Okoubaka aubrevillei is a deciduous tree with a bushy crown of horizontal to drooping branches; it can grow up to 30 metres tall. The straight, cylindrical bole can be 80cm in diameter.The bark is a very popular traditional medicine in west Africa and is also used in Western medicine. It is commonly harvested from the wild. It is widely sold for medicinal use in local markets throughout coastal countries of West Africa, and is also traded internationally.
The bark is widely used as a medicine in west Africa and is also exported to Europe and other countries. It is particularly employed in the treatment of skin disorders and poisoning.
Six different catechins have been isolated from the bark, including (+)-catechin and (+)-gallocatechin, as well asβ-sitosterol and stigmasterol.
The bark has antimicrobial and immunostimulating properties that are attributed to phenolic compounds.
A macerate of the bark is used in the treatment of tachycardia.
The bark is used in phytotherapeutic medicine in the Western world. Its main applications are for stomach upsets caused by poisoning and to boost the system in cases of tiredness, depression and allergies.
Skin problems, including those caused by syphilis and leprosy, are treated by washing with, or bathing in a macerate or infusion of the bark in water.
External application of bark preparations is also practised to counteract poisoning.
A bark macerate is taken as a vapour bath or as nose drops to cure oedema.
In a compress it is used to disperse haematomas.
A wooden tool is traditionally used for the removal of the bark, and under no circumstances is a metal implement used.
The second most mentioned plant was the Odi (Twi) tree, Okoubaka aubrevillei. My respondents believed that the mmotia spirit lived inside this tree. Its seeds were used to make sure that a baby would survive in the womb and after birth. You could tie some Odi on a broken limb along with other plants and the break would heal. It was used in combination with other plants and honey to treat convulsions, added toa bath for protection against witchcraft, and used to treat children and adults with spiritual problems and bad dreams. It is also believed to bring luck. It is also used in porridge in combination with other plants to strengthen children’s bones and allow them to walk early. No wizard would come if you keep the Odi seed in your house.