Eat well. Be well.

Health News

Babassu Oil

Babassu oil is an edible oil that comes from the fruit (called seeds or kernels) of the babassu palm tree endemic to Brazil, found mainly in the borders of Amazon forest. Harvesting of the Babassu fruit is an important source of income for more than 300,000 the local people where Babassu is used as medicinal oil for the treatment of skin wounds and inflammation. [source]

Babassu has a light texture and light aroma yet it feels very luxurious.

Babassu oil is similar to coconut oil in consistency, but with a mild, barely noticeable fragrance. “I use this as a skin moisturizer. It is very effective without being too oily, in fact I think it is slightly less oily than coconut oil. I would recommend this to anyone with dry skin, and anyone that does not like the smell of coconuts!” ~ Caroline

If you are allergic to coconut then you are likely to be allergic to babassu. The two plants are close relatives with different genus and species names. Coconut (Cocos Nucifera) vs. Babassu (Orbignya oleifera).

Babassu Oil is Not Palm Oil

  • Babassu is a different genus and species (Orbignya speciosa).
  • Elaeis guineensis is a species of palm commonly just called oil palm or palm oil. Palm oil is in such high demand that its growth has been linked to deforestation and a decline in biodiversity.

Common Uses for Babassu Oil

  • Soften and moisturize dry, damaged hair, leaving a wonderful shine
  • Encourages hair growth
  • Treat dandruff and alleviate irritated scalp conditions
  • Strengthen nails and soften cuticles
  • The composition of the oil is known for anti-aging benefits
  • Moisturize chapped lips
  • Use for irritated skin and to improve the elasticity of skin
  • Benefits for minor wounds, shallow cuts and scars, burns or rashes
  • Suitable for treating insect bites, stings and minor cuts due to antibacterial properties
  • Reduce the appearance of blemishes and stretch marks
  • Soothe cracked heels and dry skin conditions including eczema, psoriasis, acne, or rosacea
  • Helps soothe sore or inflamed joints
  • Useful as a carrier oil when using essential oils as it melts into the skin

Babassu oil for softer smoother skin and healthy hair

Babassu oil is moisturizing and nourishing for skin and hair where it is readily absorbed. It feels light and non-greasy when used topically, making it the perfect moisturizer. Babassu is rich in antioxidants and healthy fats, boosting the health of your skin and hair. Moisturizing products for skin, hair and makeup often include babassu oil in the ingredients.

Babassu oil will not block your pores. This means there are no side effects like breakouts or acne when you use this oil.

“l use the Babassu oil in styling my hair and also l use it in a mask for my hair. What l like about the Babassu oil is it is cold pressed and it is light in texture and absorbs instantly, gives my hair more body.” ~Happy user

“I love how it absorbs into my skin and never feels greasy or slippery. I use in my hair and as a lotion. I mix it with essential oils. Safe on animals to use as a natural antiseptic. It helps heal my horses cuts and my dogs dry cracked noses from cold dry weather! This is amazing stuff!” ~DD

Babassu: Anti-inflammatory, Antioxidant, Wound Healing

Like coconut oil, babassu oil is a rich source of medium-chain saturated fatty acids, especially lauric acid. It has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Babassu oil is used in healing minor wounds, cuts and scratches. In vivo, babassu oil was able to accelerate the process of wound healing due to an increase in the fibroblasts number, blood vessels, and collagen deposition in the wounds. [source]

The anti-inflammatory properties make babassu oil a good choice when dealing with eczema and rosacea.

Lauric acid has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, making it useful for keeping wounds clean and encouraging healing. Babassu oil can be applied to the face to improve skin texture and reduce the bacteria that cause acne. It will not clog pores.

Babassu is high in antioxidants, the warrior molecules that fight free radicals known to cause damage and illness.

