What is the sausage tree?
Kigelia Africana (otherwise known as the sausage tree) grows across the continents of Africa and Australasia. It’s easy to identify by its unusual sausage-like fruits which dangle from its branches. The tree has a long history of use by traditional healers, but up until recently there was little scientific research to support claims of its healing properties.
Research conducted by a number of universities including King’s College Hospital in London, the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, the University of Natal in South Africa, and the University of Nigeria has shown that botanical extracts from the sausage tree really can help with the relief of many skin complaints including, eczema, psoriasis, impetigo, and fungal conditions like athletes foot. Some studies also suggest it may help reverse the effects of sun damaged skin, reducing liver spots and lightening pigmentation.
As an herbalist with a special interest in skin conditions, I wanted to see if the sausage tree extract could help my clients. I made up a small batch of cream to trial in my practice.
Here are some of the results
“Before discovering the sausage tree cream, I spent hundreds of pounds trying to find a solution for my toddler’s eczema. I tried anything that was recommended, but the only thing that brought temporary relief was skin thinning steroid creams which never provided a long-lasting solution. I was constantly worrying about the effects these creams were having on my daughter’s skin. I felt so depressed. Then I discovered the sausage tree cream! Since using it, I haven't had to resort to steroids. Apart from a few small patches on her elbows, my little girl’s skin is now almost clear.”
"Last year my youngest son developed eczema. I had also developed extremely dry patches of skin under my eyes and around my nose. I bought and tried every lotion, cream, balm, and oil under the sun. I spent hundreds of dollars and nothing worked. Finally, I made appointments for all three of us to go and see a dermatologist. I was told there wasn’t much that could be done, and was given steroid creams to use. I stumbled across Sarah’s website and read about something called sausage tree cream. I’d never heard of it before, but the positive reviews were enough to encourage me to try it. I began using it on my children and myself. Within a week, my oldest son’s face had cleared up completely. The dry patches on my own face were gone within a month. My youngest son’s eczema has dramatically improved since he began regularly using the sausage tree cream. We all use it every night before bed, and each morning when we wake up. Our skin is smooth, soft, clear, and supple. In fact, my face has never looked this good even when I was using expensive, designer moisturizers! A few weeks ago, I took my sons for their regular check-up at the pediatrician. He was really pleased with the improvement of my youngest son’s eczema and asked me what I was doing differently than all of his other patients. I told him about Sarah and her sausage tree cream and he jotted down her website to share with his other patients, He said, “Keep using it because it’s working!” I’m so grateful to have found this fabulous cream."
These are just a few of the stories I receive from grateful clients on a daily basis. You can read more of them here:
Why I need your help
The success of the cream means I've started receiving requests from around the world. I've had orders from countries like the USA, Israel and Sweden. I make each and every batch by hand right here in my Cornish kitchen - but this takes a lot of time, and the volume I need to produce means I can no longer keep up with the demand. In short, I need to outsource my manufacturing without compromising the standards my customers deserve and expect.
After a great deal of research I found a beautiful and ethical solution.
Planta Medica is the first herbal product manufacturing co-operative in the UK. It's the only manufacturing co-operative owned by, and dedicated to supporting the work of herbalists, and researching the benefits of herbal medicine.
Profits generated by the co-operative are used to assist in the future development and sustainability of herbal medicine. For example, re-investment of funds generated from profits are used to offer training opportunities for professionals, or to fund further research into herbal medicine. By choosing Planta Medica to manufacture my product, I'm directly helping to support the future of herbal medicine here in the UK.
How your support will help
Helping me to get my first batch of sausage tree cream out into the world will not only potentially help many people gain relief from the horrible symptoms of eczema it will also:
- Free up time so I can continue to support clients on a one to one basis.
- Support the work of independent herbal manufacturers here in the UK.
- Work towards the ultimate goal of sourcing the active ingredients directly from the people who grow the trees and manufacture the sausage tree extract. Helping farmers gain an income from indigenous pharmaceutical crops, may reduce the possibility of this beautiful tree becoming endangered, as well as encourage research facilities to further investigate it's medicinal properties.
What is sausage tree cream?
My sausage tree cream is 100% natural, and doesn't contain parabens or any other chemical nasties such as salycilates (which although natural in origin, are known to cause irritation for some people.) But most importantly, unlike creams that contain cortico-steroids, it will not thin the skin, and so can be applied as often as needed without causing any harmful side effects.
Due to the nature of the botanical extract, the cream isn't currently certified organic, but it is suitable for vegans.
What will your money be used for?
Any funds donated will be used to:
- Manufacture my first batch of sausage tree cream (10 kg)
- Create labels and other marketing materials such as photographs and product information so the cream can be sold in ethical stores.
- Produce free samples of sausage tree cream to enable people who have already spent a great deal of money on expensive products to try the cream before purchasing.
Any surplus funds will be put towards the manufacturing costs for a second batch. It will also go into purchasing larger quantities of raw extract direct from the communities who grow and protect this valuable resource.
About Alchemilla Apothecary
I'm a registered herbal practitioner, having completed my diploma in herbal medicine and naturopathic practice at Regent’s College London (The College of Naturopathic Medicine) in 2007. I've been in clinical practice for over 10 years and am a member of the URHP (Unified Register of Herbal Practitioners.)
My studies prepared me well for my service as an herbalist. They included:
- Phytochemistry (the chemical structure of plants and what effects these substances have on the human body)
- Ethnobotany – the scientific study of the traditional knowledge and customs of a people concerning plants and their medical, religious, and other uses
- Wild-crafting and gardening, growing plants from seed and learning to identify plants in the wild
- Formulation and preparation of botanical medicines. The art of prescribing and preparing herbal medicines for use
- Iridology, Chinese tongue diagnosis, naturopathic cleansing, and holistic nutrition
- 300+ hours of clinical practice working in herbal clinics and dispensaries
As part of my practice and commitment to my profession, I continue to undergo additional professional training to ensure I’m always up to speed with any new developments in the herbal world.
You can find out more about my work here: www.alchemilla.co