Carapa guianensis is a species of the family Meliaceae (Mahogany family). The tree grows in the Amazon region, Central America and the Caribbean. It is a tall tree with dense foliage, which usually grows in the tropical rain forest along the edge of rivers. The wood resembles mahogany and is used in quality furniture. The seed oil is used in traditional medicine and as an insect repellent.
The oil contained in the andiroba almond, known as crab oil or carap oil, is light yellow and extremely bitter. When subjected to a temperature below 25 °C, it solidifies, with a consistency like that of petroleum jelly. It contains olein, palmitin and glycerin.
The oil is used in Brazil to protect furniture from termites and other wood-chewing insects. Andiroba is native to the Amazon and is widely used by the indigenous populations of the northern region of Brazil. The oil and fats of the almond are extracted and used for the production of insect repellent and compounds for traditional medicine.
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