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natal mahogany oil

The essence of survival in the African savannah is strength and resilience. Time has bestowed these qualities on the great Mahogany which in its towering grandeur can reach heights of up to 30m, exploding into a canopy of prolific slender leaves providing a dappled quiet shade from the relentless African sun.

The beautifully shaped deep green leaves gradually fall all year round to blanket the earth beneath her, providing enrichment to the soil. From the seed flows its essence, Forest Mahogany oil. Rich in fatty acids, it is soothing and protective, providing perpetual moisture to soften and protect dry, damaged skin.

Trichilia emetica (Rooiessenhout)

A medium to large, handsome evergreen found in woodland, riverine and coastal forest of Southern Africa. The bark is grey-brown, smoothish, the leaves oblong-eliptic, dark green and glossy. The creamy-green flowers are fragrant, producing almost spherical creamy-brown fruit capsules. The black seeds are fascinating as they mimic the vacant expression of a dolls' eyes. The pinkish-brown wood darkens with age.

In African medicine, the bark is soaked in warm water and used as an emetic, hence the name.

The seeds have long been known by locals to contain an oil used widely as a wonderful emollient, but also used to hasten the healing of fractured limbs. It is taken internally for rheumatism, and made into good quality soap.

The rural community are involved in gathering the seeds on a continuous basis, which are then collated and pressed at temperatures below 60°C (i.e. first pressing) No solvents or chemicals are used in the process. The liquid is then filtered successively to yield a final product which is brownish, and becomes semi-solid at ambient of 20°C. The oil is rich in essential fatty acids, is extremely nourishing, and restructures the epidermis. The high proportion of mono-unsaturated oleic acid provides good stability. Further to this it has shown to have some anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory activity due to the presence of liminoids such as Trichilin A. Natal Mahogany oil has also been shown to have good free radical scavenging properties.