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What is the medicinal value of Baobab?

People in Europe and North America are beginning to realize that Baobab Fruit Pulp is among the most nutrient-dense foods in all of creation. A few realize that the leaves are also a very rich vegetable. Many parts of the plant are also used in traditional medicine.

In traditional African Medicine, Baobab Fruit Pulp, leaves, bark, roots, seeds and oil are commonly used to treat a wide variety of ailments. Although natural medicine is a growing sector in the health care industry, many botanical remedies are not very well proven, or approved by regulatory agencies, leading to consumer skepticism. Certainly, there is also a good amount of snake oil on the market as well! Baobab as a food product is relatively new to the market, and its medicinal uses are virtually unknown outside of Africa. I happened upon a peer-reviewed scholarly document in the African Journal of Food Science, written by scientists from Burkina Faso and Denmark, that has a facinating section about Baobab’s medicinal value. I will summarize parts of it in this post, but I strongly recommend reading it by clicking this link.

Before I start, none of the information below has been reviewed by the FDA, and Atacora Essential does not sell Baobab to prevent, treat or cure any disease.

Antioxidant

Baobab Fruit Pulp is very rich in Vitamin C. Lab tests on Atacora Essential’s product indicate that it contains 460 mg per 100 g. Studies cited in the document indicate that Baobab’s Integral Antioxidant Capacity is 37X that of oranges! Antioxidants can help to eliminate free radicals that can contribute to cancer, aging, inflammation and cardio-vascular disease.

Anti-inflammatory

According to the article a dose of 800 mg/kg of aqueous extract of Baobab Fruit Pulp has a very similar anti-inflammatory effect as 15 mg/kg of phenylbutazone.

Antipyretic (Anti-Fever)

Fever in Africa is most often associated with malaria, but, of course can arise from other conditions as well. In the Atacora region of Benin, where Baobabs are plentiful, Baobab Fruit Pulp, seeds and bark are used for people with malaria to help reduce fever. It is used as a substitute for quinine as a prophylactic and to reduce malaria-related fever in parts of Africa. The reference article indicates an effect comparable to asprin.

Analgesic

Again, aqueous extract of Baobab Fruit Pulp is shown to have an analgesic (pain releiving) effect comparable to asprin, likely due to the presence of sterols, saponins and triterpenes in the pulp.

Hepatoprotective

The authors of the article cite a study that shows that the extract of Baobab Fruit Pulp had both a protective and a restorative effect for liver damage in rats. They do not cite any studies on humans.

Anti-microbial

The addition of Baobab Fruit Pulp to the fermented soy product, Tempeh, inhibited the growth of pathogenic bacteria such as Salmonella, Baccilus and Streptococcus in the food product. It aided the growth of Lactic Acid bacteria, which are beneficial, and serve to preserve many fermented foods. They also indicated that the Fruit Pulp showed anti-microbial activity against E. coli.

Anti-viral

Baobab leaves, fruit pulp and seeds have been shown to act against influenza, herpes simplex and respiratory syncytial viruses. This is likely due to several bioactive compounds found occuring naturally in the plant.

Anti trypanosoma

Sleeping sickness in humans and nagana in animals are caused by trypanosoma protozoa. Infection is caused by the bite of tsetse flies. An extract of Baobab roots seriously reduces or eliminate the microbes’ motility within one hour, according to the authors’ research paper.

Anti-diarrhoea

Perhaps the most common medicinal use of Baobab Fruit Pulp in traditional African medicine is to treat diarrhoea. The fruit pulp is about 50% fiber, with nearly equal proportions of insoluble (cellulose) and soluble (mucilage) fiber. It also contains astringent tannins and citric acid, all of which may contribute to its efficacy against diarrhoea. When compared to the World Health Organization’s recommended oral rehydration solution for its effects, Baobab solution performed statistically as well. Baobab has the added advantages of a significant nutrient content, easy access and affordability in Africa.

Prebiotic

The soluble fiber in Baobab Fruit Pulp stimulates the growth of beneficial probiotic bacteria including lactobacilli and bifidobacteria in the digestive tract. This can foster a SYN-BIOTIC digestive effect. Learn more here!

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant. It has been linked to lowering blood pressure, bolstering immunity, and less incidence of cataracts and coronary disease. A single serving of Atacora Baobab Fruit Pulp provides as much as 80% of daily value of this essential nutrient.

