Mahua oil

Mahua Oil or Butter Tree Oil

Mahua Oil or Butter Tree Oil


Indian butter

Mahua  seeds are best edible oil seeds

It contains 52% of oil , it gives ethinic taste to sweet and savouries .

The fat (solid at ambient temperature) is used for the care of the skin, to manufacture soap or detergents, and as a vegetable butter. It can also be used as fuel oil. The product is often used in sweets and chocolates under the name “illipe, which is derived from tamil name of this tree “Iluppai” .


  • Refractive index: 1.452
  • Fatty acid composition (acid, %) : palmitic (c16:0) : 24.5, stearic (c18:0) : 22.7, oleic (c18:1) : 37.0, linoleic (c18:2) : 14.3

Trifed, a web site of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India reports: “Mahuwa oil has emollient properties and is used in skin disease, rheumatism and headache. It is also a laxative and considered useful in habitual constipation, piles and haemorrhoids and as an emetic. Tribals also used it as an illuminant and hair fixer.

Mahua oil in culinary  Uses:

* Central Indian tribes use the oil from the seeds as a ghee substitute, thus perhaps earning its moniker, “butter tree.” A name for mowhra oil is “bassia oil.”

* In its oil form also known as illipe, the fruit is used in cakes and other baked goods .

* Boiled mahua and tamarind make a sweet concoction used as a quick source of calories.

*Tribes use mahua for many purposes: the Kondhs of Kolnara make a dish from the boiled flower and bailo seeds. During scarce seasons, the Sabara tribe makes a pudding from the fruit’s “nut” inside. Furthermore, tribes dry and press flowers to preserve for up to 6 months for food and 2 years for wine or vinegar.

*In the Koya tribe, the wood is used to create a religious pyre. Otherwise, cutting branches is strictly taboo.

* Tribes in Bihar and Orissa boil tubers found under a kolo plant, mash it into balls, and then roll it in mahua fruit for enhanced flavor.


* Mahua flowers are also the basis of several vinegar, honey and jam recipes. As a liquefied concentrate, the flowers may also serve as a sweetener for candy and cakes.

* The flowers may be crushed and blended for use in sauces and compotes

Personal & industrial uses:

* The oil in the seeds have also been extracted to make lamp oil, cosmetics and soap

* The flowers are manufactured for alcohol production, though this is a tightly regulated business. However, in tribes across India, mahua is considered a sacred beverage