Other Name(s):

Buxus chinensis, Deernut, Goatnut, Huile de Jojoba, Jojoba Oil, Pignut, Simmondsia californica, Simmondsia chinensis.


Jojoba is a shrub that is grows in dry regions of northern Mexico and the southwestern US. Jojoba oil and wax are produced from the seeds and used for medicine.

Jojoba is applied directly to the skin for acne, psoriasis, sunburn, and chapped skin. It is also used topically to encourage the regrowth of hair in people who are balding.

In manufacturing, jojoba is used as an ingredient in shampoo; lipstick; makeup; cleansing products; and in face, hand, and body lotions.

How does it work?

Jojoba, when applied to the skin, is an emollient, which soothes skin and unclogs hair follicles. There is an interest in using jojoba for balding because some people think that unclogged hair follicles are more likely to produce new hair.


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Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Alzheimer’s disease. Early research suggests that massaging the hand with jojoba oil does not improve emotions, aggression, or mental function in people with Alzheimer's disease.
  • Mosquito repellant. Early research suggests that applying a specific product containing jojoba oil, coconut oil, rapeseed oil, and vitamin E (Three Bio-skincare) to the skin might be effective as a mosquito repellant, with effects lasting for at least 3 hours after application.
  • Acne.
  • Psoriasis.
  • Sunburn.
  • Chapped skin.
  • Hair loss.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of jojoba for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Side Effects

Jojoba is LIKELY SAFE for most people when applied to the skin. It can cause some side effects such as rash and allergic reactions.

Jojoba is LIKELY UNSAFE for anyone when taken by mouth. Jojoba contains a chemical called erucic acid, which can cause serious side effects such as heart damage.


Next to red peppers, you can get the most vitamin C from ________________. See Answer

Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Applying jojoba to the skin during pregnancy and breast-feeding is LIKELY SAFE. But it is LIKELY UNSAFE to take jojoba by mouth.


The appropriate dose of jojoba depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for jojoba. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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Arnouts, S., Buyse, J., Cokelaere, M. M., and Decuypere, E. Jojoba meal (Simmondsia chinensis) in the diet of broiler breeder pullets: physiological and endocrinological effects. Poult.Sci 1993;72(9):1714-1721. View abstract.

Booth, A. N., Elliger, C. A., and Waiss, A. C., Jr. Isolation of a toxic factor from jojoba meal. Life Sci 9-15-1974;15(6):1115-1120. View abstract.

Bream, A. S., Ghoneim, K. S., Tanani, M. A., and Nassar, M. I. Respiratory metabolic responsiveness during the pupal stage of the red palm weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) to certain plant extracts. Meded.Rijksuniv.Gent Fak.Landbouwkd.Toegep.Biol Wet. 2001;66(2a):491-502. View abstract.

Clarke, J. A. and Yermanos, D. M. Effects of ingestion of jojoba oil on blood cholesterol levels and lipoprotein patterns in New Zealand white rabbits. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 10-30-1981;102(4):1409-1415. View abstract.

Cokelaere, M., Daenens, P., Decuypere, E., Flo, G., Kuhn, E., Van Boven, M., and Vermaut, S. Reproductive performance of rats treated with defatted jojoba meal or simmondsin before or during gestation. Food Chem Toxicol 1998;36(1):13-19. View abstract.

Di Berardino, L., Di Berardino, F., Castelli, A., and Della, Torre F. A case of contact dermatitis from jojoba. Contact Dermatitis 2006;55(1):57-58. View abstract.

Flo, G., Van Boven, M., Vermaut, S., Daenens, P., Decuypere, E., and Cokelaere, M. The vagus nerve is involved in the anorexigenic effect of simmondsin in the rat. Appetite 2000;34(2):147-151. View abstract.

Habashy, R. R., Abdel-Naim, A. B., Khalifa, A. E., and Al Azizi, M. M. Anti-inflammatory effects of jojoba liquid wax in experimental models. Pharmacol Res 2005;51(2):95-105. View abstract.

