Unrefined avocado oil is considered to be one of the most healthful vegetable oils one can consume. It is a multi-purpose oil that can be used for culinary purposes (it is exceptionally high in Vitamin E as well as monounsaturated fats), suitable for dressings and sauces as well as frying, due to its high smoke point of over 490 degrees.
Organic avocado oil is also an excellent “carrier” oil for other flavors; avocado carrier oil is ideal for infusion with various herbs. In addition to its suitability as a comestible, unrefined avocado oil is also excellent for use as a cosmetic and the repair of damaged skin.
Bulk avocado oil comes from the fruit of the same name. The scientific name of the tree from which we obtain organic avocado oil is Persea Americana. It is native to the Caribbean coast of Mexico, and was apparently known to pre-Incan peoples of present-day Peru. The word avocado itself is derived from a word in the Nahuatl language, ahuacatl, which literally means “testicle.” This is most likely a reference to the shape of the fruit; among the Aztecs, avocados were believed to confer fertility and have aphrodisiac properties.
Europeans could not have known of the benefits of organic avocado oil much before 1500; the first written descriptions of the fruit dates from a Spanish geography text written about 1520, and the first English accounts were not published until over 180 years later.
Although not initially raised to obtain bulk avocado oil, the plant itself was first exported abroad in 1750, when the first avocado trees were planted in Indonesia.
It arrived in Brazil about fifty years later; by the 1890s, avocado groves had been established in Rhodesia (present-day Kenya) and Australia.
It was introduced in Lebanon and Palestine (present-day Israel) in 1908-and has had constant reserach form scientists on its benefits.
Today the plants that are the source of healthful organic avocado oil are grown primarily in Mexico. California, Australia, New Zealand and Kenya.
What Is an Avocado?
Although it grows on a tree and has a pit, it is actually considered a berry; that is, the source of bulk avocado oil is a fruit produced from a single ovary which ripens into a fleshy, edible pulp surrounded by a skin. Seeds are embedded within this pulp.
Botanically, the avocado is a member of the laurel family, along with the bay tree and cinnamon. There are over a dozen types of avocados grown today; however, the most common varieties are the hass avocado, which is a black-coloured fruit with a pebbled skin texture and a bulk avocado oil content of approximately 19%, and the pinkerton, which has a smooth green skin.
Unlike most types of vegetable oils which are derived from seeds, organic avocado oil is extracted from the fleshy pulp of the fruit.
More About Avocado Oil
As mentioned earlier, avocado carrier oil is fine for creating different flavoured oils. Although fine for humans and other primates, organic avocado oil contains a fatty acid known as persin, which can be highly toxic to domestic animals, particularly dogs, cats and horses.
Although avocados are a perennial crop in those regions in which they are grown (they can survive temperatures down to 26 degrees Fahrenheit), organic avocado oil can be expensive as relatively little of the crop is actually pressed for oil. It does however compare quite well to olive oil for taste and body; true gourmands consider the extra cost for organic avocado oil well worth it.
Benefits of the oil
High in Sterolins which are reputed to reduce age spots, help heal sun damage and scars. The sterolins in thge oil helps to soften the skin and imparts a superior moisturising effect
Good for dehydrated, sun or climate damaged skin and due to this regenerates and rejuvenates skin.
Avocado oil increases the amount of collagen in the skin which is under attack when we age according to a study at the Department of Food Engineering and Biotechnology, and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in 1991
Due to its easy absorption into deep tissue makes it ideal for mature, age defying skin types while relieving of drynes, itching of psoriasis and eczema
Qualities Avocado has many of the following :
Linoleic acid-which is a fatty acid essential for the health of the skin and cell membranes.
Linolenic Acid (LNA) is an essential triple unsaturated C18:3-acid and as a precursor of the eicosapentaenoic acid which is found in fish oils, it belongs to the omega-3 fatty acids which means that the first double bonding starts at the third carbon atom (counted from the end). Like omega-6 fatty acids it forms a metabolite which has excellent inhibitory effects against inflammations in case of burns and erythema. Linseed oil has the highest content of alpha linolenic acid i.e. more than 50 percent of its fatty acids, rose hip oil about 25 to 30 percent. Vegetable oils with polyunsaturated fatty acids are very sensitive against atmospheric oxygen and rarely used.
