By: Rogia al-Shafee
KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - The himmaid tree, marula in English (Scientific Name: Sclerocarya birrea), is a medium-sized deciduous tree.
Botanist, Dr. Mohammad Suleiman Adam describes the himmaid as a plant that grows wild during the rainy season in the states of Darfur, Kordofan and the Gezira. It then continues to develop into a big mass over the years.
According to Dr. Adam himmaid trees exist in their millions in the states of Darfur and Kordofan in the West of the Sudan.
The himmaid products are widely used in Sudan to serve a lot of purposes. The fruits, usually yellow in color, look like yellow plum.
During school leaves, the children look for himmaid seeds in goat-sheds as the goats consume the fruits in great quantities. Having collected the seeds, the children crack out the kernels that look like almonds both in shape and taste.
The seeds are taken as a snack and are pressed to get high quality oil similar to olive oil.
The tree’s trunk is worked into furniture and other construction purposes.
The State of South Darfur has two timber factories, both belonging to the forestry administration. The first one is in Tulus town and the other is in Gaizan Village. These two mills specialize in timber industry based on the himmaid tree trunks.
It is said that elephants travel to himmaid plantations when the fruits ripen. Having reached the place, the beasts shake the tree for the fruits to fall down. It is also said that the elephants deliberately leave some of these fruits to ripen more and ferment until when they come back and devour them.
The bark is woven into strong ropes.
The himmaid trees also help fix the soil.
Nutritional & health benefits:
The himmaid tree leaves are rich in minerals and other useful substances for the human body. These include water, calcium, iron, sodium and proteins that boost the efficiency of the digestive system and fight its disorders represented in constipation, diarrhea, flatulence and gases.
The himmaid leaves contain high levels of potassium and their regular consumption eases the pressure on the blood vessels.
They also contain high rates of vitamins A and C. The presence of these two vitamins in the himmaid green leaves constitutes a natural boost to the immune system, thus help fight cancer.
The himmaid is used in the treatment of a lot of ailments.
Several studies have shown that the himmaid leaves are diuretic, in particular if they are left to dry and then taken for several days.
These leaves were also found to enhance the blood circulation and raise the levels of energy in the body.
They were also found useful in fighting mouth ulcers and in the strengthening of and the enhancing of the health of bones.
Taking himmaid leaves also helps with weight loss and with the fighting of anemia.
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