While we know and love Macadamia nuts as a tasty and nutritious snack, the topic of Macadamia oil has not really been extensively covered. Macadamia oil is harvested from the nut produced by two species of trees. They are M.Integrifolia and M.Tetraphylla. These species of trees are only found in certain regions of Australia and are generally considered a smaller sized tree. While there are a total of nine different species within the Macadamia group, only these two are of great commercial importance. The other seven species produce nuts that are either inedible or are toxic in nature.
Unlike other common nuts like the Hazelnut or almond, the Macadamia is actually quite low in protein. It is however, rich in fat and monosaturated fatty acids. In fact, they contain the highest content of monosaturated fatty acids compared to any nut. Interestingly, Macadamia nuts are also toxic to dogs. Common symptoms after ingestion include paralysis of the hind legs as well as abdominal and joint pain. Symptoms usually wear off in a day or two. Macadamia oil is used for both consumption and as well as in the cosmetics industry chebe.
Macadamia oil is a great moisturizer much like many other plant based oils that include jojoba oil, lavender oil, almond oil and coconut oil. Also like these other oils, it is used for skin and hair moisturizing. It is a good match for sebum, which are the oils produced by our body. The only other oils that are similar to sebum include Jojoba and Coconut oil. The husk that protects the nut has to be removed for harvesting macadamia oil through machine pressing techniques. Like coconut and jojoba oil, the composition of macadamia oil is much like sebum that is produced by our bodies.
As such, it is absorbed very quickly instead of remaining on the surface. Oils that are absorbed not only nourish the outer layer of the skin but also pass on whatever inherent benefits the oil itself has. Since it mimics sebum so well, it can be used after washing with common household soaps and shampoos that eventually strip out our natural oils due to the chemicals they possess. It is also great for use in older people. As we age, our produces less and less sebum so we require another way of keeping our skin nourished and healthy.
Macadamia oil is sometimes combined with other essential oils to improve its effectiveness or give it a different scope of use. As such, it is sometimes used in aromatherapy as massage oils. When massaged into the scalp, it nourishes and moisturizes the hair and can alleviate symptoms of dry scalp.
It also adds body and shine to our hair which is why it is sometimes used in various hair care products. Conditioners are a great way to implement macadamia oil as some other essential oils such as a jojoba oil can leave your hair feeling a little too greasy. Macadamia oil typically comes in food and cosmetic grade and these two are not interchangeable.