Traditional Medical Uses for the Sausage Tree Fruit

Traditional Medical Uses for the Sausage Tree Fruit

THE SAUSAGE TREE FRUIT, KIGELIA AFRICANA, KIGELIA PINNATA

sausage tree fruit

Kigelia Africana or Kigelia pinnata is one of a kind and the only Kigelia plant. It gets its name from the Mozambican name for the tree, Kigeli-keia, and the English name is because of the shape and size of its fruit. These are not your breakfast type of sausage, but more of a German wurst, or Italian Mortadella or salami. In fact the German name Leberwurst (liver sausage) for this tree reflects this. It is a member of the Bignoniaceae family of trumpet-creeper plants as is the jacaranda, another species which is unique.

It is native to Sub-Saharan Africa and particularly likes woodland areas along streams and river banks and savannah. Its flowers have an unpleasant smell which may be why it attracts fruit bats, as they are normally drawn towards white flowers, but the Sausage tree flowers are maroon or dark red. Hawk moths along with the bats help to pollinate the flowers which also attract birds as they are full of nectar. Hungry antelope and deer species eat the fallen flowers, and it is said that baboons and porcupines among other animals feast on the fruit which is toxic for humans. Despite this it is used in traditional medicine, especially the dried seeds and leaves and the pulp when removed from the seeds is said to help give women firm breasts.

The powdered leaves are used for their wound healing and cleansing properties and it is used for STDs, malaria and a whole range of diseases including gynaecological ones. In fact it may be the African equivalent of the Neem tree that grows in the Indian subcontinent.

The fruit hangs down, suspended on twig-like ‘strings’ and it looks rather as though someone has played an elaborate April Fool’s joke, tying German sausages to the branches. However it is a real tree and does have these amazing fruit. They can probably give you concussion if you unwittingly take shelter from the sun under its shade. On average they weigh around 3 kilos but a large one could weigh as much as 9 kilos. They can be 30-60 centimetres long and have a diameter of around10 centimetres. If you try to eat one you will get blisters on your skin and in your mouth and will be violently ill.

neem tree leaves

The roasted fruit is used to flavour beer and to assist in the fermentation process, and in times of scarcity, apparently the seeds are roasted and eaten.

They have many traditional uses as the fruit has anti-microbial properties so the powdered fruit is used for skin problems such as acne, and for dressing wounds, and in water it is used as disinfectant. On a dressing the powder is applied to eczema and slices of the fruit are used to make breasts firm. Beauty products are now available which utilize extracts from Kigelia Africana, and these have been advertised as halting the aging process of the skin, although this has not been confirmed in clinical trials by those who do not have a vested interest in the beauty industry.

What seems to have been proved is that the extracts have anti-inflammatory properties and so are useful in after-sun lotions, and for soothing irritated skin. It is also believed, according to researchers at the University of Karachi’s Research Institute of Chemistry, that the extracts from the seeds have potent antioxidant effects. Currently research in on-going into the properties of the Sausage Tree, and researchers who have undertaken a review of the research so far (conducted in 2009) concluded “there is an enormous scope for the future research of Kigelia Africana considering the many medicinal properties it carries” and the fact that it is used for so many purposes traditionally. The researchers end with this call to action “more research work should focus on anti-cancer properties” as it seems that the extracts from this tree may inhibit melanoma.

Olatunji and Olubunmi who carries out the review were also concerned about sustainability and doubtless had in mind what tends to happen to plant species when Westerners decide they are useful either as cosmetics, food supplements or in pharmaceuticals. The Himalayan Yew is one species which is under threat because it is valuable to the pharmaceutical industry and Devil’s Claw is similarly endangered.

It is said that the roots yield a yellow dye, while the boiled fruits give a red one.  It is used in Botswana and Zimbabwe to make dugout canoes, and the strong wood is used for shelving and to make fruit boxes.

One of the folk remedies is to wrap a leaf from the Sausage tree around a wart, then bury it so that as the leaf decays so will the wart disappear. This is similar to the belief that you can cut a potato and rub it on a wart then bury the potato. Legend has it that Dr Livingstone saw a Kigelia africana and camped beneath it just before he got to Victoria Falls and carved his name on the trunk. It must not have been the fruit season (December to June) I guess.