Antidote to poison

It appears that Baobab bark, fruit pulp and seeds are used to neutralize the effects of Strophanthus-derived poisons commonly used on arrows in Africa.

Skin Care

A decoction of Baobab roots is often used to bathe children in Africa to promote smooth skin. Baobab Seed Oil contains antioxidant Vitamins A, D & E as well as Omega 3, 6 & 9 essential fatty acids and is a soothing, rejuvenating skin care serum. Learn more here!


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Why is the Baobab a magical fruit?

Baobab is a magical fruit! The latest find in the superfood world – outdoing the amazing properties of even the goji berry – and is widely considered to be the king of all superfruits.
The baobab tree is native to Madagasgar, Australia and most famously, Africa where it is known as ‘the tree of life’. It is also referred to as dead-rat tree (from the appearance of the fruits), monkey-bread tree (the soft, dry fruit is edible), upside-down tree (the sparse branches resemble roots) and cream of tartar tree!
Baobab is rich in macronutrients, antioxidants, carotenoids, flavonoids, vitamins B2 & 3 and essential minerals. It contains twice as much calcium as milk, ten times the antioxidant level of oranges – as well as three times the vitamin C – and four times as much potassium as bananas. The seed and pulp are also excellent sources of magnesium, thiamin and phosphorous.
The baobab tree has iconic status in mythology. It has been claimed that baobab has been grown since the time of the Great Flood 4000 years ago, however, science dates them as having begun growing 1000 years ago. The bark of the tree is self regenerating and in some parts of Africa, babies are wash in stewed bark to give them strength.

Baobab is a magical fruit!

Baobab is a magical fruit!

Most parts of the tree can be used. The bark can be used to make rope and the trunk is hollow and can store thousands of gallons of water that can be extracted during drought. It also acts as a home to bats and snakes, and even humans. Famously, a district commissioner in Zambia once set up his office inside a baobab tree and a tree still standing in Western Australia was used to imprison Aboriginal convicts in the 1890s.
Baobab is a sticky powdery fruit encased in a hard outer shell. It has a taste similar to citrus and sherbert. In its native counties, baobab is used in a variety of ways, most often the seeds are roasted to make coffee and the fruit mixed with water to form lemonade or made into a jam that has a tart flavor, like lemon curd and a gritty texture like pear. The leaves can be eaten as relish or soup and the seeds used to produce edible oil which is also used in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.
Baobab is not an easily edible fruit in its natural state. Along with the difficulty of shipping, this means that baobab is most often found in Europe already powdered, ready to be used as a superfood addition to smoothies and juices or as an ingredient in raw or cooked dishes.


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‘Most nutrionally amazing’ baobab coming to fancy food show

Recently, a chef who designs recipes for giant food companies like Kraft and General Mills was dumbfounded after analyzing a cream-colored powder provided to him by the USAID West Africa Trade Hub.

It’s the most nutritionally amazing natural product I’ve ever seen,” he said.

He had discovered baobab, which is aptly called a “superfruit.” With over five times as many antioxidants as pomegranate and over seven times the fiber of leading superfruits, acai and gogi berry baobab is starting to make a big impression on brands looking for functional, healthy, and delicious ingredients.

The Baobab tree

The Baobab tree

The possibilities are endless. An artisanal chocolatier reported exciting results.

“We used baobab in a truffle that we call Le Petit Prince,” said Leslie Berliant, founder of Le Marais Chocolat, an organic Fair Trade Certified chocolate truffle company based in CA. The truffle has been a hit.

“I wanted to work with baobab because of its folklore and nutritional properties,” she added. “But ultimately taste is what matters most to our customers and that’s what’s sold me.”

Baobab has a delicate sweet and citrusy taste best described as grapefruit sherbet.

“Once you try it, it speaks for itself,” said Dave Goldman, founder of Atacora Essential, a baobab producer in Benin who recently connected with several interested natural food brands at the Natural Products Expo.

This year 15 African Specialty Food companies will showcase their products at the largest food and beverage show in North America. When it comes to marketing quality products, success comes down to location and timing. The Fancy Food Show, which runs from June 16-19th, offers the best of both – creating a great opportunity for African food manufacturers to connect to the world’s largest buyers.

