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Botanical Name ;Simmondsia chinensis
Family :Simmondsiaceae – Jojoba family
Genus : Simmondsia Nutt. – goatnut
Species: Simmondsia chinensis (Link) C.K. Schneid. – jojoba
Kingdom :Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom :Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class:Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Simmondsia chinensis (Link) C.K. Schneid.
BUCH Buxus chinensis Link
SICA14 Simmondsia californica Nutt.
Common Names: Jajoba, goat nut, deer nut, pignut, wild hazel, quinine nut, coffeeberry, and gray box bush.(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)
Habitat : Jajoba is native to areas of northern Mexico, Lower California, on the Islands off the coast of California, New Mexico, and Arizona. It inhabits the mountains bordering the Salton Sea basin in the Colorado Desert in California, and the southern portion of San Diego County. In Arizona, it is found in the mountains around Tucson, near Phoenix, and north of Yuma. In nature, it grows between 600 and 1500 m elevation in the desert, down to sea level near the coast, between latitudes 25° and 31° N. There is a major effort underway in the U.S., Mexico, and Israel to domesticate jojoba. There are reports that it has been planted in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Egypt, Haiti, Israel, Paraguay, Rhodesia, the Sahel, and South Africa for example. The Israeli examples are bearing fruit. We are anxious to hear more success stories. There seems to be no major difficulty in growing the plant in frost free, arid, subtropical, and tropical zones, but not many success stories have materialized.
Ranging from Warm Temperate Desert (with little or no frost) to Thorn through Tropical Desert Forest Life Zones, jojoba is reported to tolerate annual precipitation of 2 to 11 dm, annual temperature of 16 to 26°C, and pH of 7.3 to 8.2 (Duke, 1978). Jojoba is usually restricted to well-drained, coarse, well-aerated desert soils that are neutral to alkaline, with an abundance of phosphorus. It grows best where the annual rainfall exceeds 30 cm, but does exist where less than 12.5 cm occurs. Where rainfall is ca 75 mm, the jojoba grows to ca 1 m tall, where rainfall is 250–400 mm, it may attain 5 m. It tolerates full sun and temperatures ranging from 0° to 47°C. Mature shrubs tolerate temperatures as low as -10°C, but seedlings are sensitive to light frosts just below freezing.
Jajoba 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.
Jajoba 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
Jojoba seeds retain nearly 99% germinability after 6 months, and 38% after 11 years stored in an open shed. Germination is good in alkaline sands at temperatures of 27°–38°C. Seedlings are frost sensitive. Field seeding can be done with a modified cotton planter. Seedlings need two or three irrigations during the first summer and must be protected from animals. Weeding is recommended after each irrigation. Adventitious roots may form on 50–80% of the cuttings treated with growth promoting substances. Plants could start producing seeds in 5 years, but full production would not be attained for 8 to 10 years. Using a 2 x 4 m spacing in planting would permit the planting of about 500 female and 50 male pollinating plants per hectare. Apomictic plants are known, lessening the need for male non-fruiting plants in the orchard. Suggested methods for planting include: Close spacing, ca 15 cm apart, resulting in hedge rows, with the seeds planted in flat borders or in a slightly depressed ditch so as to keep them moist until they germinate (ca 10–14 days). Male plants should be thinned out to about a 5–1 ratio, finally allowing about 2,500 plants per hectare, with possible annual yields of 2.5 MT/ha seed. Propagation by cuttings from selected shrubs could increase seed and/or oil yields. Generally flowering nodes and leaf nodes alternate, but some plants flower at nearly all nodes; some plants produce more than one flower per node. Transplanted seedlings survive readily, if the roots are pruned. Hence, cuttings could be made in a nursery for later transplanting in the field. The more efficient spacing for this method of planting is in rows 4 m apart, and the bushes in the rows 2 m apart. Male bushes should be interspersed throughout the grove (about 1,500 female and 250 male plants per hectare), possibly yielding ca 2.75 MT/ha seed. When softwood cuttings were treated with IBA, 4 mg/g of talc, they rooted 100% in 38 days.
