Photo Courtesy of Peru Delights

Unheard beauty secrets and ingredients to curly girls do not mean they are new to the world, as many have been used for centuries for medicinal and beautification. A new to us natural oil making headway is sacha inchi oil that comes from the Inca peanut and is the seed of a plant that grows in South America. Sacha inchi seeds (Plukenetia volubilis“> actually grow in the rainforests of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Columbia, Venezuela, Brazil, and Suriname. They are often called Peruvian super foods and have been a great food source for over 3,000 years. 

The oil comes from the seeds, which are harvested from green, star-shaped pods. There is a long production time but can produce as long as 75 years. The pods are inedible unlike the seeds but once the seeds are harvested from the pods they are cold-pressed to release the sacha inchi oil. The pulp is used for bread, feed, flour, or soap but the oil is of high quality and extremely nutritious.

What is the composition of sacha inchi oil?

This little known exotic oil is unique because it is the most unsaturated known vegetable with an unsaturated fatty acid content of 93.69%. Sacha inchi oil also has the lowest content of saturated fatty acids in the world with 6.39%. Almost 90% of the oil is essential fatty acids with 48% Omega-3 (alpha-linolenic acid”>, 33% Omega-6  (linoleic acid”>, and 9% non-essential Omega-9. The seeds are rich in proteins, vitamins, and fiber and are easily digested. With a similar flavor to olive oil, it is loved by vegans and vegetarians with its high composition of omega-3s. Sacha inchi seeds and oil sits in the beloved group with chia seeds, flaxseeds, and microalgae as vegan omega-3s as super foods.

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

The uses of sacha inchi oil

Omega-3s are extremely beneficial for skin and hair. It helps to regulate oil production, helping to lock in needed moisture. By locking in moisture it helps in keeping the scalp and hair conditioned and relieves irritated or scaly scalps from eczema and/or psoriasis. The oil is light in nature, making it absorb easily and quickly into the skin. This makes it exceptional in facial serums, creams, lotions, and hair and body butters. It also has a remarkably long shelf life of 18 months and with the natural tocopherol and strong antioxidants properties, sacha inchi oil helps to lengthen the life as well. This newly loved oil for hair care is great for sensitive skin, a natural emollient, superb for acne and blemished skin, and ideal for brittle hair and dry scalp.

Products with sacha inchi oil

Sacha inchi oil can be found online and local health food stores and is great by itself in scalp massages and oil blends. It can be found in some hair products that have added this super oil to their formulations.

Have you tried this up and coming hair and beauty oil?  

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