Jojoba Oil - Jojoba Wax

Jojoba wax, which cannot be called oil theoretically, is extracted from the seeds of the jojoba plant, biologically named Simmondsia chinensis and often mentioned as S. californica. The seeds of this plant are comparatively big - like the size of peanuts and resembling coffee beans, and are generally known as goat nits. Jojoba is an evergreen plant belonging to the family of Buxaceae and is found growing in profusion on the stony hillsides in California, Arizona and Mexico. Upon squeezing out, the seeds of jojoba plant give up approximately 50 per cent of fluid wax comprising 35 per cent of monoethylenic acids (eicosenoic acid) and alcohol - 22 per cent eicosenol and 21 per cent docosenol, purely by above average molecular weight.

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The jojoba is a shrub-like woody evergreen plant that is indigenous to the Sonoran Desert located in northwest Mexico and adjacent areas in southern California and Arizona. All over this region, the shrub if found growing in thick stands. This species can grow up to a height of 15 feet or 4.5 meters in height and depending on the ecological conditions where they are growing, they may have a life span ranging between 100 and 200 years. The jojoba shrub bears flat rubbery leaves that have a gray-green hue and has a subterranean root system that enables the plant to adjust to the desert conditions - heat and drought. In fact, areas where the annual rainfall is around 10-18 inches or 25-45 cm and the temperature rarely drops less than 25°F or  -4°C only for a few hours during the night, are the most suitable locales for this shrub to grow naturally. The jojoba plant can adapt itself to different soil conditions, including somewhat acidic or alkaline soils, porous rocks and even on mountainous slopes and in valleys.

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The jojoba shrubs are dioecious in nature. Each plant only bears flowers having one sex - either male or female. The flowers of this species are diminutive with no fragrance or petals and hence, do not lure insects that help in pollination. Pollination is mainly by wind and occurs during the latter phase of March and by August, the flowers develop into fruits. It takes another two months for the fruits to ripen completely. Usually, the green-colored small fruits dehydrate due to desert heat with their skins withering and retracting to reveal a crumpled brown-colored seed with a soft skin. These seeds are called nuts or beans and resemble a small olive in size. The nuts that look like coffee beans enclose a vegetable oil that is transparent and fragrance-free. Compared to the usual edible oils, the oil extracted from jojoba seeds is also less oily when touched. In fact, the vegetable oil covers nearly half of the weight of the jojoba nuts. In other words, by weight, 50 per cent of the content of the nuts is oil.

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The indigenous people of America have been using the jojoba seeds for different purposes for several centuries. Way back in the 1700s, Father Junipero Serra, who founded 21 California missions, had written in his personal diary that the indigenous people of America had been using the vegetable oil extracted from jojoba seeds as well as the seeds or nuts with several intentions - both for edible as well as medicinal purposes. Father Junipero Serra had noted that these people used the oil and seeds of jojoba to heal cuts, bruises, burns and sores; alleviating sunburn and windburn; as a tonic for hair restoration and treatment of the hair or scalp; too cook foods and as a dietary enhancement and also an appetite suppressant when food was scarce. In addition, the Native Americans roasted the jojoba seeds to prepare a beverage like coffee.

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Here, it may be mentioned that the physical features of jojoba wax that is usually called jojoba oil are identical to sperm oil that was previously acquired from the sperm whale, which has now been declared as an endangered or dying out species. The jojoba wax or the vegetable oil extracted from the seeds of the shrub may be treated with hydrogen (hydrogenate) to manufacture firm wax that is identical to spermaceti. According to reports, the Native Americans or American Indians made use of the jojoba oil for dressing their hair. Presently, cosmetic manufacturers add jojoba oil in special shampoos that are said to be particularly effectual in putting off any increase in sebum - the fatty substance exuded by the sebaceous glands - on the scalp. The rationale behind incorporating the jojoba vegetable oil in shampoos is that it is identical to sebum in a number of manners - both in terms of chemical composition as well as physical properties. It is believed that covering the scalp with jojoba oil diminishes the usual production of sebum. However, this is only hypothetical and the issue is yet to be established scientifically. Naturally, the moot question is whether it is beneficial to swathe one's scalp with the vegetable oil extracted from the jojoba seeds or sebum is useful or not. In fact, the jojoba oil is easily soaked up by the skin and gives a silky suppleness to the hair too. Whether the application of jojoba oil to the scalp to reduce the natural production of sebum is effective or not, it does lubricates the scalp and certainly lessens the crumbling of the skin - a symptom usually related to dandruff.

