If somebody mentions the words Argania Spinosa you probably would not realise that this is the scientific name of the Argan tree. The Argan tree is now well known all over the world because of the oil extracted from it. The Argan oil earned lots of nicknames such as the miracle oil of Morocco and liquid gold of Morocco. If you are wondering where Argan oil comes from, it comes from the Argania Spinosa or the Argan tree.
Getting to Know the Argan Tree
The Argan tree grows only on the south west part of Morocco. Because of this fact, the oil is considered one of the rarest precious oils in the world. The Argan tree has a long life living up to 200 years. The roots of the tree grow further deep down the ground. This is a defence mechanism of the tree. By having its roots planted deep down it can search for water and protect the tree from heavy rain, prevent the soil from eroding and prevent the Sahara from advancing. About 13 years ago (year 1999) UNESCO (United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Education) declared the Argania Spinosa more commonly known as the Argan Tree as a World Heritage. This move was to help preserve the Argan trees as they are now endangered.
It is believed that the Argan tree has been around for millions of years. It is actually one of the oldest trees on Earth. The Argan tree grows 8 to 10 metres and would usually have a crooked trunk. The fruit of the Argan tree or the Argan fruit is a part of the diet of goats native to the region. The crooked trunk of the tree allows goats to climb its branches so they can get to the fruits and leaves of the tree. Nature truly weaves a wonderful magic on all living things.
The entire North Africa was once covered by Argan trees but slowly the numbers went spiralling down. Around 2 thousand years ago, an estimated 3 million acres of Moroccan land were blanketed with Argan trees and this number has dropped dramatically as the year 2000 came very near. The dramatic drop in the number of Argan trees in Morocco was what prompted UNESCO to declare the Argan forest in Morocco and the areas surrounding it a World Biosphere Reserve. Because of the fact that humans tend to always be excessive and abuse the natural resources, Morocco now only has 2 million acres of land blanketed with Argan trees.
The Argan trees start bearing fruits once they reach 30 to 50 years old and they ony bear fruits once every year. This bit makes the oil even rarer than it already is. The ratio is one Argan tree for 1 litre of Argan oil. With the very high demand for this oil, you probably would not wonder too much as to why this oil is pricier than any other oil in the market.
How is the Argan Oil Produced?
The oil is extracted from the nut seeds of the Argan fruits. The nuts are cracked open with the use of a stone to get the seeds out. There are two types of this oil. One is the cosmetic oil while the other type is the culinary oil. Most commonly, when producing the culinary oil will be roasted, added with water, ground into a thick paste then pressed while in producing the cosmetic oil, the nut seeds are raw and cold-pressed with the aid of a machine.