- 1 Baobab | The New Super Tree
- 2 The Health Benefits of Baobab for Specific Ailments
- 2.1 The Effectiveness Of Baobab For Vitamin C Deficiency
- 2.2 Baobab For The Skin | A Natural Solution For Premature Skin Aging
- 2.3 Baobab For The Immune System | How It Helps Strengthen The Body’s Defense
- 2.4 The Healing Wonders Of Baobab For Malaria
- 2.5 Baobab For Inflammation | Natural Anti-Inflammatory Chemicals Found In Baobab
- 2.6 Baobab For Hemoptysis | Astringent Property In Curbing Hemorrhages And Hemoptysis
- 2.7 Baobab For Gastric Diseases | Promoting Digestive Health
- 2.8 Baobab For Fever | A Natural, Inexpensive Febrifuge And Anti-Pyretic Medicine
- 2.9 Baobab For Anemia | Iron And Vitamin C In Baobab To Treat For Iron-Deficiency Anemia
- 3 Different Forms Of Baobab
- 3.1 Baobab Seed | A Traditional Medicine & Life-Saving Staple In Africa
- 3.2 Baobab Fruit Pulp | Characteristics And Health Benefits
- 3.3 Multi-Functional Baobab Fruit | The Latest Superfood
- 3.4 Interesting Facts And Health Benefits Of Baobab Bark
- 3.5 Baobab Oil Application For Ageless-Looking Skin
- 3.6 Different Medicinal Properties Of Baobab Leaves
- 4 Buying And Growing Baobab
Baobab | The New Super Tree
What is Baobab? | A Brief Introduction
Everybody knows the importance of trees to humankind. There are countless benefits we can get from trees, such as using them for food, shelter, medicine, paper, etc. But apart from its common benefits, there are certain varieties of trees that are deemed as ‘supertrees’, earning the title ‘the tree of life’ because of a vast number of uses, from the roots to the leaves. One famous example is Baobab tree. What is Baobab? Commonly seen in the savannas of India and Africa, the tree can live for thousands of years and can grow beyond 25 meters. This tree is gaining popularity even outside of its native land, being a source of food, water storage container and many medicinal properties.
Scientifically called Adansoniadigitata, Baobab is famous for its wide trunk, only exceeded by sequoia in terms of trunk diameter. Although it has an enormous girth, the tree isn’t too tall and hence, has a bottlelike look. Baobab produces fruit that are oval in shape and furry. It is edible and the meat has a powdery texture and many seeds. Its unique characteristic of being leafless for nine months causes many people to call it as ‘upside-down tree’. It is because when viewed from afar, the intricate leafless branches look like tiny capillary roots. It is also nicknamed the ‘monkey bread tree’ because its fruit is very appealing to baboons.
Baobab tree has the ability to store large volumes of water, containing nearly 30,000 gallons of water for larger trees. This water is used by local nomads who don’t have any means to acquire water. To collect water from the trees, they use hollow straws to absorb and suck out water. Besides its water storage function, it is also an important source of food for African tribes. Its fruit is edible and the pulp is often mixed with water as a nutritious drink. Young leaves are also eaten as salads while the seeds are made into paste.
Baobab tree has numerous medicinal purposes. The fruit is rich in Vitamin C, antioxidants and calcium, which can effectively treat certain illnesses while the tree bark is used to treat fever. In fact, certain European scientists have used it instead of the cinchona bark to treat malaria. In addition, the bark of Baobab is used by the locals to make nets, ropes, musical string instruments, clothes and hats. To obtain the fiber, the bark is removed gently. Baobab trees typically regenerate bark once it is peeled out.
Why is it considered an impressive tree? This tree is regarded as an extraordinary tree due to a number of reasons. One is its ability to survive even in hostile environments, such as in extremely dry areas where little rainfall occurs. The tree copes by storing large amounts of water in its trunk to survive during drought. Baobab can be planted on any type of soil, even alkaline soils. They can also survive for a very long time, to the extent that some trees found today are already past a millennium in age.
Multiple Uses And Healing Wonders Of Baobab
The Baobab fruit is famous for its extreme nutritional content and medicinal purposes. However, some people wonder on whether other parts of the Baobab tree are useful as well. Indeed, the entire baobab tree has been very useful for a long time across Africa. The leaves, seeds, fruit and trunk all give a wide range of uses including food, water storage, clothes, oil and medicine. Today, uses of Baobab have become even more extensive as more and more countries try to study and research on other ways to take advantage of it for human health and betterment.
When it comes to the uses of Baobab, a greater part of it is used as a source of food by the locals where it grows. It is because majority of the parts of Baobab are edible. The fruit when mixed with water can be drunk as fruit juice or when combined with milk can be used as a nutritious drink for kids. Besides the fruits, the seeds are also edible and can be roasted to be made into coffee or be eaten raw. The seeds also yield oil through extraction.
In Senegal, the locals use Baobab fruit pulp in making Bouye, a white, tart juice made by cooking the pulp and seeds with sugar and water. The leaves can be mixed with oil or mayonnaise to be a salad or be eaten as relish. The fruit pulp contains citric and tartaric acids, which are the main base for cream of tartar, a common baking ingredient. Tartar is also used as an ice-cream flavoring and milk-curdling agent.
Besides being a source of food, one of the important uses of Baobab is from its tree trunk. The trunk is often used as shelter for the locals and is home to animals such as bats and snakes. Some Baobab trees are naturally hollow due to old age and these are used as water storage containers. The empty space inside the trunk is filled with water and tightly covered. The tree can hold the water for many years and serves as a reservoir during drought. In West Africa, it is believed to be used as a tomb for the tribe’s important persons or griot and people who died from leprosy. The wood pulp is made into paper by the locals while the bark fiber is strong and durable enough for making baskets, nets, fishing line, cloth, ropes, harness and cordage.
In terms of health benefits of Baobab, all of its parts are reputed to have significant medicinal properties. Specifically, the oil and pulp have been exported from Africa and internationally marketed as natural African herbal medicines. Based on traditional African medicine, Baobab is used to treat inflammation, fever, diarrhea, dysentery, hemoptysis, varicose veins, measles, and smallpox and body pain. It also regulates the intestines, preventing and treating all sorts of gastric and IBS disorders. Its high calcium content also alleviates osteoporosis while its high dietary fiber content provides ease in bowel movement.
