Tamanu oil is a remarkable topical healing agent with skin healing, anti-neuralgic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antibiotic, and antioxidant properties. The Tamanu tree is indigenous to tropical Southeast Asia; it is found in Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Malaysia, South India, Sri Lanka, and the Melanesian and Polynesian islands. It grows up to three meters tall, sporting cracked, black bark and elliptical, shiny leaves. The Tamanu tree blooms twice annually with fragrant, white flowers, which later yield clusters of yellow-skinned spherical fruit. The fruit's pulp tastes similar to an apple, within which a large nut is embedded. The nut contains an odorless pale kernel, called punnai in some Pacific areas. This kernel is dried in the sun for two months until it becomes sticky with a dark, thick, rich oil; it must be protected from humidity and rain during drying. This sticky oil is cold-pressed to make a greenish yellow oil. It takes 100 kilograms of Tamanu fruit, the amount that one tree produces annually, to yield just 5 kilograms of cold pressed oil! Natives believed the Tamanu tree was a sacred gift of nature and that gods hid in its branches. It was their answer to skin protection from hot sun, high humidity and ocean wind.
Benefits & Properties of Tamanu Oil