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Karanja Oil: What should you know about this vegetable oil?

Karanja Oil: What should you know about this vegetable oil?

Karanja oil deserves to be known. This vegetable oil, obtained from the seeds of the Karanja or Pongamia glabra is intended for various uses. What are its benefits for the skin and hair? What are its active components? How to use it? What are the contraindications? Find all the answers in the following.

What is Karanja Oil?

Karanja oil is extracted through cold pressing of the seeds from this shrub that grows in India, as well as in certain regions of Africa. The Pongamia glabra thrives in tropical and subtropical regions, and can withstand drought. It adorns itself with white flowers that yield stone fruits after 11 months. These fruits account for 75% of the fruit's weight and contain up to 35% oil. All parts of the Karanja are used in Ayurvedic pharmacopoeia as remedies for skin diseases. Today, its oil is included in the formulation of numerous skin and hair care products due to its content of Pongamol and Karanjin.

What are the properties of Karanja oil?

Having adapted to a warm climate, the Pongamia glabra knows how to combat dehydration. This characteristic is found in its oil. This is due to its richness in monounsaturated fatty acids. Indeed, Karanja oil is composed of 50% oleic acid, also known as omega 9, but that's not all. It also contains:

  • saturated fatty acids, including palmitic acid (12 to 14%) and stearic acid (11 to 13%);

  • approximately 20% polyunsaturated fatty acids, namely linoleic acid (omega 6) and linolenic acid (omega 3).

Karanjin and Pongamol, these unsaponifiable flavonoids, respectively represent 2 to 3% and 0.4 to 0.7% of the active ingredients in this vegetable oil.

What are its benefits for the skin and hair?

Due to its richness in omega 6 and omega 9, Karanja oil is valued for its emollient and softening properties. It makes the skin supple while preserving its hydration.

As an antioxidant flavonoid, pongamol found in this vegetable oil protects the skin against the effects of free radicals responsible for its premature aging. Along with Karanjin, this molecule absorbs some of the UV rays. As a result, Karanja oil enhances the effects of ultraviolet filters in sunscreens like our SPF30 dry skin sunscreen with aloe vera. These two flavonoids also give Karanja oil purifying and soothing virtues, making it an ally for acne-prone or blemish-prone skin. Indeed, Karanjin and Pongamol fight against Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus fumigatus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Staphylococcus aureus, fungi and bacteria that promote the appearance of skin infections.

This vegetable oil, extracted from Pongamia glabra nourishes the hair fiber deeply, thus making the hair shiny, easy to detangle and style. It is recommended for weakened, curly, or kinky hair.

Method of Use and Precautions for Use

Active, the Karanja vegetable oil must be diluted with another vegetable oil for topical use. Be sure to adhere to the maximum recommended dosages: 25% for body care and 85% for facial care.

Furthermore, Karanja oil may potentially cause allergies. A skin test is recommended before using it, as it could cause irritation or itching.

Karanja oil is contraindicated for children under the age of 6.


  • Documents fournisseur.

  • AHMAD S. & al. Synthesis, characterization, antibacterial and corrosion protective properties of epoxies, epoxy-polyols and epoxy-polyurethane coatings from linseed and Pongamia glabra seed oils. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules (2007).

  • THIRUMAKUDALU S. K. C. & al. Gastroprotective properties of karanjin from karanja (Pongamia pinnata) seeds; role as antioxidant and H, K-ATPase inhibitor. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (2011).

  • SAHIDIN I. & al. Medicinal uses, phytochemistry and pharmacology of Pongamia pinnata (L.) Pierre: A review. Journal of Ethnopharmacology (2013).

  • ANSM (Agence National de Sécurité du Médicament et des produits de santé). Produits de protection solaire contenant de l’huile de karanja (2017).

  • TU P. & al. Anti-inflammatory flavanones and favanols from the roots of Pongamia pinnata. Planta Medica (2018)

  • TIWARI G. J. & al. Role of nitric oxide-scavenging activity of Karanjin and Pongapin in the treatment of psoriasis. BioTech (2018).

  • TU P. & al. Anti-inflammatory isoflavones and isoflavanones from the roots of Pongamia pinnata (L.) Pierre. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters (2018).

  • GOVINDARAJU K. & al. Synthesis, characterization and anti-inflammatory properties of karanjin (Pongamia pinnata seed) and its derivatives. Bioorganic Chemistry (2020).

  • RANGAN L. & al. Karanjin. Phytochemistry (2021).


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