While the economic slowdown has hurt the dining out business, consumer’s taste for high-end, luxury cuisine has not subsided. According to Mintel’s State of the Specialty Food Industry Report, sales of specialty food in retail outlets including mainstream natural, and specialty supermarkets grew 12% during 2008-10, to nearly $56 billion .

Consumers are getting creative – looking to replicate dining-out experiences at home. They are drawing inspiration from TV shows like the Food Network and Travel Channel to go beyond fine dining to experimenting with new, ethnic cuisines. This helps explain why a recent survey of importers found that the majority reported sales of over 20% in the last 3 years.

In addition to building interest for ethnic products, these cooking shows have also increased demand for healthy and sustainable foods . Over the past few years nuts, seeds, dried fruit and trail mixes have grown 31% – the fastest growing segment after yogurt. This trend is promising for West African exporters’ efforts to enter the U.S. market: the majority of African specialty foods are comprised of natural and organic dried fruits, nuts, seeds, and grains.

So what are some of the hot new products buyers can expect to see coming out of West Africa this year? In addition to exotic jams, sauces, and spices that offer an exciting twist to mainstream staples – there is growing interest for baobab. If you’re from the U.S. you’ve probably only heard of it if you’ve read the Little Prince, however, Africans have been eating it for centuries. If Western consumers had known about its existence before it would have been on the market a long time ago.

Baobab is also being recognized as an effective, natural ingredient for weight management (one of the largest growing segments in the specialty foods sector).

Sold on the health benefits, companies have been asking “how does it taste?” About a month ago, the USAID Trade Hub conducted a series of taste tests with health conscious consumers. They compared the taste of baobab fruit powder with acai, goji, maca root and pomegranate powder . The results were clear and compelling: baobab ranked #1 among the highest number of consumers.

Looking at the progression of other superfruits into the mainstream, Baobab is where acai was about 10 years ago. However, with a bit more marketing backbone, baobab could be hitting the mainstream in the next couple years. In the meantime if you want all those natural fibers, vitamins, and antioxidants with a taste of grapefruit sherbet, start pushing your favorite brands to add it to their lines.


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Baomix : the extraordinary benefits of the baobab fruit pulp

The baobab tree (Adansonia digitata L) is a member of the Bombacaceae family and a genus of eight species of tree. The baobab is widely distributed through the savannas and drier regions of Africa but it is also common in America, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, China and Jamaica.

The generic name honours Michel Adanson, the French naturalist who described Adansonia for the first time. Digitata refers to the fingers of a hand, which the leaflets bring to mind.

Baomix production and Baobab fruit pulp health benefit

The tree is also commonly called the upside-down tree, bottle tree, and monkey-bread tree. The trees reach heights of 20 metres with a trunk 10 metres in diameter and branches 50 metres in diameter.

The baobab has long been an important source of human nutrition. Indigenous peoples traditionally use the leaves, bark, roots, fruit and seeds as foodstuffs, as well as in medicines for humans and animals.

Fruit harvesting and production process

Upon pollination by fruit bats, the tree produces large green or brownish fruits which are capsules and characteristically indehiscent (they don’t open to release fruit). The capsules contain a soft, whitish, powdery pulp and kidney-shaped seeds.

All baobab fruit used in our production comes from Senegal. The fruits are collected right in Senegal’s driest regions, under the supervision of expertly-qualified professionals. We focus our activity on abundant species of baobab, whose fruit can be collected with minimal environmental impact. Consequently, the fruits and seeds are the main parts of the plant that are collected, rather than the roots or bark of a particular species.

We use a simple, exclusively mechanical process to obtain the fruit pulp. After the fruit is harvested, the hard outer shell of the fruit is cracked open and the contents are removed. The seeds are then separated from the fibrous material and mesocarp. This is screened to remove further unwanted fibrous and flaky material, leaving a fine mesocarp powder (fruit pulp). Finally, the food grade powder is milled and packaged.

Baomix organic Baobab fruit pulp

Baomix organic Baobab fruit pulp

Vitamins and minerals

Baobab fruit is known for its high content of ascorbic acid (vitamin C); specifically, 100 g of wet pulp contains up to 300 mg of vitamin C, approximately six times more than the ascorbic acid content of one orange or lemon.

The fruit also contains other essential vitamins, such as vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin or PP).

