Local Nigerian Oil – Atili

As you may well know, I get really excited about discovering natural local products.

Last Christmas, my sister gifted me with some oil that she had bought in Jos, Plateau state. It is called Atili oil and is regarded as the local Olive Oil. It is a greenish oil and as thick as castor oil.


It is derived from this fruit here which looks and tastes similar to pear called Ube (the local pear).  

The major difference I think is that where the Ube’s seed is smooth, the Atili’s seed is fluted.  The fruit is boiled or otherwise softened with hot water and then the pulp is eaten.  It is from this pulp that Atili oil is derived.

Unfortunately the greenish color isn't properly captured here

There is limited research done on it (which is frustrating) but here is what I was able to garner.

It is used

  •     in frying food and has been found to be more nutritious and flavorful than ordinary cooking Oil
  •     as an ointment for healing wounds

It contains pigments, moisture, trace elements [metal], pro-vitamins, vitamins, naturally occurring antioxidants and enzymes which would make it a valuable addition to facial and skin creams. The antioxidants in the oil make it an ideal addition in anti-aging facial creams. It also makes a good protector from the elements and pollution because it is a free radical scavenger.

It would also make a good addition to oil based hair care products.

Atili Oil is a stable oil and thus has a long shelf life. 


African Journal of Biotechnology Vol. 6 (20), pp. 2319-2323, 18 October 2007. Antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of Canarium schweinfurthii Engl. Essential oil from Central African Republic. 

Pakistan Journal of Nutrition 7 (1): 27-30, 2008. Quality Characteristics of Crude and Refined Atili Oils. 

25 thoughts on “Local Nigerian Oil – Atili

  1. Obi

    Oooooooooooooooooooooooo I remember eating those mini pears. Very tasty if you’re not into too much sweets. Nice to know they are multi functional.

  2. Omozo

    Well done NN! Great article. I heard about this oil last year too and found little research especially concerning hair. Contacted IITA and asked but did not hear back. We have so much resources that we can use here in Naija and sadly it seems like such a major chore to get things going. We are only “dusting” not even scratching the surface. Again, great work!

  3. lil

    You simply amaze me NN. This is truly a good discovery, I wont be surprise if our ” ube” can also be used the way we use avocado. I mean extracting the oil after boiling it :-)

    1. Natural Nigerian

      Post author

      Yes it is my own picture. It is the oil that my sister bought me. The local women press it out of the pulp of the Atili after it has been softened by boiling it or dunking in hot water.

  4. Sophia M

    I am surprised you guys are just discovering this oil- it is very good but for some reason, expensive as well- I always buy it in bulk and use it whenever I am in Jos. For the skin and hair, I use shea butter though

  5. Nigerian Movies

    Very good and interesting article the Local Nigerian Oil. The oil has been around for some time now, it is locally made and cheap to extract, This is an article worth spreading to the people of Nigeria.

  6. hava

    Awww! Wot a Luvly Blog! I’m an atili junkie #proudly! It tastes great and atili oil is even more awsome. Its scent is heavenly and that flavour. It really is magical wot it does too food, especially if your big on spicy stuff.


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