Candle Nut Tips

  • It is the national tree of Hawaii and Aleurites  should not be eaten raw, except in very tiny quantity, like less than one nut. From my own experience they do make you feel nauseous/ill when you eat more than 2-3. In Mexico they are used as a diet aid. The people that sell them for high price recommend eating 1/4 nut per day. They really do take away your appetite.   Ref:  Oscar – Hawaii  
  • Mike Foale reports:  There was a note about candle nut in the last newsletter. I would like to add further comment. Aleurites moluccana is widespread from some north Queensland forests to Indonesia (where it is called Kemiri) and southern Philippines and into Asia. I note that the information in the Feb/March newsletter is from Hawaii where candle nut oil is marketed for massage and skin lotion. The kernel is much used in Indonesia in making a paste (sauce) to go with cooked vegetables. Being a traditional food, it is exported from Timor Leste to Indonesia as raw kernel. The oil contains up to 30% of alpha linolenic acid, the amega 3 fatty acid found also in flax-seed. It seems that it would substitute or supplement for fish in giving the Indonesians this valuable fatty acid in their diet. The kernel causes tummy upset if eaten raw, as mentioned, but when roasted the toxic alkaloid is destroyed and the nut tastes OK. Tung oil, valuable as a wood-sealing paint, comes from a closely related species Aleurites chinensis.