On my latest Outback Queensland Adventure we drove nearly 3,500km and along the way I was blessed by the sights of Australia’s various flora & fauna.
One such plant, the imported Prickly Pear cactus, still seen in abundance particularly around the Chinchilla area, has a murderous history that caused many deaths to both man and animal.
In the early 1900’s, countless early settlers died, either from the poison being used in a futile attempt at killing more than 60 million acres of the invasive plant or from septicaemia contracted from the pear's bristles getting lodged in their skin. Some even died from snake bites of the death adders that lived at the base of the pear tree.
Many animals died from ingesting poisoned plants or from wounds caused from the thorny bush. Land owners simply abandoned their properties, as the once hopeful use of the land for grazing sheep & cattle had been left unworkable, by the strong and adaptive qualities of the cactus to the Australian harsh climate. It simply loved it here.
The biological insect control measures introduced before the Second World War were so successful, that the weed was totally eradicated from many Queensland & New South Wales areas. But some survive.
Yet as I drove by the prickly pear trees that lined the Warrego Highway, I didn’t think about its criminal past. My mind was drawn toward the possibility of a very lucrative future for this felon convict of a shrub.
It can take around 36hrs to extract the tiny black seeds from a ton of cactus fruit to make just 1lt of precious oil and the whole yearly season only lasts a few months. This combination is what makes prickly pear oil one of the most expensive beauty oils in the world and you will find it in Lantern’s Nourishing Serum.
The oil from the seeds of the prickly pear are being touted as the next miracle oil in natural skin care, as all skins can benefit from it. It’s the ultimate, do-it- all- facial oil.
Acclaimed British TV chef Nigella Lawson recently revealed she applies prickly pear seed oil to her face, hair and hands to maintain her flawless skin. Nigella called prickly pear seed oil 'face-saving magic'
Unblocking oil from pores & blemishes
Relieving dark circles under eyes
Increasing Elasticity & Collagen production
Decrease Dark Spots & Pigmentation
Reduces Redness & Dryness
At this time we rely on sustainable and organic oil coming from Morocco & Mexico.
Australian prickly pear has not been harvested for this purpose. Maybe my next project.