Shamwale, a tree with interesting uses.

14 June 2010

By Hasani Rashidi - Tracker, Greystoke Mahale

Shamkwale, a shrubby tree with broad leaves, is a very interesting tree in terms of what the tree has been used for in numbers of years. People along Lake Tanganyika and the Democratic Republic of Congo have for years used this plant when they want to become inebriated. They took a fresh leaf of the Shamkwale tree, put on a persons head and wear a hat or put under the sole of ones foot with shoe on but without sock. Within couple of minutes after the Shamkwale plants leaf has been put on either head or foot sole; a person becomes inebriated. Shamkwale leaf use has served people not to spend their money on buying local brew when they wanted to become drunk.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, there was a song composed titled, Shamkwale Pesa bongo. The song was composed purposely to alert people of some guys who were using the Shamkwale plant by tricking them to put on the above mentioned body parts and robber them after they become intoxicated.

This shrub might have more valuable uses in pharmacy when chemical analysis studies are conducted on it. This is not a legend, it happens for real in the towns along shores of the Lake Tanganyika.

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