Okoubaka brown bark
[Okoubaka aubrevillei]

Okoubaka: Power from the bark of the Okoubaka tree

Okoubaka aubrevillei is a tree native to West Africa. Its reddish-greyish bark is used medicinally. In ancient tribes, it was harvested by the medicine man as part of a sacred ritual and then prepared for the village. Usually, people simply took the ground bark or used a decoction of the bark to treat skin conditions. The big issue with Okoubaka is detoxification and regeneration of the digestive tract. For this purpose, Okoubaka bark is now used in modern phytotherapy as a remedy of choice.

Facts about Okoubaka

Did you know that...

... in the vicinity of the okoubaka tree only other okoubaka trees can survive, because okoubaka is a hemiparasite?

... Okoubaka has traditionally been used to treat rashes of leprosy and syphilis?

... Okoubaka wood is considered excellent timber for construction?

What is Okoubaka?

Okoubaka is a deciduous tree that grows up to 40m high and is native to West Africa. Its trunk can reach up to 3m in diameter. It likes to grow in montane areas on stony ground. Its characteristic of being a hemiparasite is due to its growth behavior. As soon as the nutrients contained in the seeds run out, the roots of the Okoubaka tree attach themselves to the roots of other plants and suck them dry. The result is that within a radius of about 20 meters no plant survives except the okoubaka tree.

General and medicinal properties of Okoubaka

The basic knowledge


Okoubaka is detoxifying. Humans have various bacteria in their intestines. Dysbalances of these bacteria can cause toxicity to the body through improper digestion. Okoubaka binds these toxins, regulates the intestinal flora and detoxifies the intestine, so that digestive problems disappear and well-being returns.

Digestive regulating

Okoubaka is digestive regulating. If too many digestive toxins circulate in the intestine, this can affect the pancreas. This is then easily irritated and one gets soft stools or diarrhea. Okoubaka calms the pancreas so that the symptoms disappear and digestion returns to normal.


Okoubaka is anti-inflammatory. Okoubaka reduces unwanted germs in the intestine that irritate and inflame the mucosa. As a result, the inflammation of the intestinal mucosa decreases and the tissue regenerates. The patient may have had abdominal pain, which now goes away.

Okoubaka aubrevillei: Ingredients

Medicinal use of the tree is mainly the bark. It is ground and applied directly or extracted by means of alcohol.

You can find the following ingredients in Okoubaka:

  • Catechins
  • Tannins
  • Gallic acids

Okoubaka: effect for body and mind

When Okoubaka is used therapeutically in the practice, it is mostly about the digestive tract. Due to its antibiotic and phagocystosis-increasing effect, it is often used to support the digestive organs when they have problems due to milieu disturbances and infections. The consequence of these faulty colonizations with germs is autointoxication, i.e. the patient poisons himself through faulty digestion with his own metabolic toxins produced in the intestine. Okoubaka helps to eliminate these toxins and thus regenerates affected and compromised digestive organs. The pancreas is often affected because it is very sensitive. Therefore, Okoubaka has established itself as one of the important medicinal plants for the pancreas.

Okoubaka properties

  • Detoxifying
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Regulating
  • Antibiotic
  • Phygocytosis-increasing
  • Digestive

Fields of application in naturopathy

[Okoubaka aubrevillei]

Okoubaka is an important plant in intoxications and resulting disorders of the digestive tract. Especially for intestines and pancreas, it is therefore much used in naturopathic practices.

Okoubaka for indigestion

Many digestive disorders are due to a disturbance of the so-called intestinal microbiome. These are the bacteria that live in the intestine. These can become too much or also be disturbed by pathogenic bacteria. Okoubaka has a mild antibiotic effect, kills off unloved pathogens and helps to restore the intestinal environment to normal. As a result, the digestive disorders recede and the intestine calms down again.

Okoubaka for poisoning (especially food poisoning)

Okoubaka is a great remedy for food poisoning and autointoxications. Many food poisonings are based on bacterial pathogens that secrete a metabolic toxin that produces diarrhea. Okoubaka kills these pathogens and helps neutralize the toxins.

woman reaches for lemon - peppers and other fruit and vegetables on the worktop

Okoubaka for susceptibility to infections

Some people are very susceptible to infections and this often has something to do with the intestine. If the normal intestinal flora is not correct, it can happen that the immune system is weakened, because our immune system is significantly influenced by the intestine. The result is that you become more susceptible to infections and more often sick. Okoubaka helps to normalize the intestinal flora. This also strengthens the immune system again and viruses and bacteria no longer have a chance.

Okoubaka for disorders of intestinal flora

If too many digestive toxins circulate in the intestine, this can affect the intestinal mucosa and also the pancreas. This is then easily irritated and you get soft stools, abdominal pain and diarrhea. These toxins occur because the ratio of the existing bacteria in the intestine is no longer correct, so the intestinal flora shifts. Okoubaka activates the pancreas and thus helps to normalize this flora again.

Okoubaka for recovery after infections

After infections in the gastrointestinal tract, the intestinal flora is usually very battered and weak. Okoubaka helps to rebuild and normalize the flora. To do this, it stimulates the digestive glands so that they release their digestive juices into the intestine. These digestive juices regulate the pH and allow physiological bacteria to grow.

Notes on the use of Okoubaka

Okoubaka is often a component of finished medicinal products. However, there are also mono-preparations in the form of tinctures and tablets with Okoubaka as the active plant. The preparations are usually taken as a cure for a few weeks to months.

Okoubaka during pregnancy & lactation

Okoubaka is suitable for pregnant women, nursing mothers and children. However, the dosage should be kept low, and for homeopathic remedies rather choose a higher potency.

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Pieces of brown bark of okoubaka



Botanical name

Okoubaka aubrevillei

Plant family

Sandalwood family

Other designations



Harvest time

all year round




West Africa

Flower color


Flower shape

five star

Leaf color


Leaf shape

ovate to lanceolate

Sheet properties

up to 20cm long, hairy underneath

Soil type

Forest floor

Soil moisture

moderately humid



Lime compatibility


Nutrient requirements

rather high



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