Has anyone ever heard of it, or tried some?
The Miskito Indians of Honduras have a secret that has helped them become known as the Tawira, or "the people of beautiful hair." It's Batana, a rich nut oil harvested from the Ojon Tree, found deep in the Honduran rainforest.
The oil, which has the consistency of a thick paste, has been used for more than five centuries to encourage hair to grow thick and shiny. It's also used to prevent hair from falling out or turning grey.
In Honduras, the oil is sold in stores by the Mopawi La Mosquitia Development Agency. The oil has also been made into a shampoo by the Honduran natural beauty company, Helixe.
Batana Oil has been all but impossible to find outside of Honduras, until now. A Canadian hair care company, the Ojon Corporation, has formed to bring products made from the rare oil to the masses.
Company owner Denis Simioni traveled to Honduras to learn more about the precious oil and how it's used. What he found was that a single Ojon tree produces approximately 8,000 nuts in a year, enough to supply just three cups of pure oil. The Miskito Indians coat their hair in the oil and leave it in all day to condition and protect their hair from the sun's unforgiving rays.
To harvest the oil, Miskito Indians first pick the ripe nuts from the Ojon Trees and allow them to dry in the sun. They then simmer the nuts in boiling water to soften the outer shell. After the outer shells are removed, the nuts are cracked by hand and the kernels are cooked over a fire to extract the oil. As the oil cools, it thickens and eventually becomes a paste ready to condition the hair.
The result of Simioni's research is the Ojon Restorative Hair Treatment. After obtaining the pure oil from Central America, Simioni ships it to a small village in Italy where the oil is purified and preserved.
To use, the company recommends warming the paste between your hands before applying to dry hair and leaving it on for as long as possible before rinsing out. It can also be used as a styling pomade to add texture and shine.