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Updated 18 February 2013

Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis)

Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) is a shrub native to deserts in Arizona, California and Mexico and is also found in some arid African countries. The oil (or liquid wax) in jojoba seeds contains extremely long (C36-C46) straight chain fatty acids in the form of wax esters, as opposed to triglycerides. It is this structure that allows it to be easily refined for use in cosmetics and as a carrier oil for fragrances. Jojoba meal, remaining after oil extraction, is rich in protein. In Japan, jojoba oil (wax) is used as a food additive.

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RELATED TERMS

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BACKGROUND

Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) is a shrub native to deserts in Arizona, California and Mexico and is also found in some arid African countries. The oil (or liquid wax) in jojoba seeds contains extremely long (C36-C46) straight chain fatty acids in the form of wax esters, as opposed to triglycerides. It is this structure that allows it to be easily refined for use in cosmetics and as a carrier oil for fragrances. Jojoba meal, remaining after oil extraction, is rich in protein. In Japan, jojoba oil (wax) is used as a food additive.

Jojoba oil is used most commonly as a carrier oil for topical application or aromatherapy. At this time, there are no high-quality human trials available supporting the efficacy of jojoba oil for any indication. Potential effects of jojoba oil include anti-inflammatory, cholesterol-reduction and mosquito-repellant effects.

EVIDENCE TABLE

Conditions

Uses
disclaimer: These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Grade*

Dementia

Jojoba oil is traditionally used as a carrier or massage oil. There is currently not enough available evidence to recommend for or against the use of jojoba oil for dementia.

C

Mosquito repellent

There is currently not enough available evidence to recommend for or against the use of jojoba oil as a mosquito repellent.

C

*Key to grades: A: Strong scientific evidence for this use; B: Good scientific evidence for this use; C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use; D: Fair scientific evidence against this use (it may not work); F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likely does not work).

TRADITION

The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below. Anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, appetite suppressant, cosmetic uses, food uses (additive), insecticidal, reflexology treatment, skin disorders (dry skin), topical (applied to the skin) drug delivery, weight loss, wound-healing.

DOSING

disclaimer: The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.

Adults (18 years and older)

There is no proven safe or effective dose for jojoba in adults. Avoid taking jojoba products by mouth.

Children (younger than 18 years)

There is no proven safe or effective dose for jojoba in children. Avoid taking jojoba products by mouth.

SAFETY

disclaimer: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

Allergies

Avoid in individuals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to jojoba or its constituents. Contact dermatitis to jojoba oil has been described in case reports.

Side Effects and Warnings

Side effects of jojoba are mainly limited to contact dermatitis and gastrointestinal concerns in animals fed large amounts of jojoba meal. Avoid oral consumption of jojoba products.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Jojoba is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack of available scientific evidence. Although not well studied in humans, ingesting jojoba meal may lower fetal and placental weights.

INTERACTIONS

disclaimer: Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

Interactions with Drugs

Jojoba liquid wax may have anti-inflammatory effects. Thus, caution is advised when taking jojoba with other anti-inflammatory agents.

Consumption of jojoba meal in combination with appetite suppressants may have additive effects.

Although not well studied in humans, jojoba oil may alter blood cholesterol levels. Caution is advised when combining with other cholesterol-lowering agents.

A South African commercial oil containing coconut, jojoba and rapeseed oils has shown ability to act as a mosquito repellant for humans. Thus, use of jojoba oil in combination with other mosquito repellants may have additive effects.

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

Jojoba liquid wax may have anti-inflammatory effects. Thus, cautioun is advised when taking jojoba with other anti-inflammatory herbs or supplements.

Although not well studied in humans, jojoba oil may alter blood cholesterol levels. Caution is advised when combining with other cholesterol-lowering herbs or supplements, such as red yeast rice.

Consumption of jojoba meal in combination with appetite suppressant herbs or supplements may have additive effects.

