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Ask the Elephants About Marula


The Ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle, once said that the elephant was “the animal which surpasses all others in wit and mind.”

So let us ask this intelligent animal that can identify languages, read our body talk, use tools to achieve a goal.  Let us ask this elephant who can mourn their dead, mimic our voices, and have extraordinary memories.  Let us ask the elephant about marula.

The Marula tree (Sclerocarya birrea), a.k.a Elephant tree, Jelly Plum, Cider Tree, Marriage Tree, Cat Thorn and more, is native to the southern regions of Africa and the Sudano-Sahelian range in West Africa.

The entire tree provides. The bark is used to treat many illnesses such as fever and malaria.  The roots are used to treat sore eyes.  The tree’s hard wood makes excellent kitchen utensils. You may be familiar with South African ‘Amarula Cream Liqueur’ made from the fruit.  Or you may have heard of marula oil, which is now appearing in North America.

The oil extracted from the kernels is traditionally used for cooking and for skin care and hair applications. Marula is used as massage oil on the face, feet and hands, and helps with dry, cracked skin.  Its moisturizing properties are so effective it is used as a meat preservative and for treating leather.  This fact alone helps us to understand how magnificent marula would be on our own dry, cracked and aging skin.  I wish we could ask the elephants the secret to wearing their wrinkled skin so proudly.

Elephants love to eat the fruit of the marula tree. I want to ask them why they love the fruit so much and to please explain the legend surrounding marula and the ‘drunk’ elephants.  The legend is ‘elephants that consume fermented marula fruit from the ground become ‘tipsy’.  Another theory is the fruit ferments in the stomach and turns to alcohol, making the elephants appear ‘drunk’.

Science does tell us that there is not enough ethanol in the fruit to get such a large body drunk, so we really do not know what happens. By the way, this behaviour is not common, but does make for good lore.

What is the true marula quest for the elephant?  I doubt they would deliberately eat something that would affect their ‘wit’.   I like to think the elephant just knows the fruit is good for him.

The highly nutritious kernels are rich in antioxidants. They are about 25 percent protein and contain calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.  They are loaded with protein and good fat, vitamin C and oleic acid.  And marula, like all fruits, contains healthy fructose, the good sugar.

So the elephants are onto something and we should listen.  What is good to eat is good for the skin. We encourage you to ‘Feed Your Skin’ marula oil.



  • Is highly moisturizing because of its high Oleic acid content.
  • works wonderfully on dry and aging skin
  • helps repair sun-damaged skin.
  • contains Vitamin C, a potent collagen builder.
  • is a light oil, fast absorbing, and has a non-greasy texture.

*  is non-comedogenic  (does not clog) and has anti-microbial properties which can help heal and reduce acne blemishes and scarring.

newspaper_02B We make a wonderful body oil blend with marula oil.  Alongside avocado, tamanu and camellia, our ‘Spoil Me Body Oil’ does just that. 100% pure goodness.  Without chemical additives that dry out and harm your skin, our oil nourishes.  Unlike most commercial lotions or oils that need to be applied daily, our oil will moisturize for several days. It is a great all-over body conditioner, especially when you are in a hurry, because it is so fast absorbing.  I know the marula contributes to that.

Marula.  Intoxicate your skin. Ask the elephants.  They know its worth.

spoil me body oil   http://www.natural.ca/en/spoil-me-body-oil

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General Disclaimer Information relating to health conditions, products, and treatments, is for informational purposes only. Products make no medical claims and are not meant to be a substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professionals, including information contained on product packaging or labels. We recommend a patch test to make sure that you are not allergic to any ingredients. Avoid direct contact with eyes


By Martha Shannon – totimes.ca


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