Meet Equatorial Guinea’s Dr. Prunus Africana

Meet Equatorial Guinea’s Dr. Prunus Africana

Meet Equatorial Guinea’s Dr. Prunus Africana

By / Forests / Wednesday, 18 July 2018 04:04

Welcome to Equatorial Guinea. It may be a small country wedged between Cameroon and Gabon but it has a big forest cover that spreads across 58 percent of the entire country. One of the trees that can be found in this massive forest is the Prunus Africana, commonly known as the African Cherry.

This tree is a wonder. Here’s why:

Apart from the fact that it is tall (can grow up to 25 metres), dark (its bark is painted with dark hues) and handsome, the African cherry should actually be called Dr. Prunus Africana because of its immense medicinal qualities. Now let us walk into one of Equatorial Guinea’s dense forests.

Move closer. Closer again. The sound of dry leaves crackling under your safari boots as you move closer. That distant chirp of the forest wood hoopoe, a colorful bird whose pink beak makes it appear as if its spotting pink lipstick. But that’s not what I want you to see. Ignore the chameleon that is peeping at you from that giant tree to your left. Keep walking. Now touch this. Touch this bark. Can you feel its rugged texture? Can you see the dark hues that are engraved into the bark? Now pluck a piece of the bark and squeeze it between your thumb and index finger. Lift it to you nose. Close your eyes and inhale its earthy scent.

What you are holding in your hand is the bark of the Prunus Africana tree aka African Cherry. That tiny, rugged bark is overflowing with medicinal qualities. For starters, it cures cancer. Prostrate cancer to be exact. For decades, researchers have been asserting that the bark whose earthy scent filled your nostrils is a key ingredient in treating not only prostate cancer but an enlarged prostate benign prostate hyperplasia. This particular medicinal quality has drastically raised global demand for Prunus Africana. Every year, more than 3,000 tons of the tree’s bark are exported to Europe for the production of herbal preparations for enlarged cancer treatment.

Because of its massive forest cover, Equatorial Guinea can focus more on earning revenue from non-timber products like the barks of Prunus Africana. If it does this, it will help in treating the world and focus less on the logging industry which has a way of eventually slashing the forest cover.

Author

DJ Bwakali

DJ Bwakali

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