Plants

Baobab: everything you need to know

 

The baobab is a strange-looking fruit tree that grows in low-lying areas of Africa and Australia. They are known for their extraordinary longevity, being able to live up to 3 thousand years. This species is also known as tree of life, monkey bread tree, upside down tree, tabaldi, among others.

This species has large hanging whitish flowers that open at night. Its young leaves of intense green color are edible and can be boiled like spinach, they are very nutritious and rich in iron.

Give a fruit, which grows up to 45 centimeters and is known as monkey bread. Its shape is similar to that of a melon and its exterior is brown, inside it has a cream-colored pulp that wraps numerous large seeds in the form of a kidney.

The fruit of baobab has a bittersweet taste because it contains tartaric acid and vitamin C, it can be sucked or soaked in water to make a refreshing drink. They can also be roasted and ground to make a coffee-like beverage.

Mysteriously the baobabs have been dying, the causes are still not very clear. Some scientists suspect it may be due to an increase in temperature due to climate change. However, there is no hard evidence to prove this theory.

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Characteristics of the fruit tree

The baobab tree belongs to the family of hibiscus or mauve (Malvaceae), is deciduous and its trunk is approximately between 5 and 30 meters high. Its shape is barrel, with a smooth – shiny appearance, pinkish gray that can sometimes become coppery.

Baobabs occur in warm areas and arid soils, it adapts very well to extreme climatic conditions thanks to its ability to store water. Seeds can be grown at home, but germination and growth is a bit slow, about 3 to 4 months for the first seedling to sprout.

These ancient trees can generate their own ecosystem, as it sustains the life of countless creatures, from the largest mammals to tiny creatures that enter and exit their crevices.

When they die, they simply rot inside and suddenly collapse, leaving a lot of fibers, which makes many people think that they do not die at all, but simply disappear.

Uses of baobab

The fiber from the bark is used to make baskets, fabrics, strings of musical instruments and waterproof hats. In addition, these trees supply raw materials for hunting and fishing tools, necessary for the survival of the tribes.

Naturally hollow or excavated logs often serve as water reservoirs or temporary shelters and have even been used as prisons, cemeteries, and stables. Trees are culturally and religiously important in many areas.

The leaves, in addition to being edible, have a great nutritional and vitamin contribution, they are also used for medicinal purposes to treat kidney and bladder diseases, asthma, insect bites, among others. Some use their pollen mixed with water to form glue.

The fruit of the baobab is considered an excellent food, but it also has countless cosmetic applications. Its oil content moisturizes and softens the skin, helps against aging avoiding wrinkles and stretch marks.

 

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Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

Robert Asprin

Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

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