Tamanu oil (Callophylum inophyllum) has really captured our attention, the more we research its properties. Its an extremely diversely therapeutic carrier oil — and here’s a summary of some peer-reviewed research on it we think you’ll find interesting.
Speeding healing of the skin:
Researchers in the Journal of Cosmetic Sciences presented a study titled: “Tamanu – the African, Asian, Polynesian and Pacific Panacea” note the following: Tamanu has been used traditionally as a local medicine for many different purposes. The oil has been proven to be vulnerary and cicatrising in its effects. The chemicals responsible for this action are calophyllolide and inophyllum in addition to other complex polyphenols.”
This means the oil stimulates wound healing, from which we imply that it should be excellent for many skin care uses, particularly those for age prevention…and the next report supports this further…
Acting as a natural sunscreen:
In the European Journal of Pharmacological Science (2007 Mar;30(3-4):203-10. Epub 2006 Nov 9) researchers in Paris, France published a study called “Cytoprotective effect against UV-induced DNA damage and oxidative stress: role of new biological UV filter.”
(Ed. Note: the research was specifically in regards to making an eye-drop solution which would prevent damage from UV rays — and if it does this for the eye, we expect from their description of the results, that it should work quite well for the skin, too).
The abstract notes: “After middle age, a decrease in the production of antioxidants and anti-oxidative enzymes appears with accumulation of endogenous molecules that are phototoxic. UV radiations can induce reactive oxygen species formation, leading to various ocular diseases.”
“Because most UV filters are cytotoxic for the eye, we investigated the anti-UV properties of Calophyllum inophyllum oil in order to propose it as a potential vehicle, free of toxicity, with a natural UV filter action in ophthalmic formulation. Tamanu oil, even at low concentration, exhibited significant UV absorption properties and was associated with an important sun protection factor.”
“Calophyllum inophyllum oil appeared to act as a cytoprotective agent against oxidative stress and DNA damage (85% of the DNA damage induced by UV radiations were inhibited with 1% Tamanu oil)…Calophyllum inophyllum oil thus exhibited antioxidant and cytoprotective properties, and therefore might serve, for the first time, as a natural UV filter in ophthalmic preparations.”
In this study, “Cancer chemopreventive agents, 4-phenylcoumarins from Calophyllum inophyllum (Tamanu).” published in Cancer Letters. (2001 Aug 10;169(1):15-9.)
In a search for anti-tumor-promoting agents, we carried out a primary screening of ten 4-phenylcoumarins isolated from Calophyllum inophyllum. All of the compounds tested in this study showed inhibitory…without showing any cytotoxicity. Calocoumarin-A (5) showed more potent activity than any of the other compounds tested. Furthermore, calocoumarin-A (5) exhibited a marked inhibitory effect on (skin) tumor promotion in an in vivo two-stage carcinogenesis test.
They conclude the results indicate that components naturally in the oil “might be valuable as potential cancer chemo-preventive agents (anti-tumor-promoters).”
You’ll see more skin care blends at The Ananda Apothecary in the near future, and many will most certainly contain this wonderful oil, blended with a variety of essential oils for specific therapeutic activity!