Tamanu Oil also known as "Green Gold", is a greenish yellow aromatic oil found in tropical and sub-tropical countries like Vietnam, Malaysia, Hawaii, Myanmar, Southern India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Polynesian Islands. It is a remarkable healing agent. Tamanu Oil is extremely popular for its anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-neuralgic and anti-oxidant properties. It is scientifically known as "Calophyllum Tacamahaca" or "Calophyllum Inophyllum". Tamanu is also called Alexandrian Laurel, Borneo Mahogany, Kamanu, Kamani, Ti, Dolno, Dilo, and Fetau.
What is Tamanu?
A typical Tamanu tree grows to the height of about three metres and blooms twice in a year. It bear white flowers and clusters of yellow fruit. This spherical fruit’s pulp is very similar to an apple (in terms of taste). The nut embedded in the pulp contains a pale kernel. The kernel is known as the "Punnai". The Punnai is dried in the sun for two to three weeks till it becomes sticky with a thick oil. It is cold pressed to extract Tamanu Oil. It takes hundred kilograms of Tamanu fruit to produce five kilograms of cold pressed oil. Tamanu Oil is extremely expensive. It must be stored in a cool, dry place. Tamanu Oil has a shelf-life of 12 months or longer. This magical oil is intended for external use only.
What is the History behind Tamanu Oil?
The use of Tamanu Oil can be traced back over several centuries. Ancient Africans and Asians used this oil as an antiseptic and astringent. The barks, roots and leaves were also used to treat scabies, cuts and open wounds. Native Polynesians used Tamanu Oil as an expectorant, diuretic, and mild purgative. Ancient Chinese used Tamanu Oil to treat rheumatism, skin infections, eye problems, leprous nephritis, and other chronic skin diseases. In Tahiti, Tamanu Oil was applied externally to treat sunburns, scaly skin, blisters, animal bites, and stings. In 1928, a missionary nun Sister Marie-Suzanne, based in Fiji, used Tamanu Oil to treat leprosy patients. Later, few French scientists researched on the anti-neuralgic properties of the oil.
What are the active ingredients in Tamanu Oil?
Tamanu Oil is rich in different fatty acids including oleic, linoleic, stearic, palmitic, linolenic, canophyllol, and calophyllic acid. They help tissue regeneration.
It contains lactone (antibiotic compound).
Tamanu Oil is packed with different types of anti-inflammatory chemicals such as courmarins, caloxanthone E, friedelin, and calophyllolide.
Studies found that Tamanu Oil is an excellent source for phenylcoumarins (chemopreventive agents).
Tamanu Oil containsdifferent lipids such as phosphatidylethanolamine, lysophosphatidylcholine, phosphatidic acid, phosphatidylcholine, and phosphatidylserine.
The Oil of Tamanu contains triacylglycerols, sterols, acylmonogalactosyldiacylglycerol, monogalactosyldiacylglycerol and acylated sterolglucoside.
Root barks are impregnated with xanthones, and caloxanthone A, B, C, & D.
Tamanu Oil has many bioactive compounds including neoflavonoids, pyranoamentoflavone, flavonoid glycosides, and triterpenes.
It has several anti-HIV agents namely soullatrolide, and inophyllum B, C, & E.
What are the health benefits of Tamanu Oil?
Scientific studies have proved that Tamanu Oil is much more powerful than any antibiotics and can defeat different classes of pathogens.
Tamanu Oil can be used to treat infections of various kinds; it can cure pneumonia and septicaemia.