The tree is sacred to some tribes’ people in Kenya and if a person is missing, presumed dead, they will bury one of the fruit of the sausage tree in place of the body of the lost person.
To see more photos of this tree go to hear.org and see Kim and Forrest Star’s  site.

What Benefits Does Kigelia Africana Cream Provide?

What Benefits Does Kigelia Africana Cream Provide?kigelia africana cream

Kigelia Africana cream is made from the fruit of the Sausage Tree.  Harvested throughout Southern Africa, trees of the kigelia africana and kigelia pinnata species grow a large sausage-appearing fruit that the region’s indigenous people have long used for medicinal and cosmetic purposes. More recently cosmetic researchers have acknowledged the fruit’s skin-enhancing properties through successive clinical trials and have begun including the fruit extract in products. Medical research has also uncovered evidence that kigelia fruit cream may be effective in treating melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.

Kigelia Africana Cream has Antipathogen Properties

Following up on studies that showed the hilt bark of the kigelia africana cream possessed potent antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties, a team of South African researchers conducted a study to see if the kigelia plant extract offered those properties as well. They prepared crude extracts of both stem bark and fruit using distilled water, ethanol or ethyl acetate. Researchers then tested the extracts against gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria. In a report on their findings in a December issue of the “South African Journal of Botany,” they reported stem bark and fruit extracts showed significant antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral activity against both strains of pathogens. These findings have paved the way for the use of kigelia extract in skin-cleansing agents and other products designed to combat bacterial skin infections.

Kigelia Africana Cream has Facilitates Tight and Firm Skin

A sex-member team of Indian scientists undertook a review of the scientific literature covering studies into kigelia’s medical and cosmetic properties. In their report, published in a 2008 issue of “Natural Product Radiance” — known in 2011 as the “Indian Journal of Natural Products and Resources” — they cited studies that found kigelia’s active ingredients include steroidal saponins and the flavonoids luteolin and quercetin. These phytochemicals help strengthen and stabilize the collagen fibers that support the skin, thus having a firming effect. Some studies found that the extract was particularly effective in firming the skin in and around the breasts.  Kigelia seems to encourage the growth of collagen.  A lack of collage is what leads to wrinkles in old age.

Kigelia Africana Cream Combats Skin Cancer

Researchers in Southern Ireland conducted an in vivo study to assess the ability of various compounds from the kigelia pinnata fruit to halt the spread of homo sapien skin cancer cells. Part of the incentize for the study was the traditional use of the fruit by folk healers to treat skin cancer and other skin disorders. Scientists isolated several compounds from the kigelia fruit and tested them against melanoma cells in the lab. They found significant anti-cancer properties from a variety of kigelia compounds, including the isocoumarins demethylkigelin and kigelin; oleic and heneicosanoic fatty acids; ferulic acid; and the furonaphthoquinone 2-(1-hydroxyethyl)naphtho[2,3-b]furan-4,9-dione. In their findings, published in a 2010 issue of “Planta Medica,” researchers noted that the furonaphthoquinone was also effective in vitro against two strains of breast cancer cells.

Kigelia Africana Cream has Other Skin Benefits

In its review of the literature covering kigelia’s cosmeceutical applications, the authors of the 2009 “Natural Product Radiance” article reported kigelia was already widely used as an active ingredient in a variety of cosmetic formulations. These products can give skin a smoother appearance by reducing fine lines and wrinkle depth. They also are believed to promote skin elasticity, naturally lighten pigmentation, reduce blemishes and increase circulation to the skin.

What Can Kigelia Fruit Extract Do for Your Skin?

What Can Kigelia Fruit Extract Do for Your Skin?

kigelia fruit extract

Kigelia africana has been cultivated throughout sub-Saharan Africa, trees of the kigelia africana and kigelia pinnata plants yield a large sausage-like fruit that the region’s indigenous peoples have used for medicinal and cosmetic applications since time immemorial. Many cosmetic companies have acknowledged the fruit’s dermis-improving properties through the addition of fruit extract to some of their products. Medical research has also uncovered evidence that kigelia fruit extract may be effective in helping to treat melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.

