Heeria insignis (Delile) Kuntze
Heeria reticulata (Baker f.) Engl.
Ozoroa reticulata (Baker f.) R.Fern. & A.Fern.
Rhus insignis (Delile) Oliv.
Common Name: Currant Resin Tree
Photograph by: Johnroxton
Photograph by: Johnroxton
Ozoroa insignis is a dioecious, much-branched shrub or small to medium-sized tree with a milky sap, growing up to 15 metres tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild, mainly for local use as a medicine, but also for its wood and edible fruit.
Tropical Africa - Senegal to Somalia, south to Namibia, Botswana and Mozambique. Also in Yemen.
Wooded grassland and open forest, extending into drier forest and deciduous forest in areas of higher rainfall, often on scarps, denuded soils and rocky slopes. It occurs from sea level to elevations of 2,200 metres[
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A tree of tropical areas, also succeeding in the subtropics, found in low to moderate elevations.
Plants can be coppiced[
]. The plant is sensitive to fires, and consequently it is often found only in coppice growths to 1 - 2 metres tall[
The fruits are occasionally eaten[
]. The fruit is an ellipsoid, compressed drupe 6 - 8 mm × 8 - 11 mm, initially red, turning black and shiny when ripe[
The roots and bark are considered to be cholagogue, purgative and vermifuge[
]. A decoction is used to treat kidney and liver complaints; ulcers and hernias; throat infections; chest pain; diarrhoea; schistosomiasis[
]. The root, cooked with rice, is said to be aphrodisiac[
A decoction of the stem bark, combined with the stem barks of Gymnosporia senegalensis, Entada abyssinica and Lannea schimper plus the aerial parts of Rhynchosia resinosa, is used in the treatment of peptic ulcers. This decoction has been shown to have a dose-dependant protective activity and also to have moderate antibacterial activity[
The leaves are used to treat otitis, colics and dysentery, muscle pains and fever[
]. Decoctions of the leafy branches are applied after childbirth and to treat hypertension[
Extracts of the bark and roots have been shown to be lethal to schistosomes which cause urinary schistosomiasis[
]. Tests have suggested that crude extracts of the root and bark, administered orally, are lethal to adult schistosomes[
]. Screening of extracts in Zimbabwe revealed that root bark and leaves gave the best results against tapeworms[
Air dried twigs collected in Kenya contained a bioactive compound, 6-pentadecylsalicylic acid, toxic to brine shrimp (Artemia salina) larvae[
The fruits are ground up and used by Zulu women to scent their hair[
The sap is rich in a white resin[
The red wood is hard, tough and durable, but easy to work[
]. It is resistant to termites[
]. It is used in cabinet work, carving and for poles, but is mainly used as firewood and to make charcoal[
]. The charcoal is of very good quality and can even be used in making gunpowder[
Seed. Germination is generally good and takes 3 weeks[
]. Seed cannot be stored as it loses viability in a few weeks[
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