Today, we shall discuss the health Benefits of Kinkeliba, about their history, how to use them in herbal medicine, their benefits for your health and step-by-step recipes.
They are mainly used in Africa, to make a drink that is drunk for pleasure, and which is used in traditional medicine to treat many ailments.
What is kinkeliba?
Kinkeliba is a plant whose leaves are mainly used in traditional medicine to stimulate biliary function, promote biliary excretion, protect liver cells and for their anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
The plant is a bushy shrub that can reach 4 or 5 meters, part of the large family of Combretaceae, which makes up the shrub and tree bottom of savannah forests.
It grows in the Sahelian countries of Senegal, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, and Guinea, even if it is also found in Togo in Côte d’Ivoire or in Sudan.
For the anecdote, we call the places where they grow the “tiger bush”, because the vegetation is made of a succession of bands of shrubs separated by bands of bare soil, which gives it, seen from the sky, a tabby appearance.
In Senegal and Mali, kinkeliba leaves are consumed a lot during breakfast or during the break in the Ramadan fast instead of coffee or tea.
It is sometimes, wrongly, considered the breakfast of the poor, many preferring milk, supposedly nobler.
It has a very pleasant woody flavour.
The health benefits of kinkeliba
Kinkeliba stands out for its content of tannins, betaines, potassium nitrates, heterosides, polyphenols, flavonoids, combretins and catechetical tannins.
The leaf also contains acid-alcohols and quaternary amino acids.
It is renowned for its diuretic, cholagogue, depurative and digestive properties.
In traditional African medicine, it is used as an infusion against constipation, to protect liver cells, to stimulate the biliary function and promote biliary excretion.
It is also an excellent anti-inflammatory and antibacterial.
1. Kikeliba action on the liver
It activates the production of bile, facilitates the evacuation of bile, and increases urinary secretion.
In fact, it will activate all of the body’s waste disposal channels.
It is, therefore, a plant with purifying effects, with the advantage of having a very pleasant taste, slightly woody and not at all bitter, unlike other detox plants having the same effect.
To improve its general cleansing action, it is interesting to associate it with white birch leaves, which are cleansing through an action on the kidneys, and not on the liver, so the two plants are complementary.
2. Kikeliba antioxidant action
kinkeliba is rich in catechins and epigallocatechin, powerful antioxidants, also present in green tea or in cocoa beans.
Its antioxidant effect helps the body to fight against the action of free radicals, for example from pollution or pesticides, and to slow down the premature ageing of cells, and thus protect us against diseases linked to ageing.
Associated with blueberry leaves, the medicinal leaves of Vaccinium myrtillus, its antioxidant action is amplified and more effective.
From there, comes its name of a protective plant or even plant of long life (not to be confused with Centella Asiatica, a medicinal plant used in Indian Ayurvedic medicine, also called plant of long life).
3. Anti-inflammatory action of kinkeliba.
Kinkeliba, especially its leaf for sale here, has strong anti-inflammatory activity.
So, this property makes it possible to fight what is called low-grade inflammation, unlike acute inflammation which is expressed by pain.
Low-grade inflammation is more sneaky inflammation because it doesn’t feel, but leads to a lot of long term health issues, serious issues.
Indeed, diseases like type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, cancer, and all degenerative diseases all have one thing in common: inflammation.
Fighting this inflammation goes through a healthy lifestyle, a good diet, and also the consumption of natural anti-inflammatory products such as kinkeliba.
As such, it can be replaced or associated with moringa leaves, or meadowsweet, medicinal plants in particular used for their anti-inflammatory properties.
4. Hypoglycemic action of kinkeliba.
Studies on kinkeliba leaves have shown that they help lower blood sugar levels.
We know that our so-called modern diet is far too glycemic, and too high blood sugar is a health risk.
Natural products like kinkeliba can help balance the scales.
5. Kinkeliba action on digestion
By stimulating hepatic and biliary function and the contraction of the intestinal muscles, kinkeliba strengthens the digestion process, in particular for the digestion of fats, and helps stimulate the appetite.
It helps fight constipation and soothes people with infectious diarrhoea thanks to its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.
In the context of severe constipation, it is preferable to use infusions of Tinevelly’s senna, a laxative medicinal plant, used to fight against constipation, to purify the digestive tract and the intestinal floral
Other health benefits of kinkeliba
- Kinkeliba would fight malaria in Africa, but mugwort infusion remains the most effective anti-parasitic treatment indicated against malaria.
- It would have slimming virtues and would fight against obesity.
- The Senegalese use it against anaemia, as a tonic and febrifuge plant.
- It is possible to make external use of the leaves in order to accelerate the healing of wounds.
- In humans, the beta-sitosterol present in the leaf would reduce the level of cholesterol in the blood and would be beneficial for the prostate.
How to use kinkeliba
Use and dosage
Kinkeliba is prepared as a decoction.
- Put 20 g of dried leaves in 1 l of water. Heat it.
- When it starts to boil, count 3 min then remove from heat and let infuse for about 20 min. Filter and it’s ready.
The resulting drink can be drunk throughout the day.
It is quite common to sweeten, and even add another ingredient (see next paragraph).
For a cure, count 2 to 3 cups per day for 3 weeks, otherwise, the kinkeliba is drunk a bit like tea, once in a while for pleasure while doing good.
Some beneficial associations of Kinkeliba
It is very common to combine kinkeliba with other plants, whether to improve the taste or the benefits, among the common associations, we find:
– Mint and lemon
– Orange zest
– Mint and milk
– artichoke leaves
– Burdock roots
– dandelion leaves
External use of the plant
In traditional medicine from West Africa, it is recommended to make a concentrated decoction with 50 g of dry leaves for 1 l of water and to apply twice a day with a clean cloth for 15 to 20 minutes, or just clean a wound or a burn and promote healing.
It is also common to prepare an ointment with a fatty substance, vegetable oil or shea butter and apply it to bruised areas of the body or to sprains.
A decoction of Kinkeliba can be used as rinse water for the hair to make it shine and make it silkier.
Contraindication and precautions for use
It is not recommended to consume kinkeliba in pregnant or breastfeeding women, as well as children under 2 years old, without the advice of a doctor.
There are no known interactions to date, whether with other herbal remedies, supplements, or drugs.
The plant is known to have almost zero toxicity based on toxicological studies and observations.
For the little story
In Africa, it is common to iron the same leaves three times, thus: the first infusion is drunk as is or with just lemon zest, the second, lighter, is drunk with a hint of milk, the third too.
Wood and roots are used a lot in Africa, but it is in the leaves that most of the taste and active ingredients of the plant are found.
In Senegal, the dried leaves are sold tied in twigs and tied up in large cigars with strips of palm trees.
Depending on the place the kinkeliba is harvested, you will find slight differences in flavours, a question of terroir.
Thanks for reading the health benefits of Kinkeliba. We hope it helps you.