African trees have been the stuff of legends for a lot of our traditions. They will be found at the center of folklore, will be incorporated into native medicine and stand regally decorating our beautiful countries.
A lot of them have dual uses; especially as we have mentioned before; in traditional or native medicine.
They provide herbs that have been touted to cure everything from eczema to fever as well as healthy food raw materials that get inculcated in local drinks or traditional meals.
We will feature five of such fascinating African trees below;
The Hissing Tree:
The hissing tree is common in the grasslands of Zimbabwe. The the roots and barks of the hissing tree are used for the treatment of pneumonia and ear infections; root is soaked in cold water for an hour after which it is poured into the infected ear four times a day for about two weeks.
The leaves of the tree also have a spiritual significance and the hissing tree is relevant to the traditional Shona religion.
The monkey-orange tree is one of the fascinating African trees whose properties are mostly used by traditional healers in the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Africa.
They harness it to treat intestinal ulcers and the early stages of diarrhea. They also employ its bark to treat or lighten the effect of convulsions and mental disorders.
The Buffalo thorn which grows mostly in Senegal, is grown on termite mounds. Its roots are used in rural areas to treat dysentery and prevent elephantiasis.
A concoction of the bark and the leaves can also be used for respiratory ailments and other septic swellings of the skin. Pastes of the root and leaves can be applied to treat boils, swollen glands, wounds and sores.
Its berries can also be eaten in periods of extreme starvation as it is not very tasty, its leaves are employed as an aphrodisiac to improve a person’s sex life and the bark is sometimes also used in the termination of unwanted pregnancies.
Bitter Leaf Tree:
The bitter leaf tree is commonly seen and used in West Africa. It is employed in the preparation of soups and stews and the leaves are also mashed and boiled so that they can be consumed for the treatment of malaria or high fever.
The stalks of the tree are also used to whiten the teeth and the roots are also used in the traditional treatment of typhoid.
The violet tree is considered one of the most poisonous trees in Zambia but it is still relevant for having a specific medicinal root; curing snake bites.
The roots are crushed and powdered and administered to snake bite victims, it helps ironically because of its poisonous ingredient methyl salicylate. The tree is often chopped off in densely populated areas to avoid self harm by ignorant persons.