Acacia xanthophloea | Ubulawu dream herb
We buy our Acacia xanthophloea from a native woman who sells medicinal plants in a small market in South Africa. She and her family collect all the plants themselves. We met her through a friend who is a strong supporter of special plants in South Africa. She runs a small shop there and is also a teacher at a local primary school.
We have been exchanging and buying plants for years. She shares her African plants and we share our South American plants. There are no intermediaries and everyone is happy. We love working this way and try to work as much as possible like this with our overseas partners.
Ubulawu dream herbs. Mukanya Kude is one of the so-called “Ubulawu” dream herbs. We associate this name with a range of plants from southern Africa used for visions and vivid dreams. People say that by taking Ubulawu herbs you can communicate with the spirits of ancestors and get insights and answers.
The more common name of Mukanya Kude is “fever tree”. The European settlers believed at that time that malaria came from these trees. But the real culprits were the mosquitoes that lived in the same marshy areas.
In African culture (and particularly the Zulu people) they recognize the bark of the Mukanya Kude for its characteristic dreams. These dreams are considered visionary and prophetic.
The local people boil bark from this tree with four other herbs including Silene capensis (African dream root) and Synaptolepis kirkii into a brew. They take this to induce lucid dreams which they call “white paths”. Before going to sleep, they ask a question to which they will have an answer in their dreams. Medicinally, the roots and a powder made from tree bark serve as an emetic and as a prophylactic against malaria.
The Mukanya Kude tree (Acacia xanthophloea) grows in swampy areas of the south and east of Africa. Its Latin name comes from the tree’s yellowish bark.
The bark collectors remove the bark with a knife, usually from larger-sized trees. Acacia xanthophloea resists damage well. They generally recover from bark removal as well as from elephant damage.
The Acacia xanthophloea tree is popular amongst birds for nest building. The thorns add extra protection against predators such as snakes. Elephants eat young branches and leaves, and giraffes and vervet monkeys eat leaves and pods. Monkeys and grey louries eat the flowers, and baboons eat the gum and green seeds. Insects such as bees are attracted by the yellow colour and sweet scent of the flowers and act as pollinators.