Multifunctional and traditional

Baobab roots, leaves, pulp and seeds are healthy ingredients (3). They are widely used for human and animal medicines. In the late 16th century the powdered pulp was importend to Europa as a substitute for the medicinal earth known as "terra lemnia" (1). The pulp was taken with sugar as a refrigerant for fever (1).

Fruit Pulp

Baobab fruit pulp is used for multiple medicinal purposes in many parts of Africa.

Antioxidant activity
Dietary antioxidants are believed to be effective nutrients in the prevention of oxidative stress-related diseases. The use of the oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) assay as a tool for antioxidant assessment is described and proposed as a method for comparing botanical sources and for standardizing antioxidant supplements. The range of ORAC for common fruits is around 1,40 μmol/g (watermelon) to 95 μmol/g (cranberry). Recent studies have shown that baobab fruit with ORAC of 250 μmol/g has a remarkable antioxidant capacity, both water-soluble and lipid-soluble, preventing and combating free radical damages (27).

Anti-inflammatory, analgesic and anti-pyretic activity
Aqueous extract of the baobab fruit pulp produces marked anti-inflammation and anti-pyretic activity. The extract also produces marked analgesic activity in mice. The anti-pyretic activity resembles that normally induced by a standard dose of administered acetylsalicylic acid in hyperthermic rats. These effects could be due to the presence of sterols, saponins and triterpenes in the fruit pulp (28, 6).

Anti-microbial activity

An acid medium, as created by the addition of baobab fruit pulp to tempe fermentation could prevent the growth of pathogenic bacteria such as Salmonella sp., Bacillus sp. and Streptococcus sp. and increasing concentrations of baobab powder led to an increase in the population of lactic acid bacteria (29, 5).

Anti-dysentery and anti-diarrhoea, immunostiumulant
Traditionally the baobab fruit pulp is used internally in cases of dysentery and diarrhoea and as an immunostimulant. The fruit pulp has been evaluated as a substitute for western drugs (7).

Hepatoprotective activity
The aqueous extract of the baobab fruit pulp exhibited significant hepatoprotective activity and its consumption may play an important part in human resistance to liver damage in areas where the plant is consumed. The mechanism of liver protection is unknown, but could possible result from triterpenoids, ß-sitosterol, ß-amyrin pamitate or/and α-amyrin and ursolic acid in the fruit (7).

Suggestion from the Literature

Digestion problems
1 Tsp. fruit pulp in water. Every day 1 h before lunch and dinner (45).

Diarrhea
2 Tsp. fruit pulp in yoghurt before bedtime (45).

Cholesterin problems, Diabetes
3 Tsp. fruit pulp every day (45).

Anemia/Asthenia
1-2 Tsp fruit pulp in carrot juice, in the morning and evening, every day (45).

Leaves

The leaves are used as a diaphoretic, an expectorant, as a prophylactic against fever (15) and against bladder diseases (13). Adanson (~1760) used the leaves as tea against diarrhea. The leaves have hyposensitive and antihistamine properies (13).

Antiviral:
Leave extract contains antiviral properties. The dominant activity was virucidal as well as intracellular antiviral activities (41, 42).

Suggestion from the Literature

Protection against fever (antipyretic) and diarrhea
Used as decoction. 30 g leave powder with 1 l water, boiled down to two thirds. (13)
Leave tea. 1 glass before and after breakfast. Repeat this in the evenings by approaching fever (44).

Seeds and Oil

Seeds are used in cases of diarrhea (1, 13). Seed oil extract used to ease diseased teeth (13).

Roots

Prepared as a mash the dried powdered root may be taken by malaria patients (15).

Trypanosomiasis
The root extract is useful against Trypanosoma congolense (Protozoen) (40).

Antiviral
As well as leave extract the root contains antiviral properties against herpes, sinis and polio (41, 42).

Bark

The bark is used for the treatment of fever and shows antipyretic, refrigerant and antiperiodic activities (13).

Suggestion from the Literature

Antipyretic
Used as decoction. 30 g bark with 1 l water, boiled down to two thirds.

Flowers

Flowers from Adansonia gregorii are used for spiritual care (1).