The Vegetable Cow

The Taccy Nut or Nuez de Barinas is a small to medium-sized, tropical tree to about 25 m tall, native to northwestern South America, where it grows in rainforests at low and moderate elevations. It is sometimes used as a shade tree for coffee plantations, its wood is used in construction and the edible seeds are much sought after.

It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,200 - 3,000mm but will tolerate 800 - 5,000mm and prefers a position in full sun. Succeeds on a wide range of soils. Tolerates a few months of mild drought and withstands brief waterlogging. Plant growth is rapid, with fruiting usually beginning in the seventh year when trees are around 7 metres tall.

Occasional plants will commence fruiting when as young as 4 - 5 years old. The average weight of a nut is 8.5 g, attaining 12.5 g or more in superior selections. A 10-year-old tree can yield 100 - 250 kg of nuts per annum, an old specimen has given about 800 kg. Taccy Nut trees are long-lived, individuals within 80 and 100 years old, are still in full production.

There is the potential for an annual production of 3,500 - 5,000 kg of oil per ha from trees bearing nuts with an oil content of 57%. Nuts and oil are an excellent cure for pulmonary complaints and dermatitis.

The tree captures large amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere and, by constantly shedding its leaves, it improves the soil.

Agroforestry Uses - The tree is grown to provide shade trees in coffee and cacao plantations. Other Uses The oil extracted from the shells and seeds is used as an illuminant. A latex obtained from the bark is used as an illuminant. The wood is not regarded as valuable or durable. It is used for furniture. The wood is used to make excellent charcoal.

The harvest is in the summer, when other crops are not producing, generating income for farmers in the most difficult time of year.

How can Cacay / Kahai Seed Oil Benefit Your Skin?

Analysis by a specialist laboratory has concluded Kahai Seed Oil is the highest of all known plant oils to contain natural Provitamin A and Vitamin F, synergistically these compounds contribute significantly to the process of cell renewal. It helps to speed cellular turnover and increase collagen production. Its ability to repair the skin’s surface, restore elasticity and protect against environmental aggressors that lead to fine lines and wrinkles makes it a powerful natural plant-sourced alternative to retinoids.

The emollient properties: both repair and protect from damage caused by environmental stressors, nourishes, smooths and improves skin appearance and feel.

The unsaponifiable fraction: is known as the healing fraction (8.06%) evidenced a remarkable content of β-sitosterol, campesterol, stigmasterol, squalene, and vitamin E. β-sitosterol and squalene as main constituents of unsaponifiable matter (3.01%) offering strong antioxidant activity.

Skin Regeneration: Reducing the appearance of wrinkles, boosting elasticity, with skin smoothing and soothing.

Linoleic Acid: Aka Omega 6 plays an important role in maintaining the barrier and passage functions of the skin. Absorbs quickly and deeply into the skin, this aids in the delivery of additional plant nutrients into the skin layers.


Vitamins: AE - (Alfa Tocopherol) Vitamin F (Fatty Acids) 
Fatty Acids: Omega 6Omega 9Palmitic / Palmitoleic / Stearic / Myristic / Arachidic
Antioxidants: β-sitosterol- helpful in treating allergic inflammatory diseases including atopic dermatitis.
Campesterol: This is a type of Phytosterol, these can help aid barrier protection and help prevent further water loss. Campesterol has shown to have skin lightening properties.
Stigmasterol: Anti-inflammatory skin calming properties.
Phytochemicals - Namely plant sterols, campesterol, stigmasterols, beta-Sitosterol and flavonoids that have an anti-inflammatory action helping to reduce inflammation that damages collagen.
Squalene: Botanical squalene is compatible with skin cells, absorbing quickly performing as an antioxidant, preventing age spots while protecting against damage from UV rays. Its emollient quality helps the skin retain moisture and antibacterial properties protect the skin while promoting healthy cellular growth. 
Vitamin E: Powerful antioxidant helps to keep skin healthy defending against the early signs of aging photoprotective potential against UV light radiation in human skin cells.
Better together Vitamin A + E  synergistically provides powerful collagen-promoting compounds helping to prevent collagen breakdown preventing loss of skin firmness.


Omega 6: 69.2%
Omega 9: 12.7% 
Palmitic: 9.4%
Palmitoleic: 0.2%
Stearic: 3.4%
Myristic: 0.3%
Arachidic: 0.4% 

INCI NOMENCLATURE: Caryodendron Orinocense (Kahai) Seed Oil
CULTIVATION METHOD: Responsibly Wildcrafted
ORIGIN: Brazil
HARVESTING FACTS: Fruit is harvested from wild growing trees of Brazilin during the summer months.  
AROMA: Nutty-botanical
COLOUR: Pale yellow-brown


  • The fruit is the size of a lemon and all its parts are usable.
  • The peel is used as cattle feed or as compost.
  • The shell has high heating power with slow combustion, which makes it an excellent biofuel.
  • Cacay nuts are an important food safety alternative for communities in the region.
  • For its high nutritional value, large size and full flavor, it is considered a "Super Nut".
  • These nuts are used in confectionery, as functional snacks, and for diets.
  • A very healthy oil is extracted from the nuts, which is also used for skincare.
  • Its high content of omega 3, 6 and 9, helps in cholesterol-lowering.
  • Due to the healing properties of the oil, natives use it as an emollient; in the treatment of skin irritations and burn injuries; and for cicatrization processes.
  • The remaining meal, after extracting the oil, is rich in protein, minerals, omegas, and fiber, which makes it ideal as a food supplement.
  • It contains over 40% protein, all essential amino acids, and is more digestible than soy meal.
  • Nut milk is prepared from the meal, which substitutes animal milk and is used for functional beverages.
  • For its multiple uses, some communities have named the tree: “The Vegetable Cow”.

Kahai Seed Oil is the third ingredient in our formulation of Cell Affinity Coactive Serum to take advantage of the high bio-available provitamin A, which works more gently since it needs to be converted into ATRA first. ATRA is an all-trans-retinoic acid - a form of Vitamin A. Kahai Seed Oil coupled with Rose Hip Seed and Fruit oils offers two skin beneficial types of plant Vitamin A.

Until next time.

be human, be kind, be you.




love letter







Image: Karsten K.W.G.H. Karsten (1869)


Duke, J. (2018). CRC Handbook of Nuts. [online] Google Books.

Alfaro Mde J, e. (2000). Caryodendron orinocense (‘nuez de Barinas’) oil: tocopherol content and use in cosmetics.

Radice M, e. (2014). Chemical characterization and antioxidant activity of Amazonian (Ecuador) Caryodendron orinocense Karst. and Bactris gasipaes Kunth seed oils.

Evaluation of 'nuez de barinas' (caryodendron orinocense) oil for possible use in cosmetic. Pérez de R MNAlfaro Mde JPadilla FC.

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