These unusual massagers are made out of vegetable ivory or tagua in Ecuador. Tagua nuts come from the female Tagua Palm (Phytelephas aequatorialis) which grow wild in rainforests in Ecuador and other Latin American countries. The nuts are produced in a spiny seed pod containing anything from 50 to 90 nuts. They are carefully packaged in a sweet pulpy mass until the seed pod ripens, falls and releases the nuts. Insects then eat this natural “packaging” leaving the nut free. The rest of the plant can also be used – the shoots are cooked and eaten, the seeds are also eaten when ripe and the leaves are used for thatching, even the roots have medicinal qualities. When the nuts are polished they have the same characteristics as ivory, which is why the Tagua nut is known as "vegetable ivory." The commercial use of tagua provides an important economic incentive for keeping the rainforests in their natural state rather than clearing them for agriculture and logging. The popularity of tagua dates back to the 1920´s when it was used on a large scale, to produce buttons. As these got replaced by plastic, the demand dwindled and only in the last few decades has it gradually become popular again. This massager can be gently rubbed by someone on the shoulders and back giving a feeling of deep relaxation and comfort. Each one is different as each nut is unique!