Considering the different uses of Baobab, it’s a no-brainer why this tree is regarded as the tree of life. Its uses go beyond the fruit because the tree trunk and even its barks are also very useful, especially to the local people of Africa. With this recent focus in producing different products derived from Baobab, it is hoped that this can provide more money and jobs for the Africans in the future.
Importance Of Baobab Extract In Health And Nutrition
Baobab has a long history of being a reliable and safe traditional herbal medicine in Africa. Perhaps it is one of the most unique plant varieties in Africa, given its exceptional nutritional profile and attributes as well as its innate market appeal. The fruit pulp of Baobab is known for its rich antioxidant activity, more than six times more effective compared to blueberries. Because of this market appeal, Baobab has turned into a novel ingredient for many products, from the food industry, nutraceuticals, botanical industry and cosmetic industry. However, to commercially introduce Baobab to the public, it has to be modified in such a way that the public can effortlessly add it on their daily dietary plan. For this reason, Baobab extract is created to address these particular necessities.
Baobab extract is the by-product of the depectinized Baobab fruit powder. Pectin is removed since it can cloud or thicken a certain product, and therefore limits the way in which it is used, particularly in cooking. Since its natural pectin content is removed, it can be used as an ingredient when making confectioneries, biscuits and other related products. The extract has a distinct flavor of the Baobab fruit, whose taste resembles ‘caramel pear with traces of grapefruit flavor’. The result is a clear solution sans the thick properties of the fruit powder, which is ready for formulation.
Baobab leaf extract is another useful solution commonly used for medicinal purposes. The leaf extract is effective in treating different skin disorders such as acne and is also a brightening formulation. To add to this, it possesses therapeutic properties including antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties. It is derived from the Baobab micronized leaf powder and works great as a facial mask and other skin care applications. The Baobab leaves contain polysaccharides that bind with water, leaving a protective film on the surface of the skin. This film promotes skin moisturization, making the skin more soft and smooth. Baobab leaf extract contains calcium, mucilage, alpha and beta carotene, uronic acid, ramnose acid, tannins, glutamic and Vitamin C.
Currently, there are numerous researches conducted to test out its effectiveness and usability. Apart from the fruit pulp extract and leaf extract, Baobab extract from the seed and bark is also another traditional herbal medicine commonly applied by the local peoples in Africa. The seed extract is commonly used as cooking oil while the bark extract is a common ingredient in facial creams, serums and other skin care formulations.
Zero Negative Side Effects Of Baobab | Baobab GRAS Status Approval
Most people take natural organic medicines, thinking it’s totally safe compared to synthetic drugs. They are completely unaware about some forms of side effects that can result from orally taking it. Side effects of herbal plants depend on the dosage, the herbal remedy and the drugs taken in combination with the herbal medicine. Many herbs and natural alternative medicines such as homeopathic remedies are safe to take; however, it can be tricky at times and should be taken with precaution. Because of these possible effects, one should look for another natural remedy that is considered to be generally safe and a great example of this is Baobab. If you are hesitant to buy it due to the possible side effects of Baobab, the good news is that it doesn’t cause any harmful effects like other natural medicines.
Whatever belief of adverse side effects of Baobab can be put aside because in September 2009, the fruit was already approved as ‘Generally Recognized as Safe’ (GRAS) by the Food and Drug Administration in the US, which signifies a green light to open Baobab nutritional products for US consumers. GRAS means that any food additives or substances incorporated in food or diet is considered as safe by the experts. Because of this, it’s pretty sure that there are no negative issues with Baobab that may be expected due to processing contamination or chemical issues.
Baobab hit the European market and has been applied as an ingredient in foods and beverages for some time, but it only got its GRAS approval from FDA in September 2009. Currently, the US consumer response has been slow, probably due to minimal research and development of the product as well the effects of the recession. So far, Baobab is currently sold as a powder, which is said to be rich in antioxidants four times higher than kiwi. There are also no noted negative side effects of Baobab, except that it results to positive health effects. The fruit consists of chunks of nutrients such as Vitamin C, pectin, citric, malic, succinic, riboflavin and niacin. The oil contains vitamins A,D and C. Studies on dried Baobab fruit compositional details include specific fatty acid, amino acids, carbohydrate, organic acids and micronutrients.
Although Baobab is considered to be generally safe, it is still advisable to consult your health provider before starting any supplements, herbs or any natural homeopathic remedies. This is to ensure that you won’t experience any side effects of Baobab, be they adverse or harmless. Moreover, purchase your Baobab powder from reliable, well-known companies. This is to ensure that you get the proper dosage to take and help you determine and measure the success of your Baobab remedy more easily. Potential reactions to other drugs or herbal medicines may occur so make sure you ask about this as well.
The Health Benefits of Baobab for Specific Ailments
The Effectiveness Of Baobab For Vitamin C Deficiency
The major nutrient we can get from eating Baobab is Vitamin C and, according to studies, it is more highly recommended to use Baobab for Vitamin C deficiency than it is to take synthetic ascorbic acid.
Vitamin C deficiency is a nutritional disorder that comes from inadequate intake of Vitamin C. This disease can lead to gingivitis, dry and scaly skin, anemia, damaged hair, weak tooth enamel, painful joints and slowed metabolism leading to weight gain. The severe form of vitamin C deficiency is called scurvy, which when left untreated could cause eventual death.
Certainly, Vitamin C plays a vital role in protecting our cells and keeping our body healthy. It also aids in the absorption of iron and other essential minerals from food. Vitamin C promotes the production of collagen, an essential protein necessary to maintain healthy skin, teeth, gums, bones, joints, linings, cartilage and blood vessels. Baobab contains much higher levels of Vitamin C compared to other fruits known for being Vitamin C-rich, including the kiwi, orange, grapefruit and strawberry. Studies show Baobab fruit to have an exceptional Vitamin C content at 150–499mg/100g, which is more than six times higher than an orange, which only contains 53mg/100g. This is the reason why it is good to include Baobab in your daily diet.
