10 Possible Ways Tamanu Oil Can Benefit You

Medically reviewed by Alexandra Dusenberry, MS, RDN Alexandra Dusenberry Alexandra DusenberryMS, RDN twitter_iconlinkedin_iconinsta_icon
Written by , BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health Ravi Teja Tadimalla BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health Experience: 8 years
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Tamanu oil is pressed from the nuts of tropical trees belonging to the Calophyllaceae family. The oil is greenish-yellow and inedible and offers great benefits to your skin. In this post, we’ll discuss the different ways this oil can boost your skin health.

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Tamanu Oil – A Brief

The oil originates in Polynesia, where it is traditionally also quite important. The oil was used as fuel decades ago. It was widely used to generate electricity to provide power to radios during World War II.

Today, tamanu oil is widely used in Polynesia and Southeast Asia for treating various skin issues. In the southern parts of India, the oil is particularly used for treating skin ailments and some forms of rheumatism, as per anecdotal evidence.

But the greatest use of tamanu oil, as we discussed, is in treating a variety of skin and hair issues. We will look into all of those now.

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How Can Tamanu Oil Benefit You?

1. Helps Fight Acne

Tamanu oil has anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties, which work to alleviate skin issues like acne. These properties make the oil an essential ingredient in skin regenerating and protective formulations (1).

2. May Treat Hyperpigmentation

One of the most common causes of hyperpigmentation is skin inflammation that occurs due to excessive exposure to UV rays. As the oil possesses anti-inflammatory properties, it may help treat hyperpigmentation.

3. Aids Eczema Treatment

The anti-inflammatory properties of tamanu oil can help treat eczema too. Studies show that the decoction of tamanu leaves can be used to relieve dermatosis and eczema (2).

4. May Aid Psoriasis Treatment

Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin condition. Tamanu oil contains calophyllolide, a compound that displayed wound-healing and anti-inflammatory effects in a study on mice (3). Another study showed that extracts of tamanu leaves reduced inflammation of cells in the laboratory (4).

5. Treats Dry Skin

Treats Dry Skin
Image: Shutterstock

Tamanu oil is believed to penetrate the three layers of the skin, thereby moisturizing it at a much deeper level.

It also helps heal skin cracks and sores (1).

6. Soothes Rashes

The oil’s anti-inflammatory properties are at play here. Applying the oil gently to the rashes can help heal them. The moisturizing properties of the oil promote further healing.

These are some of the major benefits of tamanu oil. Though some of these are backed by research, some are anecdotal claims that are undergoing further research.

Tamanu oil is also believed to offer the following benefits. We suggest you check with your doctor before using the oil for the below-mentioned benefits.

7. May Delay Wrinkles

This has to do with the fatty acids in the oil, which lubricate and nourish your skin. The oil promotes skin elasticity and firmness, thereby delaying the onset of wrinkles.

8. May Help Fade Stretch Marks

There is very little reliable evidence for this. The anti-inflammatory properties may lighten stretch marks and the associated scars. It also is believed to have cell-renewing properties that further help fade stretch marks.

9. May Treat Toenail Fungus

A few pieces of anecdotal evidence state that toenail fungus responds quite well to tamanu oil. You may apply a few drops of the oil to the affected area. Repeat two to three times every day for about a week.

10. Might Strengthen Hair

The skin-regenerating properties of tamanu oil may work well on the scalp too, possibly strengthening the hair roots. The oil may add moisture to the hair, preventing a dry scalp. This may stall hair loss, and as a result, boost hair growth.

Like any other oil, tamanu oil has its ways of improving your skin health. But then, it may not be suitable for all. You need to be aware of the following side effects.

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Any Side Effects Of Tamanu Oil?

The oil is generally considered safe, but it may cause allergies like itching, redness, and irritation in some individuals. Hence, do a patch test – if you experience no reactions, the oil should suit you.

If you have a tree nut allergy, you should avoid tamanu oil. As the oil is pressed from the nuts of the trees belonging to the Calophyllaceae family, individuals with tree nut allergies may experience adverse reactions.

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Tamanu oil has great benefits for your skin. It may prove to be an ideal treatment option for acne and psoriasis. With the oil on your kitchen shelf, you don’t have to worry about your skin health anymore!

Have you already used tamanu oil before? What was your experience like? Do share with us by leaving a comment in the box below.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to use tamanu oil?

Pour 2 to 3 drops of the oil on a clean cotton ball and rub the cotton ball gently on the problem area. You can leave it on for 30 minutes before rinsing your face with lukewarm water.

What is the shelf life of tamanu oil?

If stored in a cool and dry place and away from direct sunlight, tamanu oil can last up to 5 years. You can store the oil in the bottle that you are using.


  1. Tamanu – the African, Asian…” International Journal of Cosmetic Science.
  2. The wound healing and antibacterial…” PLOS One, US National Library of Medicine.
  3. Anti-inflammatory and wound-healing activities…” PLOS One.
  4. Anti-inflammatory effects of…” Oncology Reports, Spandidos Publications.

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Alexandra Dusenberry is a registered dietitian nutritionist and a certified personal trainer based in San Diego, California. She has 6 years of experience and works with clients around the world to help them reach their health and fitness goals.

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