Tamanu Oil (Foraha)

by Andrea on August 29, 2009

Tamanu flower-110x110
Tamanu oil, extracted from the fruit of the Calophyllum inophyllum tree, is renowned for its remarkable skin healing properties.

The Tamanu tree blooms twice a year, and has aromatic white flowers that create clusters of yellow-skinned fruits.

 Producing tamanu oil is harder than you might think!

Tamanu oil doesn’t actually exist in the fruit when it falls from the tree, but forms during the drying period.

The fruit has a large nut within it. The harvested fruits are crushed to extract the nuts. The nuts are then sun-dried for eight weeks. During this time, the nuts turn brown and lose a third of their original weight. Only now does the oil content become very high inside the nut.

Once dried, the oil is extracted from the nuts by cold pressing. Tamanu oil has a curry-like, nutty aroma.

Tamanu oil’s ability to heal damaged skin has been well researched. The oil is notable for reducing scars, stretch marks (fades stretch marks with great results), minor wounds, skin irritations, rashes, bedsores and many other skin concerns.

  • Greatly aids wound healing for severe cuts and burns
  • Acts as an effective germicide to reduce or prevent infection
  • Analgesic effects, useful with St. John’s Wort herbally-infused oil for sciatica
  • Used for shingles and skin ulcers
  • Promotes new tissue formation, accelerating healing and healthy skin growth
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antibacterial
  • Anti-fungal
  • It can be used undiluted on the skin or blended with other carriers, butters and essential oils. I like to melt it with shea butter, jojoba oil, beeswax and coconut oil for a rich and healing body butter.

The shelf life is about a year and a half from pressing and the oil is best kept refrigerated.

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Owner/Instructor at Aromahead Institute
Aromahead Institute, owned by Andrea Butje, is a premier resource for online aromatherapy classes. Andrea offers her inspired approach to online aromatherapy certification through essential oil videos and original education materials. Check out her book, Essential Living: Aromatherapy Recipes for Health and Home, on Amazon!

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Chado November 24, 2010 at 5:29 pm

Hello there,

This is just a FYI email. It is possible to have a severe reaction to Tamanu oil. I did, and quite unexpectedly. I haven’t reacted to any other facial oil before, including Argan oil. My symptoms were extreme redness and swelling all over the face, including around the eyes. In total, this lasted about 4 days. I strongly recommend that people try a tiny bit of this on the inside of the arm – or maybe neck – first. This way they will not get the surprise I did. One just never knows.

The product I used was a highly reputable organic source, so it was not the product.



Bo Brinker October 6, 2009 at 12:13 pm

There is an article in Woman’s World discribing the benefits of Foraha oil for the face and body.I,m interested in trying it for sun spots and general aging.I have rosea…but not serious.Will this be safe to use?I also like the other medicinal applications.Do you have any feedback on others using this product?


Admin October 6, 2009 at 1:00 pm

Hi Bo,

I have used Tamanu (Foraha) over the years with skin issues and know many others who have as well, with good results. However, I have not sen sun spots go away….I am not sure how your skin will respond to the oil, I would suggest trying it on a tiny area and see how you do, it is so individual how people’s skin react to various oils. I hope that is helpful! And by the way, I love the oil! We import it from Madagascar and it is a personal favorite. It is very strong and smells quite potent, but can be diluted.


Reese April 6, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Hello, so where can I get it and how much does it cost? Thanks!


Admin April 6, 2010 at 3:12 pm

Hi Reese,

You can get it at AromaticsInternational.com under the carrier oil links and it costs $7.50 for an ounce-which goes a long way!


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