Okoubaka: When Stomach and Intestines Rebel

Okoubaka aubrevillei is shrouded in legend and considered a magical tree. The medicine men of West Africa use its pulverized bark as traditional remedy against poisonings. In homeopathy, Okoubaka has proven effective in treating gastrointestinal problems including those encountered traveling. It is also used to treat lowered resistance to disease.

The Okoubaka tree grows in the tropical rain forest of West Africa, primarily in Ghana, Nigeria and the Ivory Coast. It belongs to the sandalwood family (Santalaceae), is a semi-parasite and rare. Okoubaka can grow to a height of 40 meters with a trunk reaching a circumference of three meters. The crown is overhanging, the leaves are oval-ovoid, and its fruits are yellow, hard, and inedible. This giant among African trees doesn't allow any other tree to thrive in the proximity of about 25 meters. This fact has given him the name of "okou baka", meaning "death tree" in an Ivory Coast dialect.

The Curative Effect of the Bark

The important healing constituents of Okoubaka aubrevillei are found in its bark. These include tanning agents, catechine, gallic acids, protocatechuss acid, phenolic acids, sterols, and amino acids. The tree bark required for the homeopathic drug products is still obtained from West Africa. It is pulverized, macerated with alcohol and prepared homeopathically.

The mother tincture of the bark has a mildly antibiotic effect. It is detoxifying and acts as an anti-inflammatory agent in the gastrointestinal tract. It is also reported to stimulate the liver and gall bladder while tonifying the pancreas. It may also have an immune stimulating effect.

Traditionally a Medicinal Remedy Against Poisoning

The natives of West Africa used the pulverized bark of the Okoubaka tree in teaspoon doses as a means for detoxification. Legend has it that the bark powder was taken by the teaspoon by official tasters of African tribal chiefs, who lived in constant fear of poisonous attacks, as a precaution after every guest banquet.

Okoubaka in Homeopathic Practice

The bark of the plant was first introduced to medical practice in Germany in the 1970s by a German homeopath. The physician received the bark from a West African patient as appreciation for successful treatment, and she prepared it homeopathically. The versatile potential applications of Okoubaka ensured its rapid dissemination.

Okoubaka in known for its action on the gastrointestinal tract and the treatment of diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, cramps, constipation and gastroenteritis., It can also be administered after antibiotic induced diarrhea. This homeopathic drug should be part of a homeopathic kit for traveling given its usefulness for travel sickness, diarrhea, or a change in diet.

This homeopathic remedy is used when there is an increased susceptibility of infections or when patients do not seem to be gaining strength after an infection and remain tired for a long time. Okoubaka appears to support convalescence.

In combination with Eichhornia, Quassia amara, and Taraxacum, Okoubaka has proven to be a potent remedy for tonifying and restoring digestive function. Detox Intestinum can successfully alleviate these gastrointestinal complaints.

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