Kukui Nut scrub: A Hawaiian twist on an old recipe

Most recipes on the internet for body or facial scrubs will say to use anything from Shea oil to regular canola oil. Why not try switching out the same old oil for something a little more Hawaiian? Kukui Nut is a well loved and beautiful tree in Hawai’i that you see just about anywhere in the islands. It’s mostly known for its inclusion in Inamona, a condiment for certain types of Poke (Poh-kay). However, Kukui Nut is also known for its high quality oil which was rubbed on the bodies of Ali’i (ruling chiefs). The Ali’i were not the only ones privy to the many uses of Kukui Nut and even today this tree, with it’s name derived from the word for enlightenment, has a bright place in the modern world.

Kukui Nut leaf in my Garden bird bath.

Kukui Nut oil still remains labour intensive and can be quite pricey. So if you would like to try this I’d recommend finding a wholesaler to purchase your own Kukui Nut oil. Below is a basic recipe I personally use and recommend for anyone who wants to try something new. Please remember to do a spot check before using any new body product. Also, because this does contain oil please be careful as your tub or sink may become slippery.

Basic Soft* Kukui Nut Oil Scrub:

  1. Gather approx. 1-2 cups plain oats, 2-3 sprigs of Rosemary (or a couple dashes of Rosemary), 1 cup of Water, 1/4 cup Kukui Nut Oil.
  2. Put the kettle on with the water and sprigs of Rosemary. Keep on low heat to let steep.
  3. Place oats in a blender.
  4. Let the Rosemary tea steep until the water is no longer clear. (But not too dark a tea!)
  5. Pour warm Rosemary tea, sprigs and all, onto the oats in the blender.
  6. Cover blender and put on medium for 10-30 seconds until well blended.
  7. Add a little Kukui Nut Oil and blend on low. Repeat until the scrub is smooth but not runny.

*My personal scrub is done with Pa’akai (Hawaiian Sea Salt) not oats, which is fine for my body, but can be much too rough for most people.