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Sacred Oil of the Pacific Island Folk

SACRED OIL … Tahiti is home to a traditional ingredient that is just now working its way across the world. Since the early 1920s, Tamanu Oil has been studied in hospitals and by researchers worldwide, with impressive results. Islanders and local natural healers say that Tamanu Oil has a unique ability to heal tissue, thereby speed up wound healing and the growth of healthy skin. In Pacific island folk medicine, Tamanu Oil is applied liberally to all manner of skin problems (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, athletes foot, as well as foot and body odour). The Tahitians also massage Tamanu Oil into the skin as they believe it helps to relieve neuralgia, rheumatism and sciatica. Polynesian women use it for helping to clear blemished skin and use it for their babies nappy rash and skin eruptions.

'The Tamanu Tree of a thousand virtues' grows to 25 or even 30 metres in height, with long, spreading limbs. Its trunk is typically thick with dark, cracked bark and its strong timber was once highly sought after by Polynesian boat builders as material for canoe hulls and boat keels. The branches are covered with shiny, dark green oval leaves, and small white flowers with yellow centres. Its blossoms give off a delightful, sweet perfume and the fruit of the tree, about the size of an apricot, has a thin flesh and a large nut kernel inside. Tamanu nut is a botanical oddity.

When the fruits of the tree are collected and cracked open, the blond nut kernel inside contains no apparent oil. But when the kernels are sun-dried on a rack for 1 - 2 months, they turn a deep chocolate brown colour, and become sticky with a rich, pleasant-smelling oil. Using a simple screw press, the oil is squeezed from the dark kernels and the resulting oil is dark green and luxurious. Though the oil is thick and rich, once it is applied to the skin it is readily and completely absorbed, leaving no oily residue. In 1918, researchers associated with the French pharmacopoeia began research into Tamanu Oil for topical and subcutaneous use. The French researchers quickly became impressed by Tamanu's healing abilities and in the French medical literature on Tamanu Oil, several instances of its successful use in cases of severe skin conditions have been reported. In one remarkable instance, a woman was admitted to the St. Louis Hospital in Paris with a large gangrenous ulcer on her leg that would not heal. Though doctors were sure that amputation was inevitable, she was given regular dressings of Tamanu Oil. The wound healed completely, leaving a smooth, flat scar.

In other cases, Tamanu Oil has been employed successfully to heal scalds. Oil of Tamanu is suitable for general skin and cosmetic purposes. The oil's unusual absorption, its mild and pleasant aroma, and its luxurious feel make it ideal for use in lotions, creams, ointments and other cosmetic products. Considering that Tamanu is a potent healing agent with proven benefits, it is only a matter of time before Tamanu breaks through to more widespread use, and assumes a position among other successful topical and cosmetic ingredients. To use, apply liberally onto the skin as required. THE SCIENCE Research shows that Oil of Tamanu contains three basic classes of lipids; neutrallipids, glycolipids and phospholipids. It also has a unique fatty acid and a novel antibiotic lactone and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agent called calophyllolide. These and other components of tamanu oil, including anti-inflammatory coumarins, account for some of the oil's beneficial activity. Based on the known activity of known constituents, it is clear that oil of Tamanu possesses antibacterial and anti-inflammatory activities. The unique cicatrising properties of Tamanu Oil are not yet explained in existing scientific literature, though this activity is established and accepted.

The same is true for Tamanu's anti-neuralgic properties. Tamanu Oil is well documented for its relief of neuritis, but the constituents responsible and their modes of activity are not yet known. Kaye Bewley www.BESTherapies3.com You have permission to use this article in any publication, as long as you keep the links and names intact. ZZZZZZ .


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