The candlenut tree grows in tropical environments. It produces the candlenut fruit that encloses the candlenut. The candlenut goes by many names such as candleberry, kukui nut, kemiri, lumbang, buahkeras and Indian walnut. The candlenut fruit is not edible and contains one or two seeds. These seeds, called the candlenut, are cultivated commercially for their oil which has numerous benefits. The nuts contain up to 70% oil. The candlenuts are yellow, oily and brittle. They are grounded and added to curries in their native countries.
The candlenut tree is native to Southeast Asia, where it was first cultivated in Indonesia and then carried to the Pacific Islands. Today the candlenut grows around the globe in temperate climates such as that of Polynesia, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand, China and Australia.
- Did you know that the candlenut derives its name from a very old practice of making a candle by passing a palm leaf through the nut of the candlenut? This worked and the flame burned because of the oil in the nut.
- Candlenut is widely used in making curries and stews in South Asian countries like Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. It is also added as seasoning to Hawaiian dishes.
- A fully-grown candlenut tree can yield up to a hundred pounds of candlenuts in one season.
- The candlenut tree is known as the kukui tree in Hawaii, and it is the official tree of the state.
- The raw candlenut seeds are toxic. They must be roasted before they can be consumed.
Health Benefits of Candlenut
The leaves, fruits and seeds of the candlenut have been traditionally used for medicinal purposes in Indonesia, Malaysia and Hawaii. Let us look at some of these health benefits.
- Cure to Arthritis
The candlenut oil is used to relieve joint pain and stiffness due to arthritis. Consumption of candlenuts plays a vital role in maintaining your joints healthy and your bones strong. Find out more about fruits that help in keeping your bones strong.
- Maintain Digestive Health
The candlenuts are rich in fiber. High fiber content of the candlenuts makes them a desirable food item as fiber promotes digestion by maintaining gut health. Making candlenuts a regular part of your diet will decrease the chances of you suffering from gastrointestinal diseases.
- Medicinal Uses of the Pulp
- Medicinal Uses of the Leaves
The leaves of the candlenut tree are used in treating microbial infections and as painkillers. They are also used to treat gonorrhea and ulcers. If you are looking for more natural treatment of ulcers, read this.
Skin and Hair Benefits
The candlenut oil or the kukui nut oil has been used since long for its nourishing properties and the protection it offers from environmental factors like wind, sun and salt.
- Heals the Skin
The candlenut oil seeps into the deepest layers of the skin and nourishes the skin from within. It is used to treat dry or chapped skin, sunburnt skin, acne-prone skin and windburns, lesions and scars on the skin.
- Revitalizes the Skin
The vitamins A, E and C present in the candlenut oil revitalize the skin and act as anti-aging agents. It is absorbed into the skin quickly and does not make the skin look oily. It also locks moisture into the skin. If you are looking for more natural items to achieve healthy and shiny skin, check out this article.
- Protects the Skin
The kukui oil forms a thin, protective layer onto the skin that acts as a barrier against wind and sunlight. it contains high amounts of skin-beneficial fatty acids that keep your skin healthy and glowing.
- Nourishes the Hair
Kukui nut oil has incredible moisturizing and nourishing properties and is excellent for dry or frizzy hair. The minerals and vitamins in kukui oil keep the hair healthy and soft. It enters deep into the hair follicles and hair shafts and that is the reason it can completely revitalize damaged hair.
- Stops Hair fall and Stimulates Hair Growth
If you struggle with hair fall, you might want to try candlenut oil. It contains minerals and proteins that act on your hair follicle and stop hair fall. It also acts as a stimulant for growing hair. By using candlenut oil regularly, your hair will grow back stronger than before.
- Brings Luster to Hair
The candlenut oil not only nourishes your hair to make it stronger but also makes your hair shiny and lustrous. Exposure to wind and sunlight can cause your hair to lighten in color but with consistent use, candlenut oil can restore your original hair color.
The candlenut has been used in medicinal treatments in many parts of the world since a long time. Its oil, better known as kukui nut oil, has become widely known and is extensively used in today’s world for its health and skin and hair benefits.