The Watermelon that we know and love today is the result of generations of selective breeding, spanning several countries and cultures. Its wild ancestor is a bitter fruit with hard green flesh, with scientists concurring it originated in Africa where it was originally cultivated for its edible seeds.
It is believed the ancient Egyptians started cultivating Watermelon due to its high water content and the fact they remained edible for weeks if stored in a cool dry area. It was also used as a natural canteen for fresh water on long voyages.
The father of medicine, Hippocrates, praised its healing properties and prescribed it as a diuretic and a remedy to heatstroke.
Watermelon Seed Oil
Also known as “Ootanga Oil” or “Kalahari Oil”, Watermelon Seed Oil has a long history of use in African desert countries. This light, non-greasy oil was obtained by cold pressing sun-dried Watermelon seeds and was used for its hydrating properties. With a mild nutty flavour, it was also used as a basic cooking oil.
Watermelon Seed Oil provides nourishing moisture to the skin without clogging the pores. It contains up to 65 percent of linolenic acid, an omega 6 fatty acid that is also known as “vitamin F”. One of the major benefits of Watermelon Seed Oil – due to its high linolenic acid content – is to protect and repair the skins barrier function. A healthy barrier function is the key to radiant skin, it prevents biological irritants from entering the skin such as free radicals, microbes, allergens and other external assaults.
Watermelon Seed Oil is rich in omega 9 as well as omega 6, fatty acids that the body cannot produce naturally. By supplying the skin with these nutrients, skin cell growth is stimulated which can result in a reduction in scars, repair to skin damage and promote vibrant, glowing skin.
This deeply hydrating oil is suitable for all skin types as it doesn’t clog pores which makes it ideal for oily, acne prone skin. With anti-inflammatory properties, Watermelon Seed Oil will also calm down redness caused by acne and give the skin the nutrients it needs to heal from it. The antioxidants will help to dispel toxins and bacteria that can cause acne and the linolenic acid content will help to restore the abnormal and inflamed skin barrier in acne sufferers.
Carrier Oil / Massage Oil
Watermelon Seed Oil is an excellent carrier oil that absorbs rapidly into the skin due to its light, non-greasy texture. It is able to deliver the active constituents of essential oils into deeper layers of the skin.
It is especially good for baby massage and is commonly used in commercial baby creams, lotions, oils and soaps.
The potent antioxidant activity of Watermelon Seed Oil can reduce oxidative stress on the scalp and promote hair growth. It boosts the circulation in the scalp which in turn feeds the hair follicles to grow strong and healthy hair. It also dissolves sebum build up, making this oil great for hair prone to greasiness.
The ability of Watermelon Seed Oil to penetrate deeply also extends to the hair – it moisturises the hair, boosts hair elasticity and prevents breakage. The oil is also a rich source of the mineral copper, this helps with the production of melanin and helps to keep hair colour intact, preventing premature greyness.
For curly hair that is prone to frizziness, Watermelon Seed Oil naturally smooths the hair cuticles leaving the hair sleek and shiny. It also makes a great pre or post oil treatment for coloured hair, protecting the hair from harsh chemicals in hair dyes and restoring the moisture balance to hair that has dried out due to colouring.
Watermelon Seed Oil can be used as a light and nourishing carrier oil for an aromatherapy massage or bath. Just choose your favourite essential oils, dilute and use for a regenerating and replenishing massage or bath oil.
Watermelon Seed Oil can also be used in natural skin and hair preparations.
The humble Watermelon has a history stretching back at least 5,000 years. Its seeds were found, among remnants of other fruits, at a 5,000 year old settlement in Libya.
Paintings, alongside Watermelon seeds have also been discovered in Egyptian tombs built more than 4,000 years ago, including King Tut’s. In one painting, the watermelon depicted has the familiar oblong shape, suggesting that it was a cultivated variety, further evidence that this fruit was selectively bred thousands of years ago.
When the Egyptian pharaohs died they believed they had a long journey ahead of them that would need a source of water - it is hypothesised that this is why remnants of Watermelons have been found in tombs.
Writings from 400 BCE to 500 AD indicate the Watermelon spread from northeastern Africa to Mediterranean countries.
The primary constituents of Watermelon Seed Oil are; Linolenic acid, palmitic acid, oleic acid and stearic acid.
Avoid contact with the eyes. For external use only.