Dialiopsis africana Radlk.
Zanha africana is a deciduous tree with erect branches that form a light open crown, it grows from 3.5 - 12 metres tall[
]. The bole is often crooked[
The tree is harvested from the wild as a local source of food, medicines, soap and wood.
The fruits can cause severe diarrhoea if eaten in large quantities[
The fruits, and other parts of the plant, contain saponins[
]. Although poisonous, saponins are poorly absorbed by the human body and so most pass through without harm. Saponins are quite bitter and can be found in many common foods such as some beans. They can be removed by carefully leaching in running water. Thorough cooking, and perhaps changing the cooking water once, will also normally remove most of them. However, it is not advisable to eat large quantities of food that contain saponins. Saponins are much more toxic to some creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish[
Although used medicinally, fatalities following ingestion of an infusion of the pounded root are known[
Tropical Africa - Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Angola, Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique.
Deciduous woodland, miombo, often on rocky hills, at elevations from 300 - 1,800 metres[
]. Woodland, often on granite ridges or kopjes, occasionally in riverine forest[
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A dioecious species, both male and female forms need to be grown if fruit and seed are required[
Fruit - raw[
]. The fruit is peeled, the seed discarded, and the sweet fleshy yellow pulp eaten in small quantities[
]. The fruits are mostly eaten by children and herdsmen and are believed to cause severe diarrhoea if eaten in large quantities[
]. The bright orange, ovoid fruit is up to 26mm long[
The bark is dried, pounded to a powder and then used as a snuff to treat colds, fevers, headaches and convulsions[
A decoction of the roots is used as a remedy for colds, convulsions, impotence, intestinal worms, stomach-ache, constipation, hernia, mental illness, dysentery, fungal infection and for facilitating childbirth[
The bark of the roots appears to contain powerful drug elements. It is used in childbirth and against fungal infections, fits, insanity, pains of head and neck and other complaints, both by rubbing into incisions or on to the skin and taken internally[
The stem and root bark contain saponin and are used as a substitute for soap[
The fruits contain about 10.5% saponins[
]. They are boiled then used as a soap[
The wood is hard. It is used for building poles, pestles, grain mortars, tool handles, bedsteads and spoons[
The wood is used for fuel[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe[
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