Jojoba oil is commonly used as a carrier oil in aromatherapy. Combinations with other carrier oils, such as almond and apricot, with the essential oils from lavender, marjoram, eucalyptus, rosemary and peppermint, may offer clinical benefits.

A South African commercial oil containing coconut, jojoba and rapeseed oils has shown ability to act as a mosquito repellant. Thus, use of jojoba oil in combination with other mosquito repellant herbs may have additive effects.

ATTRIBUTION

This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).

  • Bahgat MM, Maghraby AS, Heiba ME, et al. Synthesis of new 4-oxo-2-thioxo-1,2,3,4-tetrahydropyrimidine derivatives with an incorporated thiazolidinone moiety and testing their possible serine protease and cercarial elastase inhibitory effects with a possible prospective to block penetration of Schistosoma mansoni cercariae into the mice skin. Arch Pharm Res 2005;28(9):1002-1012. View abstract
  • Bahgat M, Shalaby NM, Ruppel A, et al. Humoral and cellular immune responses induced in mice by purified iridoid mixture that inhibits penetration of Schistosoma mansoni cercariae upon topical treatment of mice tails. J Egypt.Soc Parasitol. 2005;35(2):597-613. View abstract
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  • El Laithy HM, El Shaboury KM. The development of Cutina lipogels and gel microemulsion for topical administration of fluconazole. AAPS.PharmSciTech. 2002;3(4):E35. View abstract
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  • Hsu S. Green tea and the skin. J Am Acad.Dermatol 2005;52(6):1049-1059. View abstract
  • Kalscheuer R, Stoveken T, Luftmann H, et al. Neutral lipid biosynthesis in engineered Escherichia coli: jojoba oil-like wax esters and fatty acid butyl esters. Appl Environ.Microbiol. 2006;72(2):1373-1379. View abstract
  • Kim MJ, Nam ES, Paik SI. [The effects of aromatherapy on pain, depression, and life satisfaction of arthritis patients]. Taehan Kanho.Hakhoe.Chi 2005;35(1):186-194. View abstract
  • Kohara H, Miyauchi T, Suehiro Y, et al. Combined modality treatment of aromatherapy, footsoak, and reflexology relieves fatigue in patients with cancer. J Palliat.Med 2004;7(6):791-796. View abstract
  • Lee SY. [The effect of lavender aromatherapy on cognitive function, emotion, and aggressive behavior of elderly with dementia]. Taehan Kanho.Hakhoe.Chi 2005;35(2):303-312. View abstract
  • Leon F, Van Boven M, de Witte P, et al. Isolation and identification of molecular species of phosphatidylcholine and lysophosphatidylcholine from jojoba seed meal (Simmondsia chinensis). J Agric.Food Chem 3-10-2004;52(5):1207-1211. View abstract
  • Lievens S, Flo G, Decuypere E, et al. Simmondsin: effects on meal patterns and choice behavior in rats. Physiol Behav. 2003;78(4-5):669-677. View abstract
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  • Van Boven M, Laga M, Leonard S, et al. Mechanism of simmondsin decomposition during sodium hydroxide treatment. J Agric.Food Chem 2-26-2003;51(5):1260-1264. View abstract
disclaimer: Natural Standard Bottom Line Monograph, Copyright © 2011 (www.naturalstandard.com). Commercial distribution prohibited. This monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. You should consult with a qualified healthcare provider before making decisions about therapies and/or health conditions. disclaimer: While some complementary and alternative techniques have been studied scientifically, high-quality data regarding safety, effectiveness, and mechanism of action are limited or controversial for most therapies. Whenever possible, it is recommended that practitioners be licensed by a recognized professional organization that adheres to clearly published standards. In addition, before starting a new technique or engaging a practitioner, it is recommended that patients speak with their primary healthcare provider(s). Potential benefits, risks (including financial costs), and alternatives should be carefully considered. The below monograph is designed to provide historical background and an overview of clinically-oriented research, and neither advocates for or against the use of a particular therapy. disclaimer: The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)



Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)
 
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