more on tamanu oil
Scientific name: Callohylum tacamahaca
Origin: Pacific Islands
Form: cold pressed whole oil
Parts: nuts / seed
Tamanu oil is an incredibly diverse folk remedy from tropical Southeast Asia and the South Pacific and highly prized by its native inhabitants. The Tamanu tree grows in a wide number of habitats, are large hardwoods, and have shiny and leathery leaves. Actually, the name Calophyllum is derived from the Greek and means “beautiful leaf”. The best oil comes from trees that grow along coastal areas favoring salty, sandy soil. The oil itself is a botanical oddity. When the fruits of the tree are hand-gathered and cracked open, the blond, odorless nut kernel inside contains no apparent oil. But when the kernel dries on a rack for a month or so, it turns a deep, chocolate brown, and becomes sticky with a rich oil. Using only a screw press, the oil is hand-squeezed from the dark kernels. This labor-intensive process yields very little oil—the amount of fruit that one tree produces annually makes just 5 kilograms of this unrefined, highly concentrated oil. The resulting oil of Tamanu is rich, dark green, and luxurious, and has a fragrance similar to butter pecan ice cream. Because it is extracted by cold press method, the oil retains all of its nutrients. For centuries, the Tamanu has provided protection from hot sun, high humidity and ocean wind to the natives of its shores as well as one of their most potent and diverse medicines. It has been used to heal chapped lips, scrapes, cuts, burns, insect bites and stings, acne and acne scars, psoriasis, eczema, sunburn, diaper rash, herpes sores, and more. It is also used as a skin oil by Polynesian women to promote healthy, clear, supple, and blemish-free skin. It’s no wonder that natives believed the Tamanu tree was a sacred gift of nature and that gods hid in its branches!