Skin Quenching Cactus Fruits
October 18th, 2011
Many have been spared extreme dehydration in desert sun by the life-giving waters of cactus plants like the ominous Saguaro. Yet we often think of the prickly painful thorns when cactus comes to mind. I once made the regrettable choice of plucking a prickly pear fruit from its gorgeous barrel-shaped plant on a hiking trip through New Mexico’s Sonorran Desert. The thorns are deceptively thin, so I wasn’t prepared for the endless hours of removing those hair-like protrusions from my sore hands. The lovely crimson colored fruit lured me into a trap in the hot midday Southwest sun.
Cactus offers a powerful anti-oxidant compound called Betalains, so rare it’s found only in a limited selection of vegetables and the juice of cactus fruit. Betalains provide a unique abundance of this free-radical inhibitor. Your skin is protected from environmental toxins when you indulge in cactus juice both internally and topically.
When applied to skin cactus juice actually builds resistance against free radicals perpetually floating in the midst. The elixir of this divine thorny plant is a natural energy booster that reduces cholesterol levels and detoxifies the body. Your desert fruit companion boasts anti-aging properties with the rich hydration to soak your skin throughout.
Nopal Cactus Fruit (Prickly Pear)
Found in the arid Mexican Sonorran Desert, this fruit alone packs a hefty 24 Betalains for supporting your skin’s protective barrier against sun and environmental damage. It offers all the energy enhancing benefits of other cactus juice varieties for optimal health.
In Mexico and Puerto Rico you will find spas that pamper the skin with relaxing nopal cactus massages. After carefully removing the thorns, the nopal leaves are soaked in heated water. Once they are split in half, the jelly-laden inner flesh is applied to the skin surface for a gentle invigorating moisture-rich massage known as a Hakali treatment.
A close relative of aloe, a member of the cactus family, is used in skin care to soothe the epidermis after sun exposure easily cooling deep sunburn. The gel of this plant brings deep lasting hydration to skin and the body in general in the most arid climates.
Cactus juice has been suggested for diabetics to lower glucose levels when ingested as a dietary supplement. The plants have the ability to harmlessly absorb radiation and are recommended to keep close to radiation emitting computers to repel damage for those of us who regularly work in the tech world. One piece of advice was to apply a mask of cactus gel to skin before you browse the internet to protect your skin while in front of the computer.
Who would’ve thought gazing at a 200 year-old Saguaro cactus, absorbing some 3000 liters of water in 10 days, that these marvelous ancient thorny plants would serve such modern purpose. Whether or not the computer tech world’s use of cactus to combat radiation damage is effective may be debatable, but the ultra hydrating benefits of cactus are undeniable.