The Baobab Tree (Adansonia digitata) is a tree native to certain regions in Africa. The bark and fruit offers over 300 life-sustaining uses, many indigenous remedies, traditions, and folklore. An important source of food, water, and shelter for various birds, reptiles, and insects. The roots, pulp, leaves, flower and seeds of the baobab is also edible. A contribution to ecosystems as helps keep soil conditions humid, promote nutrient recycling, and prevent soil erosion. The trees can live for up to 5,000 years, reach a height of 30 metres and up to an enormous 50 metres in circumference. Baobab trees can store water in their trunks and only need to be watered about once a month during the growing season.
Known as ‘The Tree of Life’.
The tree’s fruits are large pods known as ‘monkey bread’ or ‘cream of tartar fruit’ and they produce a dry nutritious fruit pulp that has a tangy citrus sweet fruit flavour. Available in powdered form that are a staple in desserts, stews, soups and smoothies. Seeds can be roasted or used as a brew for a coffee-like drink.
Benefits. Baobab is highly nutritious and different parts of the plant supply varying amounts of protein, vitamin C, antioxidants, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, calcium and B vitamins. natural preservative, carbohydrates, and phosphorus. Baobab is considered to be one if the highest alkaline foods available. Baobab is a good source of fibre that promotes digestive health.
Traditionally, baobab leaves, bark, and seeds have been used to treat “almost any disease,” including malaria, tuberculosis, fever, microbial infections, diarrhoea, anaemia, toothache, and dysentery. The leaves and fruit pulp have been used to reduce fever and stimulate the immune system.
The first time I saw a baobab tree was in Gambia 2013. Where I was mesmerised with the gigantic size, but I did not start consuming until about 8 years ago. I add the powder to smoothies and use purchased baobab oil as part of hair oil mixture.
Recently I went to Ada, Greater Accra and was amazed at the many baobab trees and large pods just lying around the ground. I collected a few that could hold in my bag. But that day I wish I had my ‘Ghana must go bag’. Whilst at home I tempted to chop open the hard shell. Then without any haste ate the tangy citrus sweet flavoured fruit.
Maybe I will try and make Baobab cake or bread.
Truly is the Tree of Life
Bless Sister E