The Edgar Cayce readings recommended peanut oil primarily for external purposes, although internal use was sometimes mentioned as well. Massage using peanut oil was recommended in hundreds of readings, both by itself and in combination with other oils such as olive oil.
Some readings commented on the benefits of peanut oil for the skin and underlying tissues. In general it was regarded as a food for the skin which supplies energies to the body. In this case and that of another woman suffering from low vitality, weakness and poor circulation, Cayce found that the massage would supply needed energies to the body. Other benefits included improvement of the circulation and relief of tension.
The readings specified that only "pure peanut oil" be used, implying that the quality of the oil is probably as important to the skin's surface as it would be internally. Crude, unrefined oils are rich in nutrients which are at least partially lost in processing, including chlorophyll, lecithin, vitamin E, carotenoids (pro-vitamin A), and various trace minerals. Highly processed oils are first extracted at high heat and then subjected them to washing, bleaching and deodorization. Since vitamin E, a natural preservative, is no longer present in the "purified" products, they are then typically injected with artificial preservatives such as BHA, BHT and propylgallate, giving them a shelf life at least twice as long as that of the natural oils. Unfortunately, the term "cold pressed" is virtually meaningless since all oils reach at least 130-150?F while being pressed. However, the method of extraction by pressing is superior to extraction by solvents such as hexane, which tend to leave a residue.
An additional surmise is that the best peanut oil to use should be extracted from high quality peanuts. In the typical peanut production process, the edible two-thirds of a given crop is graded as U.S. #1. The remaining third, known as crusher stock, is used to make peanut oil. Our peanut oil, however, is expeller pressed from #1 edible peanuts.