Hantus, S., Pauly, M., Darvill, A. G., Albersheim, P., and York, W. S. Structural characterization of novel L-galactose-containing oligosaccharide subunits of jojoba seed xyloglucans. Carbohydr Res 10-28-1997;304(1):11-20. View abstract.

Huang, A. H., Moreau, R. A., and Liu, K. D. Development and Properties of a Wax Ester Hydrolase in the Cotyledons of Jojoba Seedlings. Plant Physiol 1978;61(3):339-341. View abstract.

Johnson, R. and Storey, R. Aminopeptidase Activity from Germinated Jojoba Cotyledons. Plant Physiol 1985;79(3):641-645. View abstract.

Kalscheuer, R., Stoveken, T., Luftmann, H., Malkus, U., Reichelt, R., and Steinbuchel, A. Neutral lipid biosynthesis in engineered Escherichia coli: jojoba oil-like wax esters and fatty acid butyl esters. Appl Environ.Microbiol. 2006;72(2):1373-1379. View abstract.

Kornienko, A., Marnera, G., and d'Alarcao, M. Synthesis of a jojoba bean disaccharide. Carbohydr Res 1998;310(1-2):141-144. View abstract.

Lardizabal, K. D., Metz, J. G., Sakamoto, T., Hutton, W. C., Pollard, M. R., and Lassner, M. W. Purification of a jojoba embryo wax synthase, cloning of its cDNA, and production of high levels of wax in seeds of transgenic arabidopsis. Plant Physiol 2000;122(3):645-655. View abstract.

Lassner, M. W., Lardizabal, K., and Metz, J. G. A jojoba beta-Ketoacyl-CoA synthase cDNA complements the canola fatty acid elongation mutation in transgenic plants. Plant Cell 1996;8(2):281-292. View abstract.

Lein, S., Van Boven, M., Holser, R., Decuypere, E., Flo, G., Lievens, S., and Cokelaere, M. Simultaneous determination of carbohydrates and simmondsins in jojoba seed meal (Simmondsia chinensis) by gas chromatography. J Chromatogr A 11-22-2002;977(2):257-264. View abstract.

Leon, F., Van Boven, M., de Witte, P., Busson, R., and Cokelaere, M. Isolation and identification of molecular species of phosphatidylcholine and lysophosphatidylcholine from jojoba seed meal (Simmondsia chinensis). J Agric.Food Chem 3-10-2004;52(5):1207-1211. View abstract.

Loreto, F. and Bongi, G. Combined Low Temperature-High Light Effects on Gas Exchange Properties of Jojoba Leaves. Plant Physiol 1989;91(4):1580-1585. View abstract.

Medina Juarez, L. A. and Trejo, Gonzalez A. [Elimination of toxic compounds, biological evaluation and partial characterization of the protein from jojoba meal (Simmondsia chinensis [Link] Schneider]. Arch Latinoam.Nutr 1989;39(4):576-590. View abstract.

Metz, J. G., Pollard, M. R., Anderson, L., Hayes, T. R., and Lassner, M. W. Purification of a jojoba embryo fatty acyl-coenzyme A reductase and expression of its cDNA in high erucic acid rapeseed. Plant Physiol 2000;122(3):635-644. View abstract.

Moreau, R. A. and Huang, A. H. Gluconeogenesis from Storage Wax in the Cotyledons of Jojoba Seedlings. Plant Physiol 1977;60(2):329-333. View abstract.

Perez-Gil, F., Sangines, G. L., Torreblanca, R. A., Grande, M. L., and Carranco, J. M. [Chemical composition and content of antiphysiological factors of jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) residual meal]. Arch Latinoam.Nutr 1989;39(4):591-600. View abstract.

Samac, D. and Storey, R. Proteolytic and Trypsin Inhibitor Activity in Germinating Jojoba Seeds (Simmondsia chinensis). Plant Physiol 1981;68(6):1339-1344. View abstract.