Furthermore, taking Baobab can help in enhancing antioxidant levels of the body. Because of its high level of Vitamin C content, its antioxidant capability is considered by many experts, particularly when treating other diseases besides Vitamin C deficiency. This is the reason why Baobab fruit pulp is promoted as a milk substitute for babies in many countries in Africa. It has also been reported that Arab sailors consumed the fruit to prevent scurvy.
There are varied ways to prepare Baobab for Vitamin C deficiency treatment. The most common is by consuming the fruit pulp, which can treat scorbutic symptoms. It can also be boiled with water and sugar and made as a fruit jam that can be added to the diet for several weeks. The leaves are also rich in Vitamin C and are commonly dried and powdered. Its acid pith is a source of ascorbic acid and can be ground and made into a refreshing drink. Having Baobab for Vitamin C deficiency is an effective and inexpensive therapeutic management to treat this type of nutritional disorder. Moreover, its vitamin A, antioxidants and essential minerals content are all very interesting, which makes the fruit highly recommended in promoting better health and proper body functioning.
Baobab For The Skin | A Natural Solution For Premature Skin Aging
The Baobab tree has a long history of being part of African skincare. The seeds, which are made into oil, have a pleasant aroma and interesting benefits. Similar to any fruit oil, Baobab oil is absorbed quickly and deeply nourishes and softens the skin. It also restores and repairs the uppermost layer of the skin, the epidermis. Certainly, it is good to use Baobab for the skin.
There are numerous vitamins and minerals present in Baobab including Vitamin A, B complex, fatty acids and dietary fiber. The seed oil is golden yellow in color and looks clear, with slight nutty smell. Baobab oil is extracted through the process of Co2 extraction from the dried seeds. The oil contains sterols, fatty acid (Omega 3, 6 & 9), proteins, potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron and amino acids. This antioxidant oil, when applied topically, can treat dry skin and easy bruising by promoting skin elasticity and skin softening.
It also moisturizes the skin and promotes skin cell regeneration due to its Vitamin A, D and E content. Based on recent studies, it is revealed that there is a massive number of skin benefits you can get from Baobab aside from the advantages conferred by the seed oil. The leaf and bark extracts can cause skin tightening and even out skin tone. In addition, many skincare companies have also discovered Baobab fruit and oil’s anti-aging properties. It is believed to help even out the complexion, reduce facial lines and fine wrinkles, and improve skin strength, elasticity, firmness and hydration of the skin.
Baobab has already been used for different skincare formulations, being incorporated into famous skincare lines, hair treatments and cosmetics. Hence, you’ll notice that while Baobab has been used by a few skincare companies, although there are still more products to be introduced due to this ‘Baobab anti-aging cult’. While it seems the popularity of Baobab for the skin has reached a new level, it is interesting to find out Baobab’s ability to treat the worst skin diseases. In Somalia, the powdered leaves mixed with Baobab oil are applied three times a day to treat head skin diseases. Baobab seed oil is also made into lotion in Tanzania for treating skin illnesses like psoriasis and eczema. The poultice of Baobab seed can be applied on acne, psoriasis and furunculosis. The white, acidic and insoluble gum secreted on Baobab bark can be applied as antiseptic for wounds, sores, burns and ulcers. Dried fruit pulp mixed with water is also given to provide relief for severe itchiness from urticaria and allergic dermatitis.
Extracting Baobab can be very time-consuming, thus it is well-regarded as luxury oil by many. It is indeed a truly ground-breaking discovery, especially since anti-aging products are very famous nowadays. Moreover, the positive effects of Baobab when applied to the skin can’t be matched by any synthetic creams and serums because it isn’t only limited for anti-aging and skin care uses, but it is also used in the treatment of some severe forms of skin diseases.
Baobab For The Immune System | How It Helps Strengthen The Body’s Defense
The immune system shields the body by helping it fight against infections and to recuperate from previous illness. While regular exercise and application of stress-reduction techniques are known to promote strengthening of immune system, the type of food we consume takes up the biggest factor towards a healthy immune system. Having a balanced diet including a good amount of nourishing foods will fortify the body’s immune defense like you’ve never experienced before. Building a safe environment supporting your health is the primary thing to keep in mind. This means eliminating toxic elements and chemical substances surrounding your environment, and these include the food you eat. Adding a healthful food to your diet such as Baobab for the immune system can greatly boost your current health status, particularly for people with past unhealthy lifestyle like smoking and alcohol drinking.
People with very busy lifestyles tend to disregard their health, leading to stress and weak body defense. For this reason, taking Baobab for the immune system can greatly help in increasing defense against illnesses and boost energy. Baobab contains some of the most vital antioxidants and the content level is higher compared to pomegranates, Acai, blueberries and other antioxidant-rich fruits. Antioxidants are very important as they protect the body from environmental pollutants, stress and free radical damage.
Baobab fruit has specifically high antioxidant activity due to its high level of natural Vitamin C content. It requires a mere 23 grams of Baobab powder to attain the daily recommended Vitamin C dose. You can also take 50 grams of powder to achieve daily saturation of Vitamin C while Vitamin C deficient people should take 90 grams of powder.
They say the stomach is the foundation of a strong immune system and perhaps this is true in the sense that the digestive system is the one responsible in processing the food we eat for the rest of the body’s nutrition. That is why it is recommended to eat food rich in dietary fiber and prebiotics to ensure a healthy gut.
Baobab fruit pulp contains large amounts of fiber that can reach nearly 45grams/100 grams. Dietary fiber should always be present on the daily diet to maintain digestive health. A few of its functions are to stabilize blood glucose levels, remove bad cholesterol from the liver, stimulate the production of antibodies and useful body chemicals, increase the production of healthy bacteria in the intestine, and control inflammation. All of these dietary fiber functions contribute to the strengthening of the immune system. Thus it is best to add Baobab for the immune system strengthening.
Our immune system comprises different specialized cells, tissues, organs and body proteins that help combat harmful microorganisms that may cause diseases. For this, it is important to take foods rich in antioxidants and dietary fiber like Baobab for the immune system. Adding Baobab powder to your daily diet plan won’t only improve bodily functions but also boost your immune defense system.
