I’ve worked with moringa seed oil for a few years and have tried this wonderful oil, sometimes referred to as ben oil, in several skincare products. The nutty aroma is a bit strong but when a fragrance or essential oil is added, the scent is disguised. It’s also a heavy oil, closer to olive oil than lighter oils like meadowfoam or camellia—both derived from flowers. Moringa seed oil, whether from Africa or India, is derived from vitamin and protein filled seeds that flourish on the Moringa oleifera tree. The skin moisturizing benefits are the result of the fact that moringa seed oil is high in vitamins A and C, calcium and unsaturated fatty acids. Moringa seed oil contains antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, which help heal minor skin complaints such as cuts, bruises, burns, insect bites, rashes and scrapes quickly. It may also be helpful for purposes of tanning or maintaining a tan, due to being rich in copper and calcium, important nutrients for the skin.
The above photo shows the rich golden color of the moringa seed oil. Notice the size of the papery looking seeds.
I was in correspondence with Mr. Rayl, a citizen of Botswana, who first introduced me to moringa back in 2005. He wrote: “Dr Jean Baptiste the Moringa Project scientist called me and wants me to come down to the capitol for a visit and to take me to meet the only other person who is growing Moringa trees on a fairly large scale and selling the products, an MD who has a clinic in the south. He has 300 trees. He made a press to extract the seed oil. But I being a mechanic all my life know how to do that. I have a friend who has a machine shop so I plan to make one also. The moringa seed oil is great for cooking oil, also can use it in a lamp like kerosene and it has no smoke or odor. It also can be used on the skin. Can grind the dry seeds and use the powder to purify water. It is in the Bible about that in Exodus.”
During our two-year correspondence, Mr. Rayl wrote glowingly of the moringa tree. He told me how beneficial it was from the oil to the leaves to the seeds.
“Each part of the Moringa tree has their own benefits and vitamins, etc. The leaves, the seed pods when young can be cooked eaten like beans when they are a little older can be opened and seed kernel can be cooked and eaten in any recipe for peas. When seeds are mature can be roasted or fried taste like peanuts. The flowers are great steeped in a cup boiling water for 5 minutes and honey or sugar added. The root can be cleaned etc. on young trees a horseradish substitute but must be careful with that and not use it too often, I don’t really recommend that as that is the only part that is questionable as far as I am concerned. I have not tried it and probably won’t. We use the leaf powder on or in food every day.”
I bought some ground moringa leaves but didn’t get around to making a tea out of them. When added to melt and pour soap they soon turned dark brown, something that happens to most leaves. I found a supplier of moringa oil in India and bought a large bottle to begin experimenting with it. I soon discovered it was an excellent ingredient in any shampoo, due to those gentle cleansing proprieties that our scalp needs. Adding moringa oil to any liquid or solid shampoo is very easy to do. Like many exotic oils on the market, moringa oil has been used in India, Africa and many other Asian countries for centuries. We are very fortunate to be exposed to these wonderful oils and find out just how effective they can be to us.
I used to get my moringa oil sent from India. Here’s the link to the company: http://www.paritoshherbals.com/index.php
But if you want to find it on Amazon, check out: http://www.amazon.com/Moringa-Luxurious-Antioxidant-Rich-Moisturizer-Natural/dp/B00886YS74
Recipes that include moringa seed oil can be found in this book: How to Make Handmade Shampoo Bars