and skin care products like shampoos, face creams, lotions, and gels.
In Ayurveda, Moringa oil is mentioned as Sigru because it can deeply penetrate the skin tissues and cleanses quickly.
Moringa oil has a high amount of fatty acids which help in cleansing, soothing, and moisturizing the skin. The antioxidants in the oil keep it away from rancidity and let you use it for a long time. The oil also has palmitoleic and linoleic acids with vitamin A and vitamin C which provide anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antiviral properties.
Moringa Oil Properties
Moringa oil is filled with healthy fats, minerals, plant compounds, vitamins, and a lot of medicinal properties. Let’s look into some of the beneficial nutrients in Moringa oil for hair and skin and health.
Vitamin A – It increases the body’s immune system to defend against illness and infection. Retinol (Vitamin A) helps to build up collagen in the skin by increasing blood circulation to the skin surface.
Vitamin C – It is a powerful antioxidant in the oil that protects DNA from damages due to free radicals. Ascorbic acid helps to repair sun damage to skin cells, reduce wrinkles, and fine lines. It slows down aging and its signs.
Vitamin E – It acts as a potent anti-inflammatory that strengthens the body, maintains hair and skin health. Vitamin E improves immunity, cell functions, and skin health.
Cyt Cytokinin – Zeatin is a primary cytokine that is a plant hormone. It is responsible for plant growth thereby it is in moringa oil when applied on skin or hair promotes cell growth and prevents aging while generating new cell tissues.
Fatty acids – Moringa oil has a rich amount of mono-saturated oleic acid (omega 9 fatty acid). It aids to strengthen the barrier to the skin and keeps the skin youthful, hydrated, and nourished.
Common Uses of Moringa Oil
Moringa oil has been used in many traditional medicines for topical treatments and cosmetic products for a long time now. For the past few years, it has been used as a cooking and essential oil also.
Moringa oil has oleic acid that has cleaning properties and moisturizing agents which are beneficial for skin and hair. So moringa oil is used as a topical cleanser and moisturizer. It is diluted with a carrier oil to be used on skin or hair.
Moringa oil is a rich source of protein, oleic acid, and healthy fat. So, the oil is used in cooking for frying and baking which is an economical and also nutritious alternative to other expensive cooking oils.
Moringa is a drought-resistant tree so it is used as a staple food in poor regions where water supply or rainfall is not helping.
The edible moringa oil has sterols which are beneficial in removing the bad cholesterol levels (LDL).
The antioxidant activity in moringa oil due to the presence of Beta-sitosterol may help prevent various chronic conditions. Beta-sitosterol is a phytosterol that also has anti-diabetic properties. However, these facts still need proper research to affirm it.
Moringa oil has bioactive compounds which possess anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties in both internal and external applications. These medicinal activities in the moringa oil help the skin health, correct skin tone and complexion, treat acne breakouts, dark spots, and many other skin-related imperfections.
Some of the bioactive compounds are catechins, ferulic acid, tocopherols, quercetin, and zeatin. So the moringa oil is included in hair and skin care products including shampoo, conditioner, soap, cleanser, toner, and massage oil.
Benefits of Moringa Oil
The benefits of moringa oil for healing and beauty were tested and proved decades ago. The ancient Romans and Greeks used moringa leaves and edible oil from moringa seeds in ointments, perfumes, and lotions.
Egypt secures the top place in history for using moringa leaves for beauty. They used moringa oil for skin protection from harmful sun rays, sand, and dust in the desert. Now, we know why people from those regions have been blessed with a youthful look and radiant skin.
The antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-aging properties of moringa oil help aid various skin ailments and hair problems.
Benefits of Moringa oil for skin
The main component in moringa oil that makes it a great treatment for skin problems is cytokinins and zeatin. Zeatin is an important and potent plant hormone that helps to improve cell growth and delay aging by generating healthy skin tissues.
Related: Benefits of Moringa for Skin
Fatty Acids in Moringa Oil
The high amount of powerful fatty acids in moringa oil is beneficial in the maintenance and formation of cell membranes inside the stratum corneum, which is a layer underneath the skin that protects it from the environment and manages permeability.
