Baobab, a common name of a genus of trees (Adansonia). There are nine species. Sixspecies live in the drier parts of Madagascar, two in mainland Africa, and one in Australia. The baobab is the national tree of Madagascar.
Other common names include 'boab', 'boaboa', 'bottle tree', 'the tree of life', 'upside-down tree', and 'monkey bread tree'. The trees reach heights of 5 to 30 meters (16 to 98 ft.) and trunk diameters of 7 to 11 meters (23 to 36 ft.) Its trunk can hold up to 120,000 liters of water. For most of the year, the tree is leafless, and looks very much like it has its roots sticking up in the air.
Some have lived ten times that long and have reached heights of 65 feet (20m) with trunks 39 feet (12m) in diameter.
Locals refer to the Baobab as the “Tree of Life” because everything from the seed oil and bark to the leaves and fruit pulp are used. Because of their size, Baobabs serve as gathering places as well as provide shade and shelter to travelers. Their hollow trunks are ideal for storing equipment and grain, and water during long dry spells. In fact, many settlements were established at the base of the life-sustaining Baobab. Baobab oil is a natural moisturizer, an emollient. It soothes the skin and helps it retain its elasticity. It is excellent for dry skin (like when you are under Chemotherapy) and eczema.
The baobab tree is known as the tree of life, with good reason. It can provide shelter, clothing, food, and water for the animal and human inhabitants of the African savannah regions. The cork-like bark and huge stem are fire resistant and are used for making cloth and rope. The leaves are used as condiments and medicines. The fruit, called "monkey bread", is edible, and full of vitamin C. As of 2010 experts estimate the potential international market at a billion dollars ($US) a year.
These are the healing therapeutic properties of baobab oil.
Color, Taste and Aroma The oil has deep golden yellow color, earthy aroma and a nutty taste.
The biggest use of baobab oil is as a cosmetic agent. One can use it directly on the skin, or combine it with other natural ingredients, like essential oils to impart certain benefits.
Baobab oil has a really different texture that most other oils.One can use it as massage oil to get silky, smooth skin. The massage is easily facilitated because of this oil. Massage with this oil is good for dry, damaged skin. It helps the skin to restructure and heal itself. This way, it can help to heal dry skin patches. It is quickly absorbed into the skin. However, it does not leave the skin completely dry because of its non-siccative property.
Baobab oil is a nice home remedy for stretch marks. Regular application on area affected by stretch marks reduces the appearance and depth of these marks. It is possible that the oil stimulates collagen and elastin synthesis under the skin to heal the stretch marks. Similarly, it can be used to heal wound scars, like post-surgical scars.
After the shower, apply a small amount of baobab oil on the skin. This helps to lock in the moisture. The oil is readily absorbed, thus leaving a non-greasy feeling within a few minutes. Alternatively, one can add it to a moisturizing lotion to increase its effectiveness.
Baobab oil is naturally great for chapped lips. Just a small amount of oil applied to the lips gets rid of the chapped lips condition.
Baobab oil is heated gently and then applied on the scalp for a hot oil conditioning. Cover with a shower cap for a few hours and then wash it off. This leaves the hair soft and noticeably silky. It also adds some volume to the hair. Applying baobab oil to the hair protects them from damage by sun and free radicals which leaves the hair separated, damaged and frizzy.
Soak the hands and feet in baobab oil. It makes them soft and easy to take care of. This is helpful in mild ingrown toenail as well, as the nail becomes soft and easy to pull out. This nail treatment prevents them from unwanted breakage.
Baobab oil is traditionally used to heal swollen, inflamed gums. It can be massage directly on the gums to protect them from inflammation.