Argan Tree – The tree of Life
Argan Oil is extracted from the fruit of the Argan tree (lat. Argania Spinosa). The tree is 8-10 m (28-33ft.) tall, has spiky branches due to the extreme conditions in which it grows. It is very durable tree and its life-spam ranges anywhere between 150-200 years. Argan tree is one of the oldest trees on earth (20 million years old).
Argan trees grow wildly - no plantations or orchards, no private property. The local rural population has exclusive rights to use and long-term maintain the Argan stands.
Argan trees are unique. It takes up to 15 years for them to spawn. According to Berber traditions, Argan is symbol of life. Argan trees are found in the region Arganeraie in southwestern Morocco, which is a traditional Berber region bordering Sahara.
In 1998, UNESCO declared the region of Arganeraie nature reserve to protect forests of Argan trees.
The Story of Argan Tree
Men and women of the Berber tribes in southern Morocco can keep their skin healthy and flexible even in advanced age. They attribute the secret of this success to Argan Oil. Residents of the region Arganeraie use this precious oil daily for skin care. Argan Oil is also common ingredients when cooking. They eat about two to three teaspoons of the oil every day. Until recently, not many people knew about this unique ingredient. However, Argan Oil is recently becoming increasingly popular in Europe and other places.
Argand'Or represents the Union of Women of Arganeraie region, Morocco (UCFA), and overreaching 23 women's groups (approximately 1,300 Berber women). Their mission is to cultivate Argan forests growing in the territory of southern Morocco. The whole process of traditional production of Argan Oil is in the hands of Berber women.
Unlike machine-produced oils, Berber women use traditional methods and traditional tools; such as hand-operated stone mills. Together with increasing commercial interest in Argan oil came also the first scientific studies; the objectives of which were to explore the potential benefits of Argan Oil from a health point of view.