Babassu benefits gastritis, rheumatism and inflammation

Babassu provides relief for gastritis, inflammation of the lining of the stomach causing stomach pain, burning, nausea and vomiting; rheumatism, chronic pain affecting joints or connective tissue and general inflammatory conditions. [source]

Babassu is a potential alternative therapy for benign prostatic hyperplasia [source]

  • The oil of babassu tree nuts (Orbignya speciosa) is a potential alternative for treatment and prophylaxis of benign prostatic hyperplasia. 
  • Babassu extracts have also been described in the treatment of leukemia and benign and malignant hypertrophy of the prostate, as well as other diseases, due to their antioxidant activity.

Babassu contains beneficial saturated fatty acids

Babassu oil is rich in saturated fatty acids (80–91%) — lauric, myristic, palmitic, capric, caprylic and stearic acids. The remainder are unsaturated fatty acids (9–20%) — oleic acid and linoleic acid. The presence of saturated fatty acids in babassu oil, especially lauric acid and myristic acid, give this oil pharmacological (analgesic and anti-inflammatory), nutritive, hygienic, and cleansing properties. [source] [source]

Can You Eat Babassu Oil? [source]

Babassu oil can be safely ingested. This is why it is often used as a substitute for coconut oil in recipes.

There may even be health benefits. Some studies have shown that babassu oil contains cholesterol-lowering agents. Moreover, babassu oil could reduce microvascular leakage and support healthy blood flow.

Other benefits may include the following:

  • Balanced blood sugar
  • Energy enhancement
  • Improved metabolism
  • Stronger brain function
  • Hormone balance

Where to buy Babassu Oil

Look for extra virgin babassu oil that is cold-pressed and not extracted using heat or chemicals. Extra Virgin Babassu Oil (EVBO) is obtained by cold pressing whole, healthy almonds without yellowing or superficial physical damage, followed by decantation, filtration and packaging. Extra-virgin oil is less processed, lighter and more stable than virgin babassu oil.

Ideally, I prefer Babassu oil, Orbignya oleifera, that is unbleached, but it is hard to find and more expensive.

RAW Organic Babassu Oil | Unprocessed, Not Bleached, Unfiltered, Cold Pressed | GLASS JAR | Fresh Small Batch Hand-made Oil |Orbignya oleifera | 12 oz ($2.75/ounce)

More affordable, organic, refined, bleached: Velona

Organic, cold pressed. Residue substances are removed by a gentle refining process and physical bleaching. The end product is a very light, odorless fat, which boasts remarkable stability. 32oz ($.87/ounce)

How to use Babassu Oil

The oil is typically solid at room temperature. Use it as is, and it will melt into your skin when applied. To melt the solid oil, unscrew the lid slightly to release any pressure and stand the bottle in warm water to liquify – never use microwave to warm the oil!

Apply the oil topically to skin.

Massage the oil into the scalp and use as a hair treatment. Apply to damp hair, leaving babassu in for 10 – 15 minutes before rinsing out.

Try these products with Babassu Oil in the ingredients

Lushious Lemon Hand Lotion

Lushious Lemon Hand Lotion’s creamy, antioxidant-rich formula quickly absorbs into skin to provide immediate, non-greasy and long-lasting hydration while protecting the skin’s natural moisture barrier.

  • Pampers dry skin, including problem areas like elbows, hands, and heels
  • Features Orbignya oleifera (Babassu) seed oil, and mango butter to hydrate and protect the skin’s natural moisture barrier, leaving skin feeling soft and smooth 
  • Includes watermelon seed oil to absorb quickly and protect against signs of premature aging 

Mirah Luminous Cleansing Oil

Mirah® Luminous Cleansing Oil uses an exclusive blend of premium essential oils and plant-based ingredients to dissolve makeup and remove impurities while moisturizing and softening the skin.

  • Removes impurities, makeup, and water-resistant sunscreens
  • Rinses clean with water and has no heavy oil after feel
  • Gentle on dry or sensitive skin
  • Softens and moisturizes the skin
  • Features Babassu oil, jojoba oil, Meadowfoam seed oil, Kukui seed oil