Where are the coffee lovers? Most of you are probably yearning for the enchanting aroma of a freshly brewed cup of coffee to kickstart your day, and this is not a surprise. Did you know that coffee is one of the most traded and consumed beverages, up there with the likes of water? It is estimated that Americans consume nearly 600 million cups of coffee on a daily basis – and this number continues to grow (see figure 1). Although there are different varieties of coffee to choose from, the coffee in your cup is most likely either Coffea canephora (Robusta) or Coffea arabica L. (Arabica) – the latter being more superior and popular. It’s, therefore, intruding to find out that Coffea arabica extract oil (aka coffee essential oil) has numerous therapeutic benefits. Read on to find out what we’re talking about.
Figure 1. Coffee consumption in the U.S (Source: Statista)
What is Coffea Arabica Seed Oil?
Coffea arabica is an evergreen plant that flourishes in regions characterized by high-altitude and warm weather. It is a member of the Rubiaceae plant family and a native to tropical Africa. There is actually an old theory which claims that coffee was discovered by an Ethiopian herder after his goats ate coffee berries. The animals gained an unusual jolt of energy, and the rest is history.
Arabica coffee is beloved all over the globe due to its refreshing aroma and smoothness. But have you ever wondered what gives coffee its distinctive aroma? Well, the answer to this question is also the compound responsible for a wide range of health benefits you probably didn’t know about.
Coffea arabica extract oil is derived from green coffee beans as a by-product of the booming coffee industry. This essential oil is characterized by the same uplifting, warm, and rich scent we have all come to crave in the morning. Courtesy of a growing pool of scientific research, it's emerging that coffee essential oil from unroasted coffee beans offers a plethora of health benefits. But before diving into the therapeutic potential of coffea arabica seed oil, it is better first to understand how it is extracted.
There are different techniques for making coffee essential oil. They include solvent extraction, CO2 extraction, or a cold-pressed distillation process of green coffee beans. Each of these processes results in the extraction of the syrupy oil we will discuss in this article. Although most people prefer to buy processed coffee essential oil, it also possible to prepare it at home. All you need is some cheesecloth, strainer, mason jar, crockpot, olive oil, and the most important item, green coffee beans.
6 Health Benefits of Coffee Extract Oil
The media and scientific popularity of coffee essential oil has grown significantly in recent years. In addition to the financial benefits of the $100 billion industry, it appears that coffea arabica extract is packed with potent active ingredients that have promising therapeutic potential. The list of health benefits ranges from boosting our appetite, clearing age spots, to protecting us against chronic diseases. As attractive as this might sound on paper, is there credible scientific data to support these claims? Below are 7 health benefits of coffee arabica seed oil:
- Improves Skin Health
Most of the popularity and media attention that coffee essential oil is attracting is due to its application in the cosmetic industry. The coffea arabica extract contains high amounts of fatty acids, sterols, and vitamin E. These active compounds are associated with a wide range of benefits to your skin. They include protection from damaging free radical activity, DNA degeneration, and sunburn.
According to a study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, coffea arabica seed oil promotes the production of elastin and collagen. These two compounds are associated with increasing the flexibility and firmness of skin – essential for reducing wrinkles. The study also found out that the topical application of the coffee extract leads to a high expression of glycosaminoglycans and aquaglyceroporins-3 (AQP-3). These two proteins improve skin hydration and reduce the loss of moisture.
There are other studies that provide similar findings, including a double-blind, controlled clinical trial appearing in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology. According to this study, Coffea arabica L. seed oil significantly improves the appearance of texture, redness, firmness, and wrinkles on your skin.
- Protection Against Allergic Reactions
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI) estimated that 5.6% (4.1 million), 10.6% (7.8 million), and 12% (8.8 million) people reported food, respiratory, and skin allergies respectively in 2012 alone. Fortunately, research shows that coffea arabica extract oil can reduce the strain on the immune system and help manage your body’s allergic response. Topical application of the essential oil also helps decrease swelling and pain from insect bites and stings. So next time you’re on the wrong end of a bee or wasp, consider applying coffea arabica seed oil to soothe your skin.
- Pain and Inflammation
According to a study by Spanish researchers, unroasted coffee has an “anti-inflammatory and anti-angiogenic compound with potential use in antitumoral therapies.” Therefore, topical application of coffea arabica seed oil can provide relief for aching joints and sore muscles. It helps increase blood flow and loosen muscles in the affected – speeding the healing process. Some studies also claim that green coffee oil has antioxidants that reduce oxidative stress and improve circulation in the body. This might help prevent or manage chronic diseases and infections.
- Digestive Health
If you are struggling with gastrointestinal issues such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), nausea, and constipation, there is an alternative natural remedy to pharmaceutical medications. A study in the Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology claimed that coffee promotes colonic motor activity, gallbladder contractions, and gastro-oesophagal reflux. However, it is essential to note that there are other conflicting studies – further research is needed. Other gastrointestinal benefits of coffea arabica seed oil include its impact on the limbic system and ability to increase your appetite.
- Respiratory Health
Do you suffer from chest and nasal congestion? Inhaling coffee essential oil could help clear your stuffy nose and promote improved respiratory functions. Potent anti-inflammatory compounds in the oil prevent infections in the respiratory tracts and soothe inflammations associated with the flu, cold, and cough.
- Anti-Depressant Properties
Do you ever feel relaxed and content when your smell coffee in the morning? Well, this is because the invigorating fragrance of coffea arabica extract oil is an efficient way to uplift your mood. Aside from combating depression and anxiety, coffee essential oil also improves your ability to focus.
Does Coffee Essential Oil have Side Effects?
Although coffea arabica seed oil is generally safe, there are a few precautions that you should consider before its use. For example, some people have allergic reactions to coffee essential oil. Ingestion or topical application of the oil may lead to digestive distress or skin irritation, respectively. Additionally, children, pregnant, and breastfeeding women are advised against the use of coffea arabica extract oil. For safety purposes, it is highly recommended that you consult your doctor before using alternative treatments, including essential oils.
How to Use Coffea Arabica Extract Oil
If you are one of the billions of coffee lovers in the world, you might be interested in exploring the therapeutic benefits of your favorite beverage. In that case, you need to know how to use coffea arabica seed oil. Below are a few suggestions depending on the desired outcome:
- Skincare Products – Creams, shampoos, facial masks, lipsticks, body lotions, skin lotions, and a variety of other beauty products to boost skin health.
- Bath and Massage Products: Soaps, massage oils, and similar bath products to provide joint and muscle relief.
- Aromatherapy – Diffusers, scents, facial steaming, and candles to uplift your mood and boost your concentration.
Featured Image: Gerson Cifuentes Via Unsplash
Article Image 1: Nathan Dumlao Via Unsplash