Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis)

Botanical Name : Simmondsia chinensis
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Eutrochium
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales
Tribe: Eupatorieae
Species: E. purpureum
Other Name
s :Goat nut, Deer nut, Pignut, Wild hazel, Quinine nut, Coffeeberry, and gray box bush.

Habitat:Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis), is a shrub native to the Sonoran and Mojave deserts of Arizona, California, and Mexico. It is the sole species of the family Simmondsiaceae, placed in the order Caryophyllales.

Etymology:
The name “jojoba” originated with the O’odham people of the Sonoran Desert in the southwestern United States, who treated burns with an antioxidant salve made from a paste of the jojoba nut.

Description:
Jojoba grows to 1–2 metres (3.3–6.6 ft) tall, with a broad, dense crown. The leaves are opposite, oval in shape, 2–4 centimetres (0.79–1.6 in) long and 1.5–3 centimetres (0.59–1.2 in) broad, thick waxy glaucous gray-green in color. The flowers are small, greenish-yellow, with 5–6 sepals and no petals. Each plant is single-sex, either male or female, with hermaphrodites being extremely rare. The fruit is an acorn-shaped ovoid, three-angled capsule 1–2 centimetres (0.39–0.79 in) long, partly enclosed at the base by the sepals. The mature seed is a hard oval, dark brown in color and contains an oil (liquid wax) content of approximately 54%. An average-size bush produces 1 kilogram (2.2 lb) of pollen, to which few humans are allergic.

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Jojoba foliage provides year-round food opportunity for many animals, including deer, javelina, bighorn sheep, and livestock. The nuts are eaten by squirrels, rabbits, other rodents, and larger birds. Only Bailey’s Pocket Mouse, however, is known to be able to digest the wax found inside the jojoba nut. In large quantities, the seed meal is toxic to many mammals, and the indigestible wax acts as a laxative in humans. The Seri, who utilize nearly every edible plant in their territory, do not regard the beans as real food and in the past ate it only in emergencies.

Despite its scientific name Simmondsia chinensis, Jojoba does not originate in China; the botanist Johann Link, originally named the species Buxus chinensis, after misreading Nuttall’s collection label “Calif” as “China”. Jojoba was briefly renamed Simmondsia californica, but priority rules require that the original specific epithet be used. The common name should also not be confused with the similar-sounding Jujube (Ziziphus zizyphus), an unrelated plant.

Cultivation & Uses:
Jojoba is grown commercially for its oil, a liquid wax ester, expressed from the seed. The plant has also been used to combat and prevent desertification in the Thar Desert in India.

Jojoba is grown for the liquid wax (commonly called jojoba oil) in its seeds. This oil is rare in that it is an extremely long (C36-C46) straight-chain wax ester and not a triglyceride, making jojoba and its derivative jojoba esters more similar to human sebum and whale oil than to traditional vegetable oils. Jojoba oil is easily refined to be odorless, colorless and oxidatively stable, and is often used in cosmetics as a moisturizer and as a carrier oil for specialty fragrances. It also has potential use as both a biodiesel fuel for cars and trucks, as well as a biodegradable lubricant. Because sperm whales are endangered, plantations of jojoba have been established in a number of desert and semi-desert areas, predominantly in Argentina, Australia, Israel, Mexico, Palestinian Authority, Peru, and the United States. It is currently the Sonoran Desert’s second most economically valuable native plant (overshadowed only by the Washingtonia palms used in horticulture). Selective breeding is developing plants that produce more beans with higher wax content, as well as other characteristics that will facilitate harvesting.

Medicinal Uses:
Common Uses: Facial and Skin care * Natural Skin Care-Oils & Herbs *
Properties: Emollient* Skin tonic*
Parts Used: Seed wax
Constituents: fatty acids

The structure of jojoba oil closely resembles that of your own skin sebum, your skin’s own lubricating medium. This gives jojoba a natural affinity to the skin, and is readily absorbed without making the skin feel greasy or tacky nor does it clog the pores. It has exceptional skin-softening properties, as well as the ability to minimize fine lines and wrinkles, promoting skin suppleness while assisting with the rejuvenation of the skin. You will find jojoba oil is many high-end anti-aging creams and lotions, but the oil stands well on it’s own in skin care and is a favorite carrier oil in aromatherapy.

The leaves are a good tea for chronic mucous-membrane inflammation, ranging from chronic colitis, vaginitis, and hemorrhoids to stomach and esophageal ulcers.  In Mexico it has been widely used as a folk remedy for asthma and emphysema, but it is more a matter of aiding the injured pulmonary membranes than addressing any underlying causes.  A tea for the seeds will decrease inflammation in pharyngitis, tonsillitis, and various types of sore throat.  Two to three ounces of the infusion drunk every several hours decrease the irritability of the bladder and urethra membranes in painful urination.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jojoba
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail84.php

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_IJK.htm

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