Tanzania's small, geographically isolated coastal forests support a huge base of endemic plants and animals.
Africa is filled with exceptional biological richness with scarce linked studies.
The abundance of benefits of plants that surround us is phenomenal. Additional uses are found continuously.
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Let’s talk about the magical plants in Tanzania.
Plants are food as well as natural medicine as well as extracting oils for natural cosmetics for a full healthy system.
Coastal ecosystems in Tanzania were identified by Tanzania scientists in 1989 that needed further study due to their importance and biological richness.
The Frontier Tanzania project provided the manpower and means to catalog a listing importance of plants and trees and provide conservation management recommendations.
The three-year study included
- Mafia Island Coral Reefs
- Monsoon Coastal forests
- Rufiji Delta sediments
- Mikumi nation park vegetation
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Medicinal Plants in Tanzania’s Coastal Forests
The threatened forests of coastal Tanzania have been used by traditional medical practitioners.
There is a growing awareness of the contribution of herbal medicines to facilitate health and welfare of local economies and rural communities.
East Africa’s coastal forests are considered as the most threatened types on the continent of Africa.(1)
3 Magical Trees in Tanzania
Known as ‘Mtandamboo’ in Kiswahili, the plant is an inspiration source for many communities.
A great food source with medicinal benefits as well, the sweet fruit is a delicacy. The pulp of the fruit can be used to produce red wine as well.
A traditional cure for diseases every part of the tree, the roots, the leaves, barks, and fruit are used to treat a multitude of diseases.
Headaches, rheumatism. chest complaints, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, rabies malaria, hernia, toothache, ulcers, cough, worm infestation, and the list goes on!
In the year 2011, thousands of people flocked to Tanzania to Samunge village for treatment by a Catholic priest against infertility diabetes, hypertension, asthma and cancer and even AIDS.
Muaruabaini – The tree that cures 40 diseases
The Neem tree, known by the ”Muarubani tree.”Muarubaini translates to 40. The tree is said to cure 40 different diseases. People have used it for curing cancer, malaria, STDs, typhoid and a wide range of other diseases as well as a natural contraceptive.
The oil extracted from the seeds inserted into the vagina on a regular basis prevents pregnancy. This is an effective birth control method. This should not be used if pregnant as it induces abortion.
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Mlonge (Moringa): The magical Tree!
Imagine if there was a tree in your backyard full of nutrition, to purify water and take care of medicinal needs?
The magical tree does exist. The Moringa oleifera known as the Clarifier tree, horseradish or drumstick tree. The East Africa name ‘Mother’s best friend sums it up!
Every part of the tree can be used. And it is filled with nutrition.
Most widely used, are immature pods containing vitamins, amino acids, and other nutrients. Raw or prepared like green peas, they make tasty dishes. Edible oil is yielded by the pods, the nutritional value resembles that of olive oil.
The leaves are eaten in salads or vegetable dishes for seasoning or pickles. The leaves can be pounded to clean utensils and walls.
The Bark contains fiber and can be used for tanning. Cooked flowers can be mixed in foods or fried in a batter, They are rich in calcium and potassium
The tree has been used for combatting malnutrition in developing countries on the tropical coast.
The fresh leaves can be cooked, eaten fresh, cooked or dried up and kept for the longer term in powder form.
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- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C.
A powerhouse of nutrition moringa has seven times more vitamin c than oranges, four times more calcium than milk protein and three times more potassium than bananas, four times more vitamin A than carrots
Medicinally it works for treatment and prevention. Traditional medical practitioners recognize it as having high value for the treatment of tumors. Studies have identified compounds for cancer prevention.
The miraculous tree offers hope, medicinally, nutritionally and economically to many. It has been developed as a supplement and powdered tablets as well