tamanu oil benefits

If you like me, love natural remedies and health solutions, you need to learn about the wonders of tamanu oil, an amazing healing oil that you probably haven't heard about.

Tamanu oil can be safely used to nourish and promote healthy skin and treat many minor health issues and in this article, I would like to share with you information about numerous tamanu oil benefits and also review three high quality brands of tamanu oil available today.

What is Tamanu Oil?

Tamanu oil is also called Foraha oil or simply Calophyllum . This rich greenish oil is derived from the tamanu tree nuts indigenous to the Southeast Asian and Polynesian Islands. It is filled with rich essential fatty acids and other major components such as palmitic, stearic, oleic and linoleic oils.

Tamanu oil is currently garnering attention as an “oil of many cures”. True Tamanu oil has so many sacred properties that it is even called “Green Gold” or the “Sacred oil of Tamanu”. Traditionally, the oil was used extensively in folk medicine but it was only scientifically tested in 1918 when French pharmacologists discovered its curative effects.

Later, in 1928 a missionary of the Society of Mary, Sister Marie-Suzanne used the oil to successfully treat leprosy. She also documented the oil’s analgesic and sedative properties that helped in pain relief and fever reduction.

How Is Tamanu Oil Obtained?

Tamanu oil is obtained from the tamanu tree nuts which are harvested only twice a year. The evergreen tree is a member of the mangosteen family native to parts of Sri Lanka, Southern India, Malaysia, Vanuatu islands and Vietnam.

Once the nut is harvested, it is left to cure for 6-8 weeks. After the curation process is completed, tamanu oil is obtained by cold pressing the nuts. Pure tamanu oil smell can be described as strongly medicinal or nutty which some people may not prefer. For them, there are always cosmetic formulations in the form of tamanu body butters which lack this strong aroma.

So what can tamanu oil be used for?


​Polynesians have traditionally used tamanu oil to effectively treat many common skin and hair problems including:

•  Acne blemishes and scars
•  Wrinkles and aging skin
•  Eczema
•  Psoriasis
•  Dry, damaged hair
•  Hair loss
•  Rough beards
•  Sunburns
•  Insect bites
•  Stretch marks
•  Diaper rash
•  Toenail fungus
...  and more

~  Did you know?

It takes 100 kg (220 lbs) of tamanu fruit, the amount that one tree produces annually, to yield just 5 kg (11 lbs) of tamanu oil?

​Because it is cold pressed from nut kernels, people with nut allergies should patch test first.

~ ​Note:

Also it has a very distinctive nutty smell and yellow/green texture.

Tamanu Oil Benefits for Skin

Tamanu oil, known scientifically as Calophyllum Inophyllum has wonderful curative and regenerative properties for the skin.

  • According to a 2000 study, Tamanu has soothing and protective effects on the skin. It can soothe sunburn, skin infections, insect bites etc.
  • According to a Feb 2003 study in Microna lab Tamanu oil helped heal scars 1 year or older thanks to its cell regenerative properties.
  • The oil is also anti acne and anti septic. (2004 study).

As shown by many different studies Tamanu oil is also anti-inflammatory, anti viral, antibiotic, anti-coagulative, fungal inhibitor, cancer preventive, microcirculation increasing and hypoallergenic. You can read the studies here.

To summarize tamanu oil benefits for skin: it helps fight acne, acne scars and pimples, ulcers, boils, scrapes and cuts. You can use it on dry scaly skin, eczema, stretch marks and nappy or diaper rashes. Tamanu oil speeds up healing of chicken pox blisters, burns, insect bites and stings.

It can treat athlete’s foot and other fungal skin infections such as jock itch. Tamanu oil can also relieve pain caused by shingles or herpes sores. Its anti-aging benefits make it a useful ingredient in cosmetics, lotions, moisturizers and serums to fight wrinkles, sunburn and age spots.

Tamanu Oil for Hair

Tamanu oil has not been tested on hair. However, many people, especially African Americans have successfully used this oil with great results. Ethnic hair is often prone to breakage due to excess dryness. Regular use of tamanu oil seems to help prevent this damage.

Tamanu oil also promotes hair growth and it's been reported that some African American women and men have successfully grown their hair back through regular massages with this oil. The oil is also useful for dandruff thanks to its antifungal properties. Many people have had relief from psoriasis of the scalp with regular use of this oil.

