Monday, June 02, 2008

Argan oil extravaganza

Another interesting shop has recently opened in the medina. Arganza, at 9 Rue de la Poste in Batha, specialises in argan oil which is indigenous to southern Morocco and is used in cooking and in cosmetics. Lumen investigates ...

Lamiae Lahlou runs this pretty shop. She is very knowledgeable about the products and speaks excellent English. There are two ranges - edible argan products as well as cosmetic products. The edible range includes argan oil in beautiful bottles and there are two types: one with the traditionally robust, nutty flavour made from toasted argan nuts, and another with a lighter flavour made from nuts that are only lightly toasted. After toasting, the nuts are cold-pressed to extract the oil. All the products are organic and contain no preservatives. And argan is good for you: it is said to prevent cardiovascular disease, lower cholesterol and stimulate the circulation and the immune system.
Also in the range are nut butters - for those who miss peanut butter or who love the traditional amlou. These jars of nut butter contain argan nuts or peanuts along with honey, almonds and cinnamon.

On the cosmetic shelves are delicious-smelling bottles of argan oil with essential oils added. You can choose from verbena, lavender or orange, or try a mixture - these three essential oils along with petitgrain for relaxation, or a lymphatic drainage mix of lemon, cypress and eucalyptus. All the essential oils are from Morocco. There are also small jars of white ghassoul mixed with essential oils. Soaps, including savon beldi will be on the shelves soon, and facial and body creams will follow.

Argan oil is particularly good for the skin as it hydrates and revitalises. Its anti-inflammatory properties mean it's helpful for arthritic conditions.


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