Tamanu Oil

Scientific Name(s): Calophyllum inophyllum L. (Clusiaceae). 1

Common Name(s): Alexandrian laurel , Tamanu oil , tamanu , ti , kamanu , kamani , fetau , dolno , dilo 1 , 2

Uses

Tamanu oil has been used traditionally as a local medicine, and is sometimes considered the African, Asian, Polynesian, and Pacific Rim panacea. All parts of the plant (ie, bark, leaves, seeds) have been used medically as antiseptics, astringents, expectorants, diuretics, and purgatives. The oil possesses antimicrobial and antiviral activity.

Dosing

None suggested because of lack of clinical data.

Contraindications

None.

Pregnancy/Lactation

Avoid use. Information regarding safety and efficacy in pregnancy and lactation is lacking.

Interactions

None well documented.

Adverse Reactions

There are case reports in scientific literature of allergic contact dermatitis from tamanu oil. Tamanu oil may cause hypersensitivity reactions in patients with an existing allergy to plants in the Clusiaceae family.

Toxicology

Review of the scientific literature reveals little to no toxicity data on the plant.

Botany

The genus Calophyllum consists of approximately 130 species. C. inophyllum is indigenous to Southeast Asia, and is also found in Southern India, Sri Lanka, and throughout the islands of Melanesia and Polynesia. It is a tropical evergreen plant that can grow up to 30 m in height. The trunk is typically thick and the bark is dark to grayish brown. The plant has dark green oval leaves and white flowers with a yellow center. The mature green fruit is inedible and is about the size of an apricot. The plant prefers salty and sandy soil. 1 , 2

History

Tamanu has been used traditionally as a local medicine, and is sometimes considered to be the African, Asian, Polynesian, and Pacific Rim panacea. All parts of the plant (bark, leaves, seeds) have been used medicinally as antiseptics, astringents, expectorants, diuretics, and purgatives. The oils of the seed and root have been used to treat wounds and scabies. In Pacific island folk medicine, the oil has been topically applied to treat various ailments such as cuts, scrapes, burns, insect bites and stings, abrasions, acne and acne scars, psoriasis, diabetic sores, anal fissures, sunburn, dry or scaly skin, blisters, eczema, herpes sores, and to reduce foot and body odor. The oil has also been topically applied to the neck area to treat sore throat. The oil is valued for its analgesic and pain-relieving properties and has been used to treat neuralgia, rheumatism, and sciatica. The oil is used in Chinese traditional medicine to treat rheumatism, skin infections, wounds, leprous nephritis, pain, eye diseases, and inflammation. 1 , 2 , 3 , 4

Chemistry

Xanthones isolated from the plant have antibacterial activity, and 4-phenyl coumarins obtained from its leaves may have antitumor-promoting activity. Several triterpenes, flavonoid glycosides, neoflavonoids, pyranoamentoflavone, and other bioactive compounds have been isolated from the plant. Two isomeric benzodipyranone derivatives have been isolated from the leaves. 5

The root bark contains the xanthones caloxanthone A, B, C, and D. Caloxanthone E was isolated from the root heartwood of the plant. 6 , 7

Two epimers, inophynone and isoinophynone, were isolated from the leaves of the plant, as well as friedelin, canophyllol, and canophyllic acid. 2

Four pyranocoumarin derivatives have been isolated from the seeds of the plant, designated as inocalophyllins A (1), B (2), and their methyl esters (3, 4). Ten 4-phenylcoumarins have also been isolated from the plant. 4 , 8

The anti-HIV activity of the following coumarins has also been reviewed and includes: calophyllolide, inophyllum P (Soullatrolide), inophyllum B, inophyllum C, and inophyllum E. 9

Uses and Pharmacology

Review of the scientific literature reveals mostly animal studies evaluating the efficacy of tamanu oil.

Antibacterial activity
In vitro analysis

At a dose of 20 mcg/disc in an agar well diffusion assay, caloxanthone A, calophynic acid, brasiliensic acid, inophylloidic acid, calophyllolide, and inophyllum C and E, were found to inhibit Staphylococcus aureus but not Vibrio anguillarium , Escherichia coli , and the yeast Candida tropicalis . 10

Antiviral activity
In vitro analysis

Various chemical components of C. inophyllum have been examined for antiviral activity. Inophyllums are considered novel nonnucleoside inhibitors of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 reverse transcriptase. Inophyllum B was active against HIV-1 in cell culture with an IC50 of 1.4 millimoles (mM). Inophyllum P (soullatrolide) also has anti-HIV activity. 9 , 11

Anticancer activity
Animal studies

The isolation of 10 natural 4-phenylcoumarins from C. inophyllum inhibited (except inophyllum C and calocoumarin C) Epstein-Barr virus early antigen in Raji cells. Calocoumarin-A exhibited the most potent inhibitory activity in a 2-stage mouse skin carcinogenesis test. 8

Dosage

None suggested due to lack of clinical data.

Pregnancy/Lactation

Information regarding safety and efficacy in pregnancy and lactation is lacking.

Interactions

None well documented.

Adverse Reactions

There are case reports of allergic contact dermatitis from tamanu oil. Tamanu oil may cause hypersensitivity reactions in patients with an existing allergy to plants in the Clusiaceae family.

Toxicology

Review of the scientific literature reveals little to no toxicity data on the plant.

Bibliography

1. Kilham C. Tamanu oil. A tropical topical remedy. HerbalGram . 2004;63:26-31.
2. Ali MS, Mahmud S, Perveen S, Ahmad VU, Rizwani GH. Epimers from the leaves of Calophyllum inophyllum . Phytochemistry . 1999;50:1385-1389.
3. Dweck AC, Meadows T. Tamanu ( Calophyllum inophyllum ) - the African, Asian, Polynesian and Pacific panacea. Int J Cosmet Sci . 2002;24:341-348.
4. 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;51:802-806.
5. Khan NU, Parveen N, Singh MP, et al. Two isomeric benzodipyranone derivatives from Calophyllum inophyllum . Phytochemistry . 1996;42:1181-1183.
6. Iinuma M, Tosa H, Tanaka T, Yonemori S. Two xanthones from roots of Calophyllum inophyllum . Phytochemistry . 1995;38:725-728.
7. Goh SH, Jantan I. A xanthone from Calophyllum inophyllum . Phytochemistry . 1991;30:366-367.
8. Itoigawa M, Ito C, Tan HT, et al. Cancer chemopreventive agents, 4-phenylcoumarins from Calophyllum inophyllum . Cancer Lett . 2001;169:15-19.
9. Spino C, Dodier M, Sotheeswaran S. Anti-HIV coumarins from Calophyllum seed oil. Bioorg Med Chem Lett . 1998;24:3475-3478.
10. Yimdjo MC, Azebaze AG, Nkengfack AE, Meyer AM, Bodo B, Fomum ZT. Antimicrobial and cytotoxic agents from Calophyllum inophyllum . Phytochemistry . 2004;65:2789-2795.
11. 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 . 1994;269:6325-6331.

Copyright © 2009 Wolters Kluwer Health

Hide
(web1)