The Cumaru Tree

Cumaru Tree

The cumaru tree (Dipteryx Odorata) grows in South America, specifically Brazil. It also goes by the names Almendrillo, Brazilian Teak, Tonka, and Tonquin Bean. The cumaru tree is a canopy tree that can reach heights of 160 feet and trunk diameters of up to 4 feet. The wood is very hard and dense, and is impregnated with naturally occurring oils that prolong the tree's lifespan. These same characteristics make cumaru lumber ideal for hardwood decking.

Its fruit, the tonka bean, has a pleasant taste similar to vanilla, and it is sometimes used as a flavoring. Several components of the tree have been used in Amazonian tribal medicine for centuries. One of the products, coumarin, is used as a blood thinner and anticoagulant. The bark is used for baths for people with fevers. Cumaru is also used to relieve asthma and bronchial spasms, and as a tonic for the cardiovascular system. The seeds are used for snakebites, cuts, bumps and scrapes, coughs and joint pain. The seed oil is used for earaches and ear infections.

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