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Combretum micranthum, known as kinkeliba in Benin, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Mali and Gambia across multiple regional dialects, is a shrub species often found in tiger bush and on hills in West Africa. It is used for making tea and is similar to another herb used for tea called l?b? in the Bambara language.
traditionally used against Malaria
Drying seed pods of the combretum micranthum
shrub in Benin
It is used traditionally in Senegal and Mali for fatigue, liver ailments, headache, convalescence, blood disease, weight loss, cancer, sleep problems, and its especially used for fasting by Mourides in Senegal. It is one of the plants of power in Nigerian medicine and is used to treat liver disorders especially in Senegal and Mali. Kinkeliba means the "health tree" and the French import kinkeliba and call it "tisane de longue vie" or infusion of long life.
- The branches are quite strong, and are a useful material for building stools, beds, tool handles, etc.
- A tea made produced by steeping the leaves in boiling water is a traditional tonic drink in tropical savannah countries such as Senegal, Mali and Burkina Faso. It is believed to be an aid to weight loss and have detoxifying properties.
- Among West African Muslims, especially Wolofs, Fulas, and Mandinkas, the leaves, bark, and twigs of Kinkiliba are harvested and sold in bundles during the dry season leading up to and during the month of Ramadan. The Kinkiliba is used daily to brew a strong tea that is mixed with sugar and milk and is drunk with bread at sundown as a means of breaking the daily fast. Kinkiliba is used specifically for this purpose because of its sweet flavor and because it is believed to be an appetite stimulant, as those who have been fasting want to be able to enjoy as much rich food as possible in the evening after eating nothing from sunrise to sunset.
- In Burkina Faso, a decoction of the leaves is used as a medication for malaria.
The leaves extract of the plants have been demonstrated to contain a range of polyphenol compounds. These compounds are known for antioxidant activities and have shown potential for the prevention of diabetes.
- ^ Welch, Cara; Zhen, Jing; Bassène, Emmanuel; Raskin, Ilya; Simon, James Edward; Wu, Qingli (2017-06-13). "Bioactive polyphenols in kinkéliba tea (Combretum micranthum) and their glucose-lowering activities". Journal of Food and Drug Analysis. 26 (2): 487-496. doi:10.1016/j.jfda.2017.05.009. PMID 29567217.
- Combretum micranthum in Brunken, U., Schmidt, M., Dressler, S., Janssen, T., Thiombiano, A. & Zizka, G. 2008. West African plants - A Photo Guide. www.westafricanplants.senckenberg.de.
- Welch, Cara, et al. "Bioactive polyphenols in kinkéliba tea (Combretum micranthum) and their glucose-lowering activities." Journal of Food and Drug Analysis (2017).