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What is Tamanu Oil?

Updated on December 17, 2013
Hema Gangadharan profile image

Professional writer in an internet-based company, Hema enjoys researching and writing about alternate types of medicine during her free time

There’s nothing like going back to nature for medical or beauty treatments. Natural substances not only have long-lasting benefits, but they have lesser side effects than chemicals. One such natural oil that is gaining a lot of popularity for its skin-rejuvenating properties is tamanu oil.

Calophyllum inophyllum, otherwise locally known as, tamanu is an evergreen tropical flowering tree that blooms twice a year. Tamanu oil is extracted from the seeds of this tree’s fruits. The oil is thick, dark green in color and has a fatty odor.

Tamanu tree
Tamanu tree | Source

Oil Extraction Process

Tamanu fruits that naturally fall to the ground are collected and the nut kernels are extracted and laid out on racks to dry. This curing process may take a couple of months. When the kernels have completely turned brownish red, they are cold pressed to extract the oil.

Traditional Use

In most Asian, African and Pacific Rim countries, tamanu has been used as a local medicine. The seeds, leaves and bark of the tree have been traditionally used as astringents, purgatives, expectorants and diuretics. In traditional Chinese medical practices, Tahoma oil was used to treat wounds, leprosy, skin infections, eye diseases and more. This natural oil was used in treatment of acne scars, scrapes, burns and insect bites.


Tamanu oil contains fatty acids such as stearic, linolenic, oleic, palmitic and linoleic. It also contains an anti-cancer agent, 4-phenylcoumarins from Calophyllum as well as other anti-wrinkle and anti-aging components. The oil has Xanthones and lactone, which are known for their anti-bacterial activity.

Tamanu oil
Tamanu oil | Source


Here’s a comprehensive list o the various benefits of this natural oil:

  • It is a natural exfoliant, and can be used to remove dead facial cells to leave your skin looking healthy and glowing
  • Treatment of psoriasis, acne, diabetic ulcers, scabies, scars, cuts, athlete’s foot
  • Relieve pain due to rheumatism, sciatica and shingles
  • Increases blood circulation
  • Has anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties
  • Dries acne scabs and scars
  • Protects the skin from sun burn, inflammation and insect bites
  • Also believed to have anti-aging properties

How to Use

Apply few drops of oil directly to the acne, scar or mark. You could also mix it with any other oil like apricot, carrot seed and apply.

Where to Buy

Stores that specialize in organic medicines stock up on tamana oil. You can also buy it from popular shopping sites. This oil has a shelf life of up to two years.

A Quick Glance

Tahoma oil is derived from the seeds of the Calophyllum inophyllum

This natural oil has anti-microbial and anti-oxidant properties

It can be used in the treatment of acne scars, rheumatism, wounds and other skin problems

A Word of Caution

The good effects of this oil are plenty, but it could be allergic for some. So, test the oil on a small patch of skin before you use it on your face.


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    • Hema Gangadharan profile image

      Hemalatha 3 years ago from India

      @ Aupadhyay, jpmc: Thanks:) Your words encourage me to do more research and write more hubs

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 3 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      This is the first time I heard about this. It's always nice to learn something new especially if it's for health.

    • AUPADHYAY profile image


      Thanks hema for providing the exclusive knowledge in this area. A very informative hub which is also useful to be tried with. Thanks for sharing it.