Herbs we love: Baobab

Tipper Lewis

Tipper Lewis

Writer and expert

In this month’s herb blog, our Brand Ambassador, Tipper Lewis, shares her knowledge of baobab and the revitalising properties of the baobab tree

Baobab Tree

The baobab tree may not be one we’re accustomed to seeing in the British landscape, but it is an iconic tree we’ll all recognise, whether from watching The Lion King and Avatar or reading The Little Prince. 


Native to Africa, Madagascar and Australia, the baobab tree, or Adansonia digitata is an iconic feature of the African savannah landscape, sacred and steeped in cultural legacy. It predates mankind, may live for around a thousand years, and grows to an immense size of up to 20 metres high with a 30-metre circumference. It seems incredible for a tree living in sub-Saharan Africa with poor soil and frequent drought, but this ancient survivor has a few tricks up its sleeve.


Baobab goes by many names, one of them being the ‘upside down tree’, which comes from a clever water conservation technique. For much of the year, its branches are leafless and resemble roots piercing the sky. 


The baobab tree is also known as the 'elephant tree' due to the rough texture of its bark, resembling the skin of an elephant. This incredible tree has a unique survival super-power – the ability to store up to 80% of water in its spongy wood, acting like a reservoir that expands and contracts depending on the season. Elephants chew the bark of the tree during the dry season to access water, which causes significant damage to the tree. However, the baobab is highly regenerative, and its wounds heal similarly to human skin.


The name ‘tree of life’ seems well-suited for this iconic tree that plays a crucial role in a harsh environment. A valuable community resource, every part of the tree is used by humans and animals, for food, medicine, water and textiles. 

Our baobab story

Earning a living in remote and underprivileged areas of Zimbabwe can pose significant challenges. However, wild botanical ingredients such as baobab serve as a precious resource, and for 62% of baobab harvesters, it is their primary source of income amongst other produce. The income generated from the baobab harvest predominantly benefits women, as they account for 80% of harvesters and hold most of the decision-making power regarding its use. 



We recognise that wild plants are often over-harvested due to their high value. To help address this issue, we partner with the FairWild Foundation, a charity that protects individual plant species and their ecosystems, as well as promotes sustainable livelihoods, community development, gender empowerment, and ethical working conditions for individuals involved in the plant trade.


Our baobab also has organic certification, not for the trees, but the land they grow on, further benefitting the community with land to grow wild fruits and vegetables, which can be sold as organic produce. 

Baobab Fruit

How do we use baobab?

For millennia, people and animals alike have enjoyed the nutritious benefits of the fruit’s pulp. Our skincare products harness the revitalising properties of the baobab tree. The seeds are cold-pressed to extract an antioxidant-rich oil that is lightweight and easily absorbed by all skin types, providing soothing and moisturising benefits. We think it makes a wonderful addition to our Rejuvenating Frankincense Collection, helping the skin age well.

Baobab contains a variety of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, antioxidants, and fibre. The taste is sherbet-like, sweet and zingy, and it’s delicious in smoothies or simply whisked into water with a squeeze of lemon as a refreshing pick-me-up. 


Or why not try one of the recipes below?

Super C smoothie

Serves 2 people



  • Half a chopped pineapple 
  • Juice of 1 grapefruit
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 4 tsp baobab powder
  • 4 tsp rehydrated golden berries
  • 100ml coconut yoghurt
  • Water approx 300ml
  • 1 tsp bee pollen (optional)


  • Blend all ingredients together until smooth 
  • Sprinkle the bee pollen on top
  • Enjoy!
Baobab Smoothie Recipe

The future of African baobab

Although the baobab population in Africa is thought to be stable, certain regions are facing challenges due to land clearance for agriculture and development. Additionally, sapling growth is being hindered by grazing animals, while severe drought conditions are impacting the oldest trees.



The Baobab Guardians programme was established in 2014 to help combat these issues. The guardians plant trees in areas most at risk and protect the newly planted saplings from grazing animals until they’re about 3 meters high, after which they become independent. The programme also delivers training programs on tree protection and sustainable harvesting to raise awareness of the importance of the trees.


Baobab is just one of many incredible botanical ingredients we love using in our products. With wild resources under enormous pressure worldwide, we believe we are responsible for safeguarding their future. If you’d like to find out more, please visit the FairWild Foundation: https://www.fairwild.org/all-fairwild-participants/bayoba