Kigelia Fruit Extract has Antibacterial Properties

Pursuing up on studies that will showed this stem bark from the kigelia africana pressed strong antibacterial qualities, the team connected with Southern African experts executed a report to discover when the kigelia berries offered these gains as well. Many people well prepared elementary removes connected with the two stem bark along with berries applying distilled normal water, ethanol or ethyl acetate. Research workers after that examined this removes against gram-negative along with gram-positive bacterias. Within a document on the studies inside a 2002 matter from the “South African Log connected with Botany, ” they reported stem bark along with berries removes showed major antibacterial activity against the two strains connected with bacterias. These kinds of studies have provided just how regarding using kigelia remove inside skin-cleansing agents and also other products meant to overcome microbial epidermis microbe infections.

Kigelia Fruit Extract Helps Tighten Skin

A five-member Indian staff of people began a review of your controlled literature spanning reports directly into kigelia’s healing along with cosmeceutical components. Into their record, printed within a the year just gone problem of “Natural Item Radiance” — identified within 2011 because the “Indian Log of Pure Products along with Resources” — that they specified reports which located kigelia’s active ingredients include steroidal saponins plus the flavonoids luteolin along with quercetin. Most of these phytochemicals aid bolster along with stabilize your collagen fibres which service skin, therefore creating a toning influence. Some reports located the remove seemed to be specially successful within toning skin near your chests.

Kigelia Fruit Extract Fights Skin Cancer

Research workers within North Ireland in europe done an within vitro review to be able to assess the potential of varied compounds from your kigelia pinnata fresh fruit to halt your spread regarding human most cancers cellular material. Part of the traction for the review was the original use of your fresh fruit by simply people healers to take care of skin cancer as well as other skin disorders. Scientists isolated numerous compounds from your kigelia fresh fruit in addition to analyzed these individuals next to most cancers cellular material inside research. They discovered major anti-cancer attributes coming from a number of kigelia compounds, such as isocoumarins demethylkigelin in addition to kigelin; oleic in addition to heneicosanoic fat; ferulic p; as well as the furonaphthoquinone 2-(1-hydroxyethyl)naphtho[2, 3-b]furan-4, 9-dione. In their conclusions, published in a 2010 problem regarding “Planta Medica, ” analysts noted how the furonaphthoquinone was likewise useful within vitro next to a pair of pressures regarding busts cancer cellular material.

Kigelia Fruit Extract has Other Benefits Too

With it is writeup on the actual materials addressing kigelia’s cosmeceutical applications, the actual writers in the the year just gone “Natural Solution Radiance” post claimed kigelia had been popular just as one component in a range of aesthetic supplements. They can grant skin a easier visual appeal by means of reducing fine collections and wrinkle depth. In addition they tend to be considered to encourage skin firmness, by natural means lighten skin color, lower spots and boost blood flow towards the skin.

The Most Effective Moisturizing Ingredients

The Most Effective Moisturizing Ingredients

Over-the-counter skin-care products can help soothe dry skin. Here’s how to find the right one for you.

effective moisturizing ingredients

As you may know, dry skin results primarily from low moisture levels on the surface of the skin, or epidermis. You can rehydrate by using skin-care products that work to increase the amount of water your skin retains.

The Best Moisturizers

The most effective way to moisturize your skin is to use a product that contains occlusive, humectant, or emollient ingredients. Occlusives, which include dimethicone, petrolatum, paraffin, and lanolin, form a barrier on the epidermis, preventing water from being lost when the skin is exposed to dry air or wind. Humectants, such as glycerin, sorbitol, sodium hyaluronate, urea, propylene glycol, alpha hydroxy acids, and sugars, attract water into the skin cells, causing the skin surface to swell very slightly — thus temporarily making it appear smoother and free of wrinkles. Emollients fill the spaces between rough or peeling skin cells, smoothing the surface of the skin. Lanolin, mineral oil, and petrolatum are occlusive agents that also serve as emollients.

Common Allergens in Skin Care Products

Fragrances are the most likely explanation for allergies to topical creams and lotions, says Dr. Ashinoff. If you have sensitive skin, avoid the following ingredients, which account for 90 percent of fragrance allergies: isoeugenol, eugenol, cinnamic aldehyde, cinnamic alcohol, hydroxycitronellal, geraniol, amyl cinnamic aldehyde, oak moss absolute, and balsam of Peru. Plus, “antioxidants like vitamin E can occasionally cause allergic contact dermatitis in people with sensitive skin,” Ashinoff says.

