Baobab powder doesn’t have to come from the traditional dried up fruit pulp, where it is sieved and packaged for consumer use. There is another significant and unprecedented source of baobab powder, baobab leaves.
Baobab leaves also have many uses, either as a source of food or for medicinal purposes used in treating different ailments.
Traditionally, the young simple or palmate shaped leaves are picked from the tree and eaten raw like you would a kale salad. More recently, baobab leaves can be dried up and pulverised into fine or coarse baobab powder.
The leaf baobab powder can then be added to soups or stews as a thickener or as a flavouring agent.
In Senegal, more people are investing in producing powdered baobab leaves. As a matter of fact, the country is already one of the biggest baobab leave powder producers in the world, the majority of which is used as an ingredient for exotic yet tasty African cuisine.
Many people within the African continent are catching on with the baobab leaf powder trend and allocating more land for planting of more baobab trees and growth of young baobab leaves.
The locals are also pollarding on old baobab trees that are hollow inside to prevent them from becoming top-heavy thus preventing them from falling over. Some old leaves are also grazed by domestic animal stocks and also used as a special superfood for the horses.
The baobab leaf powder is just as rich in nutrients as the powder got from the fruit pulp. The leaves are rich in Vitamin C as well as other nutrients such as alpha and beta-carotene.
Therapeutically, baobab leaf powder has numerous health benefits and is rich in medicinal properties that help in treating common ailments.
The powder acts as an expectorant for treating the common cold, an antipyretic and a diaphoretic. It also helps in negating excessive perspiration.
The baobab leaf powder can also treat common allergy problems with its hyposensitive, antihistamine properties. Various reports have shown that it can treat asthma, insect bites, fatigue, inflammation, kidney, gallbladder and even dracunculiasis, which is an endemic parasitic infection.
Drying leaves and grinding them up is a common practice in the African communities. They are typically
Drying leaves and grinding them up is a common practice in the African communities. They are sun-dried, grounded and cooked daily. A proper drying method is essential to reserve the vitamin A level in the powder.
The vitamin A content in the powder is highly variable and often depends on the type of baobab tree, the drying and processing methods used.