Uses and Benefits of Tonka Bean Essential Oil

//Uses and Benefits of Tonka Bean Essential Oil

Uses and Benefits of Tonka Bean Essential Oil

Tonka bean essential oil is an extract from the tonka bean and provides many health benefits, including preventing blood clots, being a natural insecticide, and being an excellent expectorant. If you are looking to start using essential oils, this one needs to be in your starter set!

The tonka bean comes from a wild tree known as cumaru. It is a flowering pea plant native to South America and Central America.  The beans that this tree produces are what we call tonka beans and are known for their medicinal value all over the world.

Tonka beans are black in color with a very wrinkled exterior.  Inside, you will find a smooth brown interior that has a strong and unique fragrance.  The fragrance comes from the strong presence of coumarin, a sour tasting chemical that protects the beans from scavenging animals.

Product List Price
Tonka Bean Absolute Essential Oil - 5 ml $13.97
Essential Oil Tonka Bean - 5 ml $22.39
Tonka Liquid Extract (Dipteryx odorata) - 2 fl.oz $19.95

Besides being extracted into tonka bean essential oil, the beans are also in use across the world for several other uses.  You can often find tonka beans being used as a vanilla substitute, as an additive for flavored tobacco, and in perfumes.  They are also fairly common to see in French cuisine, like desserts and stews.

In large infused doses, tonka beans can cause liver damage, paralysis of the heart, and even hemorrhages.  For this reason, it is controlled as a food additive in most governments, including The United States.  You should use this product in moderation to ensure that you don’t run into any issues.

Tonka Bean With A Bite Taken Out

Benefits of Tonka Bean Essential Oil

  • It has antiseptic properties- The oil is used to cure wounds, cuts, and bruises. It prevents infection on minor injuries and treats ear aches. Tonka bean essential oil also remedies skin inflammations. Snakebite victims may find reprieve in the oil as applying it on the contact surface will prevent infection. Hover, in case of a snake bite, apply the oil and seek medical attention immediately as some types of snakes have powerful venom that must be treated using conventional medicine.
  • An expectorant-Inhaling the oil’s fragrance signals the body to increase secretions hence expelling germs out of the body through mucous. It lubricates the lung passageways, thereby clearing chesty coughs and relieving asthma.
  • It prevents blood clots- The oil contains coumarin derivatives. These are natural anticoagulants that facilitate blood thinning.  They prevent blood clots and enhance blood flow hence providing relief for high blood pressure.
  • Fixative-Tonka bean essential oil is an efficient ‘grip’ for base fragrances to make them linger longer on the skin. It is most effective with floral, vanilla or fruity scents. You can use it to make them stay longer on the skin and enhance the original fragrance.
  • It is an aphrodisiac- The tonka bean essential oil is an aphrodisiac in that it possesses a scent that is sexually alluring to the opposite sex and heightens the sexual excitement. The rich, warm vanilla aroma is both mysterious and tempting making the wearer of the fragrance feel appealing.
  • It is a natural Insecticide- The tonka bean essential oil contains high levels of coumarin. The chemical is seemingly repulsive to insects.  The trees that contain coumarin do not have to deal with insects like most other trees. The oil is, therefore, a highly potent insect and moth repellent.
Prepairing tonka beans

Uses of Tonka Bean Essential Oil

  1. Used as an ingredient in blood thinners- The oil possesses anticoagulant properties. It is, therefore, a valued ingredient in the manufacture of medicines meant for blood thinning.
  2. To Treat Respiratory Problems- Tonka bean essential oil has expectorant properties. It helps expel mucus blocking air passages. Inhaling the scent of this oil can help with coughs, sinus issues, asthma, and coughs.
  3. To clean wounds- Cleaning cuts, grazes, infections and minor injuries using tonka bean essential oil can help heal faster and prevent further infections.
  4. Used in aromatherapy- Aromatherapists use this oil to cure pains, tension, and depression. Using this oil in aromatherapy also helps boost immunity against diseases.
  5. To Increase Libido- Using the oil in preparing a bath heightens the sexual desire due to its mysterious fragrance and the nerve relaxing effect.
  6. To boost the efficacy of other fragrance oils- Tonka bean essential oil is potent as a fragrance on its own. However, it is also useful in enhancing other fragrance oils. It helps increase the strength of the scent, duration and potency of the blend.
  7. Used as an ingredient in perfumes- The spicy, vanilla fragrance of tonka bean essential oil makes it a perfume note on its own. It is economical as it will not need a fixative.
  8. It is also a cheaper substitute for vanilla in perfumery. Being cheaper however does not compromise the quality of the perfume.
  9. As a component in bath soaps- Adding the oil to homemade bath soaps will enhance a relaxing bath.
  10. Used as an ingredient in shampoos- The oil contains antiseptic properties that can help heal scalp infections and inflammations. The shampoo so made can give protection from scalp infections.
  11. Used in scented candles – The oil is a preferred component in scented candles due to the alluring fragrance it possesses. The aroma spreads across the room as the candle burns, creating a relaxing, and romantic environment.

Common Blends

Since this oil smells a bit rustic, it is best to mix it with other rustic or sweet smelling scents.  Here are the top 5 essential oils that I blend with tonka bean:

  • Cinnamon
  • Vanilla
  • Grapefruit
  • Bergamot
  • Geranium
Close up of tonka beans


As mentioned above, tonka beans can cause hemorrhages, paralysis, or liver damage if consumed in large dosages.  Please make sure that you use this product in moderation and keep out of the reach of all children.

Be aware that this is not a true essential oil, but should be considered an absolute oil.  That being said, because of the way it is extracted, there is no way to guaranty that it is 100% organic.  You should only use this product externally for that reason.


The tonka bean oil is an ancient oil with diverse uses around the home, in medicine, cosmetology, and romance.  If used safely, there are numerous benefits of tonka bean essential oils for you to take advantage of.

By |2018-05-18T15:22:09-04:00September 4th, 2017|

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