1- The Henna
Henna, also known as mehndi, mendhi, mehendi, ḥenna, lḥenni or anella, is a thorny shrub of the Lythraceae family that can reach several meters in height. Its leaves are mainly used as dye or tattoo but tradition also gives them other virtues including medicinal. It is reputed to embellish the skin (by coloring) and by softening it; in the hammam, henna is still frequently used to soften the skin where it is mixed with black soap to spread it on the whole skin before the ritual of exfoliation.
In the Maghreb, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Mauritania, Chad and India, henna is part of the arsenal of feminine seduction, in the form of permanent or ephemeral tattoos made up of traditional signs reputed to be protective, magical and more or less symbolic, in the past applied by women on women on their backs and/or breasts, and today on their feet and hands (in the form of a traditional tattoo or a fancy tattoo).
2- The Shea Tree
The shea tree, also known as the "butter tree" or "women's gold", is a tree of the genus Vitellaria, which belongs to the Sapotaceae family. The kernels of its nuts are used to make shea butter. It grows in the savannah in West and Central Africa.
Shea butter is mainly consumed in traditional cooking or used in the chocolate industry in Europe as a substitute for cocoa butter. It is best known in Africa, Europe and the United States for its softening and nourishing cosmetic properties for the skin. Its properties mean that today it is used in the composition of many cosmetic and also pharmaceutical products.
3- The Moringa
The moringa, also called "the tree of life" or "the miracle tree" is the perfect example of the multi-purpose tree. This tree has been present in the African savannahs since its introduction from India around the 15th century, and is known and used for its many medicinal, nutritional and fodder virtues.
At equal weight the leaves of Moringa are :
- 2 times richer in proteins than milk;
- 3 times richer in iron than okra;
- 4 times richer in Vit A than the carrot;
- 4 times richer in calcium than milk;
- 3 times richer in potassium than banana;
- 7 times richer in Vit C than orange.
4- The Kaolin
Kaolins are white, brittle, refractory clays composed mainly of kaolinite, which is an aluminum silicate.
Kaolin is particularly used in body paints in Ivory Coast. It symbolizes both joy, peace and mourning. Kaolin paintings include geometrical drumstick, palm leaf or tree leaf patterns torn on the face with a spotted body (dance of rejoicing of the Dan ethnic group in the city of Man); circles made with the base of a bottle on the face and chest; painting of the face, body and palms and painting of the face alone.
And there you have it: four cosmetic plants of Africa. Agriculture has a big place in Africa, as well as in the world of Muntu Warriors.
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And remember: The wealth of Africa is agriculture as well.