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Baobab, the 'upside-down' tree

Adansonia digitata is a deciduous tree that can live more than a thousands of years, growing up to more than 20 meters high and 7 meters in diameter. Baobab, as it is more commonly known, can be traced back to the Egyptians, where inscriptions on bark have been found and identified. Baobab trees are native to Africa, Madagascar and Australia, and are often referred to as the "upside down tree" because its branches look like roots sticking up into the air. In Africa, every part of the baobab tree is sustainably used for food and medicinal applications — from the leaves to the roots — and as such it is often referred to as ‘the tree of life’. The tree enjoys a huge folklore covering almost all of Africa. In West Africa, spirits are believed to inhabit the flowers and locals believe a lion will devour anyone rash enough to pluck a flower. In Tanzania it is considered dangerous to suck a seed of the baobab in crocodile country (because doing so is believed to attract crocodiles), while in Zambia, washing seeds in rivers offers protection against crocodiles. Another belief is that drinking an infusion of the bark will make you mighty and strong. In southern Nigeria the baobab tree is worshipped as a fertility symbol, and people still marry beneath its branches. The fruit of the baobab tree is large and quite heavy with a velvety shell. It can be up to 18 cm long, approximately the size of a coconut. Its many seeds are found around a vitamin-rich pulp. The pulp has a long history as a food source and has been used to treat a number of medical conditions in Africa. The leaves too are used as a vegetable and the seeds are roasted and eaten. The seeds can also be ground up to release the seed oil and are used as an edible vegetable oil. This oil has been used traditionally by African women for centuries to protect their skin and hair against the harsh African climate. EarthOil has been sourcing baobab oil for more than 10 years, originally sourcing the seeds from the Zambezi valley but more recently from the coastal plains, and also from South Africa where the seeds are sourced organically.


  • Baobab Oil (Organic)

  • Baobab Oil Crude

  • Baobab Oil Refined

  • INCI: Adansonia Digitata Seed Oil

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How the oil is produced

Because baobabs are not yet a commercially grown crop, they are hand harvested in more remote regions and then collected by rural collection groups. These collection groups work in the forests collecting the large seed pods and then remove the seeds from the "cream of tartar-style" pulp that surrounds the seeds. This filling is high in vitamin C and is a popular treat in East African markets. EarthOil by Univar Solutions supply partner cold presses the hard seed at its processing facility to produce a golden oil.

Uses and benefits of baobab oil

Baobab oil is high in vitamin C and contains omega 3, omega 6 and omega 9 fatty acids. Its high composition in unsaturated fatty acids would normally lead to susceptibility to oxidation. But this balanced oil is relatively stable, thanks to the presence of natural antioxidants and palmitic acid, a saturated fatty acid. The oil is known for its strong moisturizing properties for both skin and hair thanks to its omega 6 content and is reputed to help skin elasticity. Fluid, very spreadable, it is well absorbed by the skin after application, without leaving any sticky or greasy after-feel.

Discover Our Formulation Example Containing Baobab Oil

Serengeti Vibes Curling Balm

Enhance hydration, boost shine and control frizz on those gorgeous juicy curls with the leave-on Serengeti Vibes Curling Balm. This formula is inspired by the deep conditioning treatments for unruly curls and parched locks! Tame the frizz with an eco-friendly formula. Click here to access.



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