Tamanu Oil for Face

Tamanu oil is anti-aging, hypoallergenic and non comedogenic. So you can use it as a face moisturizer without the fear of clogging the pores. You can also combine it with other aromatherapy essential oils to fight specific issues like dark spots, wrinkles, fine lines and other age-related skin problems.

Thanks to its many healing properties, the oil is used extensively in cosmetics today. Tamanu oil is especially useful for sensitive and mature skin due to its anti aging benefits and also as a sunscreen lotion. It has SPF 30 which protects against UVA rays. Tests have shown that the oil also has cicatrizing powers.

This means that when used topically, it can actually regenerate skin cells and promote formation of new tissue. Tamanu oil can therefore speed up healing of wounds and scars promote growth of healthier, younger looking skin.

Tamanu Oil for Acne and Blemishes

Tamanu oil is known, since centuries as ‘A South Pacific Win for Skin’ owing to its numerous healing properties. It has proven antibiotic, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that have taken the skin care industry by storm.

The natives in South Pacific Islands have used this oil for centuries to heal and soothe skin lesions, including acne. When applied on acne and acne scars, tamanu oil dries and heals them quickly. Its regenerative properties speed up the healing process and prevent scar tissue formation.

The oil’s hydrating and nourishing properties also protect the skin from potential acne breakouts.

Tamanu Oil for Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus (also called tinea infections) are often difficult to treat because the fungal spores remain dormant in the environment for ages. It is for this reason that fungal infections tend to recur. Tamanu oil is highly beneficial for toenail fungus thanks to its antifungal properties.

Tests have shown that the oil displays strong fungicidal properties which are efficient against many human and animal pathogens. Some of these antimicrobial compounds include friedelin, canophyllol and inophynone.

Tamanu Oil for Stretch Marks

One of the many tamanu oil benefits for skin includes fighting scars and stretch marks. Pregnant women in the South Asian and South Pacific Islands where the Tamanu trees grow are known to use the oil on their growing bellies as well as on other parts of the body to fight stretch marks.

The oil, as stated above, has skin regenerative properties. This speeds up tissue regeneration to minimize the appearance of scars and stretch marks.

Tamanu Oil Eczema Benefits

Tamanu or foraha oil is useful for all skin types to fight all kinds of skin problems. Its healing, curative and cicatrizing properties make it a wonderful oil for fighting dry, scaly skin, psoriasis and eczema. It soothes inflammation and stimulates the immune system.

You can use it on hands, legs and feet to prevent dryness, cracks and other winter skin problems. Even dogs and cats can benefit from Tamanu oil. Apply the oil on the paws, behind the ears, on the tummy and under the tail to soothe the itch.

Tamanu Oil Side Effects

Pure tamanu oil has no adverse effects. The very fact that natives from Fiji and other Southern Pacific islands have used this oil to treat sciatica, arthritis, fungal infections and hair and skin problems for centuries shows that the oil is safe to use for all skin types and without any adverse side effects. That said; some users have reported rashes and breakouts with this oil.

So, it is important to try a patch test first. Also it is very important where to buy the tamanu oil from. Always source your oil from a reputed vendor and make sure you use only cold pressed, true Polynesian tamanu oil. Avoid getting the oil in your eyes as it can sting.

Where to Buy Tamanu Oil

Tamanu oil is available online and offline at health food stores. No matter where you buy it from, make sure you choose 100% organic and pure cold-pressed tamanu oil that is not mixed with other inferior oils.

Ideally, the nuts used for extracting the oil should be hand gathered, sundried and cold pressed using the screw method of extraction. It is only through these features that you can ensure purchasing pure Tamanu oil. You can find some of the highest quality tamanu oil on Amazon.

True tamanu oil will have a rich dark green colour. It will also be easily absorbed by the skin and will not lead to any adverse effects.

Honest Review of The Best Polynesian Tamanu Oil

I have tried the following three brands of tamanu and believe they fit all the standards that make them true Tamanu oil.

1. Pur365 Tamanu Oil

The top standard of testing, as far as oils are concerned, is the USDA testing. Pur365 is USDA certified organic pure cold pressed and unrefined tamanu oil. There are no filler ingredients or nasty chemicals in it and it's been rated 4.5 stars by the buyers.

The best part about this product is that it does not come with a messy dropper unlike other oils.

Instead, it has a handy pump that makes it easy to access the contents. It can be used as a moisturiser and the users reported softer and younger-looking skin thanks to this oil.

