Sex tree called Citropsis

Published: Friday 31 August 2007

Researchers have expressed concern about the high demand of a plant, used to boost male libido, leading to its extinction in Uganda. The country's 'sex-tree', the Citropsis articulate, found deep in the rainforests, is much in demand for its aphrodisiac properties, as also because its roots are believed to cure impotence. The plant, called omuboro, has caught the eye of the poachers who are cutting these plants for its market value, say researchers. The plant, found mostly in the Mabira forest reserve, is also found in parts of Kibaale National Park, the Budongo forest, and the Queen Elizabeth National Park.

The researchers from Makerere University expressed their concern during a symposium held in July in the country's capital Kampala on 'Drug discovery from Africa'.

"The rate at which this species is being depleted because of its medicinal value is enormous," said Mauda Kamatenesi, a lecturer at the department of botany in the university. She added that it will be hard to recover lost stocks of omuboro since it was one of the slowest growing trees. Researchers also fear the tree may contain other, yet undiscovered medicinal values and was being lost to the illegal trade.

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