Prickly Pear Cactus Seed Oil
What Is The Prickly Pear Cactus?
Otherwise known as Opuntia ficus-indica, the prickly pear is a species of cactus that has multiple amazing qualities. Their ability to grow in various climates, their numerous health benefits and incredible skin healing properties make prickly pear plants arguably the best cacti in the world! What’s more, similar to other cacti, the prickly pear cactus blooms once a year and its flowers and fruit are beautiful.
Where Does The Prickly Pear Cactus Grow?
Commercially grown prickly pear cacti are found in many countries around the world, although they are thought to have originated from Mexico and South America. They enjoy arid to semi-arid conditions, as they have adapted as succulent plants that can efficiently convert water into biomass.
Its ability to grow when there is a lack of water makes the prickly pear cactus a great choice for a house plant, especially if you err on the neglectful side. Moreover, even though the optimal climate is hot and sunny, the hardy plant can withstand cold temperatures as well!
Can You Eat Prickly Pear Cactus?
Now when you pick a pawpaw
Or a prickly pear
And you prick a raw paw
Next time beware
Don't pick the prickly pear by the paw
When you pick a pear
Try to use the claw
The prickly pear cactus may look inedible, but don’t let the spikes fool you! As long as you follow Baloo’s advice (from the Jungle Book), then you can eat the whole plant - stem, fruit, flower and all!
Otherwise known as the cactus fig, tuna, or just plain old pear, the prickly pear cactus fruit is very delicious - at least once the outer skin is removed. Their subtle and sweet flavor is comparable to watermelon and they have seeds too.
The seeds can be eaten along with the prickly pear fruit’s pulp, but they can also be removed and used to make beauty oil for skin care, such as KINDri’s Cactus & Lavender Illuminating Face Oil.
Prickly Pear Cactus Stem Segments/Pads (Nopales)
It’s not just the prickly pear cactus fruit that is edible. When picked young, the stem segments can be eaten raw or cooked in multiple dishes. They can even be used in drinks, including this Prickly Pear Cocktail, which uses both the nopales and fruit of the plant.
The texture of the prickly pear pad is similar to that of okra, with a slight sliminess. In comparison to the cactus’ tunas (fruit), they are usually treated more like a vegetable.
Prickly Pear Cactus Flowers
The prickly pear cactus doesn’t stop being edible with just its fruit and pads. This is a zero-waste warrior’s dream plant because you can use every last bit of it. The prickly pear cactus family has a variety of beautifully colored flowers to display and these can be used to add a splash of contrast to salads and other dishes.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Eating The Prickly Pear Cactus?
Where do we even begin? The juicy pulp of the fruit contains lots of antioxidants, which help fight against inflammation, slow down aging and protect against harmful environmental pollution. The pad’s flesh is high in dietary fiber, helping to promote a healthy microbiome and aiding digestion. The vitamin and mineral content of the prickly pear cactus is through the roof, including abundant vitamin E for a strong immune system and healthy eyes and skin.
In addition, the consumption of prickly pear cactus is touted for many other health benefits, such as regulating blood sugar, promoting healthy weight loss, improving energy levels, reducing cholesterol, defending against nerve damage, and easing intestinal problems.
What Benefits Does The Prickly Pear Cactus Have For Skin Care?
The prickly pear cactus is quickly taking first place as the new miracle ingredient for skin care. But it’s not just hype! The whole plant can be utilized for skin care products due to the high content of beneficial compounds, such as vitamins, minerals, linoleic acids, flavonoids, and antioxidants. However, it’s the prickly pear fruit’s seeds that are being hailed as the latest beauty phenomenon.