Of the Bark or Leaves of a Tree Called Baobab

[ Of the Bark or Leaves of a Tree Called Baobab ] Handley Chipman

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Contributor Name
Handley Chipman

Date: Written sometime in 1776. | 1776/01/01 to 1776/12/31

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heat of urine

millet flour

Nova Scotia

Source: Handley Chipman's Notes, Vol. 2
Institution: Nova Scotia Archives | Source Origin: Chipman Family Papers | Reference: MG Vol. 218 / Microfilm Reel 10,154


A description of the Senegalese practice of adding lalo to couscous for medicinal reasons. No. 205, p. 120. Much of this entry appears verbatim in The Medical Museum: Or, A repository of Cases, Experiments, Researches, and Discoveries, Collected at Home and Abroad, Vol. III attributed to "Gentlemen of the Faculty" (London, W. Richardson and S. Clark, 1764), p. 8.


Of the bark or Leaves of a tree ^Baobabcalled
Mr. Adanson, Saith the principal food
of the Negros at Senegal is called couscous,
it is a kind of paste made of the flour of
Millet, into which some meat or fish is in:
:fused, Into this they always put two or three
pinches of Lalo. This is the bark or Leaves
of a tree called Baobab, dried in the Shade
and reduced to a Powder, which they keep
dry in Little Cotton Bags, without any other
care, they add this to their food, not to give
it a Relish, but to keep up a free perspiration
in their body’s, which is health to them, and
to Allay the too great heat of the blood, &c
Experience he saith hath taught him this
ptisan alone is ^not onlysufficient to remedy
against ardent fevers, but also against th[e]
heat of Urine, which is frequent there from
July to Novr: the fruite of said tree he saith
is not Less useful, then its Leaves, the pulp
has an agreable taste, but he saith wine
ought to be abstained from &c.

The African baobab native to arid regions can live from 2500 to 5000 years. Known as the "tree of life," the baobab is valued for its energy and immunity boosting effects as well as it benefits to skin and digestion.
Botanist Michel Adanson (1727-1806) was the author of Histoire naturelle de Senegal (1757) and Familles naturelles des plantes (1763). His work was published in English as A Voyage to Senegal, the Isle of Goree, and the River Gambia, translated by "an English Gentleman, who resided some Time in that Country."
A nourishing medicinal decoction.