Our article on health benefits of watermelon seeds talked about how watermelon seeds are packed with vital proteins, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. This article we would specifically talk about health benefits of watermelon seed oil, how it is extracted, how can one make best use of Watermelon seed oil for skin and hair and host of other medicinal uses of watermelon seed oil.
Watermelon seed oil is often found in African kitchen where it is used as food oil for cooking. Especially people of Kalahari deserts have been using this oil for centuries now. Today watermelon seed oil is promoted as Kalahari oil or Ootanga oil. Sometimes figuratively marketed as “pure, virgin, prehistoric Kalahari oil”
Process of making oil from watermelon seeds as discovered by Kalahari people is very simple. Collect watermelon seeds, after the fruit is eaten. These seeds are then dried in hot sun. Drying does two things. First the seed cover is sort of roasted, which helps remove the fatty acid rich kernel. Secondly, sun drying intensifies fatty acid activity and its health benefits. Fatty acids are basically chains of carbon. Longer chains are believed to be good for health. Sun drying rearranges various fatty acids to form long fatty acids and thus increases their antioxidant activity. Once the kernel is removed, it is then cold pressed, oil which oozes out is collected and stored for further use.
Watermelon seed oil is light in texture and non greasy. If applied to skin, it penetrates skin pores and is absorbed very quickly. Shelf life of watermelon seed is very high.
Nutritional value of watermelon seed oil
What does Watermelon seed oil contain? Fat content of watermelon seed oil is nearly two thirds of is Linoleic acid. Apart from this it also contains nearly equal amounts of Oleic acid, Stearic acid and Palmitic acid. These fatty acids are mainly omega-6 and Omega-9, as we commonly know. Around 80% are such unsaturated fatty acids which are good for health. It also contains some fat soluble amino acids.
Uses of Watermelon seed oil
Watermelon seed oil finds its use in cooking. It can be used as alternative to vegetable oil. It is widely used in cosmetics as base material and various benefits for skin and hair. It is used as medicinal ingredients in traditional medicine forms.
Benefits of Watermelon seed oil for Skin
Watermelon seed oil is absorbed quickly by skin and offers essential fatty acids which are vital for skin growth. It makes skin smooth and elastics. Watermelon seed oil is mild and often used in baby skin oil for its moisturizing properties. Watermelon seed oil is marketed to provide glowing skin, the claims could be quite true. Watermelon seed oil supplies essential nutrients for growth and regeneration of skin.
Watermelon seed oil is also cleansing in nature and removes dead skin, skin secretions from skin pores. In a way it helps prevent acne which are often caused by skin pore clogging. Thus apply watermelon seed oil to your face is a home remedy for acne. In Kalahari, people chew watermelon seed oil, mix it well with saliva and apply this paste to acne.
Antioxidant properties of Linoleic acid and minerals present in watermelon seed oil helps keep skin young and prevents damage to skin by external oxidizing matters.
Benefits of watermelon seed oil for hair
Watermelon seed oil is non greasy in nature, so you can apply to your hair. It offers omega fatty acids to your hair and promotes their growth. Gently massaging hair oil to your scalp also helps keep scalp healthy. Not much evidence has been found on claims of watermelon seed showing antimicrobial property and preventing scalp diseases like dandruff.
Other benefits of watermelon seed oil
Lipids of Water melon seed oil are helpful in protecting mucus layer various organs. Watermelon seed oil has been used as home remedy on worms and treats tapeworms and roundworms in intestine. It blends well with other oil and acts as carrier oil in aromatherapy.
So every time you eat watermelon, ensure that you don’t throw away seeds. Either roast them and use them as snacks. You can try out making watermelon seed oil at home by cold pressing. Oil from one single watermelon should be sufficient to apply for your face or hair (only if you are eating seedless watermelon, we can’t help 😀 )Image Credits: Island Naturals Product Image