The Healing Wonders Of Baobab For Malaria
According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 247 million Malaria cases and almost one million deaths occurred in Africa in 2008 – and most of the victims are children below five years of age. In Africa alone, a child dies of Malaria every 45 seconds, which accounts for 20% of child deaths. Malaria is truly a huge issue socially and economically, with an estimated loss of $12 Billion because of this epidemic. The continent has a very high malaria transmission and this is mainly caused by Plasmodium falciparum, a lethal species of mosquito that transmits the disease. To combat malaria, traditional medicines have been the primary therapeutic management of the local people for centuries. It is because until today, African people from poor areas still have difficulties in paying for anti-malarial drugs and acquiring modern treatments. Thus, traditional medicines such as Baobab for malaria are still proving to be a vital, sustainable and accessible source of treatment.
Baobab’s medicinal uses were first publicly commended by Prospero Alpini, a Venetian physician and herbalist in 1592. He stated that the early Egyptians used the plant as treatment for dysentery, fever and open wound. But, even before Alpini’s writings, it was already a part of Africa’s traditional medicine and nutritional source. To clarify the connection of Baobab for malaria treatment, it is because of the bioactive constituents that cause natural antibacterial activity of the stem and root barks. Using crude aqueous extracts of the stem and root bark, it can be administered as treatment for malarial fever. It is revealed that Baobab bark contains a unique enzyme called Adansonin, whose name is derived from its founder Michael Adanson, which is believed to be the active principle for treating malaria and other fever-related illnesses. Currently, the Baobab bark has hit the European market under the label ‘Cortex CaelCedra’ for the treatment of fever and often marketed as an alternate for cinchona bark.
There are different ways of preparing and administering Baobab for malaria. Used throughout Africa, Sri Lanka and West Indies, mashed Baobab bark is used as febrifuge for malaria. In Benin, the stem bark of Baobab and Gnidiakraussiana and the roots of Securidacalongepedunculata are dried, powdered and heated over coal and the person must inhale the vapor. Vauquelin (1823) and Duchassaing (1848) suggested a specific baobab formulation for treating malaria. They recommended boiling 28 grams of Baobab stem bark in 1.4 liter of water until it evaporate and reduced into 0.85 liters’ sugar can be added for flavor. This Baobab tea should be drunk every day. The decoction spoils after 18 – 24 hours.
Malaria is a major economic, social and developmental problem that affects families and communities in Africa. It is still a deadly disease particularly for vulnerable age groups such as children. One common manifestation of malaria is fever and these febrile episodes should be controlled using available resources, either through anti-malarial drugs or using traditional medicines like Baobab for malaria. If signs and symptoms worsen, it is best to resort to Western medicine and proper therapeutic management through the help of a physician.
Baobab For Inflammation | Natural Anti-Inflammatory Chemicals Found In Baobab
Indeed, inflammation is an uncomfortable and sometimes even painful body condition, and it’s another condition that baobab can treat. Using natural and organic remedies such as Baobab is actually a better choice than using any form of synthetic drug that only suppresses the painful reaction of inflammation. Why is it so? Similar to other common symptoms like fever, the inflammatory process is in fact the body’s defense mechanism from injury. It is the body’s way of naturally healing itself from injury or infection. Seeing an inflamed body part is due to the immune system sending its ‘repair team’ to fix the injured part and ‘combat forces’ to fight back harmful bacteria from infection.
For the body to naturally heal itself from inflammation, one should understand the proper application of nutrition and positive lifestyle health habits. No matter what type of disease it is, these health factors can greatly amplify the benefits of any efforts towards health and well-being, which includes the use of natural health remedies like Baobab.
Baobab contains numerous healing properties and one of its vital functions is its anti-inflammatory effect. The effectiveness of using Baobab for inflammation was tested in experimental research on edematous feet of mice. By administering Baobab aqueous extract, result shows significant reduction of inflammation on the edematous feet comparable to Phenylbutazone. In relation to the experimental study, 500mg/kg of Baobab fruit pulp is equivalent to 15mg/kg Phenylbutazone and 50 mg/kg Acetylsalicylic Acid (Aspirin). Also, studies show Baobab has a high level of content for sterols, saponins and triterpenes, which are natural chemicals found in plants responsible for enhancing the immune system and reducing inflammation.
The saponins found in Baobab react favorably to the good bacteria found in the intestines by enhancing their growth and getting rid of toxins and wastes from the colon. By eliminating these toxins and improving nutrient absorption, the body’s natural immune system and antibodies can efficiently fight inflammation. In addition, improving immune factors can minimize the risk of progressive coronary disease. On the other hand, triterpenes, which is a natural compound abundant in Baobab, has important anti-inflammatory functions. Triterpenes is another reason why it is recommended to take Baobab for inflammation. This plant compound is proven to improve allergies, tumors and inflammation as well as strengthen digestive system and the stomach. It often exhibits bioactivity such as antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal effects. This substance also promotes normal blood pressure and balance in blood lipids.
When taking Baobab for inflammation, the leaves are dried and powdered and drunk daily to relieve inflammation of the intestine. The seeds contain O-acethyethanolamine, which is also believed to act against inflammation and can be powdered to treat gingivitis. In Malawi, the root decoction can be used to treat a sore throat. In West Africa, the Baobab bark decoction is used to wash the eyes with conjunctivitis and the lalo for compress. In Senegal, enteritis is treated by drinking the fruit pulp with water or decoction of powdered seeds. Throughout Africa, common body inflammations are treated by applying lalo compress or powdered Baobab leaves, fumigating using the leaves, warm paste using boiled leaves, or compress made from crushed seeds.
Baobab For Hemoptysis | Astringent Property In Curbing Hemorrhages And Hemoptysis
Hemoptysis is when you are coughing up bloody sputum or fresh blood from the respiratory tract, commonly from the lungs. This means that something’s wrong within the airways and the lung tissue. The potential cause of hemoptysis is extensive: some conditions are benign while others are malignant. However, in South Africa the prevalence of hemoptysis among the locals is high and by far the most common cause is tuberculosis. The TB epidemic in Africa is still on the rise as well as the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) epidemic, which accounts for 9% out of the total population. Good thing there’s Baobab, deemed as Africa’s tree of life. Several reports have confirmed the locals’ use of Baobab for hemoptysis. Indeed, the plant has a wide range of medicinal uses. With its antimicrobial properties, it is even used to alleviate tuberculosis.
