(Health Secrets) Have you heard about tamanu oil? A look into natural healing substances that have been used by native peoples around the world indicates there is a natural, non-toxic remedy for virtually everything that ails us. Tamanu oil one such product.
Tamanu nut oil has a multitude of uses which have been confirmed by research. Tamanu nut oil has been used by the indigenous people of the Philippines and Southeast Asia for at least a few hundred years. In the 1930s, researchers in Europe, Asia and the Pacific Islands began studying this oil in hospitals after Sister Marie-Suzanne, a French nun working in Fiji, reported remarkable results using tamanu nut oil topically for the neuritis (nerve inflammation) associated with leprosy. Their research showed tamanu nut oil to be an excellent topical healing agent for skin, with properties that relieve nerve pain and are anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antioxidant.
Although this research goes back almost 80 years, it is only in the past ten years that this oil has been marketed as an ingredient in cosmetic and first aid applications. One company producing this oil is Miessence, a company that sells certified organic products to use for everything from skin care to house cleaning. Certified organic products are exceptional natural products that promote sustainable farming and agriculture as well as fair trade. Ambrosia Essence is one product of Miessence which contains tamanu oil.
The scientific name for the tree which produces the tamanu nut is Calophyllum inophyllum, meaning beautiful leaf. The tree is indigenous to Southeast Asia, growing profusely on the coastlines and inland.
The oil from the tamanu nut is quite mysterious. When removed from the inedible fruit, there is little apparent oil in the blond kernel, even when pressed or ground. Yet, once the nut has been dried on a rack for a month or two, it becomes a deep chocolate brown and is covered with sticky rich oil which is easily extracted by mechanical pressing. Science has yet to discover how this transformation occurs.
Tamanu oil regenerates tissue
Tamanu nut oil possesses the ability to promote the growth of new tissue, thereby accelerating wound healing and growth of new skin. This process is called cicatrization.
In Pacific Island folk medicine, this oil is applied liberally to every kind of skin malady imaginable: cuts, scrapes, burns, insect bites, acne, psoriasis, diabetic ulcers, sunburn, dry and/or scaly skin, blisters, eczema, and herpes sores such as cold sores and genital sores. It can eliminate or greatly reduce scarring from acne, burns and other skin trauma. The Polynesian natives even use it to reduce foot and body odor. The oil can even relieve sore throat when applied externally to the neck. It has potent pain-relieving properties, and the natives have traditionally used it topically to relieve neuralgia (nerve-pain), arthritis and sciatica. The women apply it to their skin to keep it clear and blemish free and massage it into babies to prevent diaper rash and other skin eruptions.
Tamanu oil is anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal
Compounds in tamanu nut oil have significant anti-inflammatory properties when applied topically, thereby reducing pain and swelling associated with these conditions.
Tamanu nut oil also contains several powerful bactericide/fungicide agents, which have proven effective against various pathogens, which cause much mortality and morbidity today. It holds promise in the prevention of MRSA (methicillin resistant staph aureus), the superbug we’re been hearing so much about. It demonstrates very good activity against Staphylococcal aureus. When compared to ampicillin and amoxicillin, the compounds in tamanu oil were at least as good. Researchers concluded that the antimicrobial and antifungal agents in tamanu oil could be used effectively to treat a range of infections of the skin and eyes, including ring worm.
Tamanu oil is a powerful antioxidant
Tamanu oil demonstrates antioxidant properties, specifically inhibiting lipid peroxidation (the break down of lipids by oxidation). Cell membranes are composed of lipids; therefore, tamanu oil inhibits oxidative damage to the skin. Although the oil itself is thick and rich, it is completely absorbed by the skin, leaving no oily residue or greasy feel. It has a mild and pleasing aroma and a luxurious feel, making it an ideal component of lotions, creams, ointments and other cosmetics.
Why you haven’t heard more about tamanu oil
So why, if tamanu oil is so healing, do we not see it in global use as treatment for everything from first aid creams for minor scrapes to an ointment for major burns being treated in specialized burn units? If you aren’t already aware of the answer, here’s the short and not-so-sweet version.
Approximately 80% of pharmaceuticals are derived from plants, but they have been condensed down to one “active-ingredient” and then synthesized because a natural substance cannot be patented, while the synthesized version can be. Synthesize it and patent it, and the pharmaceutical companies are set to make billions of dollars of profit at the expense (financially and physically) of the consumer. Once something is taken out of its wholeness, it tends to become toxic. Instead of waiting for the pharmaceutical industry to break down this useful natural oil, do some further research of your own; tamanu nut oil is currently available both online and in health and natural product stores.
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