The island of the baobab
The island of the baobab
With seven of eight species of Madagascar known in the World, Madagascar is the destination of the choice of eco-tourist and scientific fascinated by this strange with thousand virtue unknown plants.
The baobab is the symbol natural treasures of Madagascar an spreads all-around of the island. There are eight species in the world which six of them are found only in Madagascar. Among of them :
- Andasonia perrieri and Andasonia suarezensis, they are found only in the Diego Suarez region;
- Andasonia madagascariensis, it is found in the north and in the Mahajanga region ;
- Andasonia grandidieri, it is called “Renala” by the local population and it grows in the Morondava region, the famous “allée des baobab”;
- Andasonia rubrostipa, known with its vernacular name “fony”, and it is the smallest baobab in Madagascar, it measures only four to five meters of height and it is endemic in the dry forest of Madagascar;
- Andasonia za, the most spread among of the all baobabs, it grows in the south, west,north-west;
The two last baobab that are not endemic of the island are:
- Andasonia digitata, the baobab of Africa, the most spread and studied in 31 lands of Africa, in the region the most dry from the south of Sahara until in Madagascar;
- Andasonia gregori, this specie is found only in
All baobab belongs to the species Andasonia (which name is attributed by Bernard de Jussier in honour of Michel Andasonia -1727- 1806- botanist and French explorer, and he was the first to describe Andasonia digitata.
BOBAB IS THE BOTTLE TREE
it is called tree bottle by the European because of its shape looks like a bottle withe root up instead of the root underground. The baobab has not the real trunk by comparison with the others, but it has a caudex trunk that helps it to stock the water in order to survive during the dryness. One baobab can contain until 10,000 Liters of the water. It is deciduous plant; it has only the leaves during three months by the coincidence of the rain season. The presence of the leaves in it makes it to evaporate and it spends many water, that explains that is among the ………………………………….. .
The baobab is a tree that grows up very slowly, it is among the secular until millennium plant, it has a long life expectancy and it reaches to live until thousand years. In fact, it is very difficult to determinate the exact age of baobab with the dendrochronology.
VIRTUE OF THE BAOBAB
Baobab of Madagascar has many unknown virtue, but here we want to show you some virtue of this plant; the fruits of baobab is very useful for the daily life of local population such as: food, cosmetic and an other uses. Its fruit also is rich of vitamin B1 and C and it contains more calcium than the milk. The fresh or dry pulps of the fruit mixed with water provide refreshing drink called in Africa bouye. In west and centre of Africa, the decoction of the dry pulp is used as anti diarrhoeic with its astringent property. The pulp has been used also anti paludism.
The pulp of baobab s completely natural food recommended to children to provide the well growth. It is rich in calcium (twice more than the milk) which is very important to strengthen the bones and to ensure the strong teeth. The pulp has the magnesium to reinforce the immune system and the bones. The fer that exists in the pulp of baobab is very high compared by the red flesh and spinach.
The seed are very nutritive; the local population takes it as toasted. They replace the seed of baobab with the coffee, and sometimes, they extract the food oil to use in the kitchen and it is very rich of phosphate. Finally, the seed of baobab are used to make a soap and also to make the fertilizer.
The leaves of Baobab are rich of protein and mineral such as calcium, fer, potassium, manganese, phosphor and zinc , so it is taken boiled . In Senegal, the leaves are used in decoction as medicinal plant to avoid the malaria. Especially, the leaves are used as a fodder of the animals during the dryness.
The young small plant with its root is consumed by the local population as the asparagus.
The bark of the baobab is fibrous and smooth. It has its own particularity to regenerate after cutting or digging. The bark is used as the febrifuge and used to make a rope or line.
In the south of Madagascar, the baobab is a sacred plant and it is very valorous for the local population. It valorous for them because they can dig it to make big hole as a water tower with it they stock many water during the rainy season to provide it during the dry season.
The name of baobab comes from the Arabic name “bu hibab”, means fruit with numerous seeds. One fruit contain a thousand seeds.
LEGEND OF THE BAOBAB
Once upon a time, the baobab had an enormous leaves and it was an ombrophile plant. When it rained the baobab didn’t want to share the rain to an other plant, it kept all because it was rather big. The small plant in the other side got angry because they also needed the rain fallen down from the heaven, and they implored to God sort out the problems. God called the Baobab and told it to share to the others the rain because the rain is the sign of the life. Baobab accepted but when it started to rain, the Baobab opened its big leaves and kept all the rain. Finally, God got upset and threw away it in the desert areas and made its roots up and the leaves underground.
REICEPT OF THE JUICE OF BAOBAB
- 5 L water
- 4 Table spoons of the pulp of RENALA
- 50 to 80g sugar
Put the pulp into the water and leave it in the fridge during 6 hours. After 6hours of the pose, put the sugar in the ingredients and mix them all, you will have a delicious juice!!!