Kukui nut oil (Aleurite moluccana), is also known as Lumbang, candlenut and Indian walnut. This is a natural oil expeller pressed from the seeds of the fruit of this tropical tree, which was officially named Hawaii’s state tree in 1959. The white flower blossoms of the tree are often used to make leis. In ancient Hawaii, the nuts were burned one by one every few minutes, leading to their use as a measure of time. Instructions could be made for someone to return home before the second nut burned out. The oil was used for centuries for lighting, but was also used for soaps, paint oils and wood preservation.
Because it contains Vitamin A, E, oleic, linoleic and linoleic acids, this oil helps revitalize and restore the skin’s normal balance. Hawaiians have used it to soothe burns and cuts and to protect their skin from damage caused by sun and salt. It is commonly used in suncreens, lotions and creams, lip and body balms.
Some of the healing properties include relieving chapped skin and irritations, treatment of psoriasis and eczema, as well as acne and other skin disorders. It soothes irritations, lesions, sunburn and burns by protecting the tissue from drying. It is a wonderful moisturizer that does not leave the skin feeling greasy.
Several parts of this plant have been used in traditional medicine in areas where it is native. The oil is an irritant and purgative and sometimes used like castor oil. It is also used as a hair stimulant additive to hair treatment systems.
Kukui nut oil has a light, sweet nutty aroma and has a thin texture that absorbs well. It is clear with a hint of yellow. It can be expensive and tends to go rancid rather quickly, so plan to purchase a small amount that can be used within a 6 month period. Proper storage in a cool place (refrigerate after opening) out of direct sunlight will extend the shelf life.
There are no documented allergies, but people with nut allergies should use it with caution.
A registered nurse and 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: http://home.comcast.net/~judy922/site