Tonka Bean

A tropical south american tree (dipteryx odorata) in the pea household, having pulpy, egg-shaped, one-seeded pods with fragrant seeds containing coumarin.

The seed of this tree, previously extensively used as a flavoring for food or tobacco. Extracts from tonka beans have actually been banned as food additives in the united states. (1 )


Tonka bean is a tree. The fruit and seed are utilized to make medicine.

Despite major safety issues, people take tonka bean as a tonic; to increase sexual desire (as an aphrodisiac); and to treat cramps, nausea, cough, convulsions, tuberculosis, losing due to persistent illness, swelling caused by an obstruction in the lymph system (lymphedema), and a parasitic illness called schistosomiasis.

Some people use tonka bean directly to the afflicted location for mouth ulcers, earache, and sore throat.

In manufacturing, coumarin, among the active constituents of tonka bean, is utilized as a flavoring and scent in numerous products in food, liquor, tobacco, soap, and cosmetics.

In foods, the seeds are utilized to make a nutty-flavored beverage. (2 ).


An unique seed

The tonka bean concerns us from south america and more particularly from venezuela, brazil and guyana. It is the fruit of a tropical tree with a complex name: the (dipteryx odorata willd), also commonly called coumaru or teak. This tree can mature to 30 meters high and grows generally in the tropical forests of south america, however it is now also cultivated in nigeria. Tonka beans are actually the seeds of the fruit that grows on this tree. These fruits appear like large almonds and consist of a distinct and valuable glossy black seed, which is typically 4cm long. Depending upon the climate, a tree can produce between 15 and 75kg of fruit each year. (3 ).


There are no well-controlled studies explaining the pharmacologic effects of tonka beans or their parts. Coumarin is toxic when ingested in high dosages.

Synthetic coumarin has actually been established to change the natural item in many cases. Warfarin (eg, coumadin), a substituted coumarin, is a powerful anticoagulant used in human therapies and rodenticides. Compounds separated from the tonka bean have been studied in cancer chemoprevention and for acaricidal activity. (4 ).

Advantages of tonka beans

In spite of major safety concerns, individuals take tonka bean as a tonic; to increase sexual desire (as an aphrodisiac); and to treat cramps, nausea, cough, convulsions, tuberculosis, wasting due to persistent illness, swelling brought on by a clog in the lymph system (lymphedema), and a parasitic illness called schistosomiasis. Listed below are usages and benefits of tonka beans in our life.

Pain relief

Coumarin, the main ingredient present in tonka bean is a lethal anticoagulant and has analgesic results in which it can offer natural pain relief after surgical treatment. It can likewise minimize chronic neck and back pain, sore muscle discomfort and stress in the body. It is also being used as homeopathic pain killer in alternative medicine.

Effects in wounds

Tonka bean vital oil is not just effective in pain relief however also utilized to heal bruises in athletics, open wounds and deep cuts injury quicker naturally. It’s likewise a homeopathic solution for cleaning wounds and preventing minor infections in standard medication. Tonka bean essential oil also decreases inflammation of the skin.

If there’s a snake bite, the application of tonka bean drawn out organic oil can bring little relief to the victim and prevent infections prior to taking the person for medical care.

Blood pressure and stroke

Serotonin is a monoamine neurotransmitter which is usually found in blood platelets and serum, and helps in constricting the capillary. Thereby, it avoids blood loss, boost vascular resistance, control body temperature as heat is retained.

Given that it can manage blood pressure, it avoids damages to the brain’s capillary, specifically rupture and constricting of the brain blood vessels which can obstruct the supply of blood to the arteries causing your brain- a quick trigger of stroke.


It prevents deep vein apoplexy naturally or the threat of embolism can be minimized with regular use of tonka bean extracts.

Furthermore, people struggling with persistent atrial fibrillation can be offered cumarin-containing medication. Therefore, thrombi can be reduced in the atrium of the heart and also reduces the danger of suffering a stroke.


Tonka bean is likewise aphrodisiac as the oil drawn out from it can be used in cream and the smell can suddenly excite your lover and turn him or her on. The fragrance it produced in fragrances can make your better half or partner enters the state of mind naturally without drugs or even romance.

