Azanza Garckeana
Status: Least Concern
Type: Deciduous
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malvales
Family: Malvaceae
Names: Makole, muneko, munego, african chewing gum or tree hibiscus
Appearance: A hard light-green outer shell with 4 seeds and 4 almost split sides with the inside slightly visible at the seam.

General Information

Thespesia garckeana is a tree in the family Malvaceae, found throughout the warmer parts of Southern Africa in wooded grasslands, open woodland and thickets. It grows naturally over a range of altitudes from 1000 to 2000 m above sea level, from semi-arid areas to areas of higher rainfall. T. garckeana is often found on or near termite mounds in old fields.

Uses

The whole fruit except the seeds is chewed like gum, producing a sweet glutinous slime. The fruit is also used as a syrup and soup. The sap wood is yellow and the heart wood is a deep brown. It is easily worked but generally only suitable for small building needs, tool handles, oxen yokes, and domestic items such as spoons. The leaves of T. garckeana have many uses including green manure and mulch. The leaves also provide an often used fodder. 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. It is also known to have aphrodisiac uses such as, increasing libido, lubrication in women, fertility and helps get rid of feminine odor.

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