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Beauty and Personal Care

The Incredible Story of Tamanu Oil

Tamanu oil is an incredible natural ingredient with a multitude of beneficial effects on skin and hair. This extract from the Calophyllum inophyllum tree also has a very long history.

Tamanu oil – called Foraha oil or Pacific green gold – is extracted from the fruit stone of the Calophyllum inophyllum tree. Note that the tree is also known as Tamanu. The specimen takes its name from the Latin and it means “beautiful leaf”. As a result, Tamanu nut extract can also be called beauty leaf oil.

Tamanu oil has been used for centuries in the traditional medicinal practices of the Pacific Islands. It is used to effectively soothe and eliminate various skin conditions, even infectious ones. This natural ingredient is used to treat scratches, cuts, burns, sunburn, blisters, scars, insect bites, dry skin, psoriasis, acne, eczema and wounds. Calophyllum inophyllum oil is traditionally used to treat body odour – especially foot odour – and nerve irritation.

Polynesian communities discovered the virtues of Tamanu by seeking to make new body tissues. Its stimulating properties promote circulation, and these qualities act to reduce the appearance of skin bruising and discoloration. The women of Polynesia then began to use Tamanu oil for therapeutic purposes and skin care. The product is also suitable for use on babies’ skin to prevent potential skin rashes and conditions in infants.

Tamanu oil in the rest of the world

In the early 1900s, the French discovered Tamanu oil. They then conducted scientific research on the curative and regenerative properties of the extract. These studies established that this Polynesian essential oil has beneficial qualities for treating pain. The natural ingredient can also be used to soothe conditions such as leprosy. In other parts of Europe, the product has been used to treat cuts, boils, wounds and rashes. There are also applications for chapped and cracked skin, allergies, bedsores, nail infections and athlete’s foot. In addition, beauty leaf oil is used to reduce the appearance of dark circles under dark, puffy eyes.

In Indonesia, Tamanu leaves are soaked in water to create a solution to soothe the symptoms of heat stroke, itching and inflammation of the eyes. In the Philippines, the same solution is used to soothe hemorrhoids, while the sap from the tree is used to treat wounds and boils.

In northern Papua New Guinea, Tamanu leaves are softened over a fire. The resulting infusion is then applied to cuts, blemishes, boils and wounds. In addition, the leaves can be consumed as teas to help eliminate skin rashes. In Jamaica, a specific variety of Tamanu is used to heal wounds. Fijians use Tamanu oil to moisturize and heal chapped lips, diaper rashes, joint pain, wounds and arthritis.

Used in cosmetics, Tamanu oil can be applied to the face to reduce acne marks, scars, age spots, fine lines and wrinkles. The substance can also be used as a make-up primer to make cosmetic products last longer on the skin. When applied regularly to deep and painful cystic acne flare-ups, Calophyllum inophyllum oil works as an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory treatment. However, checking for allergies remains essential before using this natural ingredient from nuts.

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