Gamma Linolenic acid (GLA) has excellent anti-inflammatory effects since it is transformed by 15-lipoxygenase into an effective metabolite just like linoleic acid. It is used as evening primrose oil for the care of the neurodermitic skin. Gamma linolenic acid is triple unsaturated (C18:3) and belongs to the essential omega-6 fatty acids like linoleic acid.
Oleic acid -is an omega- 9 fatty acid and is naturally found in animal and plant oils. In its natural form, Oleic acid is odorless, colorless and sometimes may have a yellow tinge to it. Oleic acid is mainly derived from olives, hence the name oleic. It also found in grape seed oil, peanut, sesame seed oil, almonds, pecans and many other types of nuts. It is also found in the adipose tissues of the human body.
During ancient times, Oleic acid is considered to be essential in many remedies and therapies. Its natural sources, olives and various nuts, were considered part of a staple diet and were also used in the treatment of skin disorders and for gastrointestinal illnesses.
Oleic acid has many uses during modern times. It is used to lower blood cholesterol and blood pressure. It reduces the occurrence of blood clots and has the ability to remove plaque and debris in blood vessels ensuring healthy blood flow.
It is considered a source of good cholesterol and lowers the levels of LDL or Low Density Lipoprotein ultimately decreasing blood cholesterol levels and systemic blood pressure. It can also be a potential treatment for weight loss. Oleic acid is also known to be rich in antioxidants that help remove harmful toxins and free radicals in the body. It helps prevent premature aging in cells and increases immune system functioning. There are also studies regarding the ability of Oleic acid to boost memory and to increase the speed of neurological transmission. It also helps in increasing cardiovascular health and increases heart function. Oleic acid can also help relieve asthma symptoms and can also increase respiratory functioning.
It is an active ingredient in many cosmetics and can help provide smooth and supple skin. Hair is thicker and shinier with hair care products that have the Oleic acid as the main ingredient. Oleic acid is also seen as a treatment in joint pain, and for swelling and redness that are common in arthritis and many who have used supplements with Oleic acid have reported increased joint mobility and function.
Avoid taking Oleic acid supplements when you are using blood thinners; it may significantly increase blood pressure and cause bleeding. It is also important to consult a doctor regarding the use of Oleic acid for your illness since it may cause adverse reactions with the medications you are currently taking.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women are not advised to take Oleic acid supplements. There are studies regarding the potential risk of developing breast cancer in women with an increase of Oleic acid in the blood stream.
Palmatic acid–A fatty acid found naturally in skin and used as the basis for many palmitiate ingredients, such as isopropyl palmitate. Palmitic acid has many functions in cosmetics, from detergent cleansing agent to emollient. In a cleanser, it has the potential to be drying depending on what it is combined with and the cleanser’s pH level.
Stearic acid– is one of many fatty acids that occur naturally in various plants and animal derivatives. It’s found in such products as animal tallow, cocoa butter and vegetable fats. When it’s used in cosmetic products, stearic acid primarily fulfills the role of a thickener or hardener. Stearic acid is the substance that helps your bar of soap retain its shape — just as it does in products such as candles, oil pastels and hard candies.
But shape is only one of the properties that stearic acid adds to cleansers such as bar soaps and body washes. As a surfactant, stearic acid is a powerful cleanser. A surfactant is a compound that helps reduce water’s surface tension, allowing it to mix with oils and dirt on the surface of your skin. Because of stearic acid, soap particles are able to attach to the dirt and oil on your skin, loosening them so they can then be washed away with water.
Stearic acid also acts as an emulsifying agent, meaning it binds together materials — such as oil and water — that would usually separate. If it weren’t for stearic acid, your facial cleanser might not stay smooth and creamy, but would instead separate like oil and vinegar in salad dressing.
Palmitoleic acid– is a form of Omega 7 contained in the fatty acids of avocado and. Like palmitic acid it has 16 carbon atoms however it is monounsaturated. Hence the abbreviation C16:1. Monounsaturated means in this case that the maximal possible number of hydrogen atoms is not completed – there are two hydrogen atoms missing. Palmitoleic acid also belongs to the natural lipids of the skin.