Cranberries are deep red berries that grow on creeping shrubs or vines native to North America. Used by the American Indians for food, dye and medicinal purposes for centuries, the berry is now recognised as one of the healthiest foods on the planet because of its amazing array of phytonutrients. Cranberry Seed Oil (Vaccinium macrocarpon) however, is a newcomer to the market because until quite recently, the seeds from which it is made were considered waste products in the manufacture of cranberry juice.
Locked inside these tiny seeds is an equally amazing oil which is quite different from other edible oils. Cranberry Seed Oil has a unique balance of omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids and has been identified as the richest source of tocotrienols (the four different isomers of Vitamin E.) It is also high in tocopherols (the other four isomers of vitamin E) phytosterols, phospholipids, phenolic compounds and carotenoids, making it a very stable and highly antioxidant substance. Besides linoleic and linolenic acids, Cranberry Seed Oil contains eicosanoic acid, campesterol, stigmasterol and beta sitosterol. Cold pressed Cranberry Seed Oil has a golden to green colour with a faint sweet smell and fruity flavour.
Consumption of Cranberry Seed Oil is good for heart health, the immune system, enzyme signalling and nerve function as well as healthy cholesterol levels and for preventing chronic diseases like arthritis and cancer. The high antioxidant properties of Cranberry Seed Oil protect skin from free radical damage and act as natural preservatives. The unusual combination of omegas means that not only does Cranberry Seed Oil have exceptional absorption into the skin but it also means superior utilisation of Omega 3 by skin cells. It is the most unsaturated oil available and the most moisturising, helping to maintain and feed the skin’s lipid barrier and protect it from sun damage. It improves elasticity and counteracts dehydration, is anti-inflammatory and highly emollient. It is light and non-greasy and perfect for reducing the effects of aging by strengthening the skin. Cranberry Seed Oil is also highly beneficial for treating dry, damaged and weak hair.
Cranberry Seed Oil is available in supplement form as an alternative to fish oils for fibromyalgia sufferers and for joint, cardiovascular, heart and neurological health. Cranberry seed oil is nourishing and soothing for itchy, scaly, irritated skin conditions such as eczema, atopic dermatitis and psoriasis, used topically or taken internally in its supplement form. The high vitamin A component of Cranberry Seed Oil makes it a good choice for treating acne and blemished skin.
Although relatively new to the cosmetic world, Cranberry Seed Oil has been embraced with enthusiasm for its unique blend of fatty acids and its anti-inflammatory, moisturising and antioxidant capabilities. It is currently incorporated into a wide variety of products such as lip balms, creams, lotions, facial serums, anti-aging formulations, hair, nail and sun care preparations. It is also useful as a natural stabiliser to extend the shelf life of other ingredients that are more prone to oxidisation.