This fruit hails from the "Tree of Life," due to the fact this tree can survive in the dry African savannah. As the largest succulent plant in the world and one of the oldest living trees (up to 6000 years!), this tree has a total of nine species; the majority of them are native to Madagascar.
With a great tree comes great legends and myths. Many cultures across the African continent have folklore and storytelling surrounding this life-giving tree, often seen in African literature. Under the shade of this tree encompasses a sacred space for all living things. Elders and kinds have possibly met under this tree to seek guidance from the tree spirits to make decisions. As the flower blooms at night, it is said that you will be eaten by lions if they are plucked. The water that emanates from the bark (it can store up to 32,000 gallons!) is said to encourage boys to grow into healthy, strong men and to offer protection from crocodile attacks. A species of the tree twists together, called the loving baobab, and according to legend a loving couple came together under the tree asking for god to help them as the were assigned to be with other people.
Psst. Do you know what tree I'm referring to yet?
In literature, the baobab tree has innate abilities to offer from within itself. These abilities are translated to the nutrient-dense fruit that it bears. The baobab seed is loaded with vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A C & E, calcium, potassium, iron, fiber (serves as a prebiotic, which maintain a healthy micro-flora in your gut), and magnesium. It pairs Durian, the King of Fruits, and is called the Queen of Fruits, rightly so. Often various berries such as blueberries and goji berries are associated with high antioxidant content. However, baobab surpasses both of them, with an astounding 16,800 ORAC
In traditional medicinal practices, the oil is used for several skin ailments including eczema and psoriasis as it is rich in omegas. The fruit, seeds, and bark are also used to treat swelling of the skin, diarrhea, fever, and excessive thirst. The pulp is analgesic thus reliving pain as an aspirin would. When combined with a fermented soy product such as Tempeh, bacterial growth such as Streptococcus, Bacillus, and Salmonella were hindered. Its anti-microbial properties also fight against E coli. You can read more extensively about its medicinal properties here.
Talk about glowing from the inside out with baobab! I like to add baobab powder to my morning smoothies, which gives it a hint of citrus flavor. In a beauty regimen, the powder/oil can be incorporated into a mask, bath bomb, or toning solution, as its anti-aging properties will nourish the skin by eliminating free radicals and make it look even younger!
The methods of use for baobab are quite endless. However you use it, just know your supplying your body with top notch nutrients.
PSA: Earlier this year, scientists became concerned about baobab as they were dying at an increasing rate. Disease is not believed to be the culprit; however, climate change is. Whether you plan to visit the beautiful continent and its vast savannah's or continue to live wherever you are, please be conscious of your carbon footprint and incorporate environmentally-conscious choices into your lifestyle.