Camellia Oil: A Multi-Purpose Oil with Many Health and Beauty Benefits
In this country, there is a little known oil with many known health benefits, beauty benefits and can even be used as a lubricant for hand tools. You may not necessarily be able to easily find it here but in the Far East it has been used for centuries.
This is camellia oil, also known as tea seed oil. For culinary uses, camellia oil has a light flavor, is rich in Vitamins A and B while having no cholesterol. Unlike other cooking oils, it is rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids which can be used for heart health as well as helping with high blood pressure and appears to have some natural anti-oxidant capabilities. It's subtle flavor means that it can easily be used with most dishes or even a salad dressing while also being easily infused with other herbs.
As a beauty product, one can find many products out of Japan and China which use Camellia Oil in soaps, hair and skin products or by itself. When used alone it soothes dry, chapped skin beautifully. It can be used as a hot oil treatment for dry, damaged and brittle hair. It works well when rubbed into nails and cuticles to keep them looking great as well. It also makes an excellent bath or shower oil. I will sometimes mix a little camellia oil with a pinch of water while in the shower to use as a hair treatment, especially on split ends. As it is very lightweight with almost no scent, try infusing it with rosemary if you want a morning pick-me-up in the shower or with lavender as a relaxing soak at the end of the day. This is even one of the few oils I would use for massage as it goes into the skin beautifully and has almost no scent unless it has been infused.
As a lubricant for hand tools, camellia oil prevents corrosion and doesn't affect glues. Samurai have supposedly used this on their swords for centuries.
Considering camellia oil is sold throughout the world and through many different companies, it is important to research the particular brand of camellia oil before you buy it. Make certain it is certified organic as you would not want chemicals and pesticides in your food or on your body. For culinary purposes in particular, please make certain the brand has that as a stated use.
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