Everything About Prickly Pear
The Prickly Pear, from its botanical name Opuntia ficus-indica, is a cactus plant native to Latin America and was later developed all around the Mediterranean basin. Our Prickly Pear seed oil is directly outsourced from Morocco, where our fruit tree can enjoy all the heat and sun necessary for its growth. It is known for its rarity and unique properties. In Morocco, the prickly pear is colloquially known as “El hindia,” a widely sold refreshment by street vendors throughout the summer months. Notably, its increasing use in health and cosmetic products raised production demands and led to environmental measures.
HOW DOES PRICKLY CACTUS HELP FIGHT DESERTIFICATION?
Indeed, prickly pear orchards play an essential role in the fight against desertification and soil erosion. It is suited for dry and hot conditions and needs little water to grow, the plantation of cactus fruit trees helps expand biodiversity in desertic and arid areas. Their root characteristics avoid wind and rain erosion, encouraging their growth in degraded areas. The latter encouraged the Moroccan Ministry of Agriculture to include cactus plantation under the national Green Morocco Plan (2011). Such cactus plantation programs keep the vegetation alive in desertic areas. It also supports the fertility of the soil and balances the climate.
Studies have found a significant relationship between the age of implanted prickly pear orchids and natural argan tree regeneration. This positive relationship is associated with changes in traditional land uses, facilitated by improving the soil’s organic matter and nurse plant phenomena. These agricultural developments are both environmentally and socially beneficial. As the establishment of sustainable production systems based on cactus may contribute to the food security of populations in agriculturally marginalized areas and to soil improvement.
HOW DOES PRICKLY PEAR HELP THE LOCAL COMMUNITY?
As cactus plantation is also encouraged by market demands, its cultivation is now a significant source of income for local populations and cooperatives. The high economic value attributed to argan and prickly pear seed oil has allowed farmers to develop a lucrative agricultural activity while promoting the recovery of native regeneration. This unique project holds an ecosystem aligned with global climate change priorities for combating desertification. In other words, human-induced land degradation (i.e., excessive pastoral use) is reversible thanks to such plantation alternatives.
The Prickly Pear contains about 300 seeds for a 160g fruit. It is from these seeds that the precious oil is extracted. It is estimated that in the production of 1 litre of Prickly Pear Seed oil, 30 kilos of seeds are needed, which translates into at least 1 ton of fruits. This meager yield explains its very high cost.
Notably, each seed contains around 5% of pure oil extract, making it a rare commodity and one challenging to extract. Harvesting the fruits and extracting the oil are tedious and delicate processes because the pear is made of multiple thorns. The seeds are then washed and dried in the sun before being cold-pressed. Cold-pressing the seeds preserves all the benefits and properties found in the Prickly Pear.
THE FINEST OIL IN THE LAND
Prickly Pear seed oil is rich in Vitamin E (exceeding Argan Oil) and sterols and contains a notable proportion of Omega-6. These components endow it with a forceful ability to protect the skin against free radicals, which are responsible for wrinkles - or in other words, atoms that can damage skin cells due to illness or aging. As a vegetable oil, it is known for its moisturizing and firming effects on the skin. As a dry oil, it has a comedogenicity index of 0, making it suitable for all skin types. Lastly, it actively supports sebum-regulating action, responsible for the imbalancement in oily skins (i.e., acne).
Among all the vegetable oils, it is the one that concentrates the most significant quantity of antioxidants. Making it an ally in taking care of mature skin and helping combat the signs of aging skin. In effect, Prickly Pear oil maintains skin elasticity and hydration. It protects the epidermis from external aggressions and helps preserve the skin’s hydrolipidic film. Rich in Omega-6, its fatty acids promote skin regeneration, fight skin infections, and help prevent dehydration. Its healing properties are numerous:
- Antioxidant: Vitamin E content supports aging skin.
- Regenerating: Omega-6 promotes skin repair.
- Emollient: Softens and hydrates skin.
- Healing: the oleic acids in the oil help reduce small marks and contribute to the regeneration of the epidermis.
- Revitalizing: fatty acids restore vitality and health to the skin.
For hair use, apply it on the ends for nourishment and on the scalp for balancing sebum production. For nail use, apply it for strengthening.
WHY ELSE SHOULD I LOVE PRICKLY PEAR OIL?
- Prickly Pear can moisturize and hydrate even the most dehydrated skin
- Prickly Pear is mainly used in cosmetics for its anti-wrinkle properties, which makes it ideal to use after sun exposure.
- Prickly Pear combats acne and acne scarring.
- Prickly pear strengthen the walls of your blood vessels, reducing stretch marks.
- Prickly pear is high content of anti-oxidants from betelains.
- Prickly pear is also rich in amino acids, which stimulate collagen production to promote faster cell turnover.
- Okay, it smells like stink but that’s not that bad. Run with it.
- The oil is easily absorbed into skin and penetrates quickly without leaving any greasy residue.