Rapeseed Oil - Carrier Oil
Brassica napus, Brassica campestris
From the Latin (napus) and Greek word for turnip. brassica is the latin name for cabbage, while campestris means of the fields.
The Plant and its Environment
The plant has intense yellow flowers which are so remarkable a feature of the British countryside in early summer. It grows to a height of about 1.5 metres (5 feet): produced in China in great quantity.
Method of Extraction
The seeds contain 35-40% oil, and after extraction the exhausted seeds are used as cattle fodder.
Mono- polyunsaturated fats account for about 90% of this oil.
Energy value Kcal/100 ml 897
The storage properties of rapeseed oil are not good.
only a highly refined oil is available and therefore there are no significant therapeutic properties.
Rapeseed oil has no particular merit for either aromatherapy or cosmetic purposes.
The oil is used commercially in food production and is also used to a small extent in the home. It is not a stable oil for frying and so is best used in salad dressings, but suffers the disadvantage that it has no taste or flavour.
A proportion of rapeseed oil is treated and used to lubricate farm machinery.
This oil is not edible. Canola oil - processed rape seed oil - may contain erucic acid, a highly toxic substance which is known to cause heart damage and cancer ( Anon 1997) High erucic (acid) rapeseed oil contains 50% erucic acid, but oils for human consumption have been genetically modified so that the plants contain little or no erucic acid ( Steir 1990): used in additives for the plastics industry, antifoaming agents, detergents (Bruneton 1995)
Reference: Carrier Oils For Aromatherapy and Massage: Len Price with Ian Smith & Shirley Price