One of the often asked about trees in our gardens due to their beautiful flowers and very noticeable fruit is Kigelia Africana otherwise known as the Sausage Tree. The English name is obvious as it is named after its long sausage shaped fruit. Soon these trees will be flowering and as they are an early flowering tree the flowers are sought out by many antelope, birds, monkeys and baboons. Interestingly the main pollinators are probably bats and the flower is perfectly shaped to use these small mammals as carriers of pollen. It is thought that the slightly off-putting scent that is stronger at night, is very attractive to bats.
Although relatively poisonous to humans if ingested (known to be purgative and to cause mouth ulcers) a number of animals from bush pigs and porcupines to elephants are known to feed on the pods, especially in periods of drought.
Medicinally the most important part of the tree is the pod although root and bark extracts are used too. Traditionally extracts are used for their antibacterial and antimicrobial properties and are used to treat ulcers, sores and skin rashes. A topical application is also used for rheumatism.
Sausage tree extract is used today in our spa’s organic skincare and massage range, Terres d’Afrique. It helps clarify the skin, reduce or prevent blemishes, reduce congestion and inflammation, and tightens and firms. Scientific studies have shown the effect on this plant on preventing skin cancer.
Click here to view the Terre d’Afrique skin treatments available at the Ghost Mountain Spa.
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