Ceiba pentandra - 50 seeds
100% Fresh and 100% Germination Quality.
Processing Time : 2 - 3 Days
Delivery Time : 14 - 21 Days
Ceiba pentandra has two main uses, being an important source of fibre and of timber. Historically it has been most important as a source of kapok fibre, the floss derived from the inner fruit wall. Kapok fibre is used for stuffing cushions, pillows and mattresses, and for insulation, absorbent material and tinder. The use of kapok fibre declined in the late 20th century after the introduction of synthetic substitutes. However, there is a renewed interest in the potential of kapok, using new processing techniques, especially in textile applications. The fibre may also have potential as a biodegradable alternative to synthetic oil-sorbent materials, due to its hydrophobic-oleophilic properties.
Currently, the main use of Ceiba pentandra is as a source of timber. The wood (trade names: ‘fuma’, ‘ceiba’) is mostly used in plywood manufacturing, but also for making boxes and crates, and for lightweight joinery. Traditionally, entire trunks are hollowed out as dugout canoes, and the wood is used for lightweight furniture, utensils, containers, musical instruments, mortars, carvings and similar items. It is suitable for insulation, wooden sandals, heels, rafts, floats, lifeboats, models, insulation and particle board. The buttresses are made into doors, table tops, plates and trays.
The wood is suitable for papermaking. Although it has been recorded to be used as fuelwood in DR Congo, it is not considered very suitable as such, because it only smoulders. The wood can be used for fumigating huts or clothes. Wood ash is used as kitchen salt and for soap making. The bark is used for making hut walls and doors and yields a gum and a reddish brown dye. The leaves and shoots are fodder for goats, sheep and cattle. The leaves, flowers and young fruits are eaten cooked into sauces. The flowers are visited by bees, producing an amber-coloured honey with a characteristic taste. Ash from the fruits is locally made into snuff.
A use that has attracted commercial interest is as a source of seed oil, which has been used in soap, and pharmaceutical manufacturing. The oil can also be used for illumination, paint manufacturing and lubrication. It has been used for culinary purposes, but this is not advisable for health reasons. The seed cake is good as feed or as fertilizer. The seeds are eaten roasted or they are pounded and ground into meal or cooked in soup. They are, however, said to upset the digestion.
Ceiba pentandra finds wide application in African traditional medicine. The root forms part of preparations to treat leprosy. Pulverized roots and root decoctions are taken against diarrhoea and dysentery. Root decoctions are oxytocic. Macerations of the root bark are drunk against dysmenorrhoea and hypertension. The root and stem barks are credited with emetic and antispasmodic properties. Stem bark decoctions are used in mouth washes for treating toothache and mouth problems, and are taken to treat stomach problems, diarrhoea, hernia, gonorrhoea, heart trouble, oedema, fever, asthma and rickets; they are also applied on swollen fingers, wounds, sores, furuncles and leprous macules. Bark extracts are considered emetic; they are drunk or applied as an enema. Macerations of the bark are a cure for heart trouble and hypertension, and are credited with stimulant and anthelminthic properties. The powdered bark is applied on wounds. Gum from the bark is an astringent and is used to treat diarrhoea and as an abortifacient. The leaves are credited with emollient and sedative properties. They are used against scabies, diarrhoea, fatigue and lumbago, and as an alterative, laxative and abortifacient. Young leaves are warmed and mixed with palm oil to be eaten against heart problems. Pounded leaves are applied as a dressing on sores, tumours, abscesses and whitlows. Leaf sap is applied on skin infections, and drunk to treat mental illness. Leaf macerations are drunk or used in baths against general fatigue, stiffness of the limbs, headache and bleeding of pregnant women. Leaf preparations are used as an eye-bath to remove foreign bodies from the eye. A decoction of the leaves is applied to treat conjunctivitis and wounds in the eye, and is used for bathing and massage to treat fever. In veterinary medicine a decoction of the leaves is given to treat trypanosomiasis. The flowers are taken to treat constipation, and flowers and fruits are credited with emollient properties. The powdered fruit is taken with water against intestinal parasites and stomach-ache. Kapok fibre is used for cleaning wounds. The seed oil is rubbed in for treatment of rheumatism and applied to heal wounds.
Ceiba pentandra is planted as a wayside and shade tree. The tree is sometimes left by farmers after clearing the forest for agricultural land, to serve as a shade tree for cultivation of crops such as coffee and tea. It is increasingly planted as an ornamental in subtropical areas. The kapok tree has sacred significance for local peoples in many parts of the world, including tropical Africa, where it often serves as a tree under which meetings are held.
$15.00 Regular Price