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Tamanu (Calophyllum inophyllum L.)

Generic Name: Calophyllum


Herbs & 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.


DISCLAIMER: 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.


WARNING: 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.


DISCLAIMER: 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.


Avoid in individuals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to tamanu or its constituents. Allergic dermatitis has been reported.

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

Tamanu is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack of available scientific evidence.

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