Candlenut

Scientific Name: Aleurites moluccanus

Bahasa Indonesian: Kemiri

Batak: Gambiri

Basic Information: 

The candlenut is a flowering tree in the spurge family, Euphorbiaceae, also known as candleberry, Indian walnut, kemiri, varnish tree, nuez de la India, buah keras, or kukui nut tree, and Kekuna tree.

Its native range is impossible to establish precisely because of early spread by humans, and the tree is now distributed throughout the Newand Old World tropics. It grows to a height of 15–25 m (49–82 ft), with wide spreading or pendulous branches. The leaves are pale green, simple, and ovate, or trilobed or rarely five-lobed, with an acute apex, 10–20 cm (3.9–7.9 in) long. The nut is round, 4–6 cm (1.6–2.4 in) in diameter; the seed shell has white, oily, and fleshy kernel that contains a thin embryo surrounded by an endosperm. Its kernel serves as the source of oil, and is covered with a thin layer of secondary seed coat.

The nut is often used cooked in Indonesian and Malaysian cuisine, where it is called kemiri in Indonesian or buah keras in Malay. On the island of Java in Indonesia, it is used to make a thick sauce that is eaten with vegetables and rice. The raw fruit is poisonous.

Modern cultivation is mostly for the oil. In plantations, each tree produces 30–80 kg (66–176 lb) of nuts, and the nuts yield 15 to 20% of their weight in oil. Most of the oil is used locally rather than figuring in international trade.

Candlenut oil has been used for various purposes, such as for the preparation of paints, varnishes, wood polish and linoleum, for illumination, soap manufacture, cosmetics and wood preservation, preservation of fishing nets and in the batik industry. Candlenut oil used in combination with coconut oil has been used for skin and hair treatment.

 

Health Benefits:

  • Traditional healers recommend candlenuts to individuals who are suffering from diarrhea because its fiber content can help in adding bulk to stools, therefore putting an end to diarrhea. Candlenuts also have antimicrobial properties, and it’s no secret that most cases of diarrhea are due to the ingestion of contaminated food and water
  • To relieve about fungal infections, you need put the candlenut’s oil to the part of your body with fungal infections. Do it regularly to make the results optimal.
  • Candlenuts are very beneficial for people whose cholesterol levels are outside of the normal and healthy range because these tree nuts help increase the levels of good cholesterol and in the process lowering the levels of bad cholesterol
  • Candlenut has melatonin that will make you relax and quick fall asleep. This is good for people with bad insomnia
  • If your child gets a fever, take 15 grams of pulutan’s root, and some candlenut’s oil, it can down fever. What you needs are 15 grams of pulutan’s root, some candlenut’s oil, pan, some water, and a glass. First, boil all the ingredients, 15 grams of pulutan’s root and some candlenut’s oil, with waters. After that, filter it and put in a glass. And ready to drink
  • Candlenuts contain heavy amounts of protein. It’s exactly for this reason why consuming them can help in building muscles
  • The oil finds applications as a strong hair stimulant and is widely used in hair care
  • Candlenut oil is used to make massage oil for a certain kind of headache (possibly caused by meningitis) in Cook Islands and Tahiti

 

Fun Facts:

  • In Hawaii, fishermen would chew the nuts and spit them on the water to break the surface tension and remove reflections, giving them greater underwater visibility
  • In ancient Hawaiʻi, Candlenuts nuts were burned to provide light. The nuts were strung in a row on a palm leaf midrib, lit on one end, and burned one by one every 15 minutes or so. This led to their use as a measure of time
  • Seeds are applied externally to the male genitals as a contraceptive in Papua New Guinea
  • Candlenut tree wood is used for making canoes, gunwales and seats
  • On May 1st, 1959, Candlenut was declared as the state tree of Hawaii due to its numerous uses
  • By hawaiians the soot of burned nuts are used as black ink for tattoos 

 

 

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleurites_moluccanus

Candlenut benefits and uses