The seed contains liquid wax rather than oil, sort of unusual for the conventional analyses. Verbiscar and Banigan (1978) approximated a proximate analysis, some of which follows: per 100 g, the seed is reported to contain 4.3–4.6 g H2O, 14.9–15.1 g protein, 50.2–53.8 g fat, 24.6–29.1 g total carbohydrate, 3.5–4.2 g fiber, and 1.4–1.6 g ash. Seeds contain 2.25–2.34%, seed hulls, 0.19%. Core wood, 0.45; leaves, 0.19–0.23%; twigs, 0.63–0.75%; an inflorescence, 0.22%; simmondsin, a demonstrated appetite depressant, toxicant. Three related cyanomethylenecyclohexyl glucosides have also been isolated from the seed meal. The acute oral LD50 for crude jojoba oil to male albino rats is higher than 21.5 ml/kg body weight. Strains of Lactobacillus acidophilus can ameliorate this toxicity. The amino acid composition of deoiled jojoba seed meal is 1.05–1.11% lysine, 0.49% histidine, 1.6–1.8% arginine, 2.2–3.1% aspartic acid, 1.1–1.2% threonine, 1.0–1.1% serine, 2.4–2.8% glutamic acid, 1.0–1.1% proline, 1.4–1.5% glycine, 0.8–1.0% alanine, 1.1–1.2% valine, 0.2% methionine, 0.8–0.9% isoleucine, 1.5–1.6% leucine, 1.0% tyrosine, 0.9–1.1% phenyalanine, 0.5–0.8% cystine and cysteine, and 0.5–0.6% tryptophane. Detailed analyses of the wax esters, free alcohols, free acids, are reported in NAS (1975). Per 100 g jojoba meal, there is 1.4 g lysine, 0.6 g histidine, 1.9 g arginine, 2.6 aspartic acid, 1.3 threonine, 1.3 serine, 3.2 glutamic acid, 1.5 proline, 2.4 glycine, 1.1 alanine, 0.6 cystine, 1.5 valine, 0.1 methionine, 0.9 isoleucine, 1.8 leucine, 1.1 tyrosine, and 1.2 g phenylalanine. The two major flavonoid constituents of the leaves are isorhamnetin 3-rutinoside (narcissin) and isorhamnetin 3,7-dirhamnoside.
Seeds were said to be palatable and were eaten raw or parched by Indians. Recent studies suggest they are toxic. They may also be boiled to make a well-flavored drink similar to coffee, hence the name coffeberry.
This shrub is first mentioned in the literature by the Mexican historian Francisco J. Clavijero in 1789, who noted that the Indians of Baja California highly prized the fruit for food and the oil as a medicine for cancer and kidney disorders. Indians in Mexico use the oil as a hair restorer. According to Hartwell (1967–1971), the oil was used in folk remedies for cancer. Reported to be emetic, jojoba is a folk remedy for cancer, colds, dysuria, eyes, head, obesity, parturition, poison ivy, sores, sorethroat, warts, and wounds. Seri Indians applied jojoba to head sores and aching eyes. They drank jojoba-ade for colds and to facilitate parturition.
The leaves are good tea for chronic mucus-membrane inflammation, ranging from chronic colitis,vagnitis and hemorrhoids to stomach and esophageal ulcers.In Mxico it has been widly used as a floke medicine for asthma and emphysema, but it is a more matter of adding the injured pulmonary membranes than addressing any underline causes.A tea for the seeds will decrease inflamation in phryngitis,tonsillitis and various types sore throat.Two to three ounces of the infusion drunk every several hours decreas the irretability of bladder and urithra membranes and painful urination.
Simmondsia is unique among plants in that its seeds contain an oil which is a liquid wax. Oil of Simmondsia is obtained by expression or solvent extraction. It is light yellow, unsaturated, of unusual stability, remarkably pure, and need not be refined for use as a transformer oil or as a lubricant for high-speed machinery or machines operating at high temperatures. The oil does not become rancid, is not damaged by repeated heating to temperatures over 295°C or by heating to 370°C for four days; the color is dispelled by heating for a short time at 285°C, does not change in viscosity appreciably at high temperatures, and requires little refining to obtain maximum purity. Since Simmondsia Oil resembles sperm whale oil both in composition and properties, it should serve as a replacement for the applications of that oil. The CMR (Nov. 28, 1983) reports that a new oil from the fish known as orange roughy is “attempting to make inroads on the jojoba and sperm whale markets.” Jojoba oil can be easily hydrogenated into a hard white wax, with a melting point of about 73°–74°C, and is second in hardness only to carnauba wax. The oil is a potential source of both saturated and unsaturated long-chain fatty acids and alcohols. It is also suitable for sulfurization to produce lubricating oil and a rubber-like material (factice) suitable for use in printing ink and linoleum. The residual meal from expression or extraction contains 30–35% protein and is acceptable as a livestock food.It is an important browse plant in California and Arizona, the foliage and young twigs being relished by cattle, goats and deer, hence the name goatnut.
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.
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