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Ximenia americana, commonly known as tallow wood is a small sprawling tree of woodlands native to the tropics. Ximenia was named after a Spanish monk, Francisco Ximeniz. The specific name is the Latin form of ‘American’. There main area of existence is South Africa where they can be found in the grassy land of Savannah. It is the place where these trees are in abundant amount. Moreover, they can also be found abundantly in Botswana, Zimbabwe and Namibia.The fruits have a pleasant plum-like flavor. In Asia, the young leaves are cooked as a vegetable. However, the leaves also contain cyanide and need to be thoroughly cooked, and should not be eaten in large amounts.
It is a semi-deciduous shrub or small tree usually up to 6 meters tall with a blue-green appearance and an often scraggy and leaning trunk. The branches are purple-red with a waxy bloom. The leaves grow in tufts and are grey-green, hairless and leathery. When crushed, young leaves smell of bitter almonds. The fragrant white, yellow green or pink flowers usually appear from July to October but can also be seen from January to March. They occur in branched inflorescences on stalks. The species flowers and its fruit ripens throughout the year.
The fruit can be eaten raw and are also used to make a sour preserve or an intoxicating drink. Indigenous people of Florida used the bark to treat sore muscles and gums. The reason is that they have Vitamin C. Research has showed that that it is a great product for the improvement of blood circulation. The seed and fruit pulp contain hydro-cyanic acid. The yellow or speckled rose red plum-like fruits with a single seed ripen a couple of months after the flowers have bloomed. The pale orange flesh is edible with a tart almond-like flavour. Ximenia fruit contains Vitamin E, phosphorus, fiber, carbs, starches, magnesium, calcium, and lots of protein too… even nonessential proteins, and the stems, bark, and leaves of the tree also contain lots of natural steroids that may be used in the future for treating diseases such as cardiovascular disease and strokes… new studies are being done.
The fruit and the stems have powerful anticancer capabilities, anti-fungal, antiviral compound, antiallergic compound, anti-parasitic compound, antibacterial, and it’s also a very good antioxidant, plus works well for healing arthritis, and the seeds also contain lots of healthy fatty acids, and the antibacterial abilities of Ximenia leaf extract was just as effective as penicillin and worked well for killing gonorrhea and cancer cells too. Ximenia also works well topically for treating skin wounds, hemorrhoids, and helps with diarrhea when taken orally. Many people feel that Ximenia oil has given them a new lease on life when it comes to treating eczema and other skin problems. Plus Ximenia is a good pain relieving agent that lowers fevers, at the same time Ximenia also works well to fight off viral infections such as measles. Some of the compounds in Ximenia help with insulin resistant diabetes, and for treating Alzheimer’s disease, improving memory, and for lowering cholesterol.
Its oil is extracted from the kernel and used in various ways. This oil is known for producing effective results on the hair and skin therefore has a considerable nutritional value. The oil helps to preserve the integrity of the cell wall and has a restructuring effect . It makes the skin soft and conditions the hair perfectly. Its popularity among the African girls cannot be negated. The oil is beneficial because of its content of saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids (about 99%), which make it, stable to oxidation and experiments have shown that the oil is useful for dry skin prone to early senescence and it is helpful to improve the functionary of the sebaceous tissues. In fact there are several chains of fatty acids which contribute in rendering Ximena Oil having its anti-aging effects. Due to the same ingredients, the Ximena Oil is good for nourishment and moisturizing. Apart from that it also contains unsaturated fatty acids and has an exceptional nutritional value to nourish the skin while moisturizing, softening and revitalizing the skin. One of the reasons of Ximenia Oil’s popularity is its frequent use for massage purposes. It is found to be quite popular among the people as it is very effective on chapped and dry skin.
Potential commercial uses for Ximenia include:
References are taken from :- worldagroforestery, wikipedia, omtimes, oil.phytotrade, essentialoils.co.za .
(all the pictures are sourced from internet)