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Mongongo oil (also known as Manketti oil) provides your hair with the nutrients it needs to have the full, thick body and special glow you want others to see.

If your hair is limp, weak, worn-out and tired, it’s hungry, probably starved for the nutrition it needs to look healthy and happy.

Manketti comes from Latin, and Mongongo is what the Kalahari Desert San people call it.

Your hair also needs simple moisture. Mongongo’s polysaturated fatty acids form a waterproof seal around your strands, sealing in their natural moisture, acting as a humectant. By bonding with the cells on the surface of your hairs, the oil also smooths the surface and adds gloss and shine.

This oil contains eleostearic acid, which absorbs the ultraviolet light in sunlight. And it contains linoleic acid, which helps it remain strong and shiny.

Mongongo can also be used to moisturize and protect your skin, nails and lips. However, unlike most beauty oils, it’s primarily for your hair, secondarily for other areas.

It repairs split ends and broken strands, tames frizzy hair, smoothes the surface, strengthens and softens hair. By strengthening and moisturizing your hair, you help it retain waves and curls.

This oil is also good for your scalp. It stops itching and reduces dandruff.

The Mongongo (or Manketti) tree grows in arid and semi-arid conditions throughout Southern Africa, such as in the sandy soil of the Kalahari Desert. Including areas that have a wide range of temperatures, from sub-freezing to scorching heat. Countries include: northern Namibia, southern Angola, Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi. It’s quite hardy, as it must be to survive such an environment, including periodic droughts.

The tree (Schinziophyton rautanenii) produces a fruit which is a tasty and nutritious favorite for the local people and also for elephants. The fruit is reddish-brown and egg-shaped. The nuts are inside the fruit, and must be extracted. A labor-saving way to do this is simply to remove the seeds from elephant dung. Elephants eat the fruit, digest it, and then their digestive systems get rid of the hard nuts. The hard nut shells must be broken open to extract the kernels, which are the nuts containing Mongongo oil.

The nuts are over 57% fat, and contain the minerals: calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, phosphorus, sodium, potassium and zinc. And various kinds of Vitamin B: riboflavin, eleostearic Acid and thiamine. The oil comes from cold pressing the nuts.

The nut contains a lot of Vitamin E to preserve it through the heat of the day and the cold of night. Each nut contains 650 mg of Vitamin E. Most of that is in the form of g-tocopherol, the most heat-resistant. For your skin, Vitamin E is an antioxidant good for protecting your skin from photodamage caused by exposure to the ultraviolet radiation in direct sunlight. Vitamin E also gives oils a long shelf life, because it continues to preserve the oil from rancidity.

It contains the saturated fatty acids: palmitic acid and stearic acid. And the monosaturated fatty acid: oleic acid.

As an anti-inflammatory as well as a moisturizer, this oil relieves flaky, red, itchy, irritated skin. Manketti oil relieves boils, acne, sunburn, fungal infections and and rash. It softens skin and reduces wrinkles. It makes skin stronger and more elastic, but does not clog pores. It makes a great massage oil. It helps other nutrition to penetrate more deeply into your skin. Plus, it encourages skin regeneration to heal wounded or damaged cells.

Plus, it contains high levels of the antioxidant Vitamin C.

You can and should add Manketti oil to your nighttime routine. Just comb a few drops through your air before you go to bed at night, and you’ll wake up with healthier, stronger and shinier hair.

The tree grows 7 to 20 meters high, and is in the family Euphorbiaceae. Its branches spread out wide. The wood is pale yellow, and lightweight like balsa.

It does not bear fruit for at least its first twenty-five years. People go up to 25 kilometers (15 miles) into the forest to collect it. They eat the fruit, and also the yellow kernels, either raw or roasted. Archeological evidence show the San people have been eating Manketti nuts for at least 7,000 years.

The Mongongo oil is a rich yellow or lime green color. The San and other people have traditionally used it on their hair and skin. The hard, outer shells of the nuts, when broken, are thrown to divine fortunes.

Local people have traditionally used the oil for cooking as well as on their skins and hair. It has been imported to Europe to use in margarine. It’s also used in soaps, cosmetics, hair products and varnishes.

Mongongo is a tree nut. Therefore, if you have a tree nut allergy, check with your doctor before applying it to your skin or hair.

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