Have you ever hear of the mongongo oil? I didn’t. Do you know how to use mongongo oil? As far as I read, it is most commonly used in the beauty industry for skin and hair, but it can also be used for cooking. It is considered that the mongongo oil can replace argan and coconut oils and it’s very in at the moment. So, I have decided to learn more about this interestingly-named oil and fruit which people say to have many key attributes.

The mongongo tree is a large and spreading tree, in the areas of South-Africa, which can reach up to 15-20 meters tall. It is associated with the Kalahari sand type of soil and it is found in sand dunes or wooded hills. The leaves of mongongo have an interesting form: the shape of a hand. The wood is pale yellow while its flowers are yellow and occur in slender, loose sprays. The mongongo tree can deal with temperatures from -5 to 40 Celsius degrees.

Traditional uses

Did you know that the San bushmen tribe use the mongongo fruit as a part of their main diet but also use it as oil to rub it on their bodies, to protect against the desert environment and to moisture the skin?

The fruit of this tree has many names: mongongo fruit, mongongo nut, manketti nut or nongongo. The fruit is “egg-shaped, velvety fruits ripen and fall between March and May each year, and contain a thin layer of edible flesh around a thick, hard, pitted shell. Inside this shell is a highly nutritious nut.” (Wikipedia)

The mongongo or manketti oil is obtained by cold-pressing the mongongo nuts. Compared to the avocado, jojoba, mango, olive and almond oil, which are filled with monosaturated fats, this one is comprised of almost 50% polyunsaturated fats. The big value if the mongongo in not in the fruit, but the seed. After collecting the fruit, the hard shell can be broken and the result is a creamy yellow nut-meat which is highly nutritious, especially when eaten raw. It is also delicious if it is roasted.



For 100 grams of mongongo shelled nuts, there are:

  • 43 grams polyunsaturated fats (linoleic acid)
  • 17 grams saturated fats (palmitic and stearic)
  • 18 grams monounsaturated (oleic)
  • 25 grams protein
  • 193 mg of calcium, 527 mg magnesium, 3.7 mg iron, 2.8 mg copper, 4 mg zinc, 0.3 mg thiamine, 0.2 mg riboflavin, 0.3 mg nicotinic acid
  • 565mg of vitamin E
  • only the flesh contains about 15 mg vitamin C

How To Use Mongongo Oil

When talking about how to use mongongo oil, Africans know the best way. It has been used for many, many years, for natural skin care.  Due to its high levels of unsaturated fatty acids, vitamin E, Omega 6 and beta-carotene, the mongongo oil can activate cell regeneration thus leading to a smoother and hydrated skin. If used continually, it is said to be very efficient as an anti-aging product, reducing wrinkles and preventing new ones from forming. We all want this, right?

The mongongo oil is light yellow with green shades, it is thick and dense and has an interesting nutty smell. It is well known as the “hair oil” and has many beauty benefits. It is a great oil for body massage and can be used alone for this task or it can be mixed with other lotions or oils. It repairs, softens and moisturizes damaged and mature skin and can be used as an intense night treatment for skin. Because it is go great for skin, it also helps fight acne, it heals and recovers skin elasticity.


Mongongo Oil / Manketti Oil: Anti Aging, Anti Wrinkle, Heal Scars and Improve Elasticity

“Mongongo Oil is a wonderful skin healer, in addition to its anti-aging and anti-wrinkle properties it may also be effective in eliminating blemishes, healing scars, reducing inflammation, redness, and pigmentation from sun damage and improving the elasticity of the skin.”

Another great fact regarding how to use mongongo oil is that it’s a wonderful natural hair care product, being especially great as a conditioner since it protects hair against UV and pollution damages and also those caused by blow dryers, flat or curling irons, and other styling products. The mongongo oil is one of the best oils when it comes to helping hair grow beautiful and strong. 

Mop Top Mongongo Oil

“This product has the versatility to act as a styler or a finisher while adding moisture, smoothing fly­aways and frizzies, and can be used as a sealer after styling. This product does not have thermal protection and should not be used for flat ironing. Ideal for cocktailing with leave-­ins, custards, or gels to hydrate, regenerate, and restructure hair. ” 

Shea Moisture Mongongo & Hemp Seed Oils High Porosity Moisture – Seal Masque

“Shea Moisture Mongongo & Hemp Seed Oils High Porosity Moisture – Seal Masque deeply conditions to transform highly porous, over-processed hair. Enriched with ultra-hydrating Mongongo and Hemp Seed Oils together with certified organic Shea Butter and fortifying Baobab Protein to create a protective cushion over damaged hair fibers that strengthens and improves elasticity, while helping hair hold essential moisture. Irish Moss helps condition hair and enhance shine.”

Fushi Manketti Seed Organic Oil 100ml Extra Virgin, Biodynamic Harvested Cold Pressed


Maybe the greatest benefit for hair is the high content of linoleic and oleic acids because these two make up the backbone of natural oils and sebum. It is great to be used as a conditioner due to the fact that it hydrates, regenerates and restructures the hair and scalp.

The mongongo oil helps reducing inflammation and is great at repairing cells. Knowing how to use mongongo oil represents a great chance for you to treat your dry, frizzy and split hair and to get over dandruff and an itching scalp.

Shea Moisture Mongongo & Hemp Seed Oils High Porosity Moisture-Seal Elixir

“SheaMoisture Mongongo & Hemp Seed Oils High Porosity Moisture-Seal Elixir controls frizz, seals in moisture and boosts shine. Enriched with ultra-rich Mongongo and Hemp Seed Oils and blended with certified organic Shea Butter and fortifying Baobab Protein to leave highly porous hair smooth and lustrous. Irish Moss helps condition hair and enhance shine.”

I hope I’ve convinced you that this unique and natural African oil is a must on your beauty list and is one product relatively new on the market. That’s why you should try it and see how it works with your skin and hair. I seriously hope it brings visible improvements to hair since I plan on buying one. After being valued for centuries in Africa, it’s time to gain value in the rest of the world.

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Source: pixabay.com

By | 2017-06-13T20:32:18+02:00 January 28th, 2016|Beauty|

About the Author:

Always an optimist. ♥ to travel, the sun, the sound of waves colliding, the smell of old books, unusual bright colors, reading in bed, black & white photography and vintage decorations. Hate mediocrity.