Babassu is a palm tree that is native to the northeastern part of Brazil. This palm is the source of Orbignya oleifera (also called babassu oil), which is extracted using the cold press method from the nuts that grow on it. Orbignya oleifera is used as a cooking medium, but it has many other uses as well.
1. Skin Emollient:
This non-greasy oil is an excellent skin emollient, especially for oily and dry skin types. It gets easily absorbed by the skin, making it soft and smooth. It can moisturize the skin and keep it hydrated. It can make dry and flaky skin smooth and soft; while it can make greasy skin appear healthy and lustrous. The oil, when applied on the skin, balances the natural oils of the skin.
2. Great Cooking Medium:
Babassu oil has been used for cooking for ages. What makes it a great cooking is its composition. The oil contains mostly lauric acid, but it also contains a blend of stearic acid, myristic acid, palmitic acid and oleic acid. These acids are excellent for health and make babassu oil similar to coconut oil, which is also considered a very healthy oil. Hence, you can use babassu oil as a substitute for coconut oil.
3. Anti-Inflammatory Properties:
Babassu oil is filled with antioxidants, such as Vitamin E and phytosterols. These antioxidants can combat inflammation very effectively. This is the reason the oil is used to treat several skin conditions like eczema. Though studies are still being conducted, it can be safely said that Babassu does have anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to heal skin conditions.
4. Destroys Free Radicals:
Whether you use babassu oil topically or orally, you will benefit from its anti-oxidizing properties. The oil can destroy free radicals that lead to certain severe conditions like cancer and premature aging.
5. Skin Protection And Healing:
When babassu oil is used in hot weather, it can cool the skin. The myristic and lauric acids present in the oil melt at a temperature the body has. So, when the oil is applied to the skin, it draws the heat and cools the skin. It also forms a powder-like coating on the skin that protects it from pollutants and other contaminants. Extensive research on rats has proven that this oil can also be used to heal minor burns and cuts.
6. Seals Split Ends:
When applied to the hair, the oil can undo the damage your hair has sustained. Apply a little oil from roots to tips after shampooing and conditioning your hair. It will help to treat split ends.
7. Hair Conditioner:
Apply a little babassu oil before you shampoo your hair. It will ease hair dryness. After applying and washing off the oil, your hair will be glossy and shiny. It helps to restore the lost elasticity in your hair and makes it appear voluminous and full. This is the perfect oil for treating damaged and brittle hair.
8. Gives You Baby-Soft Lips:
Forget about buying chemical-laden lip balms. Instead, mix a little babassu oil with some Shea butter and apply to your lips. You will find chapped lips disappear, and you get sexy, soft lips that will be the cynosure of all eyes.
9. Treats Dry Scalp:
Babassu oil has all the ingredients to restore the health of your scalp. When your scalp is healthy, your hair will not fall. Instead, it will be healthy and shiny. The oil has acids that can work miracles with dry scalp. If you have a non-bacterial dandruff problem, this is the oil you need to choose.
10. Great Carrier Oil:
If you want to use some other oil on your face and body, look no further than babassu oil. It is a great carrier oil and can be used for jojoba oil and Shea butter, which are again skin-friendly oils.
Side Effects and Warnings
- Babassu is likely safe when used in food amounts in people who are not allergic or hypersensitive to babassu or any of its constituents.
- Use cautiously in patients taking blood thinners.
- Use cautiously in patients taking antithyroid (thyroid-regulating) agents.
- Avoid in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack of available evidence.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
- Babassu is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack available scientific evidence.
Interactions with Drugs
- Babassu may exhibit anti-inflammatory activity. Caution is advised in patients taking anti-inflammatory agents, due to possible additive effects.
- Consumption of babassu may exert antithyroid (thyroid-regulating) effects. Caution is advised in patients with thyroid disorders or taking any medications to treat such conditions.
- Babassu may have antithrombotic effects and therefore may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with drugs that increase the risk of bleeding. Some examples include aspirin, anticoagulants (“blood thinners”) such as warfarin (Coumadin®) or heparin, anti-platelet drugs such as clopidogrel (Plavix®), and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) or naproxen (Naprosyn®, Aleve®).
Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements
- Babassu may have antithrombotic effects and therefore may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with herbs and supplements that are believed to increase the risk of bleeding. Multiple cases of bleeding have been reported with the use of Ginkgo biloba, and fewer cases with garlic and saw palmetto.
- Babassu may exhibit anti-inflammatory activity. Caution is advised in patients taking herbs or supplements that also have anti-inflammatory activity due to possible additive effects.
- Consumption of babassu may exert antithyroid effects. Caution is advised in patients with thyroid disorders or taking any herbs or supplements to treat such conditions
Source: StyleCraze, http://www.stylecraze.com/articles/benefits-and-uses-of-babassu-oil/