Kahai oil, also known as cacay oil, is obtained from the lemon-sized nuts of the cacay tree - the botanical name is Caryodendron Orinocense. The cacay tree is an evergreen tree that can reach a massive height of up to 40 meters in the wild, while it grows up to 15 meters tall in cultivated form. For better stabilization, very tall cacay trees form so-called buttress roots, arranged in a star shape with a rib-like appearance. They give the trees a high level of stability, especially in shallow soils, often supported by so-called sinker roots, which grow downwards as anchors. The cacay tree has a milky orange sap. Its leaves are arranged alternately and have a short stalk with a length between three and five centimeters and a leathery surface. The shape of the leaves ranges from ovate to elliptical, being around 22 are up to 30 centimeters long and between 6 and 10 centimeters wide and taper to the ends of the leaf. The wood of the cacay tree could be more valuable, while the milky sap is used in medicine. But what is invaluable about the cacay tree is its nuts, which are its seeds. Because the beneficial kahai oil is extracted from them, each apple-sized, thin, egg-shaped nut shell contains three seeds slightly larger than almonds. The nuts of the cacay tree are similar in taste to hazelnuts and go by the name inchi, known as cacay or tacay. People consume them either raw, fried, roasted, or powdered.
The cacay tree grows in the quiet jungle regions of Colombia and parts of Peru, Venezuela, and Ecuador, where kahai oil has long been used for wound treatments and, among other things, for lamps. The cacay nut is harvested in summer. A tree up to 40 meters high and around ten years old can produce between 100 and 250 kilograms of nuts a year. In many cases, the harvest takes place in the wild. However, substantial cacay plantations are emerging more frequently, offering the local population a secure source of income and an essential basis for their livelihood. The plantations reduce the rainforest's uncontrolled deforestation because the cacay tree's wood can also be used as firewood. Another environmental plus is that cacay trees can absorb large amounts of CO2.
The cacay nut can be easily removed from the thin shell before being processed into cocoa oil through gentle cold-pressing. The cold pressing process helps preserve all essential vitamins and minerals. During cold pressing, the cacay nuts are crushed and pressed, and a temperature of 45 degrees Celsius is not to be exceeded. Different tools are used that generate as little frictional heat as possible. Authoritative for the smooth running of the pressing process is the alternation between compression and relaxation of the material, whereby the latter promotes the oil drain of the material to be pressed into the colander.
The indigenous peoples of Amazonia traditionally use Kahai oil to care for their skin and hair. It is distinguished by being absorbed quickly by the skin without leaving a greasy film. It is called drying oil because kahai oil is light and dry in substance. Furthermore, Kahai oil is golden yellow and has a slightly nutty odor due to its nut origin. It is rich in nutrients, essential fatty acids, vitamins, and antioxidants.
Ingredients of Kahai Oil: Compared to argan oil, kahai oil contains twice as much linoleic acid and 50 percent more vitamin E. The content of retinol is also three times as high as in retinol-rich rosehip seed oil. -Linoleic acid is one of the omega-6 fatty acids that are unsaturated and cannot be produced by the body.
Supplying linoleic acid via skin care products is all the more critical. It protects the skin from inflammation, strengthens the natural skin barrier, and promotes the formation of new, healthy skin cells. Linoleic acid also reduces acne and hyperpigmentation.
-Vitamin E effectively protects against premature skin aging, supports cell renewal, and increases the collagen content in the skin, making it firmer. -Retinol is the purest form of fat-soluble vitamin A. It improves the complexion, keeps the skin firm, and ensures a vital face.
-The antioxidants in the oil form a natural skin barrier and are, therefore, a natural protection against harmful environmental influences. -Kahai oil is not comedogenic and, unlike many other oils, does not clog pores. In this respect, it can help to bring oily and impure skin back into balance by regulating sebum production and promoting the healing of pimples and inflammation.
With regular use, the condition of the skin improves. It becomes more elastic but firmer due to the high moisture content. Kahai oil supports the skin's natural renewal process. It revitalizes, gives the skin suppleness, and can reduce small wrinkles. In addition, kahai oil has also been proven to treat scars and helps prevent stretch marks. Depending on your needs, kahai oil can be used on the body, face, hands, and feet. Kahai oil has a similar effect on hair, making it soft and shiny. The protective film of the oil and the vitamin-rich care can also reduce and prevent split ends. You massage it into the hair drop by drop, using it sparingly. A short-term and large-scale application is also possible for the entire hair. For this purpose, you spread a little kahai oil on the hair with an exposure time of one to two hours. After that, wash your hair. Because of its nourishing properties and quick absorption into the skin without leaving a greasy film, kahai oil is also popular with men who use it as beard oil. Skin irritations caused by shaving are alleviated, and the skin is cared for and feels pleasantly soft.
For the kahai oil to retain effectiveness, it is best stored in a cool, dry place protected from light.
The pure cold-pressed kahai oil has a golden color and a slightly nutty smell. Because of its rich ingredients and positive effect on skin and hair, kahai oil is advertised as an anti-aging agent, which is in high demand. It also attracts scammers who see it as a way to make quick money regardless of the quality of the oil. It is all the more important for consumers to pay attention to quality, which can be challenging to see at first glance. The safest way is, therefore, to buy kahai oil only from manufacturers who can certify its origin and a high reputation.