Haj Akouchar of Inezgane explained how herbalists prescribe it internally to protect the heart, liver and gall-bladder and topically to treat eczema, acne psoriasis and chicken pox.
I soon learned that Berber women have used it for centuries to protect their skin from the sun and to keep their hair soft. I was amazed that I had never heard of this oil and realized that very little was known of it outside Morocco.
I was enchanted and determined to find out more…
On my return home I visited the Centre of Economic Botany at the Botanical Gardens in Kew to research this magical tree and the properties of its oil.
The botanists there suggested I import the oil to create a new market which would provide local employment and encourage conservation of this protected but endangered forest that produces the oil.
At this point nothing had been written about argan oil in English.
With their encouragement I started researching and documenting its properties. Analysis proved that argan oil truly lived up to its traditional uses. Several months later, with enough data and information gathered Wild Wood Groves first website was launched in 2001. Having heard of an International Fine Food market in London that had not been open for very long I made enquiries about taking a stall there.
This seemed a good way to introduce argan by giving tasters to chefs, cookery writers and other foodies.
This was the start of eight years at Borough market, having first been approved by the selection committee. During this time, by explaining the properties and benefits of argan oil, awareness grew among the many visitors and tourists.
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“I found the book both an accurate and a warm description of this wonderful thorny tree and the only land where the tree grows. This little book describes it fully showing that science also backs up its claims.”