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All you need to know about Baobab

All about...


The baobab is a majestic tree that has stood the test of time right up to the present day. Discover this incredible resource for natural beauty.

Identity sheet

Name: Baobab

Other names: Adansonia digitata (in Latin), lalo (in Wolof)

Origin: Kenya, Malawi, Zambia, Senegal

Botanical family: Bombacaceae

Parts used: Leaves, roots, pulp, seeds, fruit, bark

Storage : Store in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place, away from sources of heat and protected from light.

Precautions : Baobaboil - In case of contact with eyes, rinse for several minutes, keeping eyelids open. If swallowed, rinse mouth.

Baobab powder - Keep out of reach of children. Avoid contact with eyes. In case of contact with eyes, rinse thoroughly.

Lalo powder: - Keep out of reach of children. Avoid contact with eyes. In case of contact with eyes, rinse thoroughly.

What is the Baobab?

"Magic tree", "pharmacist tree", "tree of life" - there's no shortage of nicknames for the Baobab, such are its many impressive properties. All parts of the tree can be exploited for multiple uses: roots, trunk, bark, leaves, pulp, seeds...

Traditionally, these uses have been therapeutic, nutritional and cultural, but today they are also cosmetic. In traditional African pharmacopoeia, Baobab is also used in the preparation of numerous remedies.

History, origin and culture of the baobab


The Baobab is the emblem of Senegal and Guinea, but also a symbol of Africa, with immense heritage and cultural value. It is at the heart of many myths and legends, so deeply rooted is it in local traditional cultures.
When they die, Baobabs rot from the inside out, collapsing to leave nothing but a pile of fibers. For this reason, many believe that the Baobab does not die, but rather disappears.
This adds even more mystery to the Baobab, a prehistoric species that preceded both mankind and the splitting of continents over 200 million years ago.
Unfortunately, the effects of climate disruption are affecting this age-old tree. Over the last 10 to 15 years, its disappearance has increased rapidly due to very high temperatures and drought.

Several parts of the Baobab are used for their different properties and virtues:

Baobab pulp

Rich in vitamin C, calcium and magnesium, Baobab pulp has a high nutritional potential.
The pulp can be chewed or swallowed, or dissolved in water and/or condensed milk to make a refreshing, energizing drink called "bouye" in Senegal.
Baobab pulp has been used for decades in traditional African medicine to rebalance the body's main functions, bringing well-being and energy. It is widely used as a febrifuge, analgesic, anti-diarrheal and anti-dysenteric. Baobab pulp is also 6 times richer in vitamin C than oranges and 4 times richer in calcium than milk.

It can also be roasted and ground to make a coffee-like beverage.

Baobab seeds

A source of protein, Baobab seeds can be eaten toasted, and an edible oil extracted from them.
Baobab oil, extracted from the seeds contained in the fruit, is exceptionally softening and soothing. It is rich in antioxidants and has a good balance of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. Baobab vegetable oil nourishes and softens even the driest skin (ideal for stretch marks), as well as damaged or frizzy hair.

Baobab bark

Baobab's fibrous bark is used to make ropes and cordage. However, its wood is too soft and waterlogged to be used.
Elephants chew this waterlogged bark during the dry season. Baobab leaves - A decoction of Baobab leaves is used to combat malaria.
Rich in vitamins A and C, iron and calcium, they are eaten boiled or dried and have a tangy taste. The youngest Baobab leaves can be eaten as a vegetable, but are usually dried and ground into powder. Baobab leaves are rich in amino acids and vitamins. They are used in traditional cooking as a binding agent in sauces, thanks to their ability to create a jelly-like texture.

Baobab roots

The young shoots and roots of Baobab seedlings can be eaten like asparagus.

