Called liquid gold or golden oil because of its color as well as its treasured culinary, cosmetic and medicinal virtues—and possibly because of its expensive price—argan oil is produced exclusively in Morocco.
It is extracted from the kernels of the ancient and thorny argan trees in the south of Morocco. It has gained worldwide merit and appreciation in the past 20 to 30 years as researchers continue to unravel its marvels.
When I lived in Morocco, I enjoyed it occasionally served with an almond dip called Amlou (recipe in my book) but my earliest memory with it was at the age of seven when my mother used it to soothe my varicella (chickenpox).
These are some of the most common uses for Argan Oil:
1. Dips and Salads: It tastes delicious as a dressing for salads, vegetables, and dips either by itself or mixed with lemon juice or vinegar.
2. Tagines and Couscous: It adds a nutty flavor to tagines, stews, and couscous, imparting an aroma reminiscent of hazelnuts.
3. Hair and Nails: It moisturizes and gives luster to hair and nails and favors their growth and health thanks to its high keratin content.
4. Skin Moisturizer: Rich in vitamin E, omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, it is great for lasting skin hydration.
5. Massage: It makes the perfect massage oil because of its smooth texture, light, pleasant scent, and multiple skin benefits.
6. Anti-aging: It is a great antioxidant and prevents skin from wrinkling as well as diminishes the appearance of existing wrinkles.
7. Cicatrization: It is a great cicatrizant and helps heal scars left from acne, burns, stretch marks, varicella, etc.
8. Stretch Marks: It is great for preventing and treating stretch marks, especially during pregnancy.
9. Acne and Rashes: It works wonders in treating eczema, acne and other forms of skin irritation because of its high content in vitamin E and its anti-inflammatory properties.
10. Cardiovascular Health: It is a heart-friendly oil that lowers cholesterol levels and prevents myocardial infarction.