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Discover The Unique Southern Africa Bloodwood Tree

By Grace Samuel

The Bloodwood Tree, known as Kiaat, Mukwa, or Muninga, is a type of hardwood tree native to Southern Africa. When the tree is cut, it releases a red sap that resembles blood.

Reports say it typically reaches a height of 12 to 18 meters and features dark bark, yellow flowers, and a broad umbrella-shaped canopy.

The presence of Tannins, a type of substance found in numerous plants, is responsible for the red sap.

These Tannins serve as a protective measure against consumption. Bloodwood, in particular, contains a significantly higher concentration of Tannins compared to other plants.

Tannins are responsible for the bitter or sour taste in certain foods such as unripe fruit or red wine, and they also act as a deterrent for animals trying to bite into a tree.

According to researchers, when an animal bites the tree, tannins are released, which taste unpleasant to animals and impede their food digestion process. In this way, tannins aid in the tree’s self-defense mechanism.

Tannins create a bitter or sour taste in specific foods like unripe fruit or red wine.

They also serve as a deterrent for animals attempting to chew on a tree. In the event of an animal biting the tree, tannins are released, which animals find unpleasant to taste and hinder their ability to digest food. In this manner, tannins play a role in the tree’s self-protection system.

The medicinal properties of the red sap and wood have been harnessed for treating a range of conditions such as ringworm, eye ailments, and even enhancing lactation.

Additionally, the sap is employed in the production of dyes and traditional body creams

However, due to excessive and unsustainable logging, this tree is at risk of becoming extinct. In response, authorities have declared it a protected species in Southern Africa in order to ensure its survival.

 

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