How does Baobab treat hemoptysis? The astringent property of Adansonia digitata stops the blood flow of the affected area. Natural astringent substances found in plants cause the shrinking of mucous membrane or affected tissues. They are also used internally to determine discharges of mucus secretions or blood. Baobab contains several astringent substances, primarily tannin, which is often found in leaves and barks, mucilage, cellulose and trace amounts of potassium acid tartrate and sodium chloride.
Tannin has many therapeutic functions besides being an astringent medicine. It also has antibacterial and anti-enzymatic properties. The tannin content found in Baobab for hemoptysis is effective in curbing hemorrhages and reduces inflammation. When taken internally, it relieves the throat, eases irritation and reduces episodes of coughing in any respiratory diseases including tuberculosis. The hemostatic capacity of tannin has the ability to control bloody sputum (which results to hemoptysis) occurring in some respiratory disorders.
Taking Baobab for hemoptysis treatment comes in different forms of preparations. In Africa, the leaves are powdered and mixed with water to be drunk and treat hemoptysis, dysentery and intestinal inflammation. In fact, it is a popular substance in Africa known as lalo, where the leaves are dried and powdered to form a condiment. It is also used in India as an astringent and demulcent to soothe the throat. In Senegal, the leaf decoction is used as astringent. The fruit pulp can also be eaten to treat hemoptysis, diarrhea and malaria. Its astringent seeds, which have a taste resembling almonds, can be boiled in water and make a beverage, be dried and powdered and mixed in soups, be placed under the tongue to relieve thirst, or just be roasted and eaten.
The natural astringent property of Baobab makes an inexpensive yet effective medicinal plant necessary for local peoples who don’t have easy access to Western drugs. Moreover, Baobab’s leaves, fruit pulp, bark and seeds have been used to treat hemoptysis and other hemorrhagic diseases such as nose bleeding, dysentery, ulcer and wounds. To add, its natural antibacterial action also treats different infections and diseases including tuberculosis and other respiratory diseases which can cause abrasion to respiratory tract. Because Baobab is recognized as generally safe, it is recommended to include it in daily diet to promote well-being and improve physical health.
Baobab For Gastric Diseases | Promoting Digestive Health
Gastric disorders are generally common and are responsible for a considerable amount of morbidity in the population. Based on hospital figures, there are nearly 25% of the population suffering from chronic stomach diseases like indigestion and abdominal discomfort. Gastric diseases are medical problems that disturb the body’s natural ability for digestion and nutrition absorption. However, there are studies that show effectiveness of Baobab for gastric disease treatment. This natural medicine is found in the savannas of Africa and is regarded by the locals there as the ‘tree of life’ due to its numerous benefits.
Different countries in Africa have their own distinct ways of administering Baobab for gastric diseases. Some crush the leaves, roast the seeds, or even use bark decoctions mixed in water while others powder the leaves, seeds and fruit pulp. In Benin, they use the capsule indumentums to treat recurrent stomach ache for infants while the seeds are used to treat adults. On the other hand, the Baobab roots are used to alleviate abdominal pain in Tanzania. Due to its astringent properties, the powdered leaves of Baobab (known as lalo in Africa) are drunk in West Africa and India as treatment for diarrhea, dysentery, intestinal inflammation and as laxative. The Baobab lalo is also made as poultice and placed over the person’s stomach to treat colic and dysentery. In Mali, constipation is cured by the fruit pulp whereas in Malawi, it is treated by giving the patient dambedza, a traditional drink made from Baobab fruit pulp soaked in water. In India, the fruit pulp is mixed with buttermilk and used as astringent to treat several digestive tract illnesses including diarrhea, dysentery, stomachache, indigestion and abdominal pain.
Based on Africa’s traditional medicine, the fruit pulp can be mixed in water or milk, eaten raw, combined in porridge of millet to treat diarrhea, dysentery and inflammation of the intestine. A decoction of the roasted or crushed seed can also be used as treatment for these conditions. In other African regions, they specifically mix the fruit pulp dissolved in water with iron rust to cure dysentery. Although Baobab is highly regarded as a medicinal plant throughout Africa, the Fula people put little belief in the tree’s effectiveness. In Egypt and Sudan, they used a decoction of Tamarind to treat dysentery. If the treatment fails, the decoction of Baobab fruit pulp is administered several times per day and if the condition doesn’t show any improvement, then the last resort would be baobab roasted seeds or bark. Doctors in Europe are also recommending Baobab for gastric diseases. A good example is Dr. Louis Frank in France, where he successfully cured a number of patients using Baobab fruit.
Using Baobab for gastric diseases has been practiced extensively throughout Africa since early times. Moreover, these ways of treating digestive disorders using Baobab have even reached in Asia and Europe. There’s no question on the efficacy of this tree in terms of medicinal purposes. However, one should also be cautious in taking unknown herbal medicines. It is still recommended to consult your doctor first before taking any herbal plants or medicines orally.
Baobab For Fever | A Natural, Inexpensive Febrifuge And Anti-Pyretic Medicine
Fever is defined as the elevation of body’s normal temperature. When our bodies are in combat against infection, the body temperature rises. Fever is a symptom that occurs for almost every known disease. Infection is caused by harmful bacteria and viruses invading our bodies and making us sick. Common bacterial and viral infections are colds, flu, tonsillitis, ear infection, measles, acute bronchitis and pneumonia. Fever acts as one of the first-line natural defenses against harmful microorganisms because they can’t survive at higher temperatures. One of the most common herbal plants in Africa is Baobab, which is also an anti-pyretic, febrifuge and diaphoretic. Taking Baobab for fever has long been practiced in Africa and is still widely used until today.
The bark of Baobab is used as a diaphoretic based on local traditional medicine; it is used by placing in steam baths or drunk to treat high-grade fever. The leaves are also diaphoretic, yet it is also used as anti-diaphoretic to cure excessive sweating. The botanist Michael Adanson also used Baobab leaves to continually free himself from fever and diarrhea during his stay in Africa. By boiling Baobab leaves, he drank half a liter of Baobab tea daily, every morning and evening.
