Ximenia trees (Ximenia American) are a family of semi-deciduous shrubs scattered around various low-altitude and grassland regions of Africa.
The shrubs were originally named after the 17th century Spanish monk Franciso Ximenez, and are affectionately known as the ‘wild plum’ or ‘monkey plum’ tree. Typically, the shrubs grow to a height of 6m, and with an untidy open crown.
The glossy dark reddish-brown fruit consists of white spots, and are plum-like in size – usually growing to a length of up to 30mm. Cutting open the fruit reveals a tasty and edible pale orange pulp, and a single soft-cream coloured large seed that is rich on oil.
The seed of the Ximenia fruit is cold pressed to produce a yellow unrefined oil, with properties and benefits to the beauty and personal care industry. These include:
- High content of mono-saturated fatty acids and presence of oleic acid, which makes the oil non-drying and stable to oxidation
- Improves functionality of the sebaceous glands, which naturally secrete the sebum that lubricates skin and hair
- Soothes and nourishes dry skin and acts as a softening hair conditioner
- Effective on skin dis-orders, including acne, eczema, rough spots, scares and blemishes