I have come to a realisation that many wild fruits and vegetable plants will have an accompanying health benefits. And the same is very true with the muroro plant (Annona senegalensis/ stenophylla). This tree gives us a delicacy in the form of the tasty maroro fruits. However, we can also use muroro roots to cure several diseases traditionally. Unfortunately, most of this traditional medicinal information is slowly disappearing from Zimbabwe. It’s very depressing to know that in a few years, we may have lost most of our knowledge of indigenous medicinal herbs and remedies. During the times of our ancestors, these herbs may have failed to effectively deal with certain diseases. However, now they have become more useful in treating different chronic conditions. And we can attribute this is them being natural. Thus, you do not have to worry about antibiotic residues prowling your blood stream all the freaking time!
This is the reason why I decided to write about the conditions muroro roots are used to cure in Zimbabwe.
Table of Contents
Muroro shrub and its uses
In Zimbabwe, muroro is known as ububese in isiNdebele. In English is known as the wild custard apple. The plant is a large shrub or small tree that grows 1.5 to 8 m. It has broad oval leaves that have a nearly circular shape. You can usually find muroro shrubs in valleys and vleis. Unfortunately, the last time I found a productive muroro shrub in my area was several years ago. But I have heard that they are very productive in several areas around the country.
Muroro roots are used to cure several diseases
In the traditional folkloric medicine of the Shona and Ndebele people, muroro roots are used to cure several diseases as follows:
- A paste made from a muroro root is applied on skin boils to help cure the boils.
- In some areas people can drink muroro root extracts made through infusion or decoction methods as a remedy for chest pains and to treat STIs.
- If you mix muroro roots with the roots of Seduridaca longe pedunculata (mufufu tree) and sprinkle around the homestead. They will act as a natural snake repellent.
- In other African countries they use the roots to treat dizziness and indigestion.
- Some use the roots to treat chest colds as well as venereal diseases.
- In South Africa they believe that the roots extracts can cure insanity.
- While people in Mozambique they use the roots to help wean children from breastfeeding.
Other parts of muroro are used to cure several health conditions
Other parts of the muroro plant also have herbal medicinal properties. Some of the conditions treated by muroro parts are listed below:
- In countries like Nigeria, people use the leaves to create health tonics use in treating pneumonia.
- You can boil the bark of muroro as medicine for treating several conditions. And this includes treatment of parasitic worms in the intestines or flesh worms.
- Some people used the boiled bark extracts to treat diarrhoea, gastroenteritis, lung infections and toothaches.
- The same boiled bark extracts also act as antivenom for snake bites; however, the effectiveness of these remedies is unknown.
- A natural gum in the bark of muroro can help in closing open wounds allowing them to heal.
What does science say about muroro?
Studies show that muroro roots can help you treat or heal oxidative stress. Now, you should understand that oxidative stress is a very harmful condition which damages your organs and tissues. Also, muroro root extracts have a high antioxidant profile. And this enables your body to actively fight oxidative compounds like free radicals. The body generates harmful free radicals from metabolic processes and toxins that enter it. This helps in protecting your body from oxidative stress and tissue damage. Studies also show that you can use muroro roots and their extracts to cure gonorrhoea and syphilis.
Conclusion on whatvmuroro roots are used to cure
Muroro roots can cure several conditions and thats why people use them in Zimbabwe. There is evidence both from oral traditions and from research supporting the use of muroro in herbal medicine. However, the medicinal uses and activities of muroro roots and their extracts in research papers are just handful. The bark and leaves of muroro shrubs also have several medicinal properties that people can use. Therefore, I hope that everyone plays a role in protecting knowledge of Zimbabwean traditional medicine. Trees like muroro with medicinal roots need improved conservation efforts such that we do not lose them forever.