If you’re familiar with Indian cooking/medicine, you may have heard of the vegetable ridge gourd. But have you heard of ridge gourd oil?
Ridge gourd oil is the oil extracted from ridge gourd, a green fleshy fruit with tough skin grown across India. While the fruit, skin, and seeds can be incorporated into diets to treat a range of health conditions, it’s more commonly used in Western culture as an oil for nourishing the hair and skin due to it being rich in antioxidants, acids, and vitamins.
For all you need to know about ridge gourd oil, look no further than this article. We’ll be discussing how ridge gourd oil is made, its popular uses and benefits, the appearance/scent of this little-known carrier oil as well as storage tips to keep it lasting as long as possible.
What is ridge gourd oil made from?
Ridge gourd oil is extracted from the seeds of the ridge gourd fruit which is grown on a tropical vine in India. This is usually carried out by cold-pressing, to ensure that the oil contains as many of the vitamins and nutrients from the fruit as possible.
It is generally dark and cloudy prior to filtration, and then becomes clearer once it’s been filtered and left to settle.
Uses for ridge gourd oil
There are many uses for ridge gourd oil, primarily for the hair and skin.
Ridge gourd oil is known for it’s moisturizing and nourishing benefits when it comes to keeping hair looking vibrant and healthly, plus it may even help to reduce the apeparance of grey hairs by restoring pigment cells in hair follicles.
When used on the skin, it’s thought to make the skin feel more supple and smooth. It contains vitamins A and C which can help to reduce hyperpigmentation, plus the oleic acids within the oil can help to maintain the elasticity of the skin, thereby preventing signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles.
Ridge gourd oil is also thought to be antimicrobial and detoxifying, and may help to purify certain allergens.
Benefits of ridge gourd oil
Here are some of the key benefits of ridge gourd oil that you may not be aware of:
- May help prevent premature greying
- Helps to resotre pigment in hair to maintain natural color
- Can help soothe a dry scalp
- May promote healthy hair growth
- Can help to maintain skin elasticity
- Mild scent/unscented
- Moisturizing and hydrating
- Natural cleansing agent
- May offer antibacterial and antifungal properties
- Can be used alone, with carrier oils or with essential oils for other beauty applications
Appearance and scent of ridge gourd oil
Ridge gourd oil is generally pale yellow in colour, and is clearer the longer it is left to settle after filtration.
It has little to no scent which may be appealing for those who prefer they oils to be unfragranced. If mixed with other products it may have a different scent, particularly if it is refined as scents may be added in the refinement process.
Substitutes for ridge gourd oil
Ridge gourd oil is very unuque, particularly in its ability to restore the natural pignment in hair.
However, if you’re looking for a carrier oil that offers similar moisturizing benefits (particularly for the hair), here are some of our favorites:
- Coconut oil
- Argan oil
- Grapeseed oil
- Jojoba oil
- Baobab oil
Take a look at these popular carrier oils to see what other oils you could use as an alternative to ridge gourd oil.
Shelf life and storage for ridge gourd oil
Ridge gourd oil has a shelf life of up to 1 year, when stored correctly in a cool, dark area away from direct sunlight.
It’s recommended that you keep ridge gourd oil in the fridge upon opening to increase the longevity of its shelf life.
Take a look at the below frequently asked questions to learn more about ridge gourd oil and its benefits!
Ridge gourd oil is thought to restore pigment cells in hair follicles, which can reduce the appearance of grey hair. If used regularly, it may also prevent premature graying.
It’s also known for stimulating roots of hairs in the scalp to promote hair growth and prevent hair from turning white.
The best way to use ridge gourd oil for your hair is to massage a few drops into the scalp and leave it to do its magic overnight. This allows the oil to penetrate the hair and scalp, properly accessing the pigment cells within your hair follicles.
You’ll then need to wash out the oil using a gentle shampoo the following morning. Your hair should feel vibrant, conditioned and nourished, and grey hairs may even have diminished somewhat.
Ridge gourd oil is good for maintaining your natural hair color and keeping your hair nourished and healthy.
It is also good for the skin, thought to aid skin elasticity and promote moisture in the skin.
Ridge gourd oil is generally considered to have more benefits than disadvantages, however, there are some that you should be aware of.
It can cause allergic reactions particularly if used internally, and may cause skin irritation or reactions if you’re not used to this kind of oil product. It’s worth carrying out a small patch test prior to using, and consult with a dermatologist/medical physician if you have sensitive skin/allergies.
Ridge gourd oil is rich in antioxidants, oleic acids, linoleic acid, stearic acid, and vitamins A, C, B6, B, and E.
These ingredients make it a highly moisturizing carrier oil, helping to maintain skin elasticity, balance oil production, help reduce the signs of aging, and reduce inflammation.
Ridge gourd oil has also demonstrated antimicrobial properties, and can act as a purifier against particular allergens.