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What is Chaulmoogra Oil and How Can You Use It?

Chaulmoogra oil has various benefits for the skin and in this post, I share 3 different ways to incorporate chaulmoogra oil into your skincare regimen.

Chaulmoogra oil is derived from the seeds of the chaulmoogra tree, which is aka Hydnocarpus wightiana (can you say that 3 times in a row?).

3 benefits of chaulmoogra oil for the skin and best uses for skin

What is Chaulmoogra Oil?

Chaulmoogra oil is obtained from the seeds of the tree via steam distillation to preserve the purity of the oil.

Chaulmoogra oil is a pale yellow/brownish color with a potent woodland aroma. In ancient times, the oil was used in India and China to treat ailments like leprosy and rheumatic conditions.

Other names chaulmoogra is known by include Taraktogenos kurzii, Hydnocarpus kurzii, and Hydnocarpus laurifolia.

The chaulmoogra tree grows in tropical forests found in India. The chaulmoogra tree can also be found in Sri Lanka, Nigeria, and Uganda.

Chaulmoogra oil can be paired with essential oils like tea tree, chamomile, and lavender to enhance its benefits.

What are the Benefits of Chaulmoogra Oil for the Skin?

1. Excellent Antimicrobial

Chaulmoogra contains an active ingredient known as hydnocarpic acid, which is an excellent antimicrobial agent. It can be used to treat eczema, psoriasis, bruises, wounds, and sores.

2. Can Be Used a Mild Preservative

Due to its antibacterial properties, you can use chaulmoogra oil as a mild preservative in DIY concoctions for hair and skin.

3. Anti-inflammatory Properties

Chaulmoogra oil has relaxative and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help muscle spasms caused by rigorous exercise, cramps, and heavy lifting.

How to Use Chaulmoogra Oil 

  • For DIY concoctions, add 8 – 10 drops of chaulmoogra oil per 4 oz mix.
  • For other treatments, dilute 3 – 5 drops with a few tablespoons of light carrier oil and massage into the treatment area as needed.

Caution: Chaulmoogra oil is extremely strong and can be irritating to the skin. Do not apply it alone.

Always dilute it with a light carrier oil like sweet almond or grapeseed oil to be used externally. It also pairs well with coconut oil.

Chaulmoogra Oil Side Effects

Chaulmoogra oil should not be consumed internally. It contains traces of cyanide and can cause poisoning.

It can also affect respiratory and organ functions if consumed internally. Use only topically and start with little amounts to observe how your skin reacts to it.

Do not use chaulmoogra oil if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. 

Is Chaulmoogra Oil Good for Hair?

Its anti-inflammatory properties make chaulmoogra oil a good oil for scalp issues such as dandruff, irritation, and dryness.

It can also help regulate the production of sebum on the hair. Add a few drops to your scalp massage oil.

Where to Buy Chaulmoogra Oil?

Chaulmoogra oil can be found in your local Ayurveda store. You can also purchase online on Amazon or iHerb (worldwide shipping).


Bianca Rosa Chaulmoogra Essential Oil

deve-herbes-chaulmoogra-oilDeve Herbs Poor Chaulmoogra Oil

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Sushil Kumar

Saturday 3rd of July 2021

Yes this used to be in my home when I was a kid, now my 3 years old has some skin infections that brought me here, though there are multiple spellings for this oil present on internet, so just making sure I choose the correct one.

Haircare | Fitness | Beauty

Sunday 4th of July 2021

Glad you find the article helpful.

Maracuja (Passion Fruit) Oil for Dry and Damaged Skin Care | Natural Oils for Hair & Health

Friday 13th of April 2018

[…] Maracuja oil can help relax the muscles. Applying to the stomach can help reduce menstrual cramps. A similar oil that can be used for menstrual cramps is chaulmoogra oil. […]


Wednesday 14th of December 2016

That is hard to say three times. lol. . Never heard of this oil before today. Will add it to my to try list...

Natural Oils for Hair & Health

Sunday 25th of December 2016

Let us know how it goes :)