What is Marula Oil? Marula benefits + a recipe

3 min to read
Andrea Butje

The marula tree, a deciduous emblem of the African landscape, is an indigenous treasure producing vibrant, plum-like, yellow fruits.

These trees, predominantly growing in the tropical and sub-Saharan regions of Africa, have been integral to local communities for millennia. Native women have harvested the fruits not only for their delicious taste but also for the invaluable kernel within, a source of the much sought-after marula oil.

Marula oil, a unique skincare solution, is a lightweight, silky fluid exuding a mild nutty aroma. Its pale yellow appearance belies the rich nutrients it contains. An intriguing feature of marula oil is its non-comedogenic nature, meaning it doesn't clog pores. Despite this, it possesses an exceptional ability to penetrate deeply into the skin. This attribute allows it to deliver its hydration benefits effectively, along with its inflammation-soothing nutrients, like essential vitamins and fatty acids.

Specifically, marula oil is a powerhouse of nourishing compounds. It's abundant in oleic and linoleic fatty acids, coupled with the antioxidant vitamins C and E. Another noteworthy constituent is "epicatechin," an antioxidant phytochemical also found in diverse foods like blackberries, tea leaves, and dark chocolate. All these elements synergize to provide comprehensive skincare benefits.

Creating marula oil is an elaborate process demanding patience and dedication. The marula fruit houses a nut, and it's within this nut that the prized kernel resides, containing the coveted oil. The women meticulously crack these fibrous nuts by hand on stone slabs, an age-old technique. The kernels are then cold-pressed by hand to extract the oil, a painstaking but rewarding labor.

The multifaceted benefits of marula oil make it an excellent choice for a variety of skincare blends. It offers protection and nourishment to the skin, can balance oily skin and hair, and provides comfort to damaged skin. It also soothes redness and inflammation, and infuses very dry skin with intense moisture. Furthermore, marula oil aids in reducing fine lines and wrinkles in mature skin, and encourages a gentle flow of circulation.

For those interested in harnessing the benefits of marula oil, here's a unique recipe designed to invigorate your lymphatic system. This blend may be beneficial when you desire detoxification, circulation of stagnant energy, reduction of swelling, and bolstering of your body's immune health.

Invigorating Lymphatic Massage Oil


1 oz (30 ml) Marula oil (Sclerocarya birrea)
5 drops Juniper Berry essential oil (Juniperus communis)
5 drops Lemon essential oil (Citrus limon)
3 drops Sandalwood essential oil (Santalum album)


Begin by combining all the ingredients in a 1 oz (30 ml) glass bottle.
Shake the mixture gently until it is well-blended.

You can then use this blend for gentle massages over areas that are puffy or red. This blend can also be utilized as an all-over massage oil to stimulate lymph movement, which can lead to feeling more vibrant, healthy, and energized. Consider massaging it under your arms for an added boost!

Ready to learn more about the therapeutic properties of essential oils? Aromatherapy 101 is for you!

Whether you are brand new to aromatherapy or looking to expand your knowledge with science-based information you can trust, our introduction course is the perfect place to begin.

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