In addition, the fruit contributes to the supply of other important dietary nutrients, such as minerals. 100 g of wet pulp contains about 300 mg of calcium, 3000 mg of potassium and 30 mg of phosphorus.

Serving instructions

Suggested intake — 5-15g per day. Use baobab as a perfect addition to your desserts and smoothies. It is also excellent for dipping fruit into to add a little bit of extra scrummyness.


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The Baobab, usually called the Tree of Life

The Baobab tree (known scientifically as Adansonia digitata) is often called the tree of life because it stores life-sustaining water inside its trunk and branches. In Africa, India, and Madagascar, where the tree grows in arid regions, the tree’s water is a valuable resource. The Baobab tree is an ancient survivor; some Baobab trees may live for several thousand years.

The phrase “tree of life” is rooted in religious history. The original tree of life was in the Garden of Eden, Jews and Christians believe. In the Torah and the Bible, cherubim angels guard the tree of life from humans who had fallen into sin: “After he [God] drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life” (Genesis 3:24). Jews believe that archangel Metatron now guards the tree of life in the spiritual realm.

Le baobab adansonia digitata africain

Le baobab adansonia digitata africain

Miraculous Water Help:

When nomadic people and wild animals (such as giraffes and elephants) can’t find enough water from their usual sources during a drought, they would be in danger of dying from dehydration if it weren’t for the Baobab tree, which stores the water they need to stay alive. People cut the tree’s branches or trunk to access drinking water that is miraculously available even during severe droughts. Animals chew on the Baobab tree’s branches to open them up, and then use the branches like straws to drink the water from inside the tree. Large Baobab trees may contain more than 30,000 gallons of water at once.

Healing Fruit:

Fruit from Baobab trees (sometimes called “monkey fruit” because baboons love to eat it) contains high concentrations of antioxidants, which protect the cells in people’s bodies from damage. Baobab fruit, which tastes like cream of tartar, features lots of the popular antioxidant vitamin C (which may help prevent cancer and heart disease). The mineral calcium (which helps keep bones strong) is also abundant in Baobab fruit. Other healing ingredients found in Baobab fruit include vitamin A, potassium, magnesium, and iron. People can also eat the fruit’s seeds and the leaves of the Baobab tree.


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What are the Baobab leaves health benefits, and their medicinal properties?

Baobab is a drought-tolerant plant found in the savannas of Africa. They are highly noted for their ability to store huge volumes of water inside their hollow trunks, reaching up to 30 000 gallons of water to survive during dry season, particularly in Sahara, Namib and Kalahari desserts in Africa. This tree is very versatile and is well-regarded by the local peoples since majority of its parts can be used in some capacity. Baobab leaves in particular have so many uses, either as food sources or as herbal medicines for different forms of illnesses. Young leaves, which can either be simple or palmate in shape, are picked and eaten raw like spinach.

The Baobab leaf can also be dried and pulverized into either fine or coarse powder. This powder is mixed in their stews or soups as thickeners. To add to that, the powdered leaves are both used as thickeners and flavoring for couscous.
In Senegal, more and more people are producing powdered Baobab leaves. In fact, the country is already one of the biggest Baobab powder producers, making powders that are commonly used as an ingredient for exotic African cuisine. Many locals even pollard the tree in order to promote new growth of young leaves and large land areas are planted with Baobab for the sole purpose of getting their leaves. Pollarding is also done on old Baobab trees which are already hollow inside to prevent them from turning heavy on top and fall over. Old leaves are grazed by stocks and used as a special food for horses.

The Baobab leaves health benefits, medicinal properties

The Baobab leaves health benefits, medicinal properties

The fresh leaves contain high amounts of Vitamin C as well as other nutritional elements such as alpha and beta carotenes, rhamnose, uronic acids, tannins, potassium, calcium, catechins, tartrate, glutamic acid, mucilage and other sugars.

Therapeutically, the Baobab leaves have several benefits and are packed with medicinal properties to treat common illnesses. Baobab acts as an expectorant for cough, diaphoretic and anti-pyretic. It is also an astringent and relieves excessive perspiration. Also, the leaves can treat certain forms of allergy with their anti-histamine and hyposensitive properties. They can treat asthma, fatigue, inflammations, insect bites, kidney and gallbladder diseases and dracunculiasis – a form of parasitic worm infection that only occurs in Africa. Powdered Baobab leaf poultices are also used to treat sores.

