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!