Moringa oil is extracted from the seeds of Moringa oleifera, also known as the Drumstick tree. Moringa oil has got a special name, it is Ben oil. It is called so because it has high amounts of behenic acid. Moringa oil has been mentioned as a very useful oil in the medicinal books of Greece and Rome. Even today, this oil is used for a number of industrial applications. It is great for topical use on the skin and the hair. It is also a nice cooking oil with a soft, appealing taste.
Moringa oil is extracted by pressing the seeds of Moringa oleifera. This tree is native to the Himalayan foothills. This tree grows long pods which contain seeds. It is quite nutritious. The nutrition of moringa leaves is even superior to the highly nutritious vegetables like spinach. Its seeds are also quite nutritious as they contain high levels of B vitamins and Vitamin C. The oil can be extracted either by cold pressed method, or by solvent extraction . In olden times, it was extracted using hand pressing.
There are many varieties of Moringa oil, depending on the variety of Moringa tree from which the oil is extracted. Oil taken from different locations has slight differences in nutrition and properties, like Jamaica, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Malawi and other parts of Africa. Other species in the genus Moringa are also used to make moringa oil, but they are not Ben oil. This is especially reserved for Moringa oleifera oil.