From Senegal to Kenya, the locals still take Baobab for fever. By boiling the fruit pulp and seed, the Baobab pulp tea is drunk as febrifuge. The unripe fruit is cooked into a candy with millet, locally called Bengal, and eaten as febrifuge and laxative. In the same way, in Mali, ½ liter of Baobab decoction that contains 30 grams of bark is also used as treatment for fever. In Kenya and Tanzania, the bark decoction is used in steam baths to treat infants with high fever. Baobab is also popular in Ayurvedic medicine. Based on this local medicine tradition, the Baobab bark, leaf decoction and the fruit pulp mixed with water are drunk to reduce fever and night sweats as well as tuberculosis.
To back the efficacy of administering Baobab for fever, laboratory studies were conducted using aqueous extract of Baobab fruit pulp. The result of experimental study on rats shows Baobab’s anti-inflammatory effect to be similar to phenylbutazone, a type of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). In terms of its analgesic activity, it produced analgesic effects similar to Aspirin (Acetysalicylic acid), with a longer reaction time. In addition, the same goes for its anti-pyretic effect, which is comparable to the standard dose of Aspirin on hyperthermic rats. These effects may be caused by saponins, sterol and triterpenes present in Baobab extract.
For generations, majority of the people in Africa have trusted the effectiveness of Baobab for fever treatment. Fever can be a serious condition when left untreated, particularly if it’s caused by infection. But because of Baobab, you can recover in an inexpensive and natural way. The health benefits we can get from using Baobab are too many to list down. As researches and studies on this tree continue, new benefits of Baobab will be discovered every day.
Baobab For Anemia | Iron And Vitamin C In Baobab To Treat For Iron-Deficiency Anemia
Anemia is one of the most common blood disorders and this occurs when the red blood cell (RBC) count in the body drops too low. In turn, this could result to more health problems since hemoglobin, the iron-rich protein that provides the red color to the blood, primarily carries oxygen to the tissues of the body. The most common cause of anemia are insufficient iron levels of iron in the body, which is medically termed as iron-deficiency anemia. Our body requires a daily supply of iron to make hemoglobin.
However, there are times when the iron level drops due to conditions like pregnancy, heavy menstruation, ulcers, colon polyps, inherited disorders and malnutrition. Signs and symptoms of anemia include easy fatigue, dizziness, irritability and pallor. Consequently, the only way to treat this type of anemia is by taking iron supplements or having an iron-rich diet. Fortunately, taking Baobab for anemia can effectively manage the symptoms and normalize your iron level due to the plant’s naturally high iron content as well as its Vitamin C, which is necessary for iron absorption.
To test the effectiveness of Baobab for anemia, a research study was conducted by a number of experts in University of Nigeria. The study was conducted to find and test locally available foods (such as Baobab fruit) to improve the bioavailability of nutritional iron and introduce it to the people in Africa, particularly to children suffering from iron deficiency anemia. During the study, 300 children from rural areas were screened and out of 300, 142 children were chosen, having less than 11g/dl hemoglobin level. After that, the children were de-wormed and divided into two, where one served as the control group. Both groups had average hemoglobin of 10.85 g/dl.
The control group was fed with 250 ml of Baobab fruit pulp juice plus a meal while the other group was a meal only. After three months of continuous consumption of Baobab diet, children were tested again and results showed significant increase of hemoglobin level from the control group – from 10.85g/dl to 12.92g/dl. The noteworthy improvement indicates an improved iron level due to the inclusion of Baobab juice in their diet. In addition, Baobab is also extremely rich in Vitamin C, as mentioned earlier, which facilitates absorption of iron.
Baobab tree, which is found almost everywhere in Africa, is an inexpensive and natural source of both Vitamin C and iron that can improve the children’s iron status. The fruit pulp is also locally available and can be added into different dishes and drinks to increase the intake of Baobab for anemia.
Besides iron-deficiency anemia, recent studies studied the effectiveness of Baobab fruit pulp in treating sickle-cell anemia. Sickle-cell anemia is a genetic disorder in which the red blood cells of the person are abnormally sickle-shaped instead of round. This results to abnormal blood flow because sickle-shaped RBCs tend to stick together, blocking tiny capillaries. This disease has no cure although some studies show Baobab fruits as displaying remarkable anti-sickling activity. The tree’s bark is also indicated in Indian Ayurvedic medical tradition about the treatment of Baobab for anemia.
Different Forms Of Baobab
Baobab Seed | A Traditional Medicine & Life-Saving Staple In Africa
From all this we glean that the Baobab tree can be considered an iconic symbol in Africa. No other known African tree is viewed with as much love, respect and admiration as the magnificent Baobab. Wherever it stands, it is treated like an old grandfather that should be cared for and protected.
Baobab is highly useful to the African community because nearly all its parts have some uses, even the seeds. Looking closely at a Baobab seed, you shall find it has quite a solid shell that isn’t quickly detached from the kernel. The seed kernel stands as the next separate source of nutrient following the fruit pulp. The clusters of seeds are enclosed in pulp packets. In times of food emergencies, these little kernels can be a life-saving staple. It is because they have a longer shelf life that remains unsullied for more than five years. The seeds are also very nutritious, containing high protein and micronutrients that provide food energy. They are close to the size of fat beans.
The seeds can be eaten raw or dried and can be ground to be used for thickening of a soup or be roasted to substitute for coffee. Even the seed sprouts or the shoot and roots of germinating seedlings are eaten. Also, the roots and stems of Baobab seedlings are used as vegetables while mature roots are cooked during famine. The seedlings can be prepared by roasting, boiling, soaking and fermenting and surprisingly, the taste is similar to almonds. Seed oil is extracted by distilling the seeds, a common practice in Senegal during gala occasions. Roasted and powdered seeds are also used for medicinal purposes. When applied as paste, it can treat certain gum and teeth diseases. Other medicinal purposes of the seed include gastric, joint and kidney diseases. The seeds are roasted and powdered, then taken in water or applied on the affected area. Burnt seeds provide potash-rich ash, which is an important ingredient for soap making.
In different parts of Africa, they have specific ways of making use of Baobab seed. Along the coastal areas in Kenya, the seeds from Baobab tree are called mbuyu and are commonly used as a snack by cooking them with sugar and food coloring. In Tanzania, the seeds are typically used as soup thickener, although they are also roasted for consumption, pounded to collect vegetable oil for cooking, and fermented to be used as seasoning.
