Dipteryx odorata

Dipteryx odorata, “Cumaru” or “Brazilian teak” in English and “Bois cumaru” in French, is a tree that grows up to 25-30 m and belongs to the Fabaceae botanical family.

Native to northern and western South America, it is an emergent tree of rainforests, often found beside rivers.

The tree is known for its wood and for its aromatic seeds “Tonka beans” or “Fèves de Tonka”.

Tonka bean is traditionally used against flu, pneumonia and stroke. Today, scientific studies point to its anticancer action.

Among tonka beans main volatile constituents are alcohols, carbonyl compounds, acids, esters, terpenes, terpenoids, lactones, aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons, coumarin being the main compound. Literature also cites cassane diterpene, dipteryx acid, a new isoflavonolignan, 5-methoxyxanthocercin A, as well as isoliquiritigenin, 6,4'-dihydroxy-3'-methoxyaurone, sulfuretin, and balanophonin.

  • English name Tonka bean
  • French name Fève de Tonka
Dipteryx odorata