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Baobab is internationally regarded as a superfood and in this country as a novel food. In Africa, however, the fruit of the monkey bread tree, as well as the tree itself and in its entirety, has been at the centre of life and health for humans and animals for thousands of years. This nutritious, useful, curious and exotic plant has a lot to offer.

What is Baobab?

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Baobab is the nutritious fruit of the African monkey bread tree (botanical: Adansonia digitata). A huge tree giant, mainly located in the dry savannah of sub-Saharan Africa and many other parts of Africa. The name comes from the Arabic name “bu hibab”, which in German means “fruit with many seeds”.

In his homeland, the monkey bread tree has been an important livelihood for humans and animals for thousands of years. All components of the tree are widely used. Above all, the baobab fruit. Their pulp and their many seeds are used as foods, supplements and medicine. This strange-looking large fruit has an astonishingly extensive, rich supply of nutrients and active ingredients with a complex composition and health-promoting properties.

In the European Union, dried pulp was authorised as a ‘novel food’ in 2008 in accordance with Novel Food Regulation No 258/97 of the European Parliament and the Council. The dried pulp of Baobab is mainly available as a powder on the market. As a dietary supplement, it is also available in the form of presslings, tablets and capsules.

The African monkey bread tree belongs to the plant family of the Mallow Family and to its subordinate family Bombacoideae (Wollbaum Family). With its powerful appearance, this tree clearly shapes the African landscape of its surroundings.

It is a wildly growing, periodic deciduous tree that can reach a height of up to 25 meters or even more. Its relatively short, distinctively strong trunk can develop a circumference of up to 40 meters. As a succulent tree, the trunk and bark have a high water storage capacity. The rounded treetop presents strong, wide-ranging branches and branches with a green foliage of long-stemmed, hand-shaped, alternating and five to nine-fingered leaves, similar to those of a horse chestnut. Without foliage, the branches of the treetop are reminiscent of a root system, which is another reason why many ancient myths and legends revolve around this tree. A monkey bread tree can be many hundreds of years old.

No less striking are its large wax-white flowers, which hang down individually or paired on long stems like pendulums. The baobab flowers have five overlapping crown leaves (petals) and a three- to five-lobed hairy calyx. Each flower contains a very high number of brush-shaped dust leaves (between 720 and 1600 pieces) that grow together into a long dust inge tube.

The baobab fruit finally develops after about eight months from the fruit nodes of the flower. The large oval fruits hang from the tree on long rope-like stems. The size of the fruit is between 25 and 50 centimetres, depending on the area of origin.

The fruits have a woody, felty hairy fruit shell (Perikarp) from the outside. In the course of the ripening process, the skin turns from green to yellow to ultimately grey-brown. Inside, the fruit opens up a yellow-and-white pulp( in which numerous brown seeds are embedded. A fruit can contain between 100 and 200 seeds. One of the special features is that fruit and pulp already dry on the tree. Only then is the natural maturing process completed. The ripe pulp is dry and has a floury consistency. Due to its high vitamin C content, it has a sour-fruity taste, similar to that of citrus fruits.

Pulp, seeds and leaves are edible and are often used as food in Africa in food and beverages. Fruit is not only a staple food in its home areas, but also an important, time-tested remedy for African folk medicine. Adansonia digitata is therefore also referred to as a miracle tree, a pharmacist tree or a tree of life.

The dried pulp is particularly nutritious and contains an extensive range of various important nutrients. The pulp is particularly rich in vitamin C (content of 150 – 300 mg per 100 grams) as well as minerals, trace elements, amino acids, fiber and antioxidants.

Ingredients of the pulp in the overview:

Vitamins Minerals and trace elements Other ingredients
Vitamin C Iron Fiber (e.g. soluble pectin)
Vitamin B Calcium Proteins
Thiamine (Vitamin B 1) Potassium Amino acids
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) Magnesium Sugar (sucrose, glucose, fructose)
Nicotinic acid (vitamin B3) Sodium Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids
Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6) Phosphorus phytochemicals (e.g. antioxidants)


Composition of the nutritional values of dried baobab pulp:

Moisture content 11.1 – 12.0 g per 100 g
Protein 2.03 – 3.24 g per 100 g
Fat 0.4 – 0.7 g per 100 g
Ash content 5.5 – 6.6 g per
Carbohydrates Total 78.3 – 78.9g per 100g
Sugar Total 78.3 – 78.9g per 100g
Sodium 7.42 – 12.2 g per 100 g

*(Source: [1])


Ingredients of the leaves of the African Monkey Bread Tree Ingredients of seeds
Vitamins (e.g. vitamin A and vitamin C) Proteins
Minerals and trace elements (calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, phosphorus, zinc) Oils and fats
Glycosides Saturated fatty acids (30%)
Phytosterols unsaturated fatty acids (70%)
Saponins Vitamins (vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E)
Proteins Amino acids (e.g. lysine)
Amino acids Minerals and trace elements (e.g. potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus)
Phenols Fiber
Adhesives and mucus
Baobab gdp infografic

How does Baobab work?

