Made from the seeds of Babassu palm, babassu oil is packed with antioxidants and healthy fats. It helps to improve your skin and hair by moisturizing them without causing acne.
But as useful as the oil is, it has some disadvantages.
We’ll be discussing the benefits, uses, and disadvantages of babassu oil in this article.
What are the Uses of the Babassu Oil?
In countries such as Brazil, where the babassu palm can be found, the plant’s oil is commonly used for medicine and cooking purposes.
Babassu oil is converted to biofuel that can be used as diesel fuel.
Also, the oil is applied on minor wounds for healing and is also used in treating vagina discharge caused by hormonal imbalance also known as leukorrhea.
In the United States, the oil is commonly included in skin and hair care products such as makeup, shampoo, and lotion.
Advantages of the Babassu Oil
Research has shown that babassu oil provides a lot of health benefits. However, the tests were conducted using animals. Human studies need to be carried out to better understand the advantages of using oil.
1. Filled with Fatty Acid
Similar to coconut oil, Babassu oil contains saturated fats that change to solid at room temperature. But while applied to the body, the oil melt quickly. That’s why it’s used as an ingredient in skincare products.
Lauric and myristic acid is the main fatty acid in this oil and they are both saturated fat.
Moreso, the oil contains monounsaturated fats called oleic acid, which can also be found in olive oil. This implies that the benefits of the oil are similar to that of Babassu oil.
Due to the anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties of the fatty acids, it helps to improve skin and hair health.
Furthermore, lauric acid has been shown to kill cancer cells due to its antibacterial properties.
2. Healing, Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant
Some parts of this plant, including the oil, are used for several medical purposes. In South America, for instance, the oil is used for treating wounds, stomach problems, skin problems, and inflammation.
Packed with antioxidants, the oil help to reduce the damages caused by harmful free radicals. And it’s antibacterial properties help to kill certain bacterias such as staphylococcus aureus.
The babassu plant contains anti-inflammatory properties that help to heal minor wounds.
3. Moisturizes the Skin and Hair
When applied to the skin, the Babassu oil melts thereby enabling the body to absorb it, just like coconut oil.
On the other hand, it is not as greasy as coconut oil due to its lightweight making it the best option for skin use.
Furthermore, it causes a cool and refreshing sensation when applied to the skin as it melts quickly. It is also good for the hair.
4. Supports Cholesterol Levels
Research has shown that the short-chain and medium-chain fatty acids in babassu oil can help to support your cholesterol levels. As a result, is, you don’t have to worry about gaining excess weight.
Lauric acid is one of the fatty acids that may increase your good cholesterol and also prevent excess cholesterol in the body.
Besides, Lauric acid and other medium-chain fatty acids are more readily metabolized by the liver instead of being stored as fat. This quicker metabolism may help you achieve your weight loss goal.
What are the Negative Effects of Using the Babassu Oil?
There’s still less information about the potential side effects of babassu oil, including its effect on pregnant women or nursing mothers.
To be on the safe side, you should consult with a healthcare professional before using this oil if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
Some research shows that babassu fruit may slow the body’s blood-clotting ability. So, if you’re taking a blood thinner, do not use babassu oil, as it may affect your health.
For people with hypothyroidism, eating babassu fruit and other parts of the plant may impair your thyroid function.
Avoid the babassu fruit or oil as much as possible if you have this condition.
Also, if you notice an allergic reaction after applying the Babassu oil on your body, stop its use and seek medical help immediately. It contains properties that don’t go well with your body system.
How Can You Use the Babassu Oil?
Babassu oil is used in cooking in certain parts of the world. Unlike coconut oil it is not commonly used in skincare products. Locals of South America use it for other purposes.
You can buy the oil from online stores, some natural grocery, or beauty supply stores. The oil can be applied directly to your skin or hair as a moisturizer or conditioner.
It melts so easily on the skin, which makes it a good carrier oil for essential oils.
Moreover, it can be used in place of coconut oil in homemade skin and hair care recipes, including soaps, body scrubs, and hair masks.
Nutrition Information of Babassu Oil
One tablespoon of babassu oil contains the following:
This healthy oil provides Vitamin E, Lauric fatty acid, Myristic fatty acid, Oleic fatty acid, Palmitic fatty acid and Stearic fatty acid.
Babassu oil is used in cooking, healing wounds, and improving skin and hair health.
But in the United States, it’s most commonly found in hair and skin care products because of its antioxidant and healthy fatty acid properties. In addition to being lightweight and non-greasy, it doesn’t cause acne.
Include this oil in your daily care products as it contains properties that help to improve your skin and hair health.
While using the oil, if you notice symptoms such as itching or redness, stop its use immediately.
Keep in mind that moderation is the key when using certain products. To prevent health issues that may occur due to excessive use of the oil, use it only when necessary.
Part of the Diet for Weight Loss Editorial Team 2021