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Opuntia tuna may sound unfamiliar but prickly pear cactus (what it known as) is the best-known and best-loved cactus around. With its luscious fruit that can be made into jellies, teas, candies, and wine, prickly pear cactus represents about a dozen species found in arid and semi-arid regions of the world. They have flat, fleshy pads that favor large leaves with sharp spines. Used by the American Indians to treat burns, it has a long history in traditional Mexican folk medicine for treating diabetes but has also be linked to treating lipid disorders, inflammations, and even ulcers.

Widely distributed, they can be found from California to Florida to Europe to the West Indies. This commercial crop in Latin America, North Africa, Mexico, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean countries are popular. You can often find the leaves or pad of the cactus (nopales) in boiled or grilled vegetable dishes in Mexican cuisine.

Benefits of prickly pear

This plant is edible and a good source of important minerals like calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus, along with antioxidants are plentiful in this superfood like ascorbic acid, carotenoids, and flavonoids. The prickly pear seed oil contains linoleic acid and zinc and is extracted either by cold-pressing the seeds or by chemical extraction.

Read more: Oleic and Linoleic Acid: The Reason You Love Oils So Much

Why is prickly pear seed oil great for our hair?

They are not calling this a superfood for nothing. This cactus oil is extremely high in essential fatty acids, Omega-6 and Omega-9 and with that natural antioxidant vitamin E which is excellent against fighting free radicals. Prickly pear has amino acids, which naturally stimulate collagen production to promote faster cell turnover. Collagen helps to not only keep skin firm and fresh, but also protects it from the sun, wind and environmental pollutants and that goes for your scalp and strands too. Amino acids also keep the skin, scalp and hair hydrated and promotes a healthy pH balance.

Read more: You Need These Fatty Acids for Healthy Hair

With double the fatty acids and proteins of argan oil, this oil will add high gloss and soften your strands. If there are deficiencies in one’s diet then the massive amounts of nutrients in this fruit are great supplements to help keep your body and hair healthy and in turn that may prevent hair loss. Several brands are harnessing the goodness of this plant by adding it to their conditioners and restorative oils. Here are a few below but always know that consuming these amazing fruits, plants, and nuts we mention is always the ideal way to benefit from them.

Products with prickly pear