Tree used by 'Babu of Loliondo' is nothing new - TAFORI
A TREE used by the retired pastor Ambilikile Masapila of Samunge, Loliondo, to cure different chronic diseases is available almost in all floristic regions in the country since 1925, a research by the Tanzania Forestry Research Institute (TAFORI) has revealed.
The Loliondo Ex-pastor, Mr Masapila, announced last year that he had discovered a magical herb capable of treating chronic diseases including HIV, diabetes and cancer.
The TAFORI Research Assistant, Mr Francis Lwasai, on Sunday said in Dar es Salaam that the tree had been used by different tribes to cure venereal diseases, saying it had been identified by different names.
''The records in Lushoto Herbarium shows a number of collection of the tree from almost all floristic regions in Tanzania since1925,'' he said.
Mr Lwasai noted that in 1994 the Lushoto Herbarium Centre conducted a research on the tree which indicated the healing capability of different chronic diseases and that the tree was already in use since 1925.
He said the tree identified as Carissa Adulis or Carissa Spinarum had been confused with Acocanthera Shimpera which is poisonous, adding that the tree had been used to cure diseases in Asia.
Mr Lwasai refuted claims that usage of the tree at Samunge could cause environment pollution as only 70 per cent of roots were used by Mr Masapila to produce 60 litres of the medicine and that remained 30 per cent of the roots help the tree to grow.
However, he advised authorities in Samunge to encourage planting of trees as there was increased demand of fuel wood which would result in environment degradation due to soil erosion.
Daily News of Tanzania.