The bark, roots, leaves, fruits and seeds are widely used by indigenous peoples for human and animal medicines. However, their uses are poorly documented. A proper medical diagnosis and prognosis of the symptoms treated, details of the plant quantities used, their preparation, application and efficacy are generally lacking. It is mainly due to the current drive by the pharmaceutical companies to discover novel plant compounds that the value of some of these traditional medicines are now being investigated and appreciated.

During the past decade there has been an increased interest by several European companies in baobab pharmaceutical and toiletry products, such as powdered and tableted pulp, dried leaf powders, leaf bath ‘salts’ and foams, seed bath oils, lubrications and anti-aging skin preparations. The disintegration of thermolabile active ingredients, such as essential oils, vitamins, etc. and the caramelisation of the sugars during manufacture are prevented by the use of ultrasound extraction at ambient temperatures. This ensures a better qualitative/quantitative ratio without any modification of the active ingredients.

The annual imports of baobab pods into Europe from West Africa since 2001 are in the region of 100 to 300 t (Ottaviani 2005, personal communication).

Keywords

Foam Histamine Alkaloid Glycoside Constipation 

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© Springer Science + Business Media, B.V 2008

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