Insect and insect repellant

Coumarine present in tonka bean is known to be repellant to bugs, mosquitoes, fleas, ticks and other bugs. Because of the high coumarine value in tonka bean, it can be drawn out locally to produce homemade bug spray for homes and for animals much like tea tree oil, peppermint, lavender oil and other natural insect’s repellants. Tonka bean vital oil is not simply a repulsive to insects but also healthy on the skin when used.

It can be utilized to secure babies from mosquito bites and prevent ecto parasites on animals like canines, felines, horses and other domesticated mammals.

Detoxifying the body

Tonka bean can also help you in getting rid of germs from your body naturally and clean the system from germs.

When the fragrance of the tonka bean oil in inhaled, it activates the body to increase secretions and expel bacteria out of the body through mucous in the nose. This will likewise assist in eliminating mucous from the lung passage, detox and clear it from mucous and cough, and likewise eliminating you from asthma.

Tonka bean necessary oil is much efficient when treating queasiness, cough, spasms, tuberculosis, schistosomiasis, asthma and earache. But it needs to only be utilized as instructed by physician and you ought to notify your doctor prior to any application of this medicine.

Effects on the brain

Tonka bean has relaxing result on the brain. The herbs can assist boosting your state of mind, making you feel relaxed and pleased when you’re stressed. Likewise, it assists curing extreme sleep (insomnia) and positively affects the intestinal tract.


Tonka bean can be drawn out, and a little mix of it with nutmeg can be added to a smoking mixture to clean up the lungs for smokers.

Little bit of tonka bean is rubbed off with the nutmeg grater and contributed to a smoking cigarettes mix. The vanilla fragrance and almond fragrance in addition to a hot note are particularly reliable.

Skin health

Tonka bean is not just used in avoiding excessive heat loss from the skin or decreasing inflammation and sensation of discomfort in the skin, it is likewise antibacterial and used in bath soap to remove germs from the external body.

Healthy hair

It can also be used on the hair to get rid of scalp inflections and swellings. It likewise used in cosmetics market to produce shampoo and hair oil to safeguard the scalp and avoid loss of hair as a result of infections.

Scented candles

Tonka bean is likewise drawn out and utilized in making scented candle lights because of the great smell that can make your space really interesting visitors and loved ones. As the candle light melts, the fragrance spreads out across the entire room, producing a relaxing, and romantic environment.

Standard uses and advantages of tonka beans

  • The seeds can likewise be utilized in the treatment of stomach pain, cough, and dysentery.
  • Decoction, integrated with the crushed whole plant of tonina fluviatilis, is utilized to prepare a baby fortifier.
  • They are thought about to be anti-asthmatic, antispasmodic, cardio tonic and emmenagogue.
  • Decoction of the seed and sugar is utilized as a cold remedy.
  • Oil from the seeds is utilized to ease stomach aches, to treat sores in the mouth, to fortify the scalp and improve hair growth.
  • It is said to be efficient in controlling dysentery.
  • Cold water infusion of the leaves is utilized as an ear wash to deal with earache.
  • Leaves are squashed to make a snuff powder.
  • The seed consists of coumarin, which is used in fragrance and for flavoring tobacco and whisky.
  • Extracts of the plant have actually been utilized in traditional medicine as a tonic and to treat cramps and queasiness.
  • Seed extracts have actually been administered rectally for schistosomiasis in china.
  • Fluid extract has actually been used with advantage in whooping cough, but it paralyses the heart if used in large dosages.
  • Squashed tonka beans infused in a tea or any natural brew can aid in curing a number of health problems, consisting of disorientation, depression, suicidal habits and confusion.
  • It might likewise be used to perk up the immune system.
  • Preparation prepared from the cumaru tree bark is utilized for treating fevers.
  • Seeds are sometimes distilled in rum and utilized topically for treating cuts, contusions, rheumatism and snake bites.
  • It is likewise utilized internally for treating coughs.
  • Fermented seeds are occasionally used in the form of a hair shampoo and likewise dropped inside the ears to treat earaches as well as infections.
  • The bark of this tree is utilized to make a preparation and bathe people experiencing fever.
  • Brazilians make a cough tablet by balling up the crushed seed.
  • The plant is used in folk treatments for cacoethes, cancers, indurations, and tumors, especially of the diaphragm, abdominal area, liver, spleen, stomach, and uterus.
  • Tonka beans were once widely utilized in medication as a treatment for cramps, nausea, cough, spasms, and tuberculosis.
  • Squashed tonka beans instilled in tea treatment variety of health issue consisting of depression and self-destructive habits.

