Linaloe Oil from the di Guerrero, Puebla and Morelos Regions

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Linaloe oil is the essential oil of the fruit from the native linaloe (Bursera linanoe) tree. In the regions of Guerrero, Puebla and Morelos it is known as esencia de Madera, esencia de linaloe or esencia de olinale. Linaloe oil is said to have medicinal properties. It is known as being sedative, anticonvulsant, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antifungal and antibacterial. Both the oil and its wood are used to add flavor to breads, cold dishes and pastries. The oil has fruity and citrusy characteristics that make it ideal for use in deserts and drinks. It is not recommended for use in hot dishes, where it tends to quickly lose its flavor and scent.The historic area of production is located in an important stretch of the Mexican Pacific coast, in the states of Puebla, Morelos, Colima, Michoacan, Guerrero, Chiapas and Oaxaca. The native tree was named Xochicopalli or Copalquahuitl in Mesoamerica. The name Linaloe was given by the Spanish, who were trying to associate it with other aromatic spices and to the aloe plants brought to Europe from Asia. In addition to its culinary uses, linaloe resin is also used as incense and the oil is also used in cosmetics. The tree’s wood is famous in the area for its usage in carved boxes and handicrafts.Linaloe oil is prepared by a group of producers of medicinal plants and aromatic oils in Guerrero dedicated to the extraction of the oil through traditional methods. These methods prevent the demolition of linaloe trees by producing the oil from the fruit harvest, instead of from the wood. The oil is made in limited quantities since the population of the tree species has significantly decreased. However, there are several self-managed and ongoing government projects aiming to create protocols for the more environmentally sustainable oil production methods. Photo: C. Bonfil

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