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Adansonia digitata - Baobab

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Baobab, Adansonia digitata

Baobab is a succulent, deciduous tree that can grow up to around 20 metres tall, often with a very sparse crown, especially in the drier parts of its range. The swollen, urn-shaped bole will eventually become very wide, often exceeding the diameter of the crown, and can be up to 10 metres across. This is a true multi-purpose tree with a very wide range of used for local people. There is evidence that the baobab fruit was being sold in the markets of Egypt over 4,500 years ago. It is still widely used by local peoples in the areas of the tropics where it grows wild or is naturalised, and is often left standing when land is cleared for cultivation.


Diabetes, Rheumatism, Inflammation, Fever, Sores, Dysentery [1]

Parts Used

Bark, Fruits, Gum, Roots.

Chemical Composition

Several compounds were isolated from fruit pulp, seed oil, root isolates terpenoids, flavonoids, steroids, vitamins, amino acids, carbohydrates and lipids. 10 Aromatic compounds including isopropyl myristate and nonanal were identified in fruit pulp. [2]

Common names

Language Common name
Kannada aane hunase, aane hunise, baobaab, brahmaamlika, muggi maavu
Hindi gorakh-imli, gorakh-chinch
Tamil aanaipuliya maram, paparapuli, totimaram
Telugu brahmamlika, maggimaavu, seemachinta
Marathi gorak-chinch, baubab, chori chinch
Sanskrit chitrala, choramli, dirghadandi, gajabala, gandhabahula, gopali, gorakh-chinch
English baobab


Reference: Dravya - Substance, Rasa - Taste, Guna - Qualities, Veerya - Potency, Vipaka - Post-digesion effect, Karma - Pharmacological activity, Prabhava - Therepeutics.












Kind Shape Feature
Digitate Alternate digitately 3- to 9-foliate; leaflets oblong to ovate, 5-15 x 3-7 cm, lower leaflets being the smallest and terminal leaflet the largest; leaflets dark green, softly hairs; lateral veins looping; apex and base tapering, margin entire; petiole up to 12 cm long; petiolule sessile or subsessile.



Type Size Color and composition Stamen More information
Bisexual Axillary White Many Flowers a waxy white, up to 20 cm in diameter, axillary, solitary, pendulous, bisexual. Calyx deeply lobed, with silky hairs inside; petals crinkly, spreading . Stamens many on a large central column . Ovary superior, 5-10 loculed; ovules many


Type Size Mass Appearance Seeds More information
12cm Fruit ovoid, 12 cm or more in length, with a hard, woody shell, covered with yellowish-grey velvety hairs, indehiscent; seeds smooth, embedded in a whitish powdery pulp.

Other features

List of Ayurvedic medicine in which the herb is used

Where to get the saplings

Mode of Propagation


How to plant/cultivate

Seed - sow in containers. Germination is usually 90-100% and takes 1-3 months at 21c. Germination is more rapid and successful if the seeds are first nicked or boiling water is poured on them, after which they are left to soak for 24 hours. Soaking in water overnight softens the seed coat and makes water absorption for germination easy. When the seed coat is nicked it may take only 6 days to germinate, though it is more likely to be 15 - 40 days. It is preferable to sow the seed directly into the soil. When seedlings emerge it is best to shade them for 8 days, then provide half shade for 4 - 7 days before exposing them to full sun. Seedlings need to be 3 - 4 months old, reaching a height of 40 - 50cm, before transplanting. The seed can be stored for at least 4 years at room temperature with no loss of viability [5]

Commonly seen growing in areas

Tropical Africa, West coast of India.

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