Marula Oil: A Precious South Africa Carrier Oil

by Andrea Butje on April 1, 2011

Our distiller in South Africa recently sent me this picture of one of the women producing Marula oil (Sclerocarya birrea), one of our favorite carrier oils.

Making marula oil is no simple process. Each marula fruit holds a nut, and inside the nut is the kernel from which the oil is extracted. Considerable work goes into the extraction process, as the nut is very fibrous. The nuts are cracked–by hand–on a stone slab to get to the kernel, and then the kernel is cold pressed–also by hand–for the oil.

After a full day of work, only 1–2 kg of oil is produced. The precious oil produced is very light and silky to the touch. Marula oil absorbs quickly, and is healing for the skin. It’s rich in antioxidants and oleic acid, both of which contribute to healthy skin.

Properties of Marula

  • Protects and nourishes the skin
  • Good for oily skin and hair
  • Soothes dermatitis
  • Soothes eczema
  • Soothes psoriasis
  • Heals sunburns
  • Moisturizes chapped and irritated skin
  • Great base for massage oils

Making Marula Oil

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Laurie April 19, 2016 at 6:12 pm

Where do you purchase your Marula oil ?? Being a nut are there any allergy concerns . Thank you


Andrea Butje April 20, 2016 at 8:25 am

Hi Laurie – I purchase my marula oil at Aromatics International:
Unfortunately we can’t predict allergies, so can’t be sure how you would respond if you have a nut allergy. Jojoba might be a better option for you 🙂


Pat Crozier April 3, 2011 at 1:28 pm

I love this picture! I come from Zimbabwe and we used to eat marulas as children – tart and delicious. When I grew up I became a nurse and then a midwife and we would encourage our pre natal mothers to eat marulas because they’re very high in vitamin C as well. I have never used marula oil and looking forward to trying it – thank you for that blog.

Pat Crozier


Andrea Butje April 3, 2011 at 2:49 pm

Thanks Pat, what a wonderful story, I so appreciate you sharing this with us!!


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