The Calophyllum inophyllum trees originate from Southeast Asia and are plentiful on the islands of the South Pacific, where the timber and oil have been used by the Polynesians for thousands of years.
The tamanu grows clusters of beautifully scented white flowers, which mature into round fruits that contain tough kernels. Once the fruits have fallen to the ground, they are harvested, and the kernels are removed.
The trees are grown without chemicals. The pale-colored nuts are sun-dried for four weeks, and they deepen in color to a rich dark brown and begin to ooze with oil. The nuts are then cold-pressed to extract the tamanu oil.
The Pacific islanders have used many parts of the tree as natural remedies. They made an infusion of the leaves to treat inflammations, rashes, infections and sore eyes - and the oil from the nuts has been used to treat the skin.
The oil has been traditionally used to ease aching joints and to soothe and smooth dry skin and sunburn. Tamanu oil has been well researched since at least the 1950s and some of its constituents may explain why it has been recommended for problem skins and has a reputation for being beneficial for wound healing.
One of these constituents is calophyllolide, which has been found to be anti-inflammatory. Other phytochemical components of the oil have been shown to be anti-bacterial. The oil is also rich in oleic and linoleic fatty acids, which moisturize and soften skin.
Our Vanilla Dee-Lite lotion contains the exotic tamanu oil to soothe the skin.