There is a specific oil that is derived from a nut grown in the South Pacific, that has been used for centuries to clear up virtually any skin condition. It’s a secret that has been forgotten but the benefits of tamanu oil are now being released to you.
Tamanu (pronounced TAW-man-oo) oil — derived from the large, blonde nuts of the Ati tree — has been used by natives of South East Asia and the Pacific Islands for centuries as a cure-all for any kind of skin problem.
According to ethnobotanist Chris Kilham, tamanu is one of the most effective agents in promoting the formation of new tissue, thereby accelerating wound healing and the growth of healthy skin. This process is known as cicatrization in medical terms. Essentially, it means that tamanu oil is a powerful skin regenerator.
Traditionally tamanu oil has been used to combat a whole range of skin problems and is highly beneficial as an:
A Forgotten Medicinal Miracle
In the early 1900s, the Western world was briefly introduced to tamanu oil. Word had spread due to the miracles worked by a French nun — Sister Marie Suzanna — who had used tamanu oil to treat the symptoms of leprosy, including painful inflammation of the nerves (leprous neuritis).
In 1918, researchers affiliated with the French Pharmacopoeia began investigating tamanu for topical and subcutaneous use. These scientists were immediately impressed by its cicatrizing — or skin regenerating — effects.
The French medical literature of the era contains many records of tamanu’s successful application for severe skin conditions, including one astounding story of an anonymous gangrene patient treated at the St. Louis Hospital in Paris.
When the woman was admitted, she had a gangrenous ulcer on her leg that stubbornly refused to heal. Doctors were sure that amputation was inevitable, but as a last resort they opted to try treatment with tamanu oil dressings first.
To their amazement, the dressings worked so well that the wound eventually healed completely leaving only a flat, smooth scar.
It’s a curious fact that despite impressive and documented stories like this one, tamanu oil remains relatively unknown outside of the South Pacific.
In the past, this could be partly explained by the difficulty and expense of transporting the product to other regions, but those hurdles aren’t as significant today as in the past.
Why Tamanu Oil Has Remarkable Healing Power
Tamanu’s benefits are supported by research conducted in the Pacific Islands, Asia, and Europe. And more recently, major breakthroughs in Japan and Canada have illuminated the science behind the tamanu oil success stories.
For example, Japanese researchers at Meijo University found that several isolated chemical compounds in tamanu inhibit skin tumor production. And a Canadian research team at the Université de Sherbrooke discovered that tamanu contains two chemicals called HIV transcriptase inhibitors.
Tamanu oil contains 3 essential classes of lipids: neutral, glyco-, and phospholipids. Additionally, the oil contains 3 unique and novel compounds:
- Calophyllic acid
- An anti-inflammatory called calophyllolide
- An antibiotic called lactone
Along with coumarins — another powerful type of anti-inflammatory agent — these ingredients are the source of the oil’s remarkable healing power.
Fiji islanders call the oil dolno, which translates to “no pain.”
Traditionally, the benefits of tamanu oil has been put to many uses, including:
- Body and foot odor
- Burns (including chemical and x-ray)
- Diabetic sores
- Diaper rash
- Dry or scaly skin
- Herpes sores
- Insect bites and stings
- Neuritis and neuralgia
How to Use Tamanu Oil
Tamanu oil has an unusually high capacity for absorption by your skin and a light, pleasant aroma. These attributes, along with its potent healing activity, make tamanu oil an ideal product to use for almost any skin ailment or just as a part of your everyday skin care routine.
It’s completely natural, relatively inexpensive, and will leave your skin looking and feeling silky, soft, and smooth.
Fortunately for those of us living outside the Pacific Islands, tamanu oil has become more available since the time of Sister Marie Suzanna.
However, it is advisable to exercise caution when purchasing commercially available tamanu oil. Many companies make exaggerated claims about the quality of the oil they sell — and not all of these claims are valid.
When purchasing tamanu oil, be sure that the nuts used were:
- Cold-processed (using a screw press)
These practices ensure that the resulting oil is of the highest quality. High-quality tamanu oil is a rich, dark green liquid that’s easily absorbed by the skin. The oil can be purchased from health food stores or ordered online.