Drying the leaves is a common practice among the people in Africa. They are typically sundried, powdered and cooked daily for family sauce. Application of proper drying method is essential to preserve its Vitamin A level. The Vitamin A content of Baobab leaves often depends on the different tree type, the drying method and the processing method. When drying leaves, it is recommended to apply shade drying to double its ProVitamin A content rather than direct sun drying. The Vitamin A is also boosted by choosing ideal small leaves. In Mali, the leaves are harvested greatly during the end of the rainy season (late October) or before the leaves fall out. The leaves are a staple ingredient in cooking in Africa. It is locally known as kuka and commonly used in making kuka soup. The leaves are used throughout the continent in Africa as leaf vegetable.


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The Baobab, also known as ‘The Tree of Life’, is an extraordinary African tree. It can live as long as 5000 years and the trunk can reach up to 82 feet in circumference. Baobab is often called the ‘upside down tree’ as its branches look like roots.

The baobab fruit looks like a large velvety-green coconut. Inside are large seeds, coated with powder that has a tangy taste of caramel pear with a hint of grapefruit. This precious natural powder has an array of nutrients and health benefits.

The extraordinary African tree, Baobab Fruit Powder Organic

The extraordinary African tree, Baobab Fruit Powder Organic

The benefits of this extraordinary organic baobab fruit powder

Raw organic baobab fruit is highly nutritious and rich in antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C, Magnesium, Calcium, Potassium, Manganese, Zinc, Phosphorus, Iron, protein and dietary fiber (soluble and insoluble). And with an ORAC value of 1,400 per gram, Baobab Fruit Powder exceeds the ORAC values of many other popular super fruits.

Ounce for ounce, the baobab fruit contains six times the Vitamin C found in oranges, three times the iron found in spinach, three times the antioxidants found in blueberries, three times the calcium found in milk, and six times the potassium of bananas. Baobab fruit also contains all 8 essential amino acids and is rich in pectins, triterpenoids beta-sitosterol, beta-amyrin palmitate, alpha-amyrin palmitate, sterols, saponins, triterpenes & ursolic acids.

The Baobab fruit is known for its high content of Vitamin C; in particular, 100 grams of pulp contain up to 300 mg of vitamin C. Vitamin C has been used to combat scurvy, a syndrome occurring in humans whose diet is deficient in fresh fruit and vegetables, and protects against free radicals, because it is the most effective antioxidant in hydrophilic compartments. Additionally it contributes to several metabolic processes including collagen biosynthesis in connective tissue, neurotransmitter support, and in the steroidal hormones synthesis. It also increases the calcium absorption and iron bio-availability, and it is related to the prevention of many degenerative diseases (cataract formation, cardiovascular risks, arteriosclerosis).

Dietary fiber

Today, dietary fiber has gained increased importance as a component of the diet, for its capability to influence multiple aspects of the digestive tract. Baobab fruit powder is very high in dietary fiber which can be associated with a reduction of the risk of cellular mutation and other problems in the digestive tract, and in particular, the rectal colon tract.

The optimal level of dietary fiber consumption has not yet been defined, but it is generally accepted that fiber is fundamental in the composition of an healthy and balanced diet. Consumption of fiber rich foods also reduces constipation and weight gain. Baobab fruit pulp powder provides soluble and insoluble fibers, with an amount of about 50 grams/100 grams of powder. The insoluble fibers are not absorbed by the intestine and are useful for relieving constipation and to create a feeling of satiety.

Other properties

The fruit also contains other essential vitamins, such are riboflavin (vitamin B2), necessary for growth and to maintain the integrity of nervous fibers, skin and eyes, as well as niacin (vitamin PP or B3) which is important for the regulation of several metabolic processes. The fruit contributes to the supply of other important dietary nutrients, including minerals and essential fatty acids. 100 grams of powder contains 293 mg of calcium, 2.31 mg of potassium, 96-118 mg of phosphorus, and α-linolenic acid (27 µg of acid per gram of product expressed in dry weight).

The Baobab fruit pulp shows interesting properties in the stimulation of the intestinal microflora growth. Studies carried out in Research Centers have shown that the hydrosoluble fraction of the fruit pulp has a stimulating effects on the proliferation of Bifidobacteria. In fact, soluble dietary fibers, like those contained in the pulp (about 25%), are known to have prebiotics effects stimulating the growth and/or the metabolic activity of beneficial organisms.

