Abrasin, Aleurites cordatus, Aleurites javanicus, Aleurites moluccanus, Aleurites pentaphyllus, Aleurites remyi, Aleurites trilobus, Arbol Candil, Arbre à Huile du Japon, Balucanat, Candleberry, Candleberry Tree, Candlenut, China-Wood Oil, Country Walnut, Indian Walnut, Jatropha moluccana, Kukui, Noix d’Abrasin, Noix de Bancoulier, Noyer de Bancoule, Noyer des Moluques, Nuez de la India, Otaheite Walnut, Tung, Varnish Tree, Vernicia cordata.
Tung seed is the seed of the fruit produced by the tung tree. Tung seeds resemble walnuts, and the term “walnut” is applied to this species. But be very careful not to confuse tung seed with the common walnut. Unlike walnuts, tung seeds are extremely poisonous, even deadly, if they are eaten raw.
Despite these serious safety concerns, people use the oil and the kernels of tung seed to make medicine.
People take tung seed for asthma and bowel problems such as diarrhea and constipation.
Tung seed is sometimes applied to the scalp to encourage hair growth.
In manufacturing, the oil of tung seed is used in soaps, rubber substitutes, linoleum, and insulation. The seed cake of tung seed is used as a fertilizer. The seed is also the source of the oil that is widely used as a wood preservative and varnish.
How does it work?
Tung seed contains various substances that might stimulate the bowels and cause sweating. It also contains toxic chemicals, such as cyanide.
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
- Baldness, when applied to the scalp.
- Other conditions.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).
Tung seed is UNSAFE when taken by mouth. It contains a chemical similar to cyanide as well as other poisons. Even one seed might cause severe poisoning. Tung seed can cause extreme stomach pain, violent vomiting, breathing problems, and possibly death.
There isn't enough information to know if tung seed is safe when applied directly to the skin.
The appropriate dose of tung seed depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for tung seed. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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Duke JA. CRC handbook of medicinal herbs. 1st ed. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, LLC, 1985.
Duke JA. Handbook of Medicinal Herbs. 2nd ed. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, LLC, 2002.
Meyre-Silva C, Mora TC, Biavatti MW, et al. Preliminary phytochemical and pharmacological studies of Aleurites moluccana leave [L.} Willd. Phytomedicine 1998;5:109-13. View abstract.
Pedrosa RC, Meyre-Silva C, Cechinel-Filho V, et al. Hypolipidaemic activity of methanol extract of Aleurites moluccana. Phytother Res. 2002;16:765-8. View abstract.
Quintao NL, Antonialli CS, da Silva GF, et al. Aleurites moluccana and its main active ingredient, the flavonoid 2"-O-rhamnosylswertisin, have promising antinociceptive effects in experimental models of hypersensitivity in mice. Pharmacol Biochem Behav 2012;102:302-11. View abstract.
Quintao NL, Meyre-Silva C, Silva GF, et al. Aleurites moluccana (L.) Willd. Leaves: Mechanical Antinociceptive Properties of Standardized Dried Extract and Its Chemical Markers. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2011;2011:179890. View abstract.