While this ancient oil was thought to be long forgotten, Tamanu Oil has recently made a comeback in the skincare world. Tamanu Oil is known as the Green Gold for the skin because of its rich skin-healing properties. Tamanu Oil also has another local name. The Polynesians call it the Beauty Leaf Tree. This helps sum up all the benefits of this oil.
Tamanu Oil is derived from the large, blonde nuts of the Ati tree — has been used by natives of South East Asia and the Pacific Islands for centuries as a cure-all for any kind of skin problem. Thousands of years ago, people discovered this funny-looking tree with green fruits that yielded a rich oil and started using this oil as a moisturizer, sun protectant and natural healing substance for their skin and hair.
In Southern India, the oil of the seeds of the plant is used specifically for treating skin diseases.
Properties of Tamanu Oil
1.Antioxidant and anti-UV properties
Xanthones and coumarins in tamanu oil demonstrate that Tamanu oil is a powerful antioxidant and has been shown to significantly reduce intracellular ROS production. Beyond its powerful antioxidant properties, the same study demonstrates that amongst different oils, tamanu oil was the only one that also possessed the capacity to absorb UV light. In fact, 85% of damage induced by UV-radiations was shown to be inhibited with a mere 1% of tamanu oil which is remarkable, to say the least.
Tamanu oil has been scientifically proven a multitude of antimicrobial properties including antibacterial, antifungal effects. Tamanu oil demonstrates significant antimicrobial activity, as demonstrated in antibacterial and antifungal tests. The oil contains several powerful bactericide/fungicide agents, which demonstrate efficacy against various human and animal pathogens. These antimicrobial phytochemical agents include friedelin, canophyllol, canophyllic acid, and inophynone.
3.Tamanu Oil and Cicatrization
Applied to wounds Tamanu oil possesses the remarkable ability to promote the formation of new tissues, by doing so tamanu oil helps accelerate the healing and the growth of healthy skin. This process of forming new tissue is scientifically known as "cicatrization" and in many countries around the world, tamanu oil is topically applied on cuts, burns, insect bites, sunburn, dry or scaly skin, blisters, and eczema etc.
This unique oil is the elixir to all our skin concerns, it’s amazing to think how it hasn’t taken over the world by storm, but on the other hand, it can be our little beauty secret!