KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - Scientifically, it is called ziziphus spina-christi.
It is a thorny tree, up to 10 meters high, with dark brown, cracked barks, found in north and central Sudan. Its leaves and the fruits are used for nutritional and medicinal purposes. The fruits (known locally as nebug) are eaten fresh and contain high rates of carbohydrates, including glucose, sucrose and sugar, and high rates of vitamins A, B, and C in addition to a number of minerals like calcium, potassium, phosphate and iron.
There are numerous medicinal uses for the sidir; its leaves are ground to be used for treating cases of the falling out hair, the dandruff and cataplasms for skin diseases and its soak is used for curing chest diseases, sore throats and as an expectorant.
The water in which the sidir leaves is boiled is used as a costive and anti-diarrhea and expeller of worms.
The fruits are used against fever and as laxative and anti-measles and as a detergent and were and are still used in outlying areas of the Sudan for washing the dead as advised by Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).
The nebug, laloab and other ever-green trees helped people survive during the drought which hit many parts of Sudan in the 1980s and therefore the fruits of such trees were called the “famine food”.
The fruits of those trees are favorite to children and therefore the pupils in the rural areas run after school to nearby laloab or nebug trees to collect the fruits and in the towns, traders wait outside the schools to sell to the pupils those fruits as a whole fruit or in the form of cakes and powder.
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