The Marula tree, known by its Latin name Sclerocarya birrea, bears the Marula fruit. Also known as the elephant tree, it thrives primarily in the frost-free regions of southern Africa. It belongs to the sumac family (Anacardiaceae), adding pistachio and mango trees as family members. Regarding vegetative characteristics, the Marula tree stands out with its spreading crown and height of up to 18 meters. The trunk is 80 centimeters or more in diameter, and its bark is brownish to greyish. In the winter, the elephant tree sheds all of its leaves. These are arranged alternately and about 30 centimeters long. Imparipinnate, they appear in tufts at the end of the branch. The pinnate leaves of the tree are 4 to 8 centimeters long. The tree is primarily dioecious with separate sexes. Its flowers, which are in fours to fives with a double perianth, bloom on the bare tree before the leaves emerge. The female marula tree produces a golden-yellow fruit, the so-called marula fruit. This rounded-to-ellipsoidal drupe is about 3 to 4 centimeters in size when ripe. It contains one 2 to 3-centimeter stone core containing elongated seeds, from which you extract Marula oil.
Since the marula tree is susceptible to frost but can thrive in arid areas, you will encounter it in South Africa. Its height of up to 18 meters suits the African savannah with its extensive grasslands. For harvesting, you must plant female and male specimens of the tree. The marula tree was systematically planted and cultivated in the Israeli Negev desert. However, the tree grows wild in its native environment in South Africa. Its yellow-skinned, white-fleshed fruits are harvested between late January and March. One marula tree bears between 500 and 2000 kilograms of fruit, which you harvest by hand. Since they fall to the ground as soon as they are ripe, harvesting is more effortless. The collected fruits are first washed and then dried in the sun. For further processing, you separate the pulp from the pit by hand. While you can consume the pulp directly or process it into liqueur, you use the 2 to 3 fruit seeds to extract oil
You separate the seeds from the fruit by hand to produce marula oil. The oil of these seeds, containing up to 56 percent of different fatty acids, is obtained by being cold-pressed. In the last processing step, the oil is filtered to avoid residues.
Marula oil has been used for body care in Africa for centuries and has made its way into the domestic cosmetics industry. It is rich in polyunsaturated and saturated fatty acids and valuable amino acids. Linoleic acid (Omega 6) and oleic acid (Omega 9) positively affect the skin's moisture content and make it supple, achieving a soft skin feeling. In addition, care products containing oleic acid help make the skin more receptive as the skin's lipid barrier becomes more permeable. Accordingly, marula oil can penetrate deeply into the skin layers and positively affect the skin's surface. Antioxidants in the oil also protect the skin from free radicals. When you apply marula oil, the palmitic acid creates a lightly enveloping film on the skin. The stearic acid within the oil ensures a creamy consistency and leaves a protective film on the skin, making it difficult for grease to flow away. Therefore, if you have impure skin, you are advised not to use acid extensively in care products. However, marula oil is a good alternative because the stearic acid content is only ten percent. In addition to various minerals such as iron, magnesium, and zinc, the oil from the marula seeds also contains vitamins E and C. The latter stimulates collagen formation and contributes to a smooth complexion. Accordingly, South African oil is often used for anti-aging products. Marula oil has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, which reduce harmful bacteria and fungi on the skin. It is also said to provide relief in treating and caring for skin redness. The oil can furthermore help with sunburn or insect bites. In addition to skincare, you can use the oil for hair and nail care. Especially with brittle and dry hair, marula oil can help moisturize it. It further strengthens your hair and can prevent it from breaking. It optimally supplies your scalp with nutrients and protects it from drying out. Hence you can use the oil to treat dandruff and psoriasis as well as itching. Due to its good tolerability, marula oil is suitable for all skin types. It is mixed or used as an oil for the face and body. A few drops, preferably directly after the shower, are sufficient for the fast-absorbing oil to make an impact. Marula oil has many favorable properties in skin and hair care. Last but not least, the inhabitants of South Africa have long relied on its effects. Nevertheless, critical voices point out that you can have similar impacts due to other oils' unsaturated fats and antioxidants. Critics, therefore, witness a successful marketing campaign behind the marula oil triumph. Like argan oil before it, this South African oil is being touted as the new silver bullet in the skincare and beauty industry. In general, the oil's positive effect is by no means disputed. However, there are currently no independent and publicly accessible comparative tests with other products. According to SWR3, the BadenWürttemberg consumer advice center believes the hype surrounding Marula oil is primarily for offensive marketing. In summary, one can certainly invest in marula products on the consumer side. However, it would help if you never dug too deep into your pocket because you expected a miracle cure.
The marula tree owes its nickname "elephant tree" to the fact that elephants like to eat its fragrant fruits. It is often wrongly claimed that elephants experience a state of intoxication from fermented fruits. According to experts, however, this is not due to the fermented marula fruit but to poisonous beetle pupae in the tree bark. The core of the marula fruit is also known as the "food of kings", and the marula tree is a popular spot for traditional tribal gatherings in South Africa. Marula is a hardy plant around which numerous Seite: 3 von 3 stories are woven and an essential economic factor for the local peopl