According to the International Centre for Underutilized Crops at the University of Southhampton, the baobab is ‘a fruit of the future’ because of its amazing nutritional benefits.

Some possible benefits of our Raw Organic Baobab Fruit Powder may include:

● Strong anti-oxidant with an ORAC value of 1,400 per gram

● Antibacterial & anti-fungal properties

● Source of soluble fibers with prebiotic activity

● Anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antipyretic activity

● Increasing calcium absorption

● Anti-diarrhea, anti-dysentery activity

● Helping to fend off free radical damage

● Excellent source of many micro nutrients

● Natural & excipient

● Reducing constipation

● Supporting healthy cholesterol levels

● Relieving stomach aches

● Rich in triterpenoids beta-sitosterol, beta-amyrin palmitate, alpha-amyrin palmitate & ursolic acids

More information

Suggested Use: Mix 1 tablespoon with juice, yogurt or add to your favorite smoothie.

Botanical Name: Adansonia digitata L.

Other Names: Boab, boaboa, bottle tree, magic tree, cream of tartar tree, king of fruits, Senegal calabash, chemist tree, Ethiopian sour gourd, symbol of the earth, the top-down tree, baobab, sour gourd, mawuyu, upside-down tree, monkey bread tree, cream of tartar tree, the vitamin tree

Origin: Senegal – Certified Organic

Baomix strives to offer the highest quality organically grown, non-GMO, raw products available using low temperature drying techniques that preserve the vital enzymes and nutrients. Our raw Baobab Fruit Powder passes our strict quality assurance which includes testing for botanical identity, heavy metals, chemicals and microbiological contaminants. Baomix.com offers raw Baobab Fruit Powder packaged in airtight stand-up, resealable foil pouches for optimum freshness. Once opened, just push the air out of the pouch before resealing it in order to preserve maximum potency. Keep your raw Baobab Fruit Powder in a cool, dark, dry place.


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Being recognized as a ‘superfruit’, the Baobab fruit has become a popular add-on to certain food items deemed as healthy foods.

With the fruit’s velvety skin, you can say that Baobab feels like coconut sans the hairy fiber inside. When it is broken into two, you’ll observe the dry, powdery flesh filled with different antioxidants, calcium and Vitamin C. This pack of nutrition is responsible for it being called a superfruit and superfood – something that not even the likes of apple and orange could ever be called.

Multi-Functional Baobab Fruit as the Latest Superfood

Multi-Functional Baobab Fruit as the Latest Superfood

Why is the baobab considered as a superfood?

In terms of nutrition, Baobab fruit contains over 10 times the antioxidant level of oranges and six times more ascorbic acid (Vitamin C). It has also twice the calcium to be found in a glass of milk and contains other minerals like potassium and phosphorus, which are necessary for bones. The fruit pulp is extremely rich in dietary fiber, containing pre-biotics that stimulate good bacteria in the intestine.

Besides the nutritional facts about the fruit, the Baobab shells, which are pod-shaped husks of the fruit, are used by the nomads as dishes. They can also be used as stuff boxes or containers. The husks are used as fuel and their potash-rich ash is said to be suitable for soap-making. When powdered, it can be smoked in replacement for tobacco. The fruit pulp also provides significant uses. When mixed with milk, it can be used as a nutritious drink. It is also used for smoking fish because its harsh smell can drive away flies and other insects. Similar to the seeds and bark, the pulp also contains an antidote against the strophanthus snake.

Health-wise, the Baobab fruit is used as an herbal medicine for common illnesses. It is an intestinal regulator in the sense that it prevents gastric and colon disorders. Its high dietary fiber content also cleanses the colon and prevents constipation. The fruit is also effective in treating diarrhea, dysentery, hemoptysis and skin diseases like small pox and measles. Continued intake of Baobab juice can reduce the occurrence of osteoporosis because of its high calcium and phosphorus content. In fact, 100 grams of Baobab pulp contains more or less 293 mg of calcium, 96-118 mg of phosphorus, 2.31 mg of potassium and chunks of antioxidants which are very important in getting rid of free radicals. As a superfood, it contains thiamine and riboflavin, which enhance the development of the body organs and maintain skin integrity and the cellular integrity of the nerves. It is also rich in Vitamin A for better eyesight. Recently, it was discovered that the fruit is also rich in prebiotics and probiotics. The key role of these bacteria is in their promotion of a balance in our bodies, improvement of the immune system and reduction of inflammation. In light of this, probiotic foods such as Baobab can prevent allergies, yeast infections, adverse effects of some antibiotics and even several bowel diseases.

