Mugan’acha (Lannear discolor) is commonly known as mushamba tree in other areas like Guruve in Zimbabwe. This tree is quite common due to its different medicinal properties. I grew up knowing that if you have stomach pains or running stomach, you would chew mugan’acha tree bark. The stomach ache would gradually disappear after chewing the bark fibre and swallowing the sap. And it is the knowledge about these indigenous herbal trees that is slowly disappearing in Zimbabwe. I this article, I want to talk about mugan’acha tree medicinal uses.
What is mugan’acha tree?
Mugan’acha tree known in English as the live-long tree is a medium sized deciduous tree that is found in many forests in Zimbabwe. It has a bark that has a coppery tinge. The tree leaves are compound with up to 11 pairs of leaves. The leaves have a green top and a grey bottom. People commonly know the tree for its grey pulpy fruit called gan’acha. Some mistakenly call the fruit tsambatsi as it refers to the ground occurring tsambatsi wild fruits. The common Shona names of mugan’acha tree include chizhenje, muhumbukumbu, mumbumbu, mupuri and mushamba.
Mugan’acha/ mushamba tree medicinal uses
In Zimbabwean traditional medicine, people believe that if you chew the mushamba tree bark fibre it will:
- Relieve constipation
- Stop running stomach
- Heal stomach ache
Chewing the bark fibre of the tree and swallowing the sap or infusing the bark in cold water overnight before drinking has been shown to be a remedy for reducing menstrual flow. The tree roots have several medicinal properties. some people believe that you can crash then and infuse them in cold water overnight or boil them in water for 5 minutes to create a remedy for:
- Use as eyedrops for eye problems.
- Treating menorrhagia
- Treating infertility
- Lowering high blood pressure
Some people use the infusions of both the bark and roots to treat fevers and constipation in children.
Like many other indigenous fruit trees, mugan’acha tree has many other uses including a myriad of medicinal uses some of which have been lost in time. Many people use the tree to treat different ailments, some of which we have no idea of and will only know after coming across someone who have used the plant before. However, we will try to gather as much of the indigenous medicinal and nutritional information as much as we can. If you know any more uses of this plant please leave a comment down below!