Adansonia digitata

Botanical Name Adansonia digitata
Order: Malvales
Family: Bombacaceae
Genus: Adansonia
Species: A. digitata
Common Names: Baobab (English), Baobab (French)

Plant Synonyms


Adansonia sphaerocarpa a chev.

Plant Local Names

Burkina faso: Moore -twega, Dioula-sira, Fulfulde – bobe; Bouki
Ghana: Akan – odadee
Mali: Bambara –zira, Manlinke –sito, Dogon-ore
Niger: Hausa- kouka, Djerma-kogna
Nigeria: Yoruba –ose
Senegal: Wolof – gui, Gouie; serer – Bak, Diola – bubak, Hausa- Kuka
Sierra Leon: Fula- sule, Kono- sela, Medingo – sida
Togo: Moba- tokala, Ewe- adidotsi, Nawdem-todi

Plant Habitat


A digitata commonly grow in the thumb woodland of the Africa Savana, which are characterised by low attitudes with limited annual rainfall such as the sudano –sahelian zone (600 to 900 mm annual rainfall). It is found in hot, dry woodland on Stoney, well drained soils in frost- free areas that received low rainfall, but adopt to any soil (Le Flamboyant, 1993). A. digitata is resistance to fire, termite and drought, prefers a high water table and is very sensitive to water logging and frost. It is a protected species often planted and associated with human occupation (Giffard, 1974).

Plant Material of Interest


Leaf, fruit pulp, Stem bark and root

Plant Description


A digitata is a characteristic tree of size 15-20 m long; trunk very large, and thick, about 20 m in diameter, hard, spongy, with large tortuous branches, usually spread out and contorted (Malgras, 1992); bark greyish brown and normally smooth but can often be variously folded and seamed from years of growth; leaves alternate digitata with entire or denticulate margin, and composed of six to seven leaflets, obovate or ovate, acuminate, acute, slightly pubescent on the surface, flowers large, white, solitary, pendulous (10-20 cm), with very long stalks up to 80 cm (Malgras, 1992; Kerharo and Adam, 1974). Flowers provided with two bracteoles bloom at night; fruits are capsules called monkey bread, which are oblong, ovoid or rounded, woody and hairy, 8-15 cm wide, suspended at the end of a long stalk (Malgras, 1992); fruit epicarp is greenish, at maturity contain numerous black hard seed in white floury pulp.

Plant Used Parts


Plant Uses


A digitata is used to treat general worm infestations, diarrhoea and abdominal pain (Diehl et al., 2004). Root or stem bark decoction is used as a disinfectant for chronic wounds. Juice from fresh stem bark is applied to small inflammated boils, whilst a powder mixed with lannea microcarpa seed oil is applied to large boils (Inngjerdinggen et al., 2004). Stem bark decoction is administered orally to treat infectious diseases such as sexually transmitted diseases (Magassouba et al., 2007). A. digitata is used for the treatment of fever, diarrhoea, haemoptysis, hiccups and urinary and digestive tract disorders (Ribeiro et al., 2010; Van Wyk, 2008). Dried leaves are stored for 1-2 years in an air tight container pounded and strained and the resulting gum used as remedy for tooth decay. Some healers recommend adding a dried snail shell before pounding the leaves. Decoction of the leaf is also used orally for the treatment of malaria (Nguta et al., 2010a; 2010b). In some parts of the Africa, India, Sri Lanka and the West Indians malaria sufferer are said to take a mash associated with the disease whilst the bark of the plant is used to treat turbaculousis, persistence cough, bronchitis debility (Luo et al., 2011; Ribeiro et al.,2010).
Biological and pharmacological activities
Aqueous, methanol and acetonitrile extracts of the flower showed promising anti-fungal activity against Microsporum canis, Trichophyton rubrum and Epidermphyton floccosum (Locher et al., 1995). Deeni and Sadiq (2002) have reported in vitro antibacterial and anti-fungal activities (Diehl et al., 2004). A digitata leaves, fruit- pulp and seed have sown antiviral activity against influenza virus herpes simplex virus and respiratory syncytial virus, polio.The plan has analgesic anti- inflammatory, and antipyretic properties Ramadan et al. (1993) found that the fruit pulp of baobab has similar anti- inflammatory properties to phenybutazone in rats. Leaf powder is an anti- asthmatic (Sallet et al., 1946). Intravenous administration of the leaf extract in animals cause a fall in carotid pressure and an increased respiratory rate with increasing amplitude. Several studies have reported the antioxidant capabilities of baobab fruit pulp, which is thought to be due to its high vitamin C content (Lamien-Meda et al, 2008; biomhoff et al., 2010). Besides having analgesic properties, the fruit pulp has also been shown to lower elevated body temperature without affecting normal body temperature (Ramadan et al., 1993). Al- Qarawi et al., (2003) have also reported that the fruit pulp has both hepatoprotective and hepatorestorative properties in Wistar male albino rats.

