The sausage tree (Kigelia africana or Kigelia pinnata) is a majestic tropical tree that is revered for its unique appearance and numerous medicinal properties. Found in Africa, this evergreen tree has a distinctive sausage-shaped and woody fruit that hangs from the tree on long string-like stalk. The fruit is very big and can grow to be 1 meter long and 18 centimeters wide, weighing up to 12 kilograms.
The fruits look grayish-brown when they are ripe. Unripe Sausage fruits are poisonous to humans. However, the ripe fruits can be cooked and eaten. The fruit possesses a host of benefits that have been recognized by local communities for centuries. In this article, we will delve into the various benefits and uses of the sausage tree .
The sausage tree plays a vital role in traditional African medicine due to its healing properties. Its fruits, bark, leaves, and roots have been utilized to treat a range of ailments. Here are some notable benefits of Kigelia Africana Tree:
The Kigelia Africana’s fruit extract has antibacterial and antifungal effects. That is why it is often used topically to treat skin conditions like eczema, fungal infections, acne, and sunburns .
Applied as an ointment or poultice, the sausage tree’s bark and leaves are known to accelerate wound healing, reduce inflammations, and prevent bacterial infections .
The diverse phytochemicals present in the sausage tree possess anti-inflammatory effects, making this tree beneficial for alleviating various conditions such as arthritis and joint pain . The root is a remedy for boils, sore throat, constipation, and tapeworm infestation . The extracts of sausage trees have been found to have similar effects to synthetic anti-inflammatory drugs and pain relievers.
Traditional medicine utilizes different parts of the Kigelia Africana tree to help relieve ailments such as mastitis, menstrual pain, stomach disorders, and snakebites .
Research has indicated that sausage tree extracts possess antimicrobial and antifungal activities, making them effective against various pathogens. These properties can be particularly advantageous in maintaining good genital hygiene, combating fungal infections, and preventing the development of unpleasant odors .
The extracts from the fruits have been shown to possess remarkable anti-diabetic properties. Constituents of sausage trees may provide leads for the therapeutics for insulin resistance and diabetes.
Beyond medicinal uses, the sausage tree offers several cosmetic benefits as follows:
The oil extracted from the Kigelia Africana tree’s fruit is rich in antioxidants, which can protect against premature aging, reduce uneven skin tone, and promote smoother, healthier skin. Extracts derived from the fruit possess remarkable properties such as skin-firming, wrinkle reduction, and antioxidant effects. Many cosmetic products now incorporate sausage tree extracts to promote skin rejuvenation, improving skin’s complexion and overall appearance .
Sausage tree oil provides nourishment and hydration to the hair, improving its overall condition, and reducing frizz and breakage .
Sausage tree flowers
Traditional Medicinal Uses
The sausage tree has a rich history of traditional medicinal applications for male-specific health concerns. In African cultures, it has been utilized to address various ailments such as prostate problems, sexual dysfunction, and urinary tract issues. Several compounds found in sausage tree extracts have shown promising effects in dealing with these conditions, making them a staple in natural medicine practices.
One of the most well-known health benefits of the Kigelia Africana tree is its potential to enhance male sexual health. Bioactive components within the tree’s fruit, leaves, and bark have been shown to possess aphrodisiac properties. Regular use of sausage tree preparations may contribute to improved libido, increased testosterone levels, and better overall sexual performance .
As men age, the risk of prostate-related disorders increases. With its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds, the sausage tree offers potential benefits for maintaining prostate health. Studies have suggested that extracts of the sausage tree may help alleviate inflammation, reduce swelling, and provide relief from prostate-related discomfort [11, 12].
Health Benefits Of Sausage Tree For Female
For generations, African women have utilized the Kigelia Africana tree’s extracts to enhance their skin health. The tree’s fruit extract, when applied topically, offers impressive benefits such as:
Moisturizing And Anti-Aging Effects
The extract is known to deeply hydrate the skin, leaving it soft and supple. Its antioxidant properties combat free radicals, minimizing the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots .
Firming And Toning
The sausage tree extract is known to improve skin elasticity, leading to firmer and tighter skin. Regular use of Kigelia Africana tree extract helps reduce sagging and provides a youthful appearance .
The sausage tree has been an integral part of traditional African medicine, with its fruits, bark, leaves, and roots widely utilized to address numerous health concerns faced by women. Some notable uses include:
The tree’s bark and roots have been used as remedies to regulate menstrual cycles, alleviate cramps, and reduce heavy bleeding .
Preparations made from the sausage tree bark and leaves have been historically used to alleviate breast swelling and tenderness experienced during breastfeeding or premenstrual periods .
Antifungal And Antiviral Properties
Various parts of the sausage tree have demonstrated antifungal and antiviral activity, making them beneficial in treating conditions like vaginal yeast infections and certain sexually transmitted infections .
Aside from cosmetic applications and medicinal benefits of Kigelia Africana, the sausage tree is deeply rooted in African culture. Local people believe that the tree possesses spiritual and protective powers, enhancing femininity and fertility. It is often associated with beauty rituals, celebrated in traditional festivals and ceremonies, and serves as a symbol of nourishment, strength, and community.
The fruit and roots of the sausage tree are used in various cultural ceremonies and rituals, symbolizing fertility, protection against evil spirits, and even as an aphrodisiac.
The tree’s lightweight wood is commonly used in carving traditional wooden sculptures, masks, and musical instruments.
The sausage tree, with its remarkable medicinal properties and cultural significance, remains a cherished species in Africa. Its ability to heal numerous ailments, provide cosmetic benefits, and contribute to traditional practices showcases its versatile nature. However, it is important to remember that traditional uses should always be approached cautiously, and consulting professionals in the field of herbal medicine is highly recommended.
With continuing research, the potential of the Kigelia Africana tree may be further unveiled, and its benefits may extend beyond the regions it is natively found in, benefitting people worldwide.