Babassu Oil is lightweight and very similar to coconut oil but more nutrient-dense. It is packed with antioxidants and healthy fatty acids. You can consume it, cook with it, or use it on your hair and skin. But Babassu has more benefits than that. Here’s a little summary of the plant.
Babassu tree is known as the ‘Tree of Life’ in Brazil due to the healing properties of the oil. It is native to the Amazonian rainforest and found in Brazil, Guyana, Bolivia, Suriname. It has a long history of uses, ranging from folk, traditional and non-traditional medicine to cosmetic products, construction materials and food.
Babassu trees have commercial value mostly because the seeds produce the oil which has a unique chemical composition of roughly 70% fats and is highly sought after. The many benefits of this oil are mainly attributed to its beneficial fats, including lauric, stearic, myristic, oleic and palmitic acids.
In this article, you will discover 21 health benefits of Babassu oil and simple ways to use it.
Here are 21 benefits of babassu oil
- Used as cooking oil
Babassu oil is commonly used by Amazonians as cooking oil in a variety of foods just like coconut oil but it has a far less nutty aroma and more health benefits: increased energy and metabolism, hormone regulation, improved cholesterol, balanced blood-sugar, and stronger brain function. It is important, however, to use unrefined oils.
- Balances Hormones
Some of the active ingredients in babassu oil can have an effect on your hormone levels, namely balancing them and preventing mood swings or unwanted side effects in the body. You must be careful about the amount of babassu oil you are using as it can begin to negatively impact the thyroid gland over time.
- Lowers bad cholesterol levels
Some research shows that the short-chain and medium-chain fatty acids in babassu oil can help to support your cholesterol levels and aid in weight control. Lauric acid is one of the main fatty acids that may increase your HDL or good cholesterol and lead to a lower amount of total cholesterol in the body.
- Speeds up Healing
Lauric acid makes up to 50% of the fat and is the primary ingredient in babassu oil. It is capable of soothing irritation, burns, bug bites, scrapes, swelling, and allergic reactions when topically applied to areas of the skin that may be inflamed.
- Moisturizes the skin
If you suffer from psoriasis, eczema, rosacea or even acne, using moderate amounts of babassu oil is an excellent idea. Unlike coconut oil, babassu oil absorbs into the skin rapidly. It helps to treat these skin conditions faster without making them any worse! Packed with antioxidants and healthy fats, it can boost the health of your skin moisturizing it without causing you to feel greasy or develop acne. It moisturizes your skin and hair similar to coconut oil. Babassu melts at body temperature which allows your skin to absorb it very well. Yet, unlike coconut oil, it’s lightweight and not greasy, making it ideal for use on your skin.
- Prevents acne formation and scars
You can also use babassu oil on your face to improve skin texture and reduce the bacteria that causes acne. It is suited for the body and face because it doesn’t clog your pores like coconut oil. In addition, Babassu oil can be used at home to make beauty products for the hair and skin such as lotion and shampoo.
- Repairs hair damage
When you apply a small amount of babassu oil to the scalp or mix it with a shampoo or conditioner, the emollient qualities will help lock in moisture, preventing dandruff, hair loss and gives your hair a healthier appearance. This can also help stimulate the growth of new hair and blood flow to the scalp. Mixing this oil into a hair mask or shampoo can strengthen hair strands, prevent breakage and split ends. The fatty acids form a shield, locking in moisture which will stimulate new growth from your follicles. It can add volume to dry, flat hair without weighing it down.
- Slows aging process
This oil has anti-aging properties such as high levels of vitamin E, phytosterols, fatty acids, and antioxidants which all make babassu oil the ideal remedy for premature aging. It can eliminate the appearance of lines and wrinkles, minimize scars and blemishes, stimulate the growth of new cells and increase the elasticity of the skin as you age.
- Improves heart health
The balance of healthy fats found in this oil makes it potentially powerful for the cardiovascular system, provided the oil isn’t used for frying, which would neutralize many of the beneficial compounds it contains. Myristic, lauric and oleic acids can all lower blood pressure and reduce overall cholesterol levels, which is excellent news for people at high risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Boosts cognitive function
The antioxidant effects of myristic and lauric acid make them potent brain-boosters, giving babassu oil another similarity to coconut oil. If you regularly consume babassu oil, the antioxidants can seek out free radicals in neural pathways and prevent plaque deposition. This will keep your memory sharp and your concentration level will be strong and powerful.
- Increases energy levels
Shorter-chain fatty acids, like those found in babassu oil, are able to be converted directly into energy, rather than being deposited as fat for later use.
- Kills harmful bacteria
Research has shown that Babassu can kill harmful bacteria like staphylococcus aureus which is the bacteria that causes staph infections.
- Accelerates wound healing
When Babassu was applied to a wound it healed faster. It is also believed to help heal minor cuts and scratches faster.
- Helps prevent blood clotting
One of the health benefits of babassu oil is reducing blood clotting, which is important for people at high risk of atherosclerosis, heart attack, and stroke. If you are undergoing surgery in the near future, or already have a bleeding disorder, this anticoagulant property could be dangerous for you.
- Reduces cellular damage
The impact of cellular damage depends on the cell type and the severity of the damage. The damage can be reversible or irreversible, depending on the extent of injury. Irreversible cellular damage can lead to serious health problems, including cancer. Babassu oil can help reduce cellular damage caused by harmful free radicals because it is rich in antioxidants.
- Combats Inflammation
There is a chemical in Babassu fruit called MP1 glucan that reduces early stages of inflammation (swelling). This can help provide relief to a number of disorders and improve overall health.
- Remedies against arthritis and joint disorders
Although there is no scientific evidence, there have been claims of Babassu oil being helpful with arthritis and other joint disorders which is probably due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
- Helps prevent body odor
Eliminating body odor is one of the many claimed benefits of babassu oil. Due to its anti-microbial properties, Babassu oil is often used as a base for making homemade deodorant. To make your own deodorant, mix ½ cup of melted babassu oil with 2 tbsp of baking soda, 6 tablespoons of arrowroot powder, and up to 15 drops of your favorite essential oil.
- Helps with obesity
This oil is rich in lauric acid, a saturated medium-chain fatty acid found naturally in various plant and animal oils. The acid helps increase the levels HDL, often called good cholesterol, and helps to decrease bad cholesterol in the body. Lauric acid is also more readily metabolized by the liver instead of being stored as fat. This quicker metabolism may help you prevent or reduce obesity and maintain a healthy weight.
- Used in pet food
It is not just for humans, babassu oil is also great for your pets’ health and the benefits are very similar to that of humans. Regular consumption can result in improved digestion, better coat health, healthier gums and teeth, healthy hormone balance, improved joint strength, and healthy weight. In addition, you can use small amounts of babassu oil topically to treat dandruff, help heal wounds, deodorize smelly coat, alleviate skin irritations, and treat minor ear infection.
- Other Benefits
Babassu oil is widely praised and used for its effects on health. Amazonians also use babassu oil against fatigue, high toxicity, metabolic problems, ulcers, and poor circulation.
Using this inexpensive oil properly can result in impressive health benefits. It is a great alternative treatment that can be consumed internally and used externally on your body. Beautify yourself inside out and improve your health.