An Oil for Scars

by Andrea Butje on May 15, 2017

tamanu oil for scarsIf I’m making a butter or oil for scars or old wounds, one of my favorite carrier oils to use is tamanu.

Tamanu oil comes from Madagascar and the Polynesian Islands, and has a very intense, nutty, curry-like aroma. In some areas of the Polynesian Islands it’s been used as a traditional medicine for healing skin conditions, old wounds, and scars. 

The production of tamanu oil is fascinating! The tamanu tree produces a beautiful fruit with a big nut inside it. The oil comes from the nuts . . . but it’s not present in the nuts as the fruit ripens, or even after it falls from the tree. The oil only forms after the nuts are allowed to dry in the sun for about eight weeks. During that time, the nuts turn brown and lose about a third of their weight. Then—when it seems like they’re all dried up and done with their life cycle—they can be cold pressed and the precious oil is extracted.

Sometimes I’ll blend tamanu oil into a scar butter (along with shea, coconut oil, beeswax, and jojoba), and other times I’ll stick with a simple oil for scars with just tamanu and essential oils. Here’s one of those blends:

Tamanu & Frankincense Oil for Scars

  • 2 oz (60 ml) Tamanu oil (Calophyllum inophyllum)
  • 12 drops Frankincense essential oil (Boswellia carterii)
  • 12 drops Helichrysum essential oil (Helichrysum italicum)
  • 12 drops Lavender essential oil (Lavandula angustifolia)

Make your blend in a 2 oz (60 ml) glass bottle. You can use it three to five times a day and massage it into scars, stretch marks, old injuries, and anywhere you might need a little TLC. The aroma of this blend is very distinctive.

This oil for scars is made at a 3% dilution. We talk more about diluting essential oils in Aromahead’s free class, the Introduction to Essential Oils. It’s so reassuring to know you can choose the right oils and the right dilution to safely blend for different situations! If you haven’t signed up for the free class yet, I invite you to join us—we have a lot of fun!

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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!

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

KIM AUE June 21, 2017 at 7:52 am

would this be good for a burn as it heals? my mom has a big burn on her arm from her iron, its still in healing process, can she use this now or does she need to wait?


Andrea Butje June 21, 2017 at 10:29 am

Hi Kim!
Yes it would! It’s great for burns – it can help with the healing process.


Venu Tanneru May 22, 2017 at 3:05 am

Fascinating stuff, Andrea. I’m really thankful of you for sharing this. Scars are something everyone wants to get rid of but few people like me prefer natural products instead of the chemical ones. Tamanu is a great discovery for me. You just made my life a lot easier. I will definitely check this out. Thanks for the recipe for application too.


Andrea Butje May 22, 2017 at 5:20 pm

I would love to hear from you Venu when you try it! Share with us how it goes!


Kathy jarrell May 21, 2017 at 10:18 am

Where can I purchase Tamano oil?


Andrea Butje May 22, 2017 at 5:19 pm
Kat May 19, 2017 at 12:17 pm

Thank you for your wealth of wisdom offered each month.
Eventually, I will be able to get back into my practice of aromatherapy and extend my education. But for now, you are providing me with such a great collection of resources and great information.

Thank you for sharing your abundance!


Andrea Butje May 20, 2017 at 11:51 am

❤️ Kat, I am truly blessed and grateful to receive your kind words of support!


David Graves May 18, 2017 at 2:20 pm

Thank you for this post. I love your blog very much. Oddly, I had purchased a 16 oz bottle of Tamanu oil about a month ago. I THINK I got it because I had seen an article about its properties for skin care. But I did NOT see anything about scar work. I am a Medicupper and do lots of scar tissue work. I am SO excited about using your scar tissue formula with cupping now! THANKS!!!!!


Andrea Butje May 18, 2017 at 4:17 pm

That’s so great David! We’d love to hear back from you as you being working with Tamanu!


Lisa May 17, 2017 at 3:04 pm

Thank you for sharing Andrea!
1. Do you have any ideas for using the Tamanu oil with Shea butter?
2. The recipe you shared uses Helichrysum which is out of my budget right now. Can Geranium oil be used as a substitute?


Andrea Butje May 20, 2017 at 12:04 pm

Hi Lisa!
Blending Shea and Tamanu oil would be great to explore – they are both skin healing.
This blog post has a wonderful wonderful blend that you could use:
I can suggest to reduce the Coconut and Cocoa Butter to 1 oz each and add 2 oz of Tamanu oil.

You could use Rock Rose (Cistus ladaniferus) in place of Helichrysum!


Sheila May 17, 2017 at 2:24 pm

What exactly does the oil do for the scars? Will they fade at all?


Andrea Butje May 18, 2017 at 10:30 pm

Hi Sheila!
There is a lot of research that has been done regarding Tamanu oil’s ability to heal damaged skin. Tamanu oil promotes new tissue formation, accelerating healing and healthy skin growth.


Dana May 16, 2017 at 7:55 am

Can you recommend a source for Tamuna oil?


Andrea Butje May 16, 2017 at 2:42 pm

I am happy to share resources Dana!

I can suggest Aromatics – here’s a direct link:


Connie May 16, 2017 at 6:12 am

Can this be used while someone has acne breakouts? I can’t find the comedegenic rating. My daughter has had severe cystic acne leaving her face very scarred. It still breaks out, so I want to be careful what I make for her. Thank you!


Andrea Butje May 16, 2017 at 3:12 pm

Hi Connie!
Tamanu oil is wonderful for scars but each person responds differently. It is so individual what will help acne and what will irritate so what I can suggest is to try it on a small area and see how your daughter does with it.

Let us know how it goes.


Nadine Garfinkel May 15, 2017 at 12:33 pm

Hi Andrea,
I have a lot of mucus in my nose, hindering my breathing at night. Is there something I can take or do to reduce this? I don’t want to go on those over the counter sprays.
Thank you,


Andrea Butje May 16, 2017 at 12:44 am

Hi Nadine!
I like to use Elemi for respiratory issues when accompanied by a lot of mucus. Here is a diffuser blend you can try in the evening before bed.

Also this cream – applied to the chest – can help you breathe so you can drift off to sleep.
3 drops Cedarwood essential oil (Juniperus virginiana)
2 drops Elemi essential oil (Canarium luzonicum)
1 drop Lemon essential oil (Citrus limon)
1 oz (28 gm) Unscented Cream


Nadine Garfinkel May 16, 2017 at 1:38 am

Thank You so very much for getting right back to me. I don’t want to go on any RX and wanted to go the Natural Way.
Thank you again for your kindness. I will try both of these.
The problem in in my nose and not my chest. Can I still use these for that?


Andrea Butje May 16, 2017 at 2:48 pm

Yep you can Nadine. Even though it is applied it to your chest (and you can do around the neck as well) you’ll breathe it in.
Let us know how it goes.


Dragica May 15, 2017 at 7:38 am



Lynn Rice May 15, 2017 at 7:36 am

I am most grateful for the knowledge you share. Thank you.
This is totally off topic- iam interested to know why I am not finding anything about lilac essential oil and what it’s benefits are, if any. It is my favorite besides rose which is also hard to find.


Andrea Butje May 15, 2017 at 11:34 pm

Hi Lynn!
It’s a wonderful aroma and a beautiful flower but the lilac flower is too delicate to distill – there isn’t a lilac essential oil.


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