Marula - a treasure of Africa

In African regions, called the velds by the locals, grow amazing plants. One of these plants is marula, or, scientifically speaking Scelerocarya birrea, Anacardiaceae family (mango).

African velds are the forests with mixed flora that cover the slopes of little plateaus and plains of Eastern Transvaal, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia.
That's where marula grows. The largest specimens can be spotted in the Okavango riverside in Botswana. Majestic leopards reclined at ease among its massive branches is a common sight. Bright yellow eyes blink sleepily and the midday heat concurs His Majesty the leopard and it falls asleep almost blending with the bark of marula tree.

Marula's fruits are very delicious and are widely used among locals. A particularly tasty beverage is made from the decoction of the fruits peel, like tea, but if the peel is toasted it can replace coffee. Soft wood substance is used for carving, making figurines, beads and other ethnographic souvenirs. Internal part of the bark is used to make ropes, and from the bark itself - the brown dye. The core of fruits kernels, consisting of one-two seeds, is enriched with proteins and the oil derived from them contains antioxidants and oleic acids. This oil is widely used in local cosmetics. Even the insects, affecting the trees from time to time, are beneficial! The Africans collect large caterpillars and grubs of the pruners and eat them after roasting, of course. Leaves and bark of the tree are used in traditional medicine. The leaves - to alleviate acid indigestion, and boiling decoction of the bark that contains antihistamins, is good for inhalation purposes. Infused in cold water small pieces of bark provide the remedy for diarrhea and dysentery, the bark is also pretty effective against malaria.


The fruits of marula are similar to plums. Green first, becoming oily-yellow when matured. The fruits are covered with thick soft leathery peel concealing a white watery pulp with a large, firm as a rock, kernel. The fruits have sharp sweet smell, contain huge amount of Vitamin C - 5 times more then the orange! The kernel contains a lot of minerals and vitamins. Marula is truly a treasure of Africa. Archeological discoveries had proved that it has been for more then 10 000 years a great nutrition source for African tribes.
But, of course, the primary use of marula is in cooking. The kids enjoy chilled juice, the pulp is a usual addition to exotic local dishes. Candies, jams and jellies are made from the fruits, as well as local beverage after original recipe (soaking ripe fruits in water).
There are lots of legends about Marula. Venda tribe believes, that with the help of marula a gender of the future unborn child can be "ordered". If give a woman during pregnancy crushed bark of female Marula tree, then there will be a girl, but if from male Marula tree, then - it is going to be a boy.
The fruits of Marula are highly appreciated by the local Aborigines - to present a core of the kernel is showing the highest measure of friendliness.
The Africans protect their treasure. Because of its widespread use in daily life among many tribes, these trees are practically untouchable.


The oil is obtained from the core of the nuts by cold pressing, thus preserving all the valuable elements. It is known for its extraordinary nourishing, moisturising, smoothing properties, and even as an aphrodisiac (stimulating sexual desire). It is rich in natural antioxidants, oleic and palmitic acid, vitamin C. It contains kalium, calcium, magnesium, up to 28% of protein and iodine.
This oil is perfect care for any skin, particularly for dry, inflamed and dehydrated. it is used to treat burns, wounds, eliminates irritation and redness. Protects against free radicals.

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March, 2018

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