The cashew tree was discovered in Brazil by the Portuguese, who then introduced it into their African and Asian colonies. Today India is by far the biggest producer of cashew nuts. The inhabitants use the wood as fuel, the ashes as fertilizer and the fruit as food. There are numerous derivatives of the nuts, leaves, and bark of this tree and their many therapeutic properties are included in African and Amazonian pharmacopeias. The oil obtained from cashew nuts is used in cosmetics, in particular for its high vitamin content and nourishing, protective properties.