Sacha inchi, or Inca peanut, is a perennial plant of the spurge family and can grow about 2.5 m tall. The alternately arranged leaves are hairy, heart-shaped, and sawed at the edges. The leaves are shiny deep green and there may be smaller stipules at their base. The small, white male flowers develop before the female ones and are arranged in clusters. The female flowers develop at the base of the inflorescence shortly thereafter. Four to six-part, star-shaped capsule fruits are formed, which are green at first and change their color to brown or black when ripe. Each fruit segment contains a seed. The seeds are dark brown, oval, and about 2 cm in size.
The yellow sacha inchi oil is preferably obtained by cold pressing. With this gentle process, very high-quality oil is obtained. The oil can also be obtained by extraction with solvents such as hexane. However, this often requires strong heating, whereby compounds such as polyunsaturated fatty acids are destroyed. Another possibility of oil extraction is critical carbon dioxide extraction. Carbon is non-toxic and non-flammable and can easily be separated from the extract.
The oil has a very high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids as well as vitamin E, which ensures a healthy skin appearance. Dry, mature, and inflamed skin is optimally cared for and cracks in the upper skin layer are filled. The oil is also used for skin diseases such as psoriasis and neurodermatitis. Sacha Inchi oil helps with skin irritations and inflammations, increases skin elasticity, and has a cell-activating and regenerating effect. The low proportion of saturated fatty acids, as well as the linoleic acid it contains, make the oil a very light, non-film-forming oil that absorbs very quickly. Oily skin, therefore, also benefits from care with Sacha Inchi oil.
Sacha inchi oil is said to lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure after regular use. It has anti-inflammatory effects and helps with joint pain. In addition, it contains a lot of vitamin A and E, which can have a positive effects on vision.
In addition, the contained omega 3 fatty acid (α-linolenic acid) works strengthening on skin, hair and bones. Sacha inchi oil consists of up to 45 – 50% of α-linolenic acid, which is the initial substance of the eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid contained in fish oil. These have a positive effect on the cardiovascular system, inflammatory diseases and nervous disorders. Sacha inchi Oil can therefore be used as a more neutrally flavoured alternative to fish oil.
Sacha Inchi Oil is a rare and exclusive oil. It is therefore not available in drugstores or organic food stores. It ist mostly found in online shops.
If you want a 100% Sacha Inchi Oil, you have to take a closer look, since many products carry the name, but are mixed products.
As already mentioned you should prefer an oil that has been obtained by cold pressing. This method doesn’t require high temperatures and therefore no important nutrients and vitamins are lost during the production process.