Camellia oil, also know as tea seed oil, is pressed from the seeds of Camellia oleifera or Camellia sinensis in China and Camellia japonica in Japan. It has a very light texture, with very little odor or taste. It has been produced for centuries in both countries.
A quick wipe with camellia oil on your gardening tools will prevent rust and reduce friction. American woodworkers have been using it on their tools for decades, while Japanese woodworkers have for hundreds of years. Its thin consistency and edible quality make it an ideal choice for maintaining gardening tools.
For as long as the Japanese have used camellia oil as a lubricant, the Chinese have used it as a cooking oil. It is the primary cooking oil in southern China and has been approved by the USDA for distribution as a cooking oil in the U.S. It has a very high smoking point and almost no flavor, making it an excellent oil for stir frying. Its light consistency works well as a salad oil, too.
Japanese camellia oil is widely used in skin and hair care products. Many can be found on the market, or it can be purchased in its pure state and used in home-made products at a recommended rate of 2 to 10 percent by volume. It is said to provide relief for dry, chapped skin, sun damage to skin and dry, brittle hair.