Trichilia emetica is a hardwood tree and grows up to 30m in height and it is common in tropical Africa across eastern, western and southern African countries. The seed of Trichilia emetica yieldst two types of oil: “Mafura oil’ from the fleshly seed envelope (Sarcotesta) and ‘Mafura butter’ from the kennel.
Trichilia emetica has a high content of palmitic and oleic acids and laboratory experiments have found it to have good skin permeation enhancing properties, along with anti-oxidant properties. The oil is rich in essential fatty acids providing revitalising and nourishing properties for the skin and hair. It is used on the skin to nourish and revitalise as well as to condition the hair and the butter is also used medicinally to treat rheumatism and heal wounds.
Trichilia emetica seed oil has commercial usage in the cosmetics, pharmaceutical and agro-chemical industries in Asia, Europe, United States, South Africa, India and China.