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Even the flowers of the sheanut tree are consumed by some ethnic groups that make them into edible fritters.The nuts are cracked to remove the outer cover leaving the endocarp or kernel which is roasted and ground into a paste from which sheabutter is extracted.Sheanuts also contain 36.4mg/100g of calcium as against 26mg/100g for raspberries.Apart from these micro nutrients, sheanuts contain the B group vitamins and a sugar level of about 3 to 6 percent which is equally distributed among glucose, fructose and sucrose.The leaves of the sheanut tree are used as a preservative and in the processing of dawadawa, a local spice in Ghana.They are used to cover dawadawa after processing for a period of time for it to ferment.It covers a landmass of about 77,670 square kilometers in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions of Ghana.
Among the Jukun tribe of Nigeria, the roots are mixed with tobacco to produce poison.Apart from Ghana, the tree can be found in 18 other countries including Benin, Chad, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Guinea Bissau, Cote D’Ivoire, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Togo Uganda, Zaire and Guinea.In Ghana, it grows extensively in the Guinea savannah but is less prolific in the Sudan Savannah. These three regions experience the severest form of hammattan brought on by the North East Trade Winds blowing across the Sahara Desert. This is the commonest product that people ask for immediately the hammattan season starts in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions of Ghana.Sheabutter is derived from the sheanut tree, with the botanical name and is a common wild tree that grows extensively in the dry Savannah belt of West Africa, stretching from Senegal in the west to Sudan in the east.The sheanut tree also thrives along the foothills of the Ethiopian highlands.The roots and the root bark are sometimes ground into a paste and taken orally as a cure for jaundice in Ghana as well as the treatment of diarrhoea and stomachache.The root bark is also boiled and pounded and used for the treatment of chronic sores in horses.In Senegal and Guinea, worm infested cattle have been treated with infusions of the bark which are crushed together with the bark of Ