Another amazing exotic remedy is gradually making its way into the Western mainstream, this time from the forests of faraway Polynesia and Southeast Asia.
Tamanu oil might be the perfect new addition to your natural apothecary. This amazing nut oil has a lot to offer as a natural remedy, and you’ll be pleased to learn that it’s not too expensive.
Read on to learn about all of the different ways you can use this rich healing oil.
Powerful anti-inflammatory compounds
Tamanu oil contains a number of rare anti-inflammatory substances including coumarins, calophyllolide and delta-tocotrienol. These powerful plant compounds serve to heal and soothe the tissues when the oil is applied directly to the skin.
Tamanu oil absorbs well into the skin and has a pleasant scent. It has the ability to transform dry, wrinkled and tired skin into soft, silky skin. It therefore makes an excellent additive to your everyday skincare regime or special anti-aging treatments. Scarring and stretch marks can also benefit from the application of tamanu oil.
Heals skin conditions
Besides maintaining the general condition of skin, tamanu oil is also a highly effective therapeutic agent for a multitude of skin problems. Medicinal plant experts hail tamanu oil as one of the best substances for stimulating the formation of new tissue.
Tamanu oil can help to treat injuries such as blisters, abrasions, burns, bites, stings and sunburn. The oil can also ease chronic conditions like acne, eczema, cold sores, psoriasis and shingles. Historic accounts even describe the healing of gangrene and leprosy with tamanu-infused bandages.
Inhibits tumor growth
There are few scientific studies on tamanu oil at present, but one team of Japanese researchers found that some of the chemicals in the oil serve to inhibit the growth of skin tumors.
Halts the growth of viruses
A study at a Canadian university discovered that tamanu oil contains compounds that can stop human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) from replicating.
Improves nerve conditions
The anti-inflammatory properties of tamanu oil can bring relief to painful conditions such as sciatica, neuritis and neuralgia.
Islanders have traditionally used tamanu oil to prevent body and foot odor. A compound in the oil called lactone has antibacterial properties. This could make the tropical oil a valuable ingredient in natural deodorant products, especially since it absorbs into the skin very easily.
Reduces joint and muscle pain
People suffering from rheumatism and arthritis can enjoy a massage with fragrant tamanu oil to relieve stiff muscles and joints.
Nontoxic treatment for babies and children
Since infants tend to experience skin reactions in the first few months of life, a good multipurpose healing cream goes a long way to provide relief. Many mainstream products contain toxic perfumes and hormone-disrupting chemicals. A simple mixture of tamanu oil and coconut oil will be all that is needed to relieve skin reactions or diaper rash.
The scrapes and bruises that older children get from nonstop games and adventures can also be treated with pure, natural tamanu oil.
How tamanu oil is made
This amazing remedy has been used for countless generations in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands. The oil is pressed from the large, pale nuts of the Calophyllum inophyllum tree, which are about the size of an apricot.
The oil does not appear right away when the nuts are harvested, but rather the nuts are left to dry in the sun for 30 to 60 days, after which a thick green oil begins to ooze from them. A simple traditional press is then used to harvest the oil.
Ensure your oil is high quality
To avoid buying low-grade tamanu oil, there are three guidelines to follow: the nuts should be hand-gathered, then naturally sun-dried, and the oil should be produced through cold-processing with a screw press.
The oil that results from this time-honored traditional process has a rich, dark-green hue and a pleasant scent.
Find some high-quality tamanu oil made the old-school way at your local health-food store or online. Try adding it to your homemade body and skincare products!
Liivi is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and is training to become a doula. She inspires women to find peace and personal power by taking control of health and fertility naturally. Liivi‘s passion is ancestral nutrition and primal lifestyle design. She and her partner Will live between Toronto, Canada and Queenstown, New Zealand.