Culinary uses

  • Coumarin-like flavoring can be extracted from the seed through a procedure of fermentation.
  • It has been used commercially as a vanilla substitute in seasoning a vast array of foods including baked goods, ice cream, cocoa etc.
  • . The pulp inside the seedpod is eaten raw.
  • Seed can be consumed after boiling to eliminate toxins. (5 )

Further more

Tonka beans in gastronomy

British chefs use tonka beans in mixed drink syrups and grate their shavings over pastries, while french cooking masters develop tonka bean– instilled ice creams and custards. The french are so consumed with the taste of this bean that they even have a name for it: fièvre tonka, or “tonka fever.”.

Tonka bean utilized in perfumery

Everything started in 1793 when the cumaru fruit was first introduced to the french people. This sensual, vanilla-esque fragrance is utilized in fragrance because it both improves the life time of the scent along with enhances its varied notes. It is likewise commonly utilized as a substitute for musk. Tonka beans are integral to the chemical composition of guerlain’s iconic aroma, shalimar.

Tonka bean and shalimar fragrance

While the structure of asian perfumery depends on the pleasing, softly seducing vanilla scent of the tonka bean, its influence is not special to this element. In fact, the warm effect of coumarin can be discerned nearly all over perfume is produced. The appeal of these beans, especially in manly and oriental scents, lies in their complex, rich scent and their substantial adhesive properties.

The universal appeal of this tasty bean can be seen (and breathed in) nearly everywhere in today’s huge market. They are key active ingredients in numerous customer sectors concerning gastronomic scents and individual care items, which include: shampoos, lotions, soaps, candles, cosmetics, bubble bath and incense. The tonka bean is a formidable fragrance component that is both versatile and timeless.

Tonka beans work best in spicy and sweet aromas including notes that are similar. These consist of: clove, vanilla, heliotrope, bitter almonds and cinnamon. They likewise mix well with notes of patchouli, sandalwood, increased, lemon peel and lavender.

Fascinating facts about the tonka bean

The tonka bean is rumored to have mystical properties.

In some cultures, the tonka bean is considered an aphrodisiac, and is used as a “love-wishing bean.” It is also believed to have the power to summon both nerve and cash. Some pagan cultures believed that crushed tonka beans in herbal tea enhance the body immune system, assistance to eliminate depression, confusion and negativeness.

Tonka beans are a significant source of coumarin

According to the bbc, this controversial active ingredient is stated to be the “most scrumptious ingredient you never ever became aware of.” Coumarin can be found in cinnamon (cassia), tobacco, e-cigarettes, cosmetics, deodorants, hand soap, shower gels, and cleaning agents.

The united states is the biggest importer of tonka beans

Although legally prohibited in the united states considering that 1954, it is perfectly legal to include coumarin to tobacco and cosmetics. The united states import these beans almost specifically for the tobacco industry.

The tonka bean has a powerful fragrance profile

Simply a spray of shavings from this bean is enough to create a rich and remarkable aroma. When used in food, some chefs claim that a single tonka bean can flavor as lots of as 80 dishes.

Tonka beans should not be consumed in big amounts

These beans can be extremely toxic and even deadly. Nevertheless, it is approximated that at least 30 whole tonka beans would need to be consumed in order to approach harmful levels, which has to do with the very same volume at which nutmeg and other daily spices are thought about potentially hazardous.

Tonka beans have medical and aroma-therapeutic qualities

They are known to promote relaxation, lower stress and anxiety, relieve stress and anxiety and increase the body immune system. Tonka beans were when extensively used in medicine as a treatment for cramps, queasiness, cough, spasms, and tuberculosis.