Several researches found out that Baobab seed contains up to 1/3 crude protein and 1/3 fat plus approximately 10% crude fiber. The Baobab kernel also has higher protein content than peanuts. Its type of protein is found out to be more nutritious, containing methionine, cysteine, tryptophan and lysine. Furthermore, Baobab kernels also have higher fatty acid content than soybeans, which would be 90% unsaturated fat. Unsaturated fatty acid from a Baobab kernel is composed of oleic, linoleic and palmitic in nearly equal parts.
For a very long time, local peoples in Africa have relied so much on Baobab for human survival. With the exceptional nutritional value that the Baobab seed provides, it is evident how important the Baobab would be during critical food emergencies
Baobab Fruit Pulp | Characteristics And Health Benefits
Consuming the right type of food has constantly been advised for many years as a pursuit to correct weight and health problems. The Baobab fruit pulp, which is commonly referred to as super fruit’s pulp, holds exceptional nutrient richness that is vital to the human body and functioning. When combined with its tangy yet sweet taste, the outcome is an ingredient that adds distinct flavor to your food and an energy booster to the body.
Upon closer look, the Baobab fruit pulp appears naturally dried out and ivory in color as well as dry and mealy in texture. The ripe fruit pulp is commonly eaten raw or mixed with water or milk and made into a drink. It can be drunk with or without sugar or as a flavoring to mix with common dishes such as cassava and corn meal. The fruit has been eaten by the Africans for many years, who claim to owe their healthy bodies to this fruit, and currently, the fruit is on the course of hitting the market as a superfood. Besides being a food source, the fruit pulp can also be used as a milk-curdling agent, a baking agent in lieu of cream of tartar, as a hair rinse and as a sauce for food. Since it contains prebiotics, it is an ideal combination with yogurt, which is rich in probiotics that are good for the body.
The Baobab fruit pulp contains some of the most important antioxidants, vitamins and minerals in the fruit, hence its title as a Super Food. Super Food refers to any food or drink that contains an excellent amount of nutrients and richness of antioxidants. It has very rich antioxidant properties. It is because of the fruit’s high Vitamin C level, more than six oranges for 100 gram of fruit pulp. Add the fact that the fruit pulp contains twice the level of calcium than milk means it is used to substitute for milk for babies.
Baobab fruit pulp has been an important part of African traditional medicine. There are different ways of preparing it when treating specific illnesses. In Africa, the fruit pulp and seeds are commonly used for the treatment of fever while Baobab fruit pulp tea is drunk as febrifuge. In Tanzania, boiling the Baobab roots, fruit pulp and bark is used to produce a drink taken by HIV-positive people. In Senegal, the fruit pulp decoction is used for treatment of enteritis. It also has anti-rheumatism properties. In India, a decoction of the bark leaves and fruit pulp is applied externally on the affected area. The pulp is also an appetizer in Benin. In Malawi, constipation and hangovers are treated by drinking dambedza, a traditional drink made from fruit pulp soaked in water. The fruit pulp of Baobab is the most important part of the tree and is commonly dried and exported to be processed as Baobab powder.
Multi-Functional Baobab Fruit | The Latest Superfood
Of course, the fruit itself is delectable and nutritional enough without processing. 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.
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 prebiotics 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.
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.
Interesting Facts And Health Benefits Of Baobab Bark
Its bark is also useful as a product. Bark harvesting of Baobab is commonly done by the local nomadic people. As mentioned before, it is because there are multiple things to do with Baobab bark such as ropes, basket, string instruments, cloth, fishing lines and more. The tree trunk is typically covered with thick bark. Africans use sturdy Baobab fibers for weaving. The bark is either ridged or smooth and commonly grayish-brown in color. Baobab trees harvested of their bark take nearly 9 years to regenerate the same thickness and quality of fiber.
The Baobab bark fibers are usually peeled out from the lower trunk yet still leave a tree that can survive and be able to recover. The fiber is specifically durable and strong, making it widely used for different sort of items. For instance, in Senegal, the fibers are woven into drinking containers. African women also use the bark for their livelihood, which is Baobab weaving. Baobab bags are a hot item when visiting Africa. These bags are made from bark fibers, which are very strong and durable. Other items made from bark fibers are ropes, cordage, hats, cloth, nets, fish line, etc.
Baobab bark can treat a wide range of illnesses too and different countries have their own distinct way in administering it. In Congo, the bark decoction is bathed on rickety children; in Tanzania, it is used as a mouthwash to relieve toothache. Some countries even used the bark for tanning. In East Africa, it is used as an antidote against Strophantus snake bite.
The bark fibers are also exported in Europe under the label of ‘cortex caelcedra’ as a treatment for fever, which commonly substitutes cinchona bark to treat malaria fever. Although the bark doesn’t have any scientific evidence to show its efficacy in treating malaria, the bark in Nigeria is certainly used as treatment for fever. A white sticky gum is obtained from bark wounds and is used as herbal medicine. The gum is also used for cleaning wounds and is typically odorless, acidic, tasteless and insoluble. In most parts of India, the bark decoction is administered as medicine for children with pertussis while bark extraction is used for treatment of jaundice.
In Ayurvedic medicine, the bark and leaf decoction is taken internally for treatment of fever and night sweats due to tuberculosis. In South Africa, the Venda people used the bark decoction mixed with root of Osyrislanceolata to treat venereal diseases. In addition, it is anti-inflammation, anti-rheumatism and pain reliever. In Benin, the bark decoction is used to treat back pain on the lower lumbar region. In India, the decoctions of bark and leaf are smeared on the skin surface affected with rheumatism. The bark can also be used for conjunctivitis by washing the eyes with its decoction.
One of the most interesting facts about Baobab bark is that it contains a unique alkaloid called ‘Adansonin’, named after the botanist Michael Adanson, who studied the tree. This protein is said to be the main principle of the bark’s febrifuge properties.