Baobab fruit is highly valuable due to its nutritional function. It isn’t just a source of food, but more than that, it serves as an energy booster, a raw material for other necessities and purposes and a natural medicine to treat common illnesses.


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In the last few years many natural ingredients, especially from the Amazon, have been touted for their antioxidant and cosmeceutical properties. An African natural—Baobab—also has a tremendous amount to offer the skin.

Baobab is an exotic natural that tightens and tones the skin, moisturizes and encourages skin cell regeneration. Baobab trees (Adansonia digitata) are special and distinctive features of the African savanna. The trees can live for up to 1,000 years and are some of the largest in the world. The tree survives prolonged droughts by storing up to 30,000 gallons of water in its massive, fibrous, sponge-like trunk, which can be up to 30 to 60 feet in diameter. To access this water, the Kalahari bushmen use hollow pieces of grass (much like a straw) to suck the water out. Hollowed out baobab trunks in the vicinity of villages are used for water storage. Thus, the Baobab tree is also known as the “Tree of Life”.

The Baobab Fruit … An African Treasure for Skin

The Baobab Fruit … An African Treasure for Skin

Information about the Baobab

The Baobab tree has also been called “the upside-down tree” because its weirdly shaped branches resemble roots. The fruit of the African baobab tree is particularly appealing to baboons, hence its other nickname, “monkey-bread tree”. Although the tree is not native to Egypt, the fruit was known in the herb and spice markets of Cairo as early as 2500 B.C. It was made famous in the West by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s French fable “The Little Prince.”2 The baobab was approved for European markets in 2008, and FDA soon followed suit. The fruit’s dry pulp is now sold as an ingredient for smoothies and cereal bars.3

The tree’s white, powdery fruit is classed as a functional food, rich in specific nutrients and phyto-chemicals, and are promoted as being able to improve health condition and/or disease prevention. The fruit is bottle or cucumber shaped and has a woody outer shell covered by velvety yellowish, sometimes greenish hairs. The fruit pulp is split into mealy agglomerates that enclose several seeds. The Baobab tree is a vital food source for many local tribes, cattle and game; the fruit contains both pulp and seeds which are eaten. The pulp can also be mixed with water and made into a drink; the seeds of the baobab tree can be eaten alone or mixed with millet and seedlings and young leaves are eaten like asparagus or are used in salads.

Its benefits on our skin

The Baobab fruit has six times as much vitamin C as an orange, 50 percent more calcium than spinach and is a plentiful source of antioxidants. Its antioxidant activity is four times that of a kiwi or apple pulp. The leaves are an excellent source of vitamin A, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum and phosphorus, and the seeds are packed with protein. 4 Vitamins A and B1, B2, B3, B6 and dietary fibers are also present in Baobob.5 Baobab oil is a clear, golden yellow oil that with a slight nutty odor. The oil is obtained by cold pressing or Co2 extraction of the dried baobab seeds. Baobab oil contains fatty acids (omega 3-6-9), sterols, proteins, potassium, magnesium calcium, iron, zinc and amino acids. Topical application of this nourishing, antioxidant oil can help alleviate chronic dry skin and chronic bruising by improving skin elasticity and boosting epidermal softening.

Recent studies in Europe have revealed a multitude of skin benefits of Baobab. Leaf and bark extracts tighten and tone skin, while oil from the seeds moisturizes and encourages skin cell regeneration with vitamins A, D and E.6 Studies carried out in the laboratory showed doses between 400 and 800 mg/kg determine a marked anti-inflammatory effect and are able to reduce inflammation induced in the animal limb with formalin. This activity may be attributed to the presence of sterols, saponins and triterpenes in the aqueous extract. Clinically, skin care companies have found Baobab fruit and oil combats skin aging, helps improve skin firmness and strength by boosting the elastic quality of the skin, diminishes the look of facial lines, evens out skin tone, and refreshes and hydrates the skin.

