Photo Courtesy Vitae Organics
Manketti oil is also known as Mongongo oil and it comes from the nuts of the Mongongo trees that can be found in southern Africa. The Mongongo tree fares particularly well in the deep sands of the Kalahari and is tough in nature, as it can survive droughts and massive ranges in temperatures even in the same day. Its botanical name is Schinziophyton rautanenii and belongs to the Euphorbiaceae family. Valued for centuries for its nutritive value, this amazing oil is highly emollient and has been loved for protecting skin and hair. The tree does not bear fruit until it is 25 years old and the flowers begin to bloom and bear their oval, plum-like fruit in late October. The green fuzzy fruit fall from the trees around April until May where they continue to mature.  

Elephants and kadu love the sweet fruit that goes from green to brown as it matures on the ground. It then has a more softening flesh and a date-like flavor. The kadu regurgitate the nuts leaving them in neat piles while the elephants defecate the nuts and this actually makes it easier for collection.

The power of the seeds

As you have probably figured out, it is the seeds that are treasured and the seeds are roasted and then cracked to remove the outer shell while leaving the inner shell intact. It has a high content of linoleic acid (between 30% and 54%), lots of vitamin E and Omega 6, copper, iron, calcium, and magnesium. This stable oil is ideal for long-term storage, as it does not go rancid like other popular oils. Each seed has at least 30% oil with most of it being the skin-enhancing linoleic acid. There is a protein content around 25% with a fat content around 50%. It can and is used in cooking, but its claim to fame is in skin and hair products.

Benefits of manketti oil for hair

The greatest benefit would be the extra-high content of linoleic acid and has oleic acid, which is another hair asset. According to Sister Scientist, "Oleic and linoleic acid are saturated fatty acids that a make up the backbone of many of the natural oils and sebum. As standalone ingredients, they still have properties to condition the hair and skin and help to unblock pores on the scalp." Manketti oil is ideal for conditioning hair because it has hydrating, regenerating, and restructuring properties for the hair and scalp with the vitamin E content making it a natural sunscreen. The polyunsaturated components give hair a vibrant look and feel, as it soaks into the outer layer of the hair staving off the negative effects from the sun as well as heat applications like blow-drying. It is an excellent choice for reducing inflammation and promoting cellular repair, and although there are plenty of oils on the market with these same abilities, this is an overall amazing hair and scalp oil that is great for adding to any hair moisturizing formula.

This oil is making a buzz in the natural hair world and not just from the naturals. Product makers who are taking heed from the natural elements in our resourceful world are including Manketti oil into their ingredient list for hair products. This oil can be used alone for oil massages and sealants but we have a long list of products that makes it easier for you to enlist this oil into your hair care regimen.

Read more: Mongongo oil: An Exotic Emollient for Natural Hair

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