We know that Africa produces some of the world’s most valuable natural raw materials. Do you ever wonder how these are used in their places of origin?
Origins: Chestnut/Yangu Oil
With trees growing indigenously along the East Coast of the continent – from Kenya down to Mozambique, Tanzania and finally South Africa – there are seemingly good reasons why the wild chestnut tree has been popular with local communities for centuries. It is valued for not only its beauty and shade abilities, but also the useful fruit and bark that are extracted and used as skincare ingredients.
–The scientific name is Calodendrum capense seed oil, but it is commonly known as Yangu Oil or Umbaba (Xhosa) or Muvhaha (Venda).
– To extract the oil, the seed of a ripe chestnut fruit is cold-pressed.
– The oil is rich in vitamin E and omegas 3 and 6 fatty acids, which assist in balancing, plumping and locking hydration into the skin.
– Works well on dry, itchy skin and growing pregnant bellies to avoid stretch marks.
– It contains antibacterial properties that help to fight fungal infections. This can be great in shampoos and other cleansing agents like soaps.
– Communities in many parts of Southern Africa grind the bark of the tree and use it in skin ointments.
– It is a great active ingredient for hair conditioners or masks to rescue dehydrated or damaged hair.
– Other claims: antioxidants and UV protectors.
– Interestingly, men would tie parts of the tree around their wrists before they go hunting, believing the tree’s powerful properties would bring them luck and sharper skill.
– The tree has always been and still is appreciated for its true beauty, with a dramatic early summer display of soft, silky pink blooms.