The Tamanu tree (pronounced TAMANOU) from Asia with the botanical name Calophyllum Inophyllum belongs to the family of the Guttifères. It has gradually spread over the centuries in various temperate climates, as well as in Tahiti.
Today, the Calophyllum Inophyllum tree is relatively popular in the Pacific region. It can reach a height of 10 or 15 meters with very knotty branches that produce large leaves of a dark green with pale yellow veins. Small white flowers are born at the branching of the leaves and give off a sweet perfume, but it is its fruits that are of great interest especially for the oil of Tamanu that is extracted from it.
Hundreds of varieties of Calophyllum Inophyllum have been registered around the world, but Inophyllum Tahitensis is the one with the best characteristics.
The name TAMANU is a Tahitian word that specifically describes the Calophyllum Inophyllum, which grows in Tahiti (the Tahitensis variety). The evergreen Tamanu nuts grow in isolated grapes. They only have a diameter of 3 to 4 centimeters and turn dark red when they mature. Unlike most other nuts that produce vegetable oils, Tamanus fresh almonds are completely oil-free when they fall from the tree.
Tamanu nuts should be exposed to the sun for a few weeks to become brownish and develop an aromatic odor. Their germination is over and their ability to produce oil is maximum.
The pure Tamanu oil, which is extracted from the sun-dried nuts, is a rich yellow-ocher color, a little greenish with a very pronounced. It contains a high concentration of resin (more than 20%), which gives it its therapeutic properties, which are known in pharmacy and cosmetics.