Hazels (Corylus Avellana) are shrubs and small trees, native to Europe and Western Asia. It is about 12′ to 15′ tall, having simple, rounded leaves with double-serrate margins. The flowersin hazel plant are produced very early in spring, before the leaves, which are monoecious with single-sex wind-pollinated catkins. The fruit is a nut, produced in clusters of one to five together, each nut held in a short leafy involucre (‘husk’) which encloses about three quarters of the nut. A form of edible oil known as ‘hazel nut oil’ is extracted from these nuts which is widely used for culinary as well as medicinal purposes. Hazelnut plants are commercially cultivated in the orchards of Europe, Turkey, Iran and Caucasus.
An extensively popular nut oil ‘Hazelnut Oil’ is a superb organic essential oil extracted from hazel nuts by the process of cold or expeller pressing. Since it is one of the expensive oils, it is not easily available in the market. Turkey is one of the major exporters of hazel nut oil. Being a rich source of vitamins, minerals, proteins, oleic & linoleic acids, it contains innumerable medicinal properties.
It is also used in various cooking applications including salad dressings and baked goods. Since it contains higher concentration of saturated fats, it is not the best nut oil for deep-frying.
Often termed as a well balanced nutritional diet, hazelnut oil is rich in protein and unsaturated fats. It contains considerable amount of thiamine and Vitamin B6, as well as smaller amounts of other B vitamins. It is widely used in preparing: Chocolates, Bakery products & confectionery items, Mixed nuts Cookies, Ice-creams, Salads Coffee and Home cooking
Since innumerable, pure essential oils have been widely used for their medicinal properties. A power house of nutrients and proteins, hazelnut oil helps in protecting many diseases. It is a panacea tonic for skin. This essential oil penetrates the skin quickly and helps in maintaining firmness and elasticity. It has a mildly astringent action, and thus is a base oil of choice for oily skin or skin with acne.
It is a wonderful gardening plant and widely used for decorative purposes. Hazelnut plant is suitable for difficult and dry sites. Besides obtaining its edible fruits, it is also cultivated for garden fencing and hedging purposes. The plant is an important component of the hedgerows that were the traditional field boundaries in lowland England.