Argan oil

If you’re a fan of argan oil in your skin-care routine, I have a bit of historical (er, biological?) trivia for you.

It begins with the stout seeds of the shrubby Moroccan Argania spinose tree …

Photo by Songwon Lee via Flickr

Seeds that are gathered by … goats.

Photo by Grand Parc – Bordeaux, France via Wikimedia Commons

That’s right, we’re talking about those wacky tree-climbing goats that scream, “Photoshop!”

But there’s no technological trickery at work here.

These goats do defy gravity, and while they are loping about in the limbs of trees, they eat argan seeds.

Can you see where I’m going with this? (Just be glad you get your argan oil from a bottle.)

Here’s the history of argan oil, in a nutshell, according to Michael Graham Richard of Mother Nature Network:

“Argan oil is quite popular these days in skin- and hair-care products, but this is nothing new. Indigenous Berber tribes in the region actually did something similar, though they didn’t get the argan oil out of a bottle that they bought in a store; goats would climb up argan trees and eat the fruits, swallowing whole the core, which looks a bit like an almond.”

Photo by Fred Dunn via Flickr

Okay, we’re all caught up to that point, so …

“This nut would pass through the goat’s digestive system and end up in goat droppings, where it would be collected. To get at the oil inside, you would then have to crack it open with a stone, and grind the seeds inside. The resulting oil was then used for cooking and as a skin treatment.”

Photo by Chrumps via Wikimedia Commons

Now you know.

As with so many modern manufacturing practices, the middlemen (middlegoats?) have been cut from the process of processing argan oil, but that doesn’t stop them from climbing trees to eat seeds.

Watch and laugh:

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    When we went to Morocco last Spring, we went to a place that sells Argan cosmetics at cheaper prices than Spain. You can just imagine all of us Americans flooding this little store to get a few items each!

  2. As a hairstylist who is always recommending argan oil to my clients, I really enjoyed this! I had no idea, but that is so cool. Now, do I tell my unsuspecting customers?? Haha!

  3. BB king says:

    love those tree climbing goats!! in all my travels tho I have never seen them, darn!

  4. Krista says:

    I have some Argan oil for my hair and I use it occasionally, but I would have never guessed that’s how it was made!! Loved watching the goats climbing in the tree. It gave me a chuckle!

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