When and How to Apply Moisturizer

With the wide array of effective moisturizers on the market, how do you pick the best one for you? “Select a moisturizer based on personal factors such as smell, consistency, effectiveness, and price,” recommends Conway Huang, MD, associate professor of Dermatologic Surgery and Cutaneous Laser Surgery at the University of Alabama.

Both oil- and water-based products can be effective, but the one you choose depends on personal preference. “Oil-based moisturizers tend to be greasier but have the capacity to stay on the skin better,” explains Dr. Levine. “Water-based moisturizers feel better on the skin but don’t stay on as well.”

As for when and how to use a moisturizer, dermatologists recommend applying a thin coating — particularly after bathing, showering, or swimming — to trap water in the skin. Pat dry to keep skin damp — don’t vigorously towel dry or you’ll remove the water from your skin before it can be sealed in. Repeat the application twice daily or when your skin is itchy, especially during the winter months, when wind, cold, and indoor heating dry your skin out the most.

Is a Man’s Skin Really Different?

Is a Man’s Skin Really Different?

man's skin

The skin on a man versus that on a woman is significantly different. The ability to grow a beard is just one obvious distinction among many others that are not so evident. From a structural point of view, some of the differences include skin thickness, collagen density, loss of collagen as we age, texture and hydration. These differences in the skin may in fact create differences in the treatment room. Let’s look at each of these aspects in more detail.

Skin Thickness

We know that the thickness of the skin varies with the location, age and sex of the individual. Additionally, androgens (i.e. testosterone), which cause an increase in skin thickness, accounts for why a man’s skin is about 25 percent thicker than that of a woman’s. A man’s skin also thins gradually with age, whereas the thickness of a woman’s skin remains constant until about the age of fifty. After menopause, her skin will thin significantly, which will continue as she ages.

Collagen Density

Regardless of age, men have a higher collagen density than women; this is the ratio of collagen to the thickness of the skin. Researchers believe that the higher collagen density accounts for why women appear to age faster than men of the same age. When considering intrinsic (genetically-programmed) aging of the skin, it has been said that women are about 15 years older than men of the same age. Of course, the role of daylight exposure in skin aging, combined with the fact that men do not use sunscreen as often as women, may account for why we do not readily notice. Extrinsic aging from UV radiation can add years to a man’s skin and negate the benefit of slower intrinsic aging.

Loss of Collagen

The physical signs of aging in adults, such as wrinkles and laxity to the tissue, are closely related to the collagen content of the skin. Both men and women lose about one percent of their collagen per year after their 30th birthday. For women, however, this escalates significantly in the first five years after menopause then slows down to a loss of two percent per year.

Texture

From a superficial perspective, the texture of a man’s skin is very different than a woman’s. The texture (on a man) is rougher, and the Stratum Corneum is thicker. There is also a difference in the composition of sebum and its production. After puberty, sebum production is greater in males than in females, which is attributed to androgen secretions and accounts for why men have longer lasting acne. The cells in a man’s sebaceous glands have more positive receptors for androgens, which explains why they produce more sebum. Interestingly, redness, proliferation of the sebaceous glands and swelling of the skin on the nose, (a condition known as rhinophyma that is found in extreme cases of rosacea) is only seen in males. It is unknown if this condition is controlled by androgens in a similar capacity as sebum production.

Hydration

Puberty also stimulates the appearance of facial hair in men and gives rise to sweat secretions. Males have more Lactic Acid in their sweat, which accounts for a lower pH (.05 lower) when compared to female sweat. Men also sweat more than twice as much as women and are more prone to sweating, which is stimulated by an increase in body temperature. However, male skin appears to be better hydrated than women’s, which is fortunate, as men are less likely to apply a hydrating moisturizer to their body or face. Perhaps the excess sweating and production of Lactic Acid, a known natural humectant for the skin, is responsible for the level of tissue hydration.

Treating a Man’s Skin

The health of a man’s skin is, of course, just as important as that of a woman. But while treatment for a man sometimes differs from a woman, remember that the same amount of care must be taken regardless of the sex of the client. Even if the man appears to have tough, resilient skin, he may still have internal issues or surround himself in environments that sensitize him. In every instance, use the consultation card to familiarize yourself with the client, and never assume that a man needs any less gentle care than a woman.

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