Shockey, J. M., Rajasekharan, R., and Kemp, J. D. Photoaffinity Labeling of Developing Jojoba Seed Microsomal Membranes with a Photoreactive Analog of Acyl-Coenzyme A (Acyl-CoA) (Identification of a Putative Acyl-CoA:Fatty Alcohol Acyltransferase. Plant Physiol 1995;107(1):155-160. View abstract.

Shrestha, M. K., Peri, I., Smirnoff, P., Birk, Y., and Golan-Goldhirsh, A. Jojoba seed meal proteins associated with proteolytic and protease inhibitory activities. J Agric.Food Chem 9-25-2002;50(20):5670-5675. View abstract.

Swezey, J. L., Nakamura, L. K., Abbott, T. P., and Peterson, R. E. Lactobacillus arizonensis sp. nov., isolated from jojoba meal. Int J Syst.Evol.Microbiol. 2000;50 Pt 5:1803-1809. View abstract.

Tada, A., Jin, Z. L., Sugimoto, N., Sato, K., Yamazaki, T., and Tanamoto, K. Analysis of the constituents in jojoba wax used as a food additive by LC/MS/MS. Shokuhin Eiseigaku Zasshi 2005;46(5):198-204. View abstract.

Van Boven, M., Holser, R., Cokelaere, M., Flo, G., and Decuypere, E. Gas chromatographic analysis of simmondsins and simmondsin ferulates in jojoba meal. J Agric.Food Chem 2000;48(9):4083-4086. View abstract.

Van Boven, M., Laga, M., Leonard, S., Busson, R., Holser, R., Decuypere, E., Flo, G., Lievens, S., and Cokelaere, M. Mechanism of simmondsin decomposition during sodium hydroxide treatment. J Agric.Food Chem 2-26-2003;51(5):1260-1264. View abstract.

Van Boven, M., Leyssen, T., Busson, R., Holser, R., Cokelaere, M., Flo, G., and Decuypere, E. Identification of 4,5-didemethyl-4-O-alpha-D-glucopyranosylsimmondsin and pinitol alpha-D-galactosides in jojoba seed meal (Simmondsia chinensis). J Agric.Food Chem 2001;49(9):4278-4283. View abstract.

Verbiscar, A. J., Banigan, T. F., Weber, C. W., Reid, B. L., Swingle, R. S., Trei, J. E., and Nelson, E. A. Detoxification of jojoba meal by lactobacilli. J Agric.Food Chem 1981;29(2):296-302. View abstract.

Verbiscar, A. J., Banigan, T. F., Weber, C. W., Reid, B. L., Trei, J. E., Nelson, E. A., Raffauf, R. F., and Kosersky, D. Detoxification of jojoba meal. J Agric.Food Chem 1980;28(3):571-578. View abstract.

Vermaut, S., De Coninck, K., Bruggeman, V., Onagbesan, O., Flo, G., Cokelaere, M., and Decuypere, E. Evaluation of jojoba meal as a potential supplement in the diet of broiler breeder females during laying. Br Poult.Sci 1999;40(2):284-291. View abstract.

Verschuren, P. M. Evaluation of jojoba oil as a low-energy fat. 1. A 4-week feeding study in rats. Food Chem Toxicol 1989;27(1):35-44. View abstract.

Wantke, F., Hemmer, W., Gotz, M., and Jarisch, R. Contact dermatitis from jojoba oil and myristyl lactate/maleated soybean oil. Contact Dermatitis 1996;34(1):71-72. View abstract.

Yaron, A., Samoiloff, V., and Benzioni, A. Absorption and distribution of orally administered jojoba wax in mice. Lipids 1982;17(3):169-171. View abstract.

Govere J, Durrheim DN, Baker L, et al. Efficacy of three insect repellents against the malaria vector Anopheles arabiensis. Med Vet Entomol 2000;14:441-4. View abstract.

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