Back to the Future with Baobab
Known as the “tree of life,” the Baobab tree, found in Africa and Australia (nine species) is among the largest trees in the world and can live for thousands of years. The tree’s fruit, seeds, bark, and roots have been critical to human development because it easily grows in drought conditions. Its trunk even stores water, which many a thirsty human has accessed. Recently three of the species were placed on the endangered list. They are threatened by a warming planet and human impact. TreeCrops, a Malawi based company works with smallholder farmers to farm and harvest baobab in an environmentally and sustainable manner.
Once its fruit pod is harvested, dried and the seed removed, it is ground into a powder which has been used to treat fever, malaria and digestive problems. Its unusually high amount of vitamin C makes it ideal for a healthy skin diet. Vitamin C helps form collagen and elastin; the underlying structures that support skin health and elasticity. This fruit has high levels of potassium, calcium, and magnesium; the electrolytes that regulate body fluids and stimulate muscles and nerves. The impressive number of antioxidants found in baobab help prevent and repair free radical cell damage. Baobab is rich in dietary fiber which controls blood sugar levels, gives a feeling of satiety and supports the digestive system. Studies have shown baobab’s significant protective benefits against liver damage