Sacha inchi seed oil is obtained from Plukenetia volubilis, a perennial native plant in the Europhorbiaceae family. Sacha inchi grows throughout the tropical rainforests of Venezuela, Columbia, Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil.
Its common name in the native Quechua language means false (sacha) peanut (inchi), but it has no relation to the peanut legume and is not a known allergen, however it is rather delicious. Try adding the roasted seeds to this coconut rainforest yogurt bowl.
While it’s only in the last few years that Sacha inchi oil has become popular worldwide, if was a dietary staple in Peru during the ancient pre-Inca era. Depictions of the plant were found on Mochica and Chimu ceramics dating back over 3000 years.
It wasn’t until 1978 that scientists began testing Sacha inchi and found it a valuable source of chemical and nutritional components. Sacha inchi seeds are rich in unsaturated fat, fiber, protein,antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, phytosterols, and phytochemicals. In diverse studies sacha inchi compounds have demonstrated antioxidant, hypolipidemic, immunomodulation and emollient activity.
Used topically, the high levels of linolenic acid allow this oil to rapidly penetrate the outer layers of skin. Combined with omega-3 fatty acids and the humectant properties of beta-sitosterol and stigmasterol, sacha inchi is known to:
- moisturize, soothe, and smooth the skin surface
- strengthen and restore the skin’s lipid barrier
- prevent trans-epidermal water loss
- protect from free radical damage and reduce UV damage
- reduce redness, irritation and acne
By virtue of being indigenous to the Amazonian rain forest, we recognize the potential for sacha inchi to be at risk for agricultural controversy. Fortunately however, unlike other agribusiness, such as corn, palm oil and cattle ranching, sacha inchi has the potential to have numeral and significant benefits to the rainforest and crop farmers.
Sacha inchi farming can help re-forest land previously clear-cut for mass livestock operations. As a perennial forest crop, sacha inchi farming promotes healthy reforestation of native species. Furthermore sacha inchi is opening up sustainable and legal income streams for rural farming communities in areas once dependent on illicit coca cultivation.
There is much to love about Sacha inchi. Try it in REPAIR face oil!
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