The baobab tree is a huge, gnarly tree that looks like it’s been ripped out of the ground and turned upside down. Grown throughout Africa, the tree is treasured in its communities – as a place of shade, as a spiritual meeting place, and for the many uses of its fruit, seeds, leaves, and bark. Some baobab trees are over 6000 years old, making them some of the oldest living plants in the world.
The baobab tree holds a special place in African legends and folklore. In one story (told in many variations), the baobab was jealous of more beautiful trees, and God turned the tree upside down because of the tree’s lack of gratitude. In another legend, the hyena was given the tree as a gift, and ended up planting it upside down.
The tree’s treasured status is also due in large part to its many nutritional benefits. In traditional medicine, the baobab fruit pulp has been used for thousands of years to reduce fevers, to treat pain, to fight infection, as an anti-inflammatory, and to treat diarrhea and dysentery. It has also been used, historically, to treat measles and smallpox. Recent studies provide more evidence to support the fruit’s place as the “king of the superfoods”.
Some of the most powerful attributes of the fruit found in studies, include:
– Antioxidants (more antioxidants of acai or goji berries)
– Anti-inflammatory properties
– Fever reducing effects
– Analgesic properties (pain relief)
– Anti-microbial properties
– Anti-viral activity
– Hepaprotective properties (protection from liver damage)
– Anti-diarrhea activity
In addition, the baobab pulp is a source of vitamin C (25% DV in one serving), dietary fiber, magnesium, and potassium.
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Source of attribute information:
“A review of baobab (Adansonia digita) products: Effect of processing techniques, medicinal properties & uses”, Kabore.