Kigelia Africana Fruit

   - improves firmness and elasticity of the skin


In Africa, KIGELIA AFRICANA is a sacred tree of which fruit brings wealth. The Lebou of Green Cap matrons frequently use the pulp of the ripe fruits as decocte per os and as friction on the young women breast in order to endow them as a well-developed bust. They say that the menstruations before and after the treatment obviously show the validity of this therapeutic. Other parts of the tree (bark, roots) are used in traditional medicine. Barks are employed in whole treatment of epileptic states and recommended in some antileprous preparations. Roots could be used in sterility treatments.



Kigelia is mainly localized in Senegal, in seaboard Casamance and in coastal wet areas. It is rare inland, where it is in some forested galleries.


Botanical Description

Kigelia Africana, from the Bignoniaceae family, is a bole tree, with tortuous branches. It can reach 10 m to 15 m high. Its leaves are more or less glabrous, tough, and crunchy, with 3 or 4 pairs of entire or lightly dentate folioles. The characteristic fruits are cylindrical, woody of 30-35 cm, rounded at the two extremities, polished, and contain many seeds.


Traditional Applications

Kigelia has a long history of use by rural African communities, particularly for its medicinal properties. Most commonly, traditional healers have used the sausage tree to treat a wide range of skin ailments, from fungal infections, boils, psoriasis and eczema, through to the more serious diseases, such as leprosy, syphilis and skin cancer. It also has internal applications, including the treatment of dysentery, ringworm, tapeworm, post-partum haemorrhaging, malaria, diabetes, pneumonia and toothache. The Tonga women of the Zambezi valley regularly apply cosmetic preparations of Kigelia fruit to their faces to ensure a blemish-free complexion. The fruit is a common ingredient in traditional beer, and is said to hasten the fermentation process. Kigelia leaves are an important livestock fodder, and the fruits are much prized by monkeys and elephants. Perhaps not surprisingly, given its suggestive shape, the fruit has also found traditional use as an aphrodisiac.


Known Properties

A significant body of scientific literature and patents confirm the validity of many of the traditional uses of Kigelia and suggest a number of new applications. Several papers support the use of Kigelia fruit extract for treating skin cancer, whilst it has also found a market in Europe and the Far East as the active ingredient in skin tightening and breast firming formulations. Kigelia's known chemical constituents include:
  • Napthaquinones (including kigelinone)
  • Fatty acids (including vernolic)
  • Courmarins (including kigelin)
  • Iridoids
  • Caffeic acid
  • Norviburtinal
  • Sterols (including sitosterol and stigmasterol)
The steroids are known to help a range of skin conditions, notably eczema, and the flavonoids have clear hygroscopic and fungicidal properties. Strong anecdotal evidence suggests that it is effective in the treatment of solar keratosis, skin cancer and Kaposi sarcoma, an HIV-related skin ailment. New research by PhytoTrade Africa has supported anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.


Clinical Studies

breast thermal imaging
The tested product is a gel of Carbopol containing 5% of Kigelia Fruit Extract. The product is applied once a day with a prolonged massage, covering the whole bust area and the neck during 4 weeks. The 10 volunteers are between 30 and 45 year old women, with at least one pregnancy, and a breast measurement less than 90 cm.
The opening angle shows the improvement of the curve position and raising up of the bosom and decreasing in the photo.





Due to its exceptional firming properties, Kigelia helps improve firmness and elasticity of the skin.