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A section of people who have been fervently promoting the use of jojoba oil, nicknamed 'jojoba witnesses' in the trade circles, have been advocating the use of this herbal product to restore loss of hair as well as put off hair loss, for eliminating warts or moles, healing cancer and several other purposes. It may be mentioned here that such claims are mere exaggerations by the enthusiasts and are not backed by any scientific proof. However, toxicity examinations conducted with the topical application of jojoba did not reveal anything that might cause any significant concern. Usually, this herbal product is considered safe for external use by most individuals, barring infrequent allergic reactions in some susceptible persons. However, it is really hard to scientifically prove whether the different medications prepared with exceptional fluid wax are more beneficial compared to other cosmetic products enclosing different traditional remedial lotions. Like in the case of majority of such products, the user is the best judge regarding the efficacy of jojoba oil and various preparations containing the vegetable oil.

Skin care

Organic jojoba oil is an outstanding moisturizer or lotion that spreads superbly over the skin. The emollient features of this liquid wax impart a rich smooth oil-free sensation on the skin. At the same time, this vegetable oil slows down the loss of water from the skin and also improves the suppleness and litheness of the skin.

Jojoba oil or liquid wax wholly mixes with natural sebum produced by the skin and when the organic substance is applied on the skin it appears like a slender grease-free fatty coating. The lipoid film on the skin is permeable to some extent and enables an outstanding trans-epidermal respiration as well as regulation of moisture. Different from other oily non-permeable substances like mineral oils, petroleum and a number of lanolin products, the vegetable oil or liquid oil extracted from jojoba seeds is a completely non-sticky, non-fatty and non-oily substance that appears dry when applied on the skin, at the same time, making the skin softer.

Jojoba oil or liquid oil is also useful in another manner. While it lessens the loss of water through the pores in the epidermis considerably, it does not completely obstruct the passage of gases and water vapor. The straining of the arrangement of the geometrical isomers of jojoba oil assists in averting the tense wadding of hydrocarbon chains, which, in turn, puts off any loss of water through the epidermis.

Hair care

Jojoba is a highly efficient element in the hair care products and remedial items for scalp problems. In fact, a number of scalp problems are a result of the accumulation and solidification of sebum that blocks the hair follicles and may often result in a variety of flaking, which usually occurs when you have dandruff. The proper functioning of the hair follicles may ultimately be affected in case the solidified accumulation of the sebum is not done away with. In turn, the presence of the hardened sebum will lead to the losing hair shaft and finally the decease of the hair follicle causing baldness.

Jojoba oil or liquid wax has the ability to infiltrate through the scalp and hair shaft swiftly and easily releases as well as disbands the accumulation of solidified sebum. When the hardened build up is removed, the scalp as well as hair follicles remains clean and is liberated from any obstruction. This enables them to carry out their normal functioning. It may be mentioned here that the jojoba oil also superbly dissolves soil and this enables the organic substance to easily get rid of the muggy build up on the scalp and hair owing to the use of a number of new hair products. In addition, application of jojoba oil on the scalp helps to remove any air-borne element that may have accumulated on it.

Jojoba oil is an effective hair lotion as application of this liquid wax on the scalp allows the hair to remain clean and flexible. In addition, this vegetable oil extracted from jojoba seeds demonstrate an unparallel effect whereby it thickens the keratin layers that keeps the hair shining and reveals the usual color tinges of the hair and its luminosity. If you treat your hair with jojoba oil periodically by massaging the scalp and hair with the oil and leave the organic substance to perform its actions, you will soon notice an immense distinction in the quality of your hair. Moreover, the health of your scalp too will improve noticeably.

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