In addition, this unique combination of fatty acids in the oil has lubricant, emollient, and anti-inflammatory properties which restore the natural oils to the skin and prevent environmental damages.
Moringa oil with high fatty acids acts as a barrier for the skin and protects it against environmental damages.
Oleic Acid in Moringa Oil
Our environment is filled with pollutants that potentially affect the skin’s integrity and balance by penetrating the skin’s deep layers of the epidermis. Thus, our skin loses its ability to defend against pollution. These pollutants and other harmful foreign particles decrease the antioxidant level of the skin which results in dryness and dehydration.
Moringa oil’s phytochemicals and oleic acid, a fatty acid with antioxidants, restore the skin’s barrier. The rich source of oleic acid in the moringa helps in keeping the skin hydrated even after exposure to pollution.
The presence of fatty acids especially oleic acid repairs pollution damages in the skin and treats dryness due to dehydration.
Antioxidants in Moringa Oil
The benefits of moringa oil for anti-aging are much appreciated all over the world. The presence of powerful antioxidants and minerals is the reason behind its anti-aging effects. This nutritious plant seed oil has antioxidants that avert free radical damages and oxidative stress which otherwise cause premature aging.
It also helps to remove the aging signs like wrinkles, sagging, and remove dead cells from the skin as well. In addition, one of the powerful antioxidants in moringa called vitamin C helps to stabilize the collagen levels thus it reduces wrinkles, fine lines, repairs damaged skin cells, and regenerates damaged skin tissues.
The antioxidants like vitamin C in moringa oil prevent damage to the skin cells and delay aging. It also removes fine lines, wrinkles, and helps to repair skin damages.
Antiseptic and Antimicrobial properties in Moringa Oil
Moringa oil is great for treating acne breakouts. The antiseptic and antimicrobial properties of oil aid in this. It manages the production of excess sebum and prevents bacteria or dirt from clogging into the skin pores.
Moringa oil with a few drops of coconut oil can be applied over the blackheads, acne, dark spots, and scars in the skin.
Also, the oil fights fatigue and maintains oil secretion. Using moringa oil gradually purifies the skin and keeps its natural glow. Do a gentle massage to the skin with a few drops of moringa oil mixed and olive oil. If you are using any daily skincare lotion or cream, you can add a few drops of moringa oil into it to heal further skin problems.
Moringa oil has antiseptic and antimicrobial properties that help to treat skin issues and dark spots while keeping the natural skin glow.
Detoxifying effects in Moringa Oil
Moringa is a great detoxifier. The high oleic acid up to 72% in moringa oil cleanses, purifies, and detoxifies the skin. Also sulfur in the oil aids in manufacturing natural keratin in the skin. Keratin is a type of protein that builds skin, hair, and nails. Thus it gives a young look.
The 72% of oleic acid and sulfur in the moringa oil helps in building keratin and cleanses the skin with detoxifying and purifying effects.
Sun Protection Factor (SPF) in Moringa Oil
Moringa oil softens dry skin, moisturizes and hydrates it. Also, this oil wards off skin issues like eczema, dermatitis, and psoriasis. It can be used as a lip balm to treat dry and chapped lips.
A study published in the Journal of Pharmacy showed that moringa oil could act as sun protection. The research found that moringa oil has potent SPF that assists in sunscreen purposes. The study suggests that moringa in ideal or with other sunscreen formulations can enhance the potency.
Moringa oil is a great sunscreen lotion that protects you from harmful sun rays due to the presence of SPF, says a study.
Benefits of Moringa oil for hair
Moringa oil is a great moisturizer and we know moisturizing oils are beneficial for hair growth. It has been a new commodity for various hair problems now. Most dermatologists add moringa oil to their clients’ weekly hair regimen.
One of the primary benefits of using moringa oil in the hair care routine is its monounsaturated fats, mostly oleic acid. It is a type of fatty acid that acts as a great cleanser. So, it helps in cleansing the scalp and keeping moisture levels and sebum secretion. In addition, the anti-inflammatory properties aid scalp scaling.
