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Ingredient Spotlight: Tamanu Oil

Tamanu Plant

Today I will be spotlighting the carrier oil Tamanu, also known as Caulophyllum inophyllum oil.

I first discovered Tamanu oil when I was studying for my aromatherapy certification. Intrigued by the therapeutic properties,  I quickly went out and bought my first ounce. I soon noted the wonderful benefits to the skin, and feel in love with it's uniqueness.

Tamanu oil has a dark emerald appearance when bought unrefined. Its consistency is thick and aroma strong and nutty. It can easily overpower a blend with its green color and nutty smell.

This large evergreen shrub is part of the Clusiaceae family. Interestingly sharing the same botanical family as St. Johns Wort. The plant is found abundantly in tropical regions worldwide, and is native to regions of Africa, South India, Southeast Asia, Polynesia, the Philippines, and Australia. Due to its wide availability, the Caulophyllum inophyllum plant is found in use in many cultures. For example, Tahiti women value the plant for its beautifying properties. In Traditional Chinese medicine as well as Madagascar, it is used as a healing agent and medicine. To the Polynesians, it is seen as a sacred plant.

Tamanu oil is cold-pressed from the nuts of the plant. This oil is extremely valuable for the health and beauty of our skin and body due to its therapeutic properties. These proprieties are based on the unique chemical makeup of the oil. The fatty acid profile is comprised of mostly Oleic acid, followed by Linoleic and Palmitic Acid. Smaller percentages of Stearic, Myristic, and Alpha-Linolenic acid are present as well. These fatty acids are present in many other vegetable oils and have beneficial properties they bring to the oil.

Distinctive to Tamanu oil, it contains Calophyllic Acid and Calophyllolide. These organic compounds are found only in Tamanu oil and provide unique therapeutic value. They are said to be antibacterial and anti-inflammatory.

Therapeutically, Tamanu is valued for is skin nourishing and healing properties. It is skin regenerative and nerve repairing, being often used to diminish the appearance of scars and healing burns. Due to its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, tamanu oil is also known to be useful with conditions such as sciatica, rheumatism, shingles, eczema, and psoriasis. Its antibacterial properties suggest its use to prevent infections and acne conditions. 

Tamanu oil is especially good for dry skin types, and those suffering with inflamed acne conditions. Some oily skin types could find the oil to be too greasy. Tamanu oil can be combined with fast-absorbing oils to balance the greasy feeling. When applied topically, it absorbs deep into the skin and provides emollient properties leaving your skin silky and smooth. Like many carrier oils that come from the tropics, Tamanu oil protects the skin from the sun. Its rich antioxidant content fights of reactive oxygen species that cause premature aging in the skin, and is said to be a natural UV filter.

Aromatherapy Recipe: Healing Oil for Burns

1 ounce Tamanu Oil

36-45 Drops of Lavender Essential Oil (4-5%)

Apply twice a day to prevent infection, heal the skin, and prevent scarring.
If burn is infected or serious, please seek the advice of a health professional.

cuticle cure salveYou can find Tamanu oil is our best selling Cuticle Cure. This salve will nourish your cuticles and dry skin patches. It is perfect for softening rough cuticles and healing dry and cracked skin.This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. For educational purposes only.

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