Venezuela, brazil and columbia are the significant producers of tonka beans

Gathering these beans has generated income for thousands of south american rural neighborhoods located within diverse forest communities. They serve as a buffer when other tasks are limited.

The tonka bean gets its name from the galibi language

Spoken in a location of french guyana, the word, tonka, originates from the galibi (carib) tongue, which is spoken in french guiana. The galibi word, tonquaor tonquin equates to bean. In another language of the very same region, tonka is likewise the name for the tree on which the seeds grow.

The tropical tree was originally cultivated for its lovely purple flowers

Each cumaru tree contains only one tonka bean. Its bark is also called brazilian teak. It is a progressively popular hardwood used for flooring in the united states. It has a very enticing natural color variation and is considered quite durable.

90% of modern-day fragrances consist of coumarin

This truth can be quickly ascertained by examining the list of components found on fragrance product packaging. Specialists assume that every other fragrance worldwide has more than 1% of coumarin. (6 ).

Side effects

Tonka bean is unsafe. It can trigger adverse effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, lightheadedness, sleeplessness, and liver problems.

The us fda (fda) thinks about any food including tonka bean or tonka bean extract to be impure.

There isn’t enough details to know whether it is safe to use tonka bean directly to the skin. (7 ).

Why are Tonka beans illegal in the US?

The answer is basic, at least to the food and drug administration: tonka beans are hazardous to your health. According to the fda, tonka beans contain a chemical known as coumarin. When consumed in excess, coumarin can trigger serious liver problems. As a result, back in the 1950s, the fda banned any active ingredient consisting of the chemical from intake in the u.s. With that, chefs were forced to get rid of the tonka bean from their dishes.

Nevertheless, the atlantic suggests that the fda’s ban on coumarin could be dated, considered that it would take eating about 30 whole beans for those coumarin levels to become seriously harmful. Given that one bean offers enough taste for 80 dishes, it’s extremely unlikely that anyone casually taking in tonka beans would come across any medical concern. Still, the fda has remained strict on its restriction, so much so that the administration even raided alinea, a chicago restaurant, in 2006 after rumors struck that tonka beans were used in its menu. (8 ).

Tonka bean ice cream


  • 1 cup entire milk
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 tonka bean, plus additional for serving
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Place the milk and sea salt in a medium-sized pot. Grate the tonka bean using a great grater (a microplane works the very best for this) into the pot. Heat the milk over medium-high heat until it is steaming however not boiling. Let the milk mean 15 minutes to infuse.
  2. 1 cup entire milk,1 pinch sea salt,1 tonka bean
  3. Blend the egg yolks and sugar in a medium-sized bowl. Add a little of the warm milk to the egg yolks and stir it well to temper the eggs. (if you put the eggs directly into the hot liquid you will wind up with rushed eggs. Tempering them with a little of the hot milk assists prevent this.)
  4. 6 large egg yolks, 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  5. Slowly add the tempered eggs to the warm milk while stirring continuously. Place the pot on medium-low heat and stir it constantly till it thickens. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the heavy cream and vanilla.
  6. 2 cups whipping cream,1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  7. Strain the custard through a fine-mesh screen into a medium-sized bowl. (this is to go out any bits of eggs that might have rushed on the bottom of your pot.)
  8. Location the bowl in your fridge and give it a stir every 10 minutes or so until it is no longer hot, about a half hour. Once the custard has actually cooled cover the bowl securely with plastic wrap and leave it in your refrigerator till it is totally cold, preferably overnight.
  9. Freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to the producer’s instructions.
  10. Grate a little extra tonka bean over top of the ice cream when you serve it.


Keep in mind: dish time does not include the time it requires to chill or freeze the ice cream. (9 ).


Being an absolute oil it is very important that tonka bean is not ingested in any way. You ought to also evaluate for skin sensitivity prior to using topically. Test on a little area of skin and wait a day approximately to check if you have any allergies, and constantly dilute with a carrier oil.

Constantly keep out the reach of children. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not use this oil, neither should anyone being treated for a severe health condition without medical clearance. (10 ).


  1. Https://
  2. Https://
  3. Https://
  4. Https://
  5. Https://
  6. Https://
  7. Https://
  8. Https://
  9. Https://
  10. Https://
Our Score