“There is a legend in African folklore about a tree that grew beside a lake. As this tree grew taller, it admired other trees on their magnificent looks, colorful flowers and large leaves. But, since it outgrew all the other trees, it couldn’t see its own reflection in the water. One day, the wind blew all of other trees’ leaves, and the tree finally saw its figure. It was not what it expected. To tell the truth, the tree looked pretty ugly. Clearly not satisfied, the tree started complaining to the God. God refused to fulfill tree’s wishes, but the tree was persistent and annoying so one day God had enough of it and pulled the tree out of the earth and planted it face-down so he wouldn’t hear its complaints anymore. And from that moment this tree was growing backward, giving it a pretty unique look. The Baobab tree we know today was born.”
There are 9 species of Baobab tree today. Six of them are native to the largest African Island, Madagascar, two species grow on the soil of continental Africa, and one is native to Australia. Baobab tree is considered to be a national tree of Madagascar.
Known as the “Tree of Life,” it lives to its reputation. Baobab serves as a shelter for many animals, as well as to human travellers on their journeys through tough African terrain. The trunk of this tree can hold up to 100,000 liters of water, allowing it to survive harsh conditions and providing humans and animals with water.
The fruit of baobab tree resembles a coconut, and it is high with vitamin C. It is most commonly used to make jams and gravies in its native countries, as it serves as a great thickener. In some African countries, people use it to make beer. Though it is less known, baobab leaves are also very edible and serve many health benefits; most of which are being quickly realized by consumer’s conscious of lifestyle and wellness. In reaction, the health food market is quickly supplying many shelves of wellness stores etc. with supplements, finished food products and beverages that contain this amazing fruit extract. Experts predict a big growth of demand for baobab fruits in the future.