INGREDIENT SPOTLIGHT: BAOBAB [Adansonia digitata]
Regarded as the largest succulent plant in the world, the Baobab tree - [Adansonia digitata] is steeped in a wealth of mystique, legend and superstition wherever it occurs in Africa. Called the Tree of Life for its almost mythical powers, it provides food, water, shelter and traditional medicine.
The Baobab tree is found in very remote areas of South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique and other tropical African countries where suitable habitat occurs. It is restricted to hot, dry woodland on stoney, well drained soils in frost-free areas that receive low rainfall. Surrounded by the sounds and smells of the African bush, these iconic trees can live up to 2000 years and the biggest Baobab tree ever recorded has a circumference of over 43 meters.
During the African summer from October to December the Baobab tree blooms with large, sweetly scented white flowers which only open at night. As the flowers emerge in the evenings from large round buds on long drooping stalks they are pollinated by bats and nocturnal insects such as moths. Within 24 hours, the flowers turn to a darkbrown color and start smelling musky.
The flower stalks then grow into baobab fruits which mature during the dry season and drop off the trees when ready to harvest. People living in rural areas collect the fruit from under the trees.
Baobab fruit is one of the few fruits to dry out completely while still on the tree. The pods are only harvested when they fall to the ground and they only fall when they are completely dried out. This means that the fruitpowder requires minimal handling and processing so it retains all its nutritional qualities.
Baobab fruit is regarded as Africa’s true superfruit! Baobab fruit powder contains high levels of Vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, potassium and dietary fibers. These minerals all exist in a naturally balanced relationship within the fruit. Our diets require these minerals to boost our health and vitality, thus making baobab powder an excellent source. The Baobab fruit has a unique pleasant flavor with a mild tangy taste.
> It is a natural source of calcium.
> It contains magnesium, potassium and B-complex vitamins.
> Baobab powder contains dietary fibres.
> It has prebiotic properties.
> The powder is an excellent antioxidant.
BAOBAB OIL SKIN CARE BENEFITS
Baobab oil is made from the fruit seeds which are extracted and air dried in the hot sun. These seeds can be stored for many months before pressing. Baobab oil is made by a single, cold pressing process. A press, or expeller, ‘squeezes’ the oil from the baobab seed. The newly pressed oil is immediately filtered to help clarify the oil which is then bottled.
African Botanics uses Baobab oil across the collection for its excellent softening, healing and regenerating skincare properties:
> High Vitamin C content (6 times more than an orange) assists with skin elasticity.
> Vitamins A and B firm, tighten and hydrate skin.
> Omegas 3, 6 & 9 fatty acids help maintain the integrity of skin cell membrane.