About Marula Oil History
The history of the marula tree goes back thousands of years. Archaeological evidence shows the marula tree was a source of nutrition as long as ago as 10,000 years B.C. Marula, Scelerocarya birrea, subspecies caffera, is one of Africa' botanical treasures. In the Pomongwe Cave in Zimbabwe, it is estimated that 24 million marula fruits were eaten.
Not only the fruit, but also the nut, are rich in minerals and vitamins. Legends abound on the multiple uses of the tree, the bark, the leaves, fruit, nut and kernels. Most well known as the fruit that 'drives elephants mad' when dropped to the ground and lightly fermented, marula is a much-loved tree in the veld in Africa. It was a dietary mainstay in South Africa, Botswana and Namibia throughout ancient times.
The Many Uses of the Marula Tree
The skin of the Marula fruit can be boiled to make a drink or burnt to be used as a substitute for coffee. The wood is soft and used for carving; the inner bark can be used to make rope. Archaeological sites have shown Marula fruit to be used as a food source since ancient times by Africa's tribes.
The bark can also be used to make a light brown dye. Large Saturniid Caterpillars are gathered from this tree for roasting as well as the larvae of the Cerambycid Wood Boring Beetle. Inside the flesh are one or two very small tasty nuts which are rich in protein.
Oil is used as a skin cosmetic. Their green leaves are eaten to relieve heartburn. The bark contains antihistamines and is also used for cleansing by steeping in boiling water and inhaling the steam.
A piece of bark is crushed into a pulp, mixed with cold water and swallowed in the treatment of dysentery and diarrhoea. The bark also is used as a malaria prophylactic.
The Marula fruit is very juicy and aromatic and is the size of a small plum. It may be eaten fresh and the flesh has an extremely high vitamin C content. It may also be cooked to produce jam, juices and alcoholic beverages.
Elephants Drunk on Marula?
People often ask do elephants get drunk on Marula Fruit? Scientists have debunked this popular myth and theorized that an elephant would have to eat about 1500 fermented marulas to get drunk.
Harvesting the Marula fruits
The Marula trees that grow wild in northern Namibia are the property of the people living nearby. Around eight thousand local women, gathered in working groups, collect the fruits when they are free from other family commitments and / or work.
Fair payments no intermediates
All women are paid individually and the price is negotiated annually within the working groups. Each working group has a representative who deals with both the contracts and communication.
The oil thus obtained is stored with its own batch number that allows us to trace each stage of processing, it is kept in a dark environment at a controlled temperature until shipment.
The oil, in alimentary containers, travels by air with international carrier in order to minimize transport times.
The oil is bottled in Italy by a specific qualified and certified company in alimentary bottles equipped with a practical dispenser and placed in an elegant box.
All stages of production are subject to strict quality controls carried out in Namibia and in Europe at certified laboratories of analysis that guarantee the purity of the products and the compliance with current European legislation.