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Foraha Tamanu A Tropical Oil to Aid in the Relief of Pain

Judy Lausch

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The oil of Foraha/Tamanu (calophyllum inophyllum) is well documented for its relief of the pain of neuritis. Traditionally tamanu oil has a history of topical use for relieving the pain of sciatica, shingles, neuralgia, rheumatism, and leprous neuritis, for which it is effective. In the late 1920's, a nun in the Society of Mary stationed in Fiji, became aware of a local topical aid for neuritis know locally as Dolno, or tamanu oil. She began to use it topically for leprosy victims for the relief of neuritis associated with that disease. She had amazing results. French researchers started investigating its effectiveness for neuritis and then became impressed with its ability to speed wound healing. Foraha/Tamanu also has the ability to promote the formation of new tissue which helps accelerate wound healing.

Foraha/Tamanu contains several neutral fatty acids: oleic, palmitic, linoleic, linolenic and stearic, These fatty acids along with a particular fatty acid called calophyllic acid and anti-inflammatory agents called calophyllolide and coumarins are just some of the ingredients chemists believe give the oil its healing components. It has a pleasant, nutty aroma.

Although expensive, Foraha/Tamanu is has the distinct advantage of having a very long shelf life. That said, it still should be kept out of direct heat. I have found it to be a wonderful oil to use as a base for therapeutic essential oils. I have personally found that applying the oil neat (undiluted) or with essential oils to be highly effective in relieving the carpal tunnel pain, and also pain from arthritis.

People with nut allergies should be cautious using this oil as there are reports of allergic contact dermatitis.

A registered aromatherapist, Judy has a special interest in using essential oils in health care and prevention. For information about Judy and for ways to obtain her favorite essential oils, visit her Web page at:


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