Desert date oil is cold pressed from the sticky fruit of the thorny evergreen shrub which can grow to a height of 10m tall. The fruit of this community traded wildcrafted oil is rich in saponins with anti-inflammatory properties.

The fruits which contain up to 48% fixed non-volatile oil are harvested, washed, mechanically sorted by a union of women’s groups in West Africa.

Highly moisturising, desert date oil is non-greasy and soaks quite well into the skin with a lovely sheen. The oil helps to regenerate + replenish the skin including scars and acne. Desert date oil can also be applied to hair after shampooing or used as a facial serum/massage oil/hair & scalp treatment. Suitable for all skin types.

Desert oil is used as a great massage tool to help alleviate pains.

After more than 5 years searching for this amazing oil, I finally stumbled across the seeds on my trip to Northern Ghana – April 2011. The seed is hard with a slight thick covering. Taste is sweet but with a slight bitter taste. The dried fruit smells gorgeous and has a slight sticky feel. It is apparently boiled for stomach problems

INCI : Balanites aegyptiaca


The fruits have been used in the treatment of liver and spleen diseases. The fruit is also known to kill the snails which carry schistosomiasis and bilharzia flukes (Tredgold 1986). The roots are used for abdominal pains and as a purgative. Gum from the wood is mixed with maize meal porridge to treat chest complaints.

The fruit pulp though bitter, is edible. It produces fruit even in dry years which makes it a highly appreciated food source in dry areas. Pounded fruits make a refreshing drink which becomes alcoholic if left to ferment.

Balanites aegyptiaca has fine-grained dense and heavy heartwood, it is easily worked and takes a good polish. Although valued for furniture it may be twisted and difficult to saw. The wood is durable and resistant to insects making it good for tool handles and domestic items such as spoons.

OTHER USES: Root cuttings readily form a live fence. Protein rich leaves and shoots are an excellent source of fodder. The leaves make very good mulch and the tree is nitrogen fixing, it is also valued as firewood since it produces almost no smoke and has a calorific value of 4600 kcal per kg (Webb 1984).