African Bubble Gum

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  • Regular price K150

Scientifc name: Azanza Garckeana

Local name(s): Matobo, Manego.

English Name: African bubble gum

Local Name: Muneko (L, T), Makole (B)

General information

Azanza garckeana is a deciduous shrub or small, spreading tree, 3-13m high, the only species found in Africa, from the south of Sudan to South Africa occurring in all types of woodlands especially on termite mounds, 0-1,700m. In Zambia, it is widely distributed but absent from western province. A dominant tree in most plateau areas of Southern province. Prefers mostly light yellow-brown to reddish-yellow gritty, sandy clay loams, and often grows on black to dark grey and brown clays.

Human benefits

Ripe fruits are edible and have an energy content of 8.10 kJ/g. A sweet mucilage comes out when chewed. The fruit may be eaten raw if gathered green and juicy and the skin is peeled off. Boiled, it is widely used as a relish or made into porridge. The fruit pulp at 52% dry matter contains 35% carbohydrates, 45% fibre, 1% fat, 12% crude proteins and 21 mg/100 g ascorbic acid. The leaves make a relish or can be burned to produce salts. The tree provides valuable firewood. Good quality rope can be made from the fibres of the inner bark. The deep brown spotted wood is used for making bows, tool handles, small pieces of furniture, instrument handles and knife covers.

Health benefits

A decoction is made from the roots and taken orally for painful menstruation and to treat coughs and chest pains. An infusion made from the roots and leaves is dropped into the ear to treat earache or taken orally as an antiemetic.