21 September 2010 by Denise Slabbert

The Healing Powers of the Mighty Baobab

The Baobab tree seems to be in the spotlight these days, not just because of its great natural beauty - but because of its incredible health and wellness properties.  These enormous trees (sometimes called the ‘upside down tree’) have been used in traditional African medicine long before the Europeans arrived in Africa - so the ‘discovery’ of the Baobab’s healing powers is really nothing new. That said, the ‘developed world’  is finally cottoning on to the fact that this tree is one of Africa’s best-kept secrets. Although scientific facts relating to the tree are hard to come by, traditional healers in the Limpopo province (where the Baobab is most prolific) will tell you that the Baobab comes with many gifts. Apparently, there are various ways of utilising the various parts of the tree - when the leaves are boiled and left to make a sap they are said to cure asthma and other chest-related illnesses. The seeds, when crushed and soaked make a rejuvenating drink (full of antioxidants) and the oil is said to be the next best thing to shea butter when used for beautifying purposes. This tree can also stave off crocodiles… which can only be good for one’s health, but you’ll have to chat to a local sangoma to find out the exact recipe…

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