The oil of civet has a world-wide appeal for being an amazing fragrant oil that is undoubtedly a part of the richest and priciest fragrance brands of the world. But rarely are people aware of the fact that this oil has medicinal and therapeutic qualities too.
Civets are nocturnal foragers that have semi-arboreal and arboreal habits. Arboreal means those animals that live in trees. These animals rest in a hollow tree, shallow burrow or a rock crevice during the day time. The methods of extracting the scent from the Civets differ. Few of the species passes the scent passively when moving. This happens when their glands rub vegetation. Few others pass the scent by squatting, rubbing or wiping the gland on the ground or on any object. The African civets are said to be the best among the species.
They are found with two-spotted palm. This type of Civets spend most their time in the forest canopy. African Civets generally rely on fruits, insects, small mammals, lizards and birds. The lifestyles of Civets are assisted by their hairless soles, sharp curved claws, partially fused toes that support climbing the trees. Few species of Civets are also said to swim and prey fish and few other amphibians.
Primarily nocturnal foragers with semiarboreal and arboreal habits, civets typically ambush their prey. During the day, civets usually rest in a hollow tree, rock crevice or empty, shallow burrow. They are solitary animals maintaining a wide home range (250 acres [101 ha]) by scent marking trees on the borders of their territory. The term “civet” is derived from an Arabic word describing the oily fluid and its odor secreted by the perineal glands. Scent marking is important in civet communication, but the method differs among species from passively passing the scent when moving about causing the gland to rub vegetation, to squatting and then wiping or rubbing the gland on the ground or some prominent object.
Civet oil has been used in the perfume industry for centuries and has been recorded as being imported from Africa by King Solomon in the tenth century B.C. Once refined, civet oil is prized for its odor and long lasting properties. Civet oil is also valued for its medicinal uses which include the -
- Reduction of perspiration
- A cure for some skin disorders
- Claims of aphrodisiac powers
Although the development of sensitive chemical substitutes has decreased the value of civet oil, it is still a part of some East African and Oriental economies.
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