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Tamanu Oil - Calophyllum Inophyllum

Organic Tamanu Oil - Unrefined

Latin Name: Calophyllum inophyllum
Botanical Family: Clusiaceae

From the Greek calophyllum meaning 'with beautiful leaves', the tree is also known as beauty leaf, dilo oil tree or Alexandrian laurel. Known as tamanu in the South Seas, other names include kamanu (Hawaii), fetau (Samoa), Indian poon and kamani. A variety grown in Madagascar is known as faraha (Kelville & Green 1995)

BACKGROUND AND HISTORY

Calophyllum inophyllum is from tropical southeast Asia and Polynesia, where the drupe-like fruit is used. It has naturalised to Hawaii and is also grown in Madagascar. It is cultivated as an ornamental tree due to its handsome leathery, glossy foliage and fragrant white flowers, and is frequently found near the ocean because of its resistance to salt air (Britannica CD 1996).

METHOD OF EXTRACTION

The oil is obtained drying out the fresh nuts in the sun until dark brown and dehydrated and then cold pressing the dried tamanu nut.

THE OIL

Tamanu oil is thick, viscous and dark grey-green to almost black in colour.

TRADITIONAL USE

Tamanu is a traditional medicine in the South Pacific, where it is used for its analgesic, anti-inflammatory and cicatrisant properties. The fruits are expressed to yield a pasty mass rich in triacylglycerols; the paste itself is used in several countries as a healing and analgesic agent in the treatment of burns (Bruneton 1995). It was once used to treat leprosy.

THERAPEUTIC PROPERTIES - EXTERNAL USE

Tamanu can help with various problems of the hair and scalp; it is also beneficial for eczema, psoriasis and facial neuralgia. It is effective for shingles. A combination of tamanu vegetable oil and ravensara essential oil has been used successfully as a treatment for shingles (Herpes zoster) (Franchomme & Penoel 1981). The oil has very useful immunomodulant properties and it stimulates phagocytosis (Schnaubelt 1994). Tamanu is claimed to have anti-inflammatory and analgestic properties, which make it useful in cases of sciatica and rheumatism; it also said to be rubefacient.

Extraction mode:   Cold pressed
Origin:    South Pacific, Madagascar
Appearance:   Viscous liquid, colour dark green

Latin Name:   CALOPHYLLUM INOPHYLLUM
Family:    Clusiaceae


SATURATED FATTY ACID UNITS           Content %

Myristic acid 13
Palmitic acid 2 - 5

Typical saturated fatty acid unit content 22

MONOUNSATURATED FATTY ACID UNITS        Content %

Oleic acid 13 - 17

Typical monounsaturated fatty acid unit content 15

POLYUNSATURATED FATTY ACID UNITS         Content %

Linoleic acid 40 - 50
Linolenic acid 27 - 38

Typical polyunsaturated fatty acid unit content 59

 
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