See it on Amazon here.

Pur365 also gives you an "Ironclad Satisfaction Guarantee" that if you are not satisfied with the product, they will give you your money back.

Here are some more salient features of the oil:

  • Country of origin - Vanuatu in Polynesia
  • Size - 1 ounce
  • Aroma - this oil has a nutty aroma
  • Skin reactions - there were no reported skin reactions with it
  • Colour - green

Here are some reviews of Pur365 by its users:

  • “Cured my 7 year olds’ eczema!” - Jennifer Geroso
  • “Reduced my scalp psoriasis” - Shanu
  • “Smells odd, but helped with my menopause related skin blemishes”- Julia
  • “Smells bad, so I discontinued use” - Kristin
  • “Did not work for psoriasis” - Theresa

2. Majestic Pure Extra Virgin Tamanu Oil

Majestic Pure Extra Virgin Tamanu Oil is 100% cold pressed pure, organic and extra virgin oil without chemicals, fillers or additives.

It helps beautify the skin and is especially beneficial for healing eczema, psoriasis and wounds and burns.

Majestic Pure is a great company producing several high quality oil brands.

What I like about this product is that it comes in a large bottle so you are getting plenty of value and this is the main reason why I like it the most.

It's been rated 4.5 stars on Amazon and is my top choice​. Check it out here

  • Country of origin - packaged in USA
  • Colour- dark greenish brown
  • Oil has a nutty mild scent
  • A few adverse skin reactions have been reported: one reviewer got a ‘frightening red rash’ on the skin. Some others reported getting ‘burnt’ thanks to the oil. Overall the uses were extremely satisfied with this product.
  • Generous size - 4 oz

Here are some more reviews about the Majestic Pure Tamanu oil:

  • “Just underwent surgery and had a very ugly scar. This oil helped reduce it completely!" - Magdalena Chapa
  • “My dog needed stitches. Someone recommended this oil. It worked great and my pet is healed completely” - L Bellm
  • “Healed my husband’s recluse spider bite. Doctors wanted to take off a chunk from his leg. Between Tamanu and other essential oils, he is healed completely!” - Holliday Smith
  • “Turned rancid, cloudy, black and chunky within a few months” - Chuck

3. Leia Naturals 100% Organic Pure Virgin Cold Pressed Tamanu Oil

Leila Naturals oil is an ECOCERT and USDA certified organic 100% pure virgin cold pressed tamanu oil. Many people who used it have reported a positive difference in their skin within days.

It's a pure, high quality organic tamanu oil, one of the best available on the market and as the other two products in this article, it's been rated 4.5 stars by the users.

The company states that it contains only one premium ingredient - 100% pure organic virgin cold pressed tamanu oil and it has no additives, parabens, fillers, preservatives, or fragrances.

The oil comes from the South Pacific Islands of Vanuatu.  It's often available at a discount here.

  • Country of origin - Vanuatu Islands
  • Colour - green
  • Smell - some users describe the smell to be like moldy, but it disappears after a few minutes of application
  • Do not get the product in your eyes; it will sting for a long time. Few users reported rash.
  • Size - 3.4 oz

Here are some more reviews of the Leia Naturals 100% Organic Pure Virgin Cold Pressed Tamanu oil:

  • “Wow! I am amazed by this oil. Helps with acne, blemishes, wrinkles and spots. I have even used it on my thinning eyebrows with great results!” - Christina Lake
  • “Helps my skin heal faster in everything from cuts to scrapes and even chicken pox blisters” –Don Juan
  • “Fewer breakouts and a ore even-skin tone considering I have severe acne scars" - Jessica M

Here is a short video about tamanu oil.  Watch leading health expert Joy McCarthy explain the health benefits and uses of this amazing health product.

Tamanu oil is an excellent, healing and holistic remedy. It has been used traditionally through the ages for a host of skin and body ailments.

Today, tamanu oil is an important ingredient in many commercial cosmetic formulations and is fast growing in popularity. True tamanu oil not only heals the skin, its manufacture causes no harm to the environment. In fact, it provides local communities and indigenous tribes with a source of livelihood.

Now isn’t that a wonderful reason to add this healing oil to your herbal medicine cabinet?

About the Author

Barbara is the founder and owner of www.leanhealthyandwise.com. She is a former research scientist with a serious passion for health. She enjoys writing about nutrition, wellness and lifestyle and empowering people to take control of their health.

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