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The Aromahead Blog - Aromatherapy Education and Resources

The Baobab Tree!

by Andrea Butje on May 05, 2014

A beautiful baobab tree!I was introduced to baobab oil many years ago, and have always loved the silky feel of it. From the first time I applied the oil to my skin, I've wanted to see a baobab tree.

Last week, as we were driving along a road in the Limpopo province of South Africa, we passed a sign that said, "Baobab Tree, 2000 years old—3.5 kilometers." There was a small arrow pointing right. My friend Christina and I both yelled (at almost the exact same moment) "Oh my god—a baobab tree! Please turn, please turn right!" The driver quickly turned the car!

At the end of a bumpy dirt road was this magnificent 2000 year old baobab tree—wider than any tree I have ever seen. Absolutely majestic.

The baobab tree has a massive, thick, unusual trunk. It produces large, white, aromatic flowers, although it was not in bloom at the moment we saw it. The fruit is large, egg-shaped, and has a hard outer shell covered in a dry white powder. The white powder is rich in ascorbic acid (vitamin C). The fruit is often soaked in water so the powder can dissolve and be used as a lemonade drink. This drink, and the pulp of the fruit, is used to reduce fevers.

Baobab oil is made by cold pressing the seed of the fruit. I love the aroma of the oil. It's slightly nutty and quite subtle. The oil is highly penetrating, deeply nourishing, and softens dry skin. It is known to restore and re-moisturize the skin.

What a gift to finally meet this tree whose oil I have appreciated for the past 15 years!

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Andrea Butje is an internationally-recognized Aromatherapist who has changed the educational paradigm through her inspired approach to teaching essential oils and Aromatherapy Certification. Check out her book, The Heart of Aromatherapy, at Aromatics International!

Topics: carrier oils, Our Distiller Trips, travel

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