The presence of high Omega 3 fatty acids in moringa oil promotes hair growth. It also maintains the moisture in the scalp.
Read also: Benefits of Moringa for Hair Growth.
Moringa oil has high protein levels and helps to boost them naturally. Keratin is a type of protein responsible for skin, hair, and nail growth. Zinc in moringa oil supports keratin production. It helps to restructure the hair and strengthen it.
Shine and Elasticity
Moringa oil has revitalizing effects that treat dull and brittle hair strands. It is also a great hair conditioner to give a natural shine and bouncy hair with its high levels of behenic acid. Most hair conditioners have this ingredient.
Moringa oil works as a moisturizer and protectant for hair. It protects the hair strands from sun damage and discoloration.
Moringa seeds have amino acids so the oil filled with this acid helps to reverse hair damages like split ends. The minerals and vitamins in moringa oil could remove dandruff.
How to choose the Moringa oil
Moringa oil is available as an essential oil, as cooking oil, and also as an extract for hair and skin applications.
Always look after the details in the moringa oil packaging to check if it is an essential oil or carrier oil. An essential oil should be used with any carrier oil to be applied on skin or hair, it is the same as moringa essential oil. The essential moringa oil is not safe for cooking.
If you are looking to buy a moringa oil for cooking or topical application, check if it is mentioned cold-pressed, organic, or food-grade oil in the package. Certain forms of moringa oil are manufactured in big industries using solvent extraction as a fuel or lubricant for machines. So, always check if the oil is labeled for your desired purposes, before buying it.
It is also a good practice to check the manufacturing method, source, and production of a product.
The pure and organic moringa oil will be in pale yellow and has a peanut-like earthy scent. Check if the oil color is the same and has good clarity.
How to use Moringa oil at home
Though there are many commercial moringa oil products available for hair and skincare routines. But you can also make a skin or hair treatment using moringa oil at home.
Moringa oil for hair
You can massage the hair with moringa oil with any carrier oil for a few minutes and wash. It is an instant treatment but for a deep hair treatment, try the below method.
You will need
- Carrier oil
- Moringa oil
- Beneficial essential oil
Directions to use
- Take 2 cups of any carrier oil that has moisturizing properties like almond oil.
- Add 5 to 10 drops of moringa oil and another essential oil like tea tree oil or lavender oil to the carrier oil.
- Mix the oils in a bowl.
- Apply the oil to hair and massage from roots to ends.
- Use a shower cap or towel to cover the hair and leave it overnight.
- Shampoo and condition the hair. Make sure the oil is removed completely.
- If you like, you can heat the oil mixture for a few seconds and apply it. The heating gives another level of scent to the oil.
Moringa oil for skin
The ingredients are the same as a hair treatment.
- For a different experience, you can replace almond oil with any other carrier oil and also use other essential oil to get a different scent.
- Massage the oil in the skin and face gently.
- Remove the excess oil using a tissue.
The antioxidants in the moringa oil help to long shelf life up to one year. Store the oil in a dark and cool place at room temperature to extend the shelf life.
Moringa oil for nails
Moringa oil aids in maintaining better nail and hand health. It treats dry and cracked cuticles. The oil nourishes the nails and prevents irritation from pathogens. You can massage the oil all over your hands and hydrate them.
How to use
Massage the moringa oil into nail beds to moisturize them. You can apply it whenever you feel rough and dry. It nourishes the nails and hands. After applying the oil use a glove to not let the dirt particles stick with the oil.
The whole moringa tree is beneficial and medicinal. But the oil is only extracted from seeds. Some of the proven benefits of moringa may not be applicable for oil but other forms like leaves and leaf powder.
However, the consumption of leaves, flowers, and bark of the moringa tree can tighten the uterus and create contractions that may cause miscarriage in pregnant women. Though moringa oil is not linked to this effect. It is better to avoid using it or contact the physician to ingest it in pregnancy and while trying to conceive.