Plant Therapeutic Action


Anti- asthmatic (Sallat et al. 1946), antibacterial and antifungal (Deeni and Sadiq 2002), hypotensive, anti- histaminic, diaphoretic, antithemorrhagic, anti- diaphoretic Malgras, 1992), antiheminthic and larvicidal (Diehl et al., 2004), antimalarial (Nguta et al., 2010b), analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antipyretic 9Ribeiro et al., 2010)

Plant Precaution for Use


In hypertensive subjects, the blood pressure must be monitored.

Plant Adverse Effect


May cause hypotension at high doses

Plant Contraindication


Its use in diarrhoea must be monitored

Plant Dosage Forms


Decoction: 30 g of dried leaves in 900 ml of water, boil until reduced to 600 ml, 1 teaspoon three times a day.

Plant Dosage


Plant Storage


Store in a cool dry place

Plant Chromatographic Fingerprint


Analytical TLC on silica gel G60 F254, 0.25 mmlater in petroleum either (40-60?cycloroform [2.8], detection in day light after spraying with anisaldehyde (0.5ml) mixed with 10 ml glacial acetic acid and heated to 100-110 ? for 5-10 min. presence of four characteristics spot with R,s 0.68 (pink). 0.48 (purple)0.42 (pink) and o.28 (pink).

Plant Constituents


Vitamin A, B and C minerals (calcium, phosphorous); mucilage; protein; cellulose; tannins, anthraquinones, saponins, pectins, sterols and triterpenes; amino acids ( except cysteine and tryptoophsn);organic acids (citric acid, oleic acid, malic acid, stearic acid, linoleic acid, oleic acid, palmitic acid,) (Galwe, 1989; Kerharo and Adam, 1974; Toury et al. 1957).

Plant Pictures


Plant References


Al-Qarawi, A.A., AL-Damegh, M.A., El-Mougy, S.A. (2003). Hapatatoproective influence of Adansonia digitata pulp. Journal of Herbs, Spices and Medicinal plants 10:1-6.
Blomhoff, R, Cerisen, M., Halvorsen, B., Hotte, K. Bohn, S. et al (2010). The total antioxidant contentvof more than 3100 foods, beverages, spices, herbs and supplements used worldwide Nutrition Journal 9:3.
Deeni, Y.Y., Sadiq N.M. (2002). Antimicrobial properties and phytiochemical constituents of the leaves of Africa mistietoe (Tabinanthus dodoneifolius (DC) Denser) (Lorathanthaceae): an ethnomedicinal plant of Hausland, Northern Nigeria Journal of Ethnopharmacology 83:235-240.
Diehi, M.S., Kamanzi Atindehhou, K., Tere, H., Betschart, B. (2004). Prospect for anthelminthic plants in the Ivory Coast Using ethnopharmacolgy 95:277-284.
Gaiwa, R., Nkulinkiye- Nfura, T., Bassanne, E., Olschwan, G., Ba, D. etal. (1989). Calcium et mucilage dans less feuilles de Adansonia digitata (Baobaab). Pharmaceutical Biology 27(2):101-104.
Ghani, A. and Agbejule, A.O. (1986). A digitata L. in the state of Medicinal Pants Research in Nigeria. Proceedings of a workshop. Edited by sofowora. Aboyomi. University of Ibadan Press. Nigeria