Drugs A - Z
Tamanu (Calophyllum inophyllum L.)
Generic Name: Calophyllum
CategoryHerbs & Supplements
Alexandrian laurel, ati tree, bioflavanoids, brasiliensic acid, calaustralin, calophyllolide, Calophyllum inophyllum L., calophyllic acid, calophynic acid, caloxanthone A, Clusiaceae (family), delta-tocotriene, dilo, dipyranocoumarin, dolno, fatty acids, feta'u, fetau, Foraha oil, Guttiferae (family), hydrocyanic acid, Hypericaceae (family), inocalophyllin A, inocalophyllin B, inophylloidic acid, inophyllum B, inophyllum C, inophyllum E, kamani, kamanu, linoleic fatty acid, nambagura, ndamanu, oleic fatty acid, palmitic fatty acid, poon, punnai, punnakkai, saponins, stearic fatty acid, sterols, temanu, ti, tocopherol, tocotriene, tree of a thousand virtues, triterpenes, undi, xanthone.
Tamanu is a large tropical tree native to Polynesia and Southeast Asia. In Chinese and Tahitian traditional medicine, tamanu is used for abrasions, acne, anal fissures, blisters, burns (boiling water, sun, x-rays), cuts, diabetic ulcers, dry skin, eczema, herpes sores, insect bites and stings, psoriasis, scars, sore throat, foot and body odor, and for pain from muscle, nerve, shingles, leprous neuritis (inflammation associated with leprosy), or rheumatological etiologies.
The phytochemistry of tamanu has been well established, and there are several laboratory and animal trials showing effectiveness of tamanu as an antibacterial, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral agent. There is limited evidence from human clinical trials, however, about its safety or effectiveness.
EvidenceDISCLAIMER: These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
TraditionWARNING: DISCLAIMER: The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.
Abrasions, acne, age spots, anal fissures, analgesia (inability to feel pain), anthelmintic (expels worms), antibacterial, anticoagulant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, athlete's foot, bed sores, blisters, burns (boiling water, sun, x-rays), cancer, cicatrizant (scar tissue formation), constipation, cuts, diabetic ulcers, diaper rash, dry skin, dysentery (severe diarrhea), eczema, eye disorders (sore eyes), eyewash, gout, hemorrhage (internal bleeding), herpes, insect bites/stings, leprosy, molluscicidal (kills mollusks), neuralgia (nerve pain), pain, psoriasis, rheumatism, ringworm, scabies, sedative, skin conditions, sore throat, stretch marks, wound care.
Adults (18 years and older):
There is no proven safe or effective dose for tamanu. For wound healing, tamanu oil has been applied "liberally" to cuts and other wounds.
Children (younger than 18 years):
There is no proven safe or effective dose for tamanu in children, and use is not recommended.
SafetyDISCLAIMER: Many complementary techniques are practiced by healthcare professionals with formal training, in accordance with the standards of national organizations. However, this is not universally the case, and adverse effects are possible. Due to limited research, in some cases only limited safety information is available.
Side Effects and Warnings
There are very few reports of tamanu and its adverse effects. Allergic dermatitis has been reported. Although not well studied in humans, tamanu may cause central nervous system depression (eg. sedation), and increase prothrombin and bleeding time. Caution is advised in patients with bleeding disorders or taking drugs that may increase the risk of bleeding. Dosing adjustments may be necessary.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Interactions with Drugs
Although not well studied in humans, xanthone compounds from tamanu may potentiate ether anesthesia. Consult with a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, before combining therapies.
Tamanu may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with drugs that increase the risk of bleeding. Some examples include aspirin, anticoagulants ("blood thinners") such as warfarin (Coumadin®) or heparin, anti-platelet drugs such as clopidogrel (Plavix®), and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) or naproxen (Naprosyn®, Aleve®).
