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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Gesho Plant Used For Food, Firewood, Wages and Medicine

Rhamnus prinoides or gesho plant is an indispensable plant for the rural African community. 


Gesho is highly valued and grows in parts of Kenya, Botswana, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Cameroon, Zaire, Tanzania, Angola, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Uganda. Gesho was discovered in 1788 is also known as Dogwood or Shiny Leaf in English, Blinkblaar in Afrikaans, umGlindi in Xhosa, Musvosvadziva in Shona, umNyenye in Zulu and gesho in Amharic. 

Gesho Plant Used For Food, Firewood, Wages and Medicine
Gesho is a versatile plant used for food, firewood, wages and medicine. Gesho grows bordering forest and at high elevations. The fruits, roots and leaves are utilized, no part of the Gesho is wasted. The leaves stems and branch are used to brew the popular drink Tej in Eritrea and Ethiopia. 

The Gesho leaves are also used as an ointment for numerous discomforts and to relieve cranky babies. The fruits are edible and small about the size of a pea ranging in color from green, to red then purple when ripe. The seeds are easily germinated without any special management or storage. Gesho is a widely planted cash crop sold in local markets from Ethiopia South to Angola and the Cape Providence of South Africa.


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