Native Americans extracted the oil from jojoba seeds to treat sores and wounds. The collection and processing of the seed from naturally occurring stands marked the beginning of jojoba domestication in the early 1970s.
In 1943, natural resources of the U.S, including jojoba oil, were used during war as additives to motor oil, transmission oil and differential gear oil. Machine guns were lubricated and maintained with jojoba.
Unrefined jojoba oil appears as a clear golden liquid at room temperature with a slightly nutty odor. Refined jojoba oil is colorless and odorless. The melting point of jojoba oil is approximately 10 °C and the iodine value is approximately 80. Jojoba oil is relatively shelf-stable when compared with other vegetable oils mainly because it does not contain triglycerides, unlike most other vegetable oils such as grape seed oil and coconut oil. It has an oxidative stability index of approximately 60, which means that it is more shelf-stable than safflower oil, canola oil, almond oil or squalene but less than castor oil and coconut oil.
Physical properties of jojoba oil
||1.4650 at 25 °C
||0.863 at 25 °C
||48 cSt at 99 °C
127 cSt at 37.8 °C
Fatty Acids present in jojoba oil
||Carbon atoms:double bonds
||double bond positions
||Percentage (mole fraction)
The fatty acid content of Jojoba oil can vary significantly depending on the soil and climate in which the plant is grown, as well as when it is harvested and how the oil is processed. In general it contains a high proportion of mono-unsaturated fatty acids, primarily 11-eicosenoic acid (Gondoic acid).
Jojoba oil is used as a replacement for whale oil and its derivatives, such as cetyl alcohol. The ban on importing whale oil to the U.S. in 1971 led to the discovery that jojoba oil is "in many regards superior to sperm whale oil for applications in the cosmetics and other industries."
Jojoba oil is found as an additive in many cosmetic products, especially those marketed as being made from natural ingredients. In particular, such products commonly containing jojoba are lotions and moisturizers, hair shampoos and conditioners. The pure oil itself may also be used on skin, hair, or cuticles.
Jojoba oil is a fungicide, and can be used for controlling mildew.
Like olestra, jojoba oil is edible but non-caloric and non-digestible, meaning the oil will pass through the intestines unchanged and can cause a stool condition calledsteatorrhea.
Jojoba biodiesel has been explored as a cheap, sustainable fuel that can serve as a substitute for petroleum diesel.