Adansonia digitata L. (baobab): a review of traditional information and taxonomic description

Adansonia digitata L. (Malvaceae) is commonly known as baobab tree native to Africa. Baobab is a multi-purpose tree which offers protection and provides food, clothing and medicine as well as raw material for many useful items. The fruit pulp, seeds, leaves, flowers, roots, and bark of baobab are edible and they have been studied by scientists for their useful properties. The fruit pulp have very high vitamin C, calcium, phosphorus, carbohydrates, fibers, potassium, proteins and lipids content, which can be used in seasoning as an appetizer and also make juices. Seeds contain appreciable quantities of phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, sodium, iron, manganese, whereas they have high levels of lysine, thiamine, calcium and iron. Baobab has numerous biological properties including antimicrobial, anti-malarial, diarrhoea, anaemia, asthma, antiviral, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory activities amongst others. Phytochemical investigation revealed the presence of flavonoids, phytosterols, amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. The review summarizes the information on various aspects of traditional information, taxonomic description, medicinal properties and importantly nutritional value.

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