Balam kheera or kigelia is being used in traditional medicines for centuries. The genus consists of only one species, Kigelia africana, which occurs throughout tropical Africa. It is also grown across many states of India. The so-called sausage tree grows a fruit, which looks similar to a cucumber. The fresh fruit is poisonous and strongly purgative; fruits are prepared for consumption by drying, roasting or fermentation. Kigelia is also used in a number of skin care products. In Botswana, the timber is used for makoros, yokes and oars.
The hard shell (skin) of the fruit can be hollowed out, cleaned, and made into useful, durable containers of varying sizes. The tree is widely grown as an ornamental tree in tropical regions for its decorative flowers and unusual fruit. Planting sites should be selected carefully, as the falling fruit can cause serious injury to people and damage vehicles parked under the trees.
It is rich in iron, manganese, chromium, zinc, iron, magnesium etc. The medicinal properties of this plants are proven to have cure for a number of diseases including diabetes, tooth ache, kidney stones and indigestion.
This article describes the detailed medicinal importance of the tree—
1. For kidney stones: Put balam kheera in an earthen pot and boil it. Leave it till it cools down. 2 spoons of this liquid consumed empty stomach every morning completely removes kidney stones.
2. For jaundice: Kigelia can treat jaundice within three days but it should be taken under strict guidance of people who specialize in traditional medicine.
3. For back and joint pain: Balam kheera is extremely beneficial for relieving joint and back pain.
4. For greying of Hair : This multi utility medicinal tree also help restore the natural color of hair, if your hair start greying early.
5. Dry cough: It is proven to be a wonderful treatment for dry cough. But kigelia should be used only under supervision of practitioners.
6. Diabetes: Diabetes is one of the most common health problems that the modern day life-style has caused. Nature has many magical herbs that can help in balancing the blood sugar, Kigelia is one of them.
7. Blood Pressure: Balam kheera also helps in regulating blood pressure.
8. Skin diseases: kigelia is used in multiple skin care product for its rich nutritional values.
9. Diarrhea: Balam kheera is one stop solution for all kinds of stomach related problems. It also help in regaining weight.
10. Pneumonia: Kigelia is traditionally given to patient having pneumonia. It is proven as cure for many other sort of fevers.
The most used part of Balam kheera are its seed that are taken out after sundrying the fruits of kigleia.
Safety caution: Though kigelia/ Balam kheera is known for its rich nutritional values and multiple medicinal properties, it must be taken under strict supervision of practitioners.
Fresh kigelia fruits are poisonous therefore, shouldn’t be consumed. Also, since not much research has been carried out through it pregnant women and small children should not be given balam kheera without a doctor/ traditional practitioner’s advice.