Baobab leaves

Baobab leaves are an excellent source of calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, molybdenum and phosphorus. It also contains amino acids, provitamin A and vitamin C. From its dried leaves, they make a powder they call "lalo", which they mix with couscous. The leaves are traditionally used as an antidiarrheal, febrifuge, anti-inflammatory and antifilarial. Dried leaf powder is said to have anti-anemic, antirachitic, tonic, emollient, anti-dysenteric, anti-asthmatic and anti-rheumatic properties. Its leaves are processed into a powder that can be used for food or cosmetics

The tree and its characteristics

The Baobab is a typical tree of the African plains, known the world over for its distinctive shape and exceptional longevity. The Baobab is very massive and wider than it is tall, reaching 25 m in height and over 20 m in circumference, with a diameter of 5 to 7 m.

It's often called an upside-down tree because its branches, when bare, strongly resemble roots. At the top of the Baobab's trunk is a hole in the soft, waterlogged wood, earning it the nickname "bottle tree". Its branches are irregular and leafless for 9 months out of 12, corresponding to the dry season. During the rainy season, however, it absorbs and stores water in its vast trunk, enabling it to produce a nutrient-rich fruit during the dry season, when everything around it is dry and arid.

Baobab fruit, also known as "monkey bread", contains several hundred seeds coated in dehydrated pulp. Baobab comes from the Arabic "bu hibab", meaning "fruit with many seeds". These seeds and pulp are surrounded by a fairly hard shell around 20cm long and 10cm in diameter.

This tree is characterized by its incredible longevity: some Baobab trees are over 2,000 years old. On the other hand, they grow very slowly. The Baobab is so well known for its distinctive shape, but that's far from the only reason. Indeed, its properties are numerous, and all parts of the tree can be used. However, it is mainly exploited in its natural state for its fruits and leaves.

The tree and its characteristics

Le Baobab in figures

  • 200: A baobab tree produces between 100 and 200 fruits a year.
  • 2,450 years: This is the age of the oldest tree, native to Zimbabwe in Africa and classified as a national monument.
  • 20m: This is the circumference of the largest Baobab. Its height can reach 25m.

How to obtain Baobab oil and powder?

Extraction and harvesting

In African tradition, it's sacrilege to cut down this majestic tree, so it's mainly harvested spontaneously for its leaves and fruit. Its gray, fibrous bark is also sometimes exploited, but has the particularity of regenerating itself.

In South Africa, the harvest is carried out exclusively by women. They collect the fruit that has fallen from the trees. In Mutale, for example, a commune in the Limpopo province, the women have banded together and now make a living from harvesting "monkey bread", which is used to extract a rare and precious vegetable oil.

What makes Baobab oil so special?

This oil is extremely nourishing!
Whether for skin or hair, it protects against dryness and nourishes deep down.

It's also unrivalled when it comes to restoring skin elasticity.

Benefits of Baobab oil



  • Emollient, anti-oxidant and anti-wrinkle.
  • Repairs and restores suppleness to dry, tight skin.

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  • Combats dry, tight or chapped skin



  • Nourishing and protective for dry hair.
  • Perfect for curly or frizzy hair.

Benefits of Baobab powder



  • Regenerates skin
  • Illuminates the complexion
  • Helps purify skin thanks to the presence of anti-microbials
  • Anti-aging

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  • Softens and maintains skin elasticity
  • Soothes the skin
  • Important source of vitamins C, Calcium and Potassium
  • Energizing



  • Softens
  • Adds shine
  • Protects
  • Fortifies

Benefits of Lalo powder



  • Maintains skin hydration

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  • Maintains skin hydration



  • Facilitates detangling
  • Helps control frizz
  • Maintains hair moisture
  • Gelling agent

Benefits of Lalo leaves



  • Eases detangling
  • Prevents frizz
  • Defines and tames curls
  • Moisturizes and nourishes hair
  • Adds shine to hair

The difference between Lalo powder and leaf

Lalo powder simply comes from Lalo leaves ground to a fine powder. This powder allows us to use it more simply by mixing it with water or incorporating it into a DIY recipe. Lalo leaves, on the other hand, can only be used as an infusion or for a body scrub. See the Lalo body scrub recipe.

Difference between Baobab powder and Lalo powder

A distinction is made between Baobab powder and Baobab leaf powder. The latter is also called Lalo in Wolof (Senegalese dialect). Baobab powder is obtained from Baobab fruit, while Lalo powder is obtained from Baobab leaves.

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