What is Tamanu Oil?

Published: 25th February 2011
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What it is:

Tamanu oil comes from the nut of the Tamanu tree Calophyllum Inophyllum - found in Polynesia. Many years ago the natives were looking for a way to protect and moisturize their dry skin, from the effects of the humid salty air and sun burn. The ancient Tahitians thought of it as both a sun tan protection, and a healing potion. The Polynesian women have beautiful skin, and it was thought that this was due to the use of the Tamanu Oil.

How it is Made?

The nuts are picked and carefully dried in the sun, being slightly cracked, and left for about 2 months. They are protected from the rain and humidity, and when ready, they are cold pressed to extract the oil which has a greenish color. Although a tree will produce about two hundred pounds of nuts, the quantity of oil that is released, is only about ten pounds, and this accounts for the relatively high cost.


Apply a few drops of Tamanu Oil onto the skin, and rub in well. It will completely absorb, and the nutty fragrance will soon disappear.

Note: Do not leave the bottle in the sun, as this will reduce its shelf life.

The Tree:

The Tamanu oil has been called a lot of different names, such as Alexandrian Laurel, Pannay Tree, Sweet Scented Calophyllum. The Calophyllum Inophyllum tree grows to a height of ten meters. It blooms twice a year, with beautiful white blossoms, and shiny green leaves, and a yellowish green skinned fruit. When the fruit dries, it falls off the tree and it contains a nut. The Oil is pressed from this nut.

Different uses of the Tamanu Oil:

  • In Indonesia the Calophyllum Inophyllum leaves are soaked in water, which makes a bluish solution that is used for healing inflamed eyes.

  • In the Philippines, it is used as an astringent for hemorrhoids.

The Manus tribe of Papua New Guinea, heat the leaves over a fire, then when they are soft, they put them on skin ulcers, and boils.

  • In Fiji, the Tamanu Oil is used for joint pains, arthritis, and even preventing diaper rash. Pacific Islanders, use it for burns and insect bites, sunburn, and dry skin.

  • In Europe where it is also called Domba oil, it has a 70-75% success rate in alleviating rheumatism, and gout. Even in the 1920's, Sister Marie- Suzanne, a nun living in Fiji, used it successfully on leprosy patients.

So you can see that although we make no claims whatsoever, Tamnu oil has been successfully used for centuries to treat dry skin, to heal and protect the body, with some amazing results.

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