Aleurites moluccanus (or moluccana), the candlenut, is a flowering tree in the spurge family, Euphorbiaceae, also known as candleberry, Indian walnut, kemiri, varnish tree, nuez de la India, buah keras, or kukui nut tree, and Kekuna tree.
Most people use candlenut as the replacement of MSG. It’s a healthier alternative, in fact.
The nuts have a bitter taste when they’re raw, and they aren’t usually eaten this way; however, once cooked, their flavor softens and their meat becomes much more tender, though most cooks still say they have a bitter or sour quality. They are commonly ground into a paste and seasoned for use as a condiment, and chunks are also frequently added to soups, stews, and a range of vegetable dishes. Cooked nuts can be ground into flavorful sauces, too, and are often used as a thickening agent in these settings.
In traditional Asian medicine and in Western alternative medicine, candlenut oil might be used as both a laxative and a treatment for diarrhea. The oil might also be used as a hair-growth stimulant, a cholesterol-lowering agent, a weight-loss supplement, and an arthritis treatment. Extracts made from the nut also act as antibacterial agents. The leaves of the candlenut tree have been used to treat headaches, fevers, stomach ulcers, and gonorrhea. The flowers and sap can be are sometimes recommended for oral candidiasis, and the bark is rumored to be a weapon against tumors — usually when boiled and consumed like tea.
CHEMICAL AND NUTRIENT CONTENT
Candlenuts contain a wide range of nutrients. Due to this they are quite nutritious. Some of the nutritional contents in candlenuts include
- significant amount of fats (50 grams per 100 grams of candlenut) and essential vitamins (Thiamine B1, Riboflavin B2 and Niacin B3).
- The chemical analysis of candlenut reveals 52-60% oil in the kernel. The oils contain essential fatty acids. The leaves yield sterols, flavonoids and triterpenes. The presence of other complex organic acids and phenols has also been reported by experimental studies.
Candlenuts contain some toxic substances that limit the form of consumption of the nuts. Due to the presence of substances like saponins and phorbol, large quantities of these nuts should not be consumed raw otherwise side effects like nausea, violet vomiting and stomach cramps may be experienced.