I want to tell you about the magic of the magnificent Tamanu tree….the tree of a thousand virtues……Calophyllum inophyllum
The word “tamanu” originates from Tahiti, but it’s also referred to as “kamani” in Hawaii, “dilo” in Fiji, and “ballnut” in Australia.
Tamanu is a magnificent, slow growing, tropical evergreen tree, indigenous to the islands in French Polynesia and scattered throughout the tropical South Pacific and Indian Oceans. It is a very spiritual tree, for centuries, Islanders believed that the tree was a sacred gift of nature and that Gods hid in its branches.
The nuts from the Tamanu tree produce a wonderful rich oil. The oil is magical for the skin and hair, a must have for all skin aliments. The healing power of this oil is outstanding, it has a unique ability to promote the formation of new skin tissue, thereby accelerating wound healing and the growth of healthy skin. Scientific studies have shown that Tamanu Oil is a significant healing agent for skin because of its anti-inflammatory, anti-neuralgic, antibiotic and antioxidant properties. The Tamanu nut is a bit of a botanical oddity. When the fruits of the tree are collected and cracked open, there is no oil to be seen. But when the kernel dries on a rack for a month or so, it turns a deep, chocolate brown, and becomes sticky with a rich earthy smell. A simple screw press is used to squeeze the oil from the dark kernels. The result…. oil of Tamanu a dark green and luxurious oil. Though oil of Tamanu is thick and rich, once it is applied to skin it absorbed easily and leaves no oily residue.
Tamanu is used as a traditional medicine in the Islands. It is applied liberally to cuts, scrapes, burns, insect bites and stings, abrasions, acne and acne scars, psoriasis, diabetic sores, anal fissures, sunburn, dry or scaly skin, blisters, eczema, herpes sores, and to reduce foot and body odor. Tamanu oil is also massaged into the skin to relieve neuralgia, rheumatism and sciatica. Tamanu oil is used by Polynesian women for promoting healthy, clear, blemish-free skin, and is also used on babies to prevent nappy rash and skin eruptions. The Fijian Dilo nut oil has been made famous by Rachel Hunter and her Tour of Beauty for its incredible anti-aging qualities.
But of course not all Tamanu oil is created equally, there are a lot of companies producing unethical rubbish Tamanu. Western commercialisation at its worst. Good quality ethically sourced Tamanu is expensive and rightly so, it is a time consuming labour intensive process for little yield if done correctly. But of course with western commercialisation comes man made plantations and short cuts to try and produce this magnificent oil.
There are now a lot of black or lightly-coloured or yellowish-coloured oil. None of these are the real deal and this is why they are so cheap. There is a lot of rubbish oil coming out of Vietnam especially. Black Tamanu Oil occurs where the Tamanu Nuts have been thrown into the fire to try and speed up the curing process. However, all this does is burn the nut and result in oil which seriously diminishes its natural, skin-healing and anti-aging properties. Cosmetic companies often use refined Tamanu that has been put through a chemical filtering process to remove the scent and colour because the natural dark colour and strong scent will alter the colour and aroma of their cosmetic creations. What healing qualities will be left in the oil after that kind of treatment……….absolutely nothing.
There is only one, slow natural process to produce pure Tamanu oil that retains its natural, skin-healing and anti-aging properties and that is - The nuts come from trees grown on the shore line, coastal trees not inland plantations.The nuts are gathered by hand when they have fallen from the tree, The nuts are then sun-dried for at least two months the oil is cold-processed.
Our number 1 priority at Flower Power is to bring you ethically sourced ingredients that actually work. This is hugely important to us, we are passionate about our Mother Earth and taking care of her. So you know the Tamanu we use in our Peaced out lip balm and Hippy Happiness Body oil is sourced from magical Tamanu trees grown on the shoreline where they get extra nutrients from the coral and that the oil is extracted is the correct way……. no short cuts.