Wheat is a cereal plant, which originated in West Asia, but is now cultivated throughout the world. The wheat grain consists of three parts – the husk, the germ and the endosperm – and it is the germ that is used in the manufacture of oil. Although the germ only accounts for 3% of the wheat grains weight, it contains nearly 25% of the plants protein, vitamins and minerals.
When wheat is milled in order to produce white flour, the wheat germ is separated in the process. The oil is then extracted from the germ, though it is not possible to do this by cold press as this would only produce marginal amounts. The oil is therefore extracted by a process similar to maceration, with the wheat germ being mixed into a good quality, cold pressed oil (usually sunflower or soya), which the germ soaks up. The end product is then cold pressed, yielding a form of macerated oil, which contains one third wheat germ and two thirds base oil. Solvent and hot pressing extraction methods are also used.
Main therapeutic uses:
The oil’s emollient and antioxidant properties makes it a popular ingredient in a wide range of moisturising products for the body and face. It is said to be particularly good for dry skin, and may also help to relieve the symptoms of dermatitis. It is also believed that the oil can assist in healing scar tissue and stretch marks.
Myristic acid; palmitic acid; stearic acid; arachidic acid; lignoceric acid; palmitoleic acid; oleic acid; linoleum acid; linoleic acid;
- The oil is a rich, yellow orange colour, and has a relatively strong aroma.
- Those allergic to wheat flour should be tested for possible skin allergy before the oil is used.
- The Latin name for Wheat germ is Triticum vulgare ‘Triticum’ means to grind, which refers to the flour making process.
- Dilute 5-10% with other carrier oils.