Baobab has already been incorporated into several well-known skin care lines and has also been used in several French hair treatment gels and lip balms. Thus we can see that while Baobab has been discovered by some skin care companies, many more have yet to be introduced to its wonderful properties.


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The baobab tree was in the past perhaps best associated with tales of mystery and spirits– even evils ones– but rarely its intrinsic value.Many families, especially those from the central regions where the tree is common, did not view the baobab positively owing to lack of correct information, or the sheer impact of rumours peddled throughout history.

“It is a home for the Satan and spirits,” many children grew to believe, as that is how the tree was best described countrywide. However, the tree is not big-for-nothing. It has huge health benefits. Its fruit has tremendous values that have come to be appreciated as demonstrated recently at a food exhibition in Dar es Salaam.

New study shows positive attributes of baobab fruit

New study shows positive attributes of baobab fruit

Even in some traditional settings, the baobab has been recognized for its beneficial health and nutritional properties. One group called Mildor, which is based in the city and has 10 members, is doing the best it could to earn income by selling products made from the baobab fruits, while at the same time enhancing the health of its customers.

The group, established early this year, is making and selling baobab by- products from the seeds.
It was through training by the Small Industries Development Organisation (SIDO) that the group got the knowledge of making such products. Christine Masasa, a member of Mildor, says the baobab has many health benefits. “The oil and the powder have plenty of nutritional and medicinal properties,” she says.

Nutritious powder

Packed in a colourless nylon paper, the baobab powder looks pale in colour and has a unique tangy taste, which is described as “caramel pear with subtle tones of grapefruit”. The powder forms naturally inside the hard-shelled fruit of the tree.
According to Christine, the powder makes a tasty beverage, after soaking in water or milk.
She says the powder has amazingly high nutritional contents. It has more vitamin C than oranges, and more calcium than milk.

The fruit powder is also said to be rich with antioxidant elements, more than double the figures reported for pomegranates and cranberries, and more than three times the reported figure for blueberries.
It contains more potassium than apricots, bananas, peaches and apples, and also has magnesium content above that of bananas, apricots, peaches and apples.

The powder has higher antioxidant levels compared to other fruits including apples, apricots, bananas and peaches. It contains more iron than spinach and apples, in addition to containing higher levels of dietary fibre than most fruits including apples, peaches, apricots and bananas.

Pectin is one source of fibre in baobab and has been reported to have a role in reduction of total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, which might cause blockage of blood vessels.
In other countries in Africa and Europe baobab products, such as jams, teas, nutrition bars and powder ingredient mixes are already available.

Baobab leaves can be used as a dish and can heal stomach ulcers, typhoid, and an instant energy booster.

Golden oil

Mildor also extracts oil by cold-pressing the seeds of baobab. The semi-fluid golden coloured oil has a gentle scent and is rich in Vitamin A, B, C, D and F, and can be used as medicine for treatment of several diseases.
Christine says it is supposed to be taken two teaspoonfuls daily, and is said to increase body cells, body CD4, and build a healthy liver and kidney.

It also helps to remove cholesterol, body poison and reduce body weight. Welu Shagile, 65, is one of the users of the oil and she says it has helped her recover from weight problems. “I used the oil for two months and I have lost 15 kilogrammes. I was suffering from excessive tiredness and now I am fit to walk around and take care of myself,” she says.

Beauty

The edible oil can also be applied to the skin for beauty purposes. “This oil is perfect for people with albinism, since it protects skin damage by the sun,” Christine says.
The group does not throw away any thing that come from the seeds. The residue that remains after processing oil is mixed with coconut oil and used for making soap. According to Christine, the soap helps fight skin diseases, such as acne, sunburn, eczema and rashes.

Food security

Christine and her group collect the baobab seeds from Morogoro, Dodoma and Ruaha. She says the natives still maintain myths towards these trees.
“The villagers stare at us the way we keep collecting the seeds. We try to educate them that they are beneficial foods and should be gathered for large scale consumption,” she says.

The group educates the villagers on how to take care of the tree and eradicate the myths around it.
“They say that there are large snakes in the baobab trees, so they can’t collect the fruits,” she says.

A study conducted in 2000 by Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), department of forestry, titled “Potentials of Non Wood Forest Products in Household Food Security in Tanzania” revealed that non-wood forest products (baobab included) are of vital importance as tools for coping with food shortage and famines.