What Is It?
And Where Does It Come From?
Jojoba (Simmodsia chinensis) is a hearty perennial evergreen woody shrub plant that grows to a stature of up to 15 feet. Jojoba is a hearty, fruit-bearing, plant that has long roots (up to 40 feet). As a result, the jojoba plant can survive in almost any environment, but thrives in dry, barren climates. Jojoba is native to Arizona, southern California and Mexico.1
What Does It Do?
And What Scientific Studies Give Evidence To Support This?
The jojoba plant has a long history of use by traditional Native American Indian medicine systems. The Native American Indians used jojoba oil to treat minor wounds and sores.
The jojoba plant has cultivated commercially in the United States since the late 1970's. It is popular because it is a source of high quality oil.
Jojoba oil is a light-gold colored, viscous bio-degradable oil that's made of long-chain fatty acids and fatty alcohols with no side-chain branching.
Jojoba oil is used primarily in cosmetic products because of its superiority as cosmetic oil. It is superior to whale oil and less expensive - the cost of whale oil has been rising in recent years due to declining whale populations.
Cosmetically, jojoba oil is used as a skin ointment and is often used in hair products. It helps rejuvenate skin and protect hair integrity because of the oil's colorless, odorless wax ester texture.
Other industrial applications for jojoba oil include candle making, detergents, fire retardants and machinery oil.
Nutritionally, jojoba oil is excellent alternative to saturated fats and vegetable oils. Because jojoba is a long-chain fatty acid and because it contains fatty acid alcohols, it is not digested in the same way as other fats.
Animal research shows that jojoba is an effective weight-loss supplement, reducing the overall food intake of rats, with no apparent side-effects. Human research is needed but anecdotal evidence suggests that may exert similar appetite suppressing effects in humans.2
Who Needs It?
And What Are Some Symptoms Of Deficiency?
Healthy adults can benefit from jojoba supplementation (see above).
Jojoba is not an essential nutrient and no symptoms of deficiency exist. Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA) is not established.
How Much Should Be Taken?
And Are There Any Side Effects?
Use as directed.
Consult a physician before using any dietary supplement.
Jojoba is safe for human consumption. Jojoba oil is safe and non-toxic. No side effects are known.
- Goldstein, G., H.H. Naqvi, D. Yakir, T. Ceccardi, and I.P. Ting. 1989. Supercooling and low temperature stress in Simmondsia chinensis, a drought-tolerant evergreen species. Oecologia (submitted for publication).
- Boozer CN, Herron AJ. Simmondsin for weight loss in rats. Int J Obes (Lond). 2006 Feb 7.