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Due to its ingredients, the pulp has a very nutritious effect as a food and has also been shown to have a positive effect on the health of the body in many cases, as numerous scientific studies have shown.

Baobab – effect includes:

  1. Antioxidant
  2. Antibacterial
  3. Antiviral
  4. anti-inflammatory
  5. hepatoprotective (liver-protective)

Properties. [2]

The fruit of the monkey bread tree can supplement the general diet, compensate for deficiencies in nutrients and thus be used in a supportive manner against many health complaints.

Which baobab is the best?

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The ground powder from the gluten-free dried pulp of Adansonia digitata is offered as a food. There are different providers online on the market. The baobab powder is also available as a dietary supplement in the form of presses, capsules or tablets. The baobab powder should come from organic farming in a pure variety and natural in a high organic quality. [3]

Recommendation for a high-quality baobab powder: mituso organic baobab powder – the fruit powder of the monkey bread tree

What complaints does Baobab help against?

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The fruit proves not only a high composition of nutrients and vital substances as well as a valuable quality as food. It has also been used as a well-tried remedy in African folk medicine for thousands of years. Food can often also prove to be a cure, because it is ultimately a question of certain substances to be supplied which the organism needs in order to function or to protect, defend and recover.

In African folk medicine, baobab has long been used for infectious diseases such as smallpox and measles. Many African locals, for example, have also had experience with the leaves of Baobab, among others in the prevention or treatment against ailments such as dysentery (dysentery), diarrhea, (diarrhoea), colic and other gastrointestinal diseases with good, successful results. But modern medicine also explored the special properties of baobab and its effects:

for the immune system and metabolic processes

  • against cardiovascular diseases
  • the bones and the musculoskeletal system
  • the bones, teeth and muscles with their phosphorus content
  • muscles and nerves with their content of potassium and sodium
  • immune system, due to its high content of iron and vitamins
  • energy metabolism as well as heart and nerve functions due to iron and magnesium

against diabetes

Due to its nutrients, the fruit has a positive influence in type 2 diabetes. Scientific studies have shown that the high level of high-quality fiber is responsible for improving symptoms. [4]

against oxidative stress, bacteria and viruses

With its powerful antioxidants as well as antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties, Baobab has an effect against infections, inflammation and wounds. [5]

to protect the liver

With its hepatopprotective properties, the fruit from the monkey bread tree can have a protective effect on the liver.

as a Vitamin C Booster

With its remarkably high content of vitamin C, the pulp can strengthen the immune system as well as support the nervous system, wound healing and skin functions. It contributes to collagen formation, cell protection against oxidative stress and absorption of iron. [6]

How is Baobab taken or how to dose it?

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The powder from the dried pulp can be wonderfully integrated into the daily diet. The fruit powder can be used many times. It can be enjoyed in pure as well as integrated into food and drinks.

It is ideal for preparing drinks. The fruit powder can be easily mixed with pure water, but also ideally add milk, smoothies, shakes and fruit juices. For example: Stir 1 tablespoon of baobab powder into 250 ml of liquid.

Furthermore, the pleasantly fruity and sweet-sour-tasting fruit powder can also be integrated into yoghurt, quark, desserts, soups, dressings, sauces, porridge, puree or main courses. The powder is also used in baked goods. Bread, rolls or cakes are also prepared with the gluten-free baobab powder as an ingredient. Here it also serves as a binder. It should be noted that the fruit powder loses the effect of some valuable vital substances, such as vitamin C, during baking or cooking under hot temperatures. Nevertheless, it is estimated due to its high content of healthy fiber, e.g. in bakery products.

There are a variety of recipes for the use of baobab powder. There are no limits to one’s own creativity. There are no limits on the dose.

The baobab oil is obtained from the seeds of the fruit. A 100% pure baobab oil is used for external application on the skin. It can be used both to care for the skin and to support the treatment of various skin complaints. The oil promotes the formation of collagen, the healing of wounds and inflammation as well as the regeneration of the skin.

Conclusion: Why is Baobab so healthy?

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With its rich special range of nutrients, vitality and active ingredients, the fruit of the African monkey bread tree promotes health. With its high content of vitamin C as well as minerals and trace elements, such as iron, potassium, calcium and magnesium, it supplies the body’s nutritional needs and compensates for any deficiency symptoms. The high content of valuable fiber and numerous active ingredients, such as antioxidants, also promotes the health and healing of numerous ailments.

Source directory:

  1. Official Journal of the European Union, 2008, Specifications of Baobab fruit pulp, document number C(2008) 3046

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