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The Sacred and Medicinal Tamanu Oil

Posted by Elizabeth Johnston on
Natural and Organic skincare remedies using tamanu oil. Also called dilo oil, effective in the treatment of eczema, dry flaky skin and psoriasis.  Tamanu oil natural produces collagen for the skin.

Tamanu oil is extracted from the nut of the Calophyllum Inophyllum tree. In Greek, Calophyllum means ‘beautiful leaf’, from the Greek kalos (beautiful) and phullon (leaf).[1] 

The Tamanu tree is native to South East Asia and the South Pacific and was only recently introduced to Europe, the US and other western markets, primarily in the cosmetics industry. 

Due to its widespread appeal, the plant has become known by a variety of names and many traditional uses over the years. Tamanu seems to be the most commonly used name, although other names are:

Bitangor, bitaog in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines

Dilo in Fiji

Domba in Sri Lanka

Fetau in Samoa

Kamani or Kamanu in Hawaii

In India the tree is generally known as Pinnai or the tree that cures.  

It holds sacred status as an incarnation of Adi Shesha and the tree that Shiva appears on during the annual festival in Panguni.[2]In Polynesia, the tree was central to many tribal rituals, idols were carved out of the tamanu wood and even today the tree is seen as a connection to the past.

Since ancient times, the oils extracted from the tamanu seeds have been used for wound healing properties, specifically for rashes, cuts, grazes. In cosmetics the oil has been used as a topical support treatment for nappy rash, acne, eczema, blisters and general dry skin.

With this introduction of tamanu oil into modern cosmetics, scientific research has now identified the specific compounds or Actives which make this oil so effective that it’s now classes as a Bio-Active. With analysis and research on human skin cells, evidence has proven this oil is effective in cellular proliferation, collagen production and wound healing.  The presence of the compounds classed as neoflavanoid which come under the family of polyphenolic compounds found in fruits and vegetables are powerful anti-oxidants and are likely to contribute to the efficacy of tamanu oil as a skin healing remedy. [3]


As an anti-bacterial tamanu oil is not effective against Staphylococ- cus aureus, S. typhimurium, P. aeruginosa, and Bacillus subtilis, research shows it’s also super effective against Bacillus cereus, Staphylo- coccus epidermidis, Staphylococcus haemo- lyticus, Corynebacterium minutissimum, and Propionibacterium species. Propionibacte- rium species are associated with acne.[4]

VATEA uses this unique oil in all products, aiming to soothe irritated skin, support dry and sensitive skin and soften the skin when needed.

Tamanu trees that heal the skin of wounds, cuts and abraisions.  Natural remedy for dry skin for natural and organic skincare.  





[1] [1] Kilham, C.  Tamanu Oil: A Tropical Topical Remedy, Herbal Gram 2004; 63:26-31. American Botanical Council.  [] Accessed on 15/6/16


[2]Padmanabhan, Geeta The Tree that Cures The Hindu Chennai April 30, 3014 [] Accessed on 28/9/2016







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