Baobab Oil Application For Ageless-Looking Skin
Baobab oil comes from the seeds of the Baobab tree, which grows locally in Eastern and Southern Africa. It is semi-fluid oil with golden-yellow color and gently scented. It contains a fair amount of different types of fatty acids including saturated with 33%, poly-unsaturated with 31%, mono-unsaturated with 36% and essential linoleic acid. Reports state that it has long been part of the African skin care. Because of its high levels of Vitamin A, D, E and F, results show remarkable moisturizing benefits both to skin and hair. The oil is commonly used in different skincare formulations. Because it is pure oil from Baobab seeds, it is easily spreads on the skin without the greasy or sticky feeling and is quickly absorbed. Baobab seed oil is an emollient and moisturizing agent, which is clearly due to the vitamins found in the oil.
The nutrients found in Baobab oil result to healthier-looking skin. Vitamins A and F, which are both polyunsaturated fatty acids, cause skin rejuvenation and faster skin cell renewal. On the other hand, Vitamin E is a strong antioxidant that helps fight signs of premature aging due to sun exposure. It also works to treat dry, damaged skin and acts as an intensive deep hair conditioner. It also alleviates eczema and psoriasis because of the Omega 3, 6 and 9 content of the oil. In addition, it reduces pain from burns and promotes faster healing of wounds by regenerating epithelial tissues faster, causing improved skin elasticity and tone. Because it doesn’t clog pores, this oil is recommended for acne-prone skin.
Apart from its skincare benefits, it is also used in soap making, hot oil treatment and nail and cuticle conditioning. Baobab oil’s soothing and moisturizing qualities can help dry and brittle hair and those suffering from itchy scalps and dandruff. With Vitamins A, E and F, it helps recover and heal damaged hair follicles while healing an irritated scalp. You can add a few drops to your shampoo or conditioner bottle. You can also use it as a hair conditioner and rinse it out after several minutes. Apply it once a week for severely damaged hair. Baobab seed oil is endowed with the nutrient richness and exceptional healing properties to dramatically improve our skin and hair.
Different Medicinal Properties Of Baobab Leaves
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 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 Pro Vitamin 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.
Buying And Growing Baobab
Buying High-Quality Baobab | Important Reminders When Buying Online
Because it is still new in the market, many people don’t have any idea of where to buy Baobab. Perhaps the easiest way to buy Baobab fruit is through online shopping. Fortunately, there are also now a number of western retail stores that sell Baobab products such as fruit powder, fruit extract and oil. If you plan to buy Baobab leaves, fruit and other products, you can directly contact Phytotrade Africa, a non-profit organization that exports Baobab products. They have direct connections to many African Baobab producers with an objective of introducing the superfruit to Western market.
If you are searching where to buy cheap Baobab, then the only way is to look for it online. Baobab entered the US market in 2010 and since then, it has only gotten a small response from consumers, perhaps due to the effects of recession as well as minimal research and development efforts. However, there are numerous Baobab online shops around the Internet. All you have to do is to make sure that they supply high-quality, premium Baobab products. It is important to use top quality Baobab that has been studied and tested to guarantee its purity and potency. But how?
There are smart tips you have to keep in mind when you buy Baobab seeds and fruits online. First is to check if the product is manufactured from a reputable, trustworthy company with untarnished history. Most companies will claim that their product is the best so make sure to check the label and research more. Next, make sure the ingredients are carefully screened for any impurities, harmful chemicals and effectiveness. Another important matter to check out is the re-order rate – the higher the figure, the better. This means they have lots of satisfied customers. Lastly, the product should be manufactured in your country and should be made based on a governing policy.
Now, always remember that not all natural medicines and alternative remedies are made equally. While pharmaceutical drugs are closely regulated by the Food and Drugs Administration, dietary supplements and natural medicines such as Baobab are still recognized as food by this agency. In other words, the kind of quality control and standardization imposed by the FDA on synthetic drugs doesn’t extend to natural and herbal products. This is the reason why you have to ask your doctor before you buy Baobab or take any natural medicine and supplements.
Proper Ways Of Caring For And Growing Baobab
The Baobabs are tropical plants and quite easily adapt as bonsai plants or indoor plants in the right conditions. The plant remains dormant and leafless for most parts of the year although these conditions still depend on how it’s cultivated and the natural state of its environment. Growing Baobab is simple enough, although it’s rarely available in garden nurseries. Its seeds can be gathered from the fruit by breaking the fruit into two and separating the seed from its dry, crumbly coating. The dark brown seeds resembling beans require soaking in hot water until cool. After 24 hours of soaking, the seeds can be sown. The seeds are best planted during spring and summer under an ideal seedling mixture with 1/3 sand.
Once the seeds are placed over the seedling mixture, cover it partially with sand, approximately 4-6mm deep. Place the seedling on a moderately shaded area and water it daily until the seeds start to germinate. Since growing Baobab using seeds isn’t highly viable, especially in the west, you have to sow as many seeds as possible. Germination can be unpredictable, either growing quickly for 2 weeks or slowly lasting for 6 weeks. This difference in germination depends on the humidity and temperature of the soil and some other parameters, which are unknown. During germination phase, the seedlings should be checked regularly for fungal infection. Once the seeds reached 50 mm high, transplant each on a sandy soil mixed with bone meals and peat moss. This plant grows quickly when young.
Baobabs are very attractive in a garden with wide area, or in an estate so long as the area isn’t prone to floods or waterlogged. It is because growing Baobab can’t endure moist places. During the early growth stage, young Baobabs look far from their adult counterparts. The stems are slender and look like other plants. The leaves are still simple and aren’t divided into lobes like the full grown tree. To make sure you can monitor the plant regularly, the saplings can be planted in large containers for several years until each one grows taller and requires planting in the ground. In this way, you can transfer them out from cold and place them in a warmer garden house to avoid frost damage. The plant should also be watered during dry season and the soil should be maintained dry during end of summer until spring or the period of dormancy.
Currently, there’s an increasing trend of growing Baobab bonsai trees. Because of its striking appearance and strange characteristic of being leafless for most parts of the year, bonsai enthusiasts have turned their eyes to this interesting plant variety. Caring for a Baobab bonsai requires patience and endurance since Baobab grows very slowly. Baobab bonsai require frequent pruning, trimming and repotting. Also, avoid overwatering your plant to avoid root rot. Limit the irrigation to once or twice a month. Stop watering during the dormancy period and continue pruning until the end of dormancy period. Most importantly, always protect the plant from moist, frost, and temperatures lower than 60 degrees Fahrenheit because Baobab quickly dies in cool environments.