Prickly Pear Seed Oil comes from the Prickly Pear cactus also known as the Barbary Fig. The scientific name is Opunitia Ficus-Indica. This oil has been known for centuries for its incredible ability to moisturize and heal skin. High in vitamin E, A, C, and Omega 6, people have been using it as an organic skin care solution in Morocco since the 16th century. In fact, Prickly Pear Seed Oil contains 3 times as much vitamin E than any other cosmetic oil. Because of its numerous health benefits, many people refer to the fruit of this cactus as the “Miracle plant.”
As Europe expanded its power in the Americas in the 16th and 17th century, many of its amazing natural resources found its way back to the European continent and Northern Africa. The Prickly Pear cactus is indigenous to the deserts of Mexico but people soon found that Morocco, with its similar arid and Mediterranean like weather, is a perfect place for this plant to flourish. Today, many people consider the Prickly Pear cactus to be a staple resource of Morocco, and it is enjoyed and cherished by its people as a food and as a skin care product.
The tedious task of making Prickly Pear Seed Oil
Today, Prickly Pear Seed Oil is produced in a very similar way as it was done over 300 years ago. The process starts by painstakingly extracting the seeds found in the fruit by hand. Each fruit can contain 20 to 50 small seeds. The people extracting the seeds must wear protective gloves as not to be harmed by the thorny exterior. After the seeds are extracted, the seeds go through a drying process and than is cold pressed much like it was done for many generations. Because the process of extracting the oil is such a laborious and time consuming chore, the Arabic word for the Prickly Pear cactus is Subbar, which means patience in English.
Each seed contains about 5% of this very highly concentrated oil. In fact, it usually takes about a ton of Prickly Pear fruit to produce 1 liter of Prickly Pear Seed Oil. It is no wonder that this oil is the most expensive oil used in the beauty industry today.
Historically, the Barber women of Morocco harvested and extracted this oil for income to support their families. Today, many of these operations are run as a co-operative farms ran by these women.
Prickly Pear Seed Oil has a rich and interesting history. From its many health benefits, its rich history, to the incredible people who farm and produce this oil, Prickly Pear Seed Oil is truly a magnificent resource.
For more information about SHABANA Prickly Pear Seed Oil and how it can benefit you, click here.