Tamanu Oil is an amazing traditional Melanesian skin care treatment used for centuries in Vanuatu and Tahiti. This ‘miracle oil’ can be used on almost any skin ailment with incredible results. Tamanu Oil has the extraordinary ability to promote the regeneration of new tissue, encouraging rapid repair and the development of healthy skin. Research is constantly revealing remarkable medicinal qualities in exotic and native plant species. Occasionally, one of these plant extracts is shown to possess such remarkable qualities that it becomes a staple in every bathroom cabinet. Aloe vera and tea tree oil are prime examples. In recent years a new plant extract from Vanuatu has emerged as a prime contender in the super oil stakes. This pacific powerhouse is called Tamanu oil.
Whenever a culture has regarded a plant material as “sacred”, then it is usually safe to assume that it is something special. The Tamanu tree (Calophyllum tacamahaca) is indigenous to tropical South East Asia and has long been considered a sacred gift from nature for skin protection and healing. A 3-metre, mature tree blooms twice a year, producing a circular, yellow skinned fruit containing a large nut. The kernel from within this nut is sun dried for up to two months until it produces a dark, thick, sticky oil. At this point the kernels are cold-pressed to generate a rich, yellow green oil. It takes a 100 kg of Tamanu fruit (the complete yield of a mature tree) to produce just 5 litres of cold pressed oil. This oil exhibits a remarkable range of benefits and the increasing international awareness of these attributes is offering much needed employment opportunities for small communities. When Tamanu oil is scientifically scrutinised it does indeed justify its “sacred” reputation. It offers multi dimensional skin support, but perhaps the greatest claim to fame relates to a phenomenon called cicatrisation.
New Tissue, Less Scars
Cicatrisation is the formation of new tissue. Tamanu oil promotes tissue formation and this growth of healthy skin is the key to the oil’s scar reducing potential. This oil can infiltrate all three layers of skin (The epidermis, dermis and hydrodermis) and this penetrative capacity explains some of its regenerative, restructuring and hydrating effect. In 2002, a study by Beausoleil and Lehman, looking at the scar reducing capacity of Tamanu oil, was published in The International Journal Of Cosmetic Science. This research involved subjects who had visible scars that had been present for at least 12 months. Tamanu oil was applied every day for a 9-week period with impressive results. There was a significant improvement in the visual appearance of the scars after 6 weeks and this continued through to the completion of the study. The overall size of the scars consistently decreased throughout the study with the length of the scars reduced by an average of 2.8 mm in length and the width of the scars reduced by 1.2 mm.
Understanding The Actives
Tamanu oil exhibits a unique and complex chemistry. In 1953, French research scientist, Professor Lederer, isolated the two key chemical components linked to the exciting citracising capacity. He identified a totally new fatty acid, calophyllic acid and a novel antibiotic lactone and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agent called calophyllolide. The oil contains three classes of lipids including neutral lipids, glycolipids and phospholipids and it also features a significant percentage of anti-inflammatory coumarins.
- Can regenerate skin.
- May aid in the reduction of scars.
- Offers comprehensive skin support – including anti-aging.
- May help reclaim skin previously affected by disease or acne.
- Super penetrative offering exceptional cell hydration.
- Features a unique fatty acid called calophyllic acid.