Xanthone compounds from tamanu may increase the amount of drowsiness caused by some drugs. Examples include benzodiazepines such as lorazepam (Ativan®) or diazepam (Valium®), barbiturates such as phenobarbital, narcotics such as codeine, some antidepressants, and alcohol. Caution is advised while driving or operating machinery.
Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements
Tamanu may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with herbs and supplements that are believed to increase the risk of bleeding. Multiple cases of bleeding have been reported with the use of Ginkgo biloba, and fewer cases with garlic and saw palmetto. Numerous other agents may theoretically increase the risk of bleeding, although this has not been proven in most cases.
Xanthone compounds from tamanu may increase the amount of drowsiness caused by some herbs or supplements.
This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature, and was peer-reviewed and edited by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com): Nicole Giese, MS (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Dana A. Hackman, BS (Northeastern University); David Kiefer, MD (University of Arizona); Lisa Scully, PharmD (Massachusetts College of Pharmacy); Shaina Tanguay-Colucci, BS (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Catherine Ulbricht, PharmD (Massachusetts General Hospital); Wendy Weissner, BA (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Shannon Welch, PharmD (Northeastern University); Denise Wong, PharmD (Massachusetts College of Pharmacy).
BibliographyDISCLAIMER: Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.
Adeyeye A. Studies on seed oils of Garcinia kola and Calophyllum inophyllum. Journal Of The Science Of Food And Agriculture 1991;57(3):441-442.
Crane S, Aurore G, Joseph H, et al. Composition of fatty acids triacylglycerols and unsaponifiable matter in Calophyllum calaba L. oil from Guadeloupe. Phytochemistry 2005;66(15):1825-1831.
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Hemavathy J, Prabhakar JV. Lipid composition of Calophyllum inophyllum kernel. Journal Of The American Oil Chemists' Society 1990;67(12):955-957.
Itoigawa M, Ito C, Tan HT, et al. Cancer chemopreventive agents, 4-phenylcoumarins from Calophyllum inophyllum. Cancer Lett. 8-10-2001;169(1):15-19.
Laure F, Herbette G, Faure R, et al. Structures of new secofriedelane and friedelane acids from Calophyllum inophyllum of French Polynesia. Magn Reson.Chem 2005;43(1):65-68.
Le Coz CJ. Allergic contact dermatitis from tamanu oil (Calophyllum inophyllum, Calophyllum tacamahaca). Contact Dermatitis 2004;51(4):216-217.
Mahmud S, Rizwani GR, Ahmad M, et al. Antimicrobial studies on fractions and pure compounds of Calophyllum inophyllum Linn. Pakistan Journal of Pharmacology 1998;15(2):13-25.
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Patil AD, Freyer AJ, Eggleston DS, et al. The inophyllums, novel inhibitors of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase isolated from the Malaysian tree, Calophyllum inophyllum Linn. J Med Chem 12-24-1993;36(26):4131-4138.
Sekino E, Kumamoto T, Tanaka T, et al. Concise synthesis of anti-HIV-1 active (+)-inophyllum B and (+)-calanolide A by application of (-)-quinine-catalyzed intramolecular oxo-Michael addition. J Org Chem 4-16-2004;69(8):2760-2767.
Shen YC, Hung MC, Wang LT, Chen CY. Inocalophyllins A, B and their methyl esters from the seeds of Calophyllum inophyllum. Chem Pharm Bull.(Tokyo) 2003;51(7):802-806.
Spino C, Dodier M, Sotheeswaran S. Anti-HIV coumarins from Calophyllum seed oil. Bioorg.Med Chem Lett. 12-15-1998;8(24):3475-3478.
Taylor PB, Culp JS, Debouck C, et al. Kinetic and mutational analysis of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 reverse transcriptase inhibition by inophyllums, a novel class of non-nucleoside inhibitors. J Biol.Chem 3-4-1994;269(9):6325-6331.
Yimdjo MC, Azebaze AG, Nkengfack AE, et al. Antimicrobial and cytotoxic agents from Calophyllum inophyllum. Phytochemistry 2004;65(20):2789-2795.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.