Macadamia oil, derived from macadamia nuts, has several benefits for both the body and cooking. This slightly nutty-tasting oil is a light amber color and is liquid at room temperature. It is composed of 60% oleic acid, 9% palmitoleic acid, 1-3% Linoleic acid and 1-2% Linolenic acid. Some varieties contain roughly equal amounts of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Not only is the oil very stable due to its low polyunsaturated fat content, but its benefits range from acting as an ideal cooking oil to lowering cholesterol.
Thanks to its high monounsaturated fatty acid and high palmitoleic acid content, macadamia oil is an emollient, protective oil with a high and quick rate of skin absorption.
It is used as a healing oil for scars, sunburns and skin irritations. This oil closely resembles sebum, the oil naturally produced by human skin, and is often recommended for dry and aging skin.
It is commonly used as a base oil for massage oil blends and is often found in moisturizing lotions, body creams, shower gels, soaps, shampoos and conditioners.
High Content of Good Fats
Macadamia oil has a high content of monounsaturated fatty acids, which are the "good" fats. This oil contains the highest percentage of these fats compared to any other oil, at 78%. This is the same fatty acid that is present in beneficial fish oils, which has a lot of nutritional value.
This oil has no cholesterol and no trans fatty acids.
Studies have shown that consuming macadamia oil regularly will lower the risk of heart disease and high cholesterol. When digested, the oil helps to balance omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids already in the body.
Antioxidants are well-known elements that protect the body from the damaging effects of free radicals. Macadamia oil carries tocopherols and tocotrienols, which are derivatives of Vitamin E, selenium, and phytosterols such as sitosterol.
This oil also contains phytonutrients such as flavonoids, phytic acids, saponins and phytoestrogens.
References MacNuts: Macadamia Health Information
Using Macadamia Nut Oil For Hair
Macadamia nuts contain a type of omega-7 monounsaturated fat called palmitoleic acid, which is a main constituent in the sebum produced by our hair follicles. However, as one ages, the natural sebum levels begin to deplete. Since the palmitoleic acid in macadamia nut oil bears semblance to sebum, it gets absorbed into the scalp really quickly. It then replenishes the hair follicles with the required palmitoleic acid content, thereby rejuvenating the hair.
Thus, this oil is also touted for its synergy with the capillary sebum, thereby increasing the strength of the hair strand right from the root. It is capable of moisturizing and strengthening rough, dry, frizzy and limp hair. This is because unlike coconut oil which penetrates the scalp, this oil coats the hair follicles and scalp, thereby preventing loss of moisture.
For application, take some macadamia oil and warm it. Spread the oil evenly with your hand and massage your scalp. Gently comb your hair and allow the oil to work its way into your hair and scalp. Since this oil works well on split ends, take some oil and rub it onto the tips of the hair strands. After two hours, rinse off the oil using a mild shampoo. Some even add a little macadamia oil as a leave in after shampooing, if they find their hair still a little dry. The sheen the hair attains from the oil is simply fantastic!
You can also add a little macadamia nut oil to your conditioner and apply it gently to your hair while taking a shower. You will find your hair silky-smooth to touch, with no frizzes or dryness to worry about. If you wish to blow dry your hair after the bath, it is advisable to put a little macadamia oil to your scalp and then blow dry it. The benefit of doing it is that the oil pushes the water molecules out faster and your hair dries faster in turn. This ultimately reduces the net time taken to dry your hair, thus, exposing your hair to the blow dryer for lesser time.