The Tamanu Tree has been known by many names in the Pacific Ocean islands. In Vanuatu, the tree is also known as “Nabagura”. In Fiji, it is called “Dilo” or “Dolno”, “Ati” in Tahiti, “Fetau” in Samoa, “Funa” in the Maldives and “Kamani” in Hawaii. True Tamanu tree is usually covered in rough grey bark while its leaves are large, stiff and glossy. Small, sweet-smelling white flowers are produced twice yearly. These clusters of flowers give green fruit which is the Tamanu nut. From this the Tamanu Oil is then extracted by cold-pressing and filtration.
Professor Lederer in 1953 ascertained that the oil contain calophyllic acid, three types of lipid and antibiotic lactone. Other studies have revealed that Tamanu oil contain glycerides, terpenic essences, coumarins, benzoic acid, saturated fatty acids , phosho-aminolipids and small amounts of vitamin F (Maria, 2016).
True Tamanu seed oil is rich and deep-green colored with strong aroma, like the ones in a tropical forest. Stay-away from the cheap black-colored or yellowish-colored oil. Black Tamanu oil are made as the nuts have been burned to speed up the production process which diminishes the healing properties. Yellow Tamanu oil is diluted by cheap oliver oils or other carrier oils. 100% pure Tamanu oil is expensive. Do you know how much Tamanu nuts are needed to obtain the oil? It takes 100 kilograms of Tamanu nuts, the annual yield of one Tamanu tree, to produce just less than 5 kilograms of cold pressed oil. Natives believed the Tamanu tree was a sacred gift of nature and that gods hid in its branches.
Here are some scientific studies about the benefits of this sacred gift of nature.
Benefits of Tamanu Seed Oil for Our Skin
The lactone component in Tamanu seed oil, through the process of cicatrisation, helps stimulate the formation of new tissues (Kilham, 2004). Thus, accelerates wound healing and growth of healthy skin. The curative properties have also been applied in the cure of thrombosed hermorrhoids, psoriasis, diabetic sores, eczema frostbites and anal fissures. The oil is also used on babies to prevent diaper rash and to restore scaly or dry skin, even in removing wrinkles in anti-aging cosmetics, leaving the skin looking silky soft (Dweck & Meadows, 2002).
Antibacterial phytochemicals in the nuts such as friedelin, inophynone, canophyllo and canophyllique acid, exert antimicrobial action against the microbes that cause diseases like: boils, conjunctivitis, abscesses and suppuration. The phytochemicals stimulate phagocytic cells to take antibiotic action against the bacteria which manifest as skin infections, for example, acne, psoriasis and eczema.
The calophylollide, xanthones compounds and coumarin in the Tamanu oil act as anti-inflammatory agents, they influence the production of histamine, thus reduce the inflammatory response to common triggers like insect bites. A research conducted by students from Meijo University in Japan also indicate that Tamanu oil contain compounds that prevent skin Tumour production. Tamanu oil was used among Polynesians to cure sore throats topically. (Tsai, Liang, Chiang, & Liu, 2012)
The antioxidant property of Tamanu seed oil caused it to be used as a natural sun screen against harsh UV rays of the sun. Xanthones and coumarin components of Tamanu oil hinder lipid peroxidation, thus prevent premature aging, smooth wrinkles and fade stretch marks. It is also suitable in soothing and treating sun burns.
Treat Troublesome Dry Skin
The saturated fatty acids in Tamanu seed oil revitalizes and restores dry skin through reconstructing epidermal lipids. The oil, though thick, has high absorption rate into the skin thereby leaving no sticky substance on the surface (Beausoleil & Lehman, 2001).
The Tamanu oil is hypoallergenic (non irritant, non sensitizing) Dermscan in France, April 2007 – study DN-730/07E0398
These reasons are why the natives said the Tamanu nut is the sacred gift of nature. The Tamanu seed oil is a natural skin solution, the healing hero that will leave your skin looking and feeling silky, soft and smooth.
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Beausoleil, & Lehman. ( 2001). Test product to improve the appearance of scars.
Dweck, A., & Meadows, T. (2002). Tamanu(Calophyllum inophyllum)- the Afriacn, Asian, Polynesian and Pacific Panancea.
Kilham, C. (2004). Tamanu Oil: A Tropical Topical Remedy. American Botanical Council.
Maria. (2016, April 17). Tamanu Oil Benefits Skin Like No Other Oil | The Best Organic Skin Care. Retrieved July 19, 2017, from ww.thebestorganicskincare.com
Tsai, S. C., Liang, Y. H., Chiang, J. H., & Liu, F. ,. (2012). Anti-inflammatory effects of Calophyllum inophyllum L. in RAW264.7 cells. Oncology, 1096 -1102.