A common mistake in naturalists’ pursuit for beauty is the tendency to overemphasize on hyped products. This limits the ability to explore the existence of other products that have the potential for similar or unmatched strengths. Certainly, this is the case for tamanu oil, prickly pearl seed oil and blackstrap molasses among others. Although these products are fairly unknown, they have the potential to offer multiple solutions to variety of beauty needs. Specifically, tamanu oil benefits are vast and extensive. They touch on almost all areas of beauty and beyond.

History and Origin

The origin of tamanu oil traces back to the Calophyllum inophyllum L. or Ati tree of the Guttiferae family. This is a plant that is found in the South Pacific and Indian Ocean regions in countries such as Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Northern Australia, Malaysia and Samoa. It also goes by the names kamani, balltree, Indian-laurell, bitaog, red poon, Indian daamba oiltree, fetau and kananu.

The tamanu tree is tall (up to 30 meters) with low branches and oval shaped leaves that have rich green color and shinny appearance. Its limbs spread widely whereas the tree trunk is characterized by noticeable thickness and darkish brown and grey barks. The buds produce tiny white and yellow blossoms that are highly aromatic.

Evidence from the regions where the tree is found shows that it is prolific along coastlines but can also grow in inlands that are characteristic of sandy and salty soils.

The cosmetology potential of the plant was first discovered many years ago by French researchers in their search for a leprosy cure. They were able to determine that oil obtained from the fruity part of the tree is rich in components that possess the ability to treat some skin conditions through topical application.

Other traditional accounts show that parts such as leaves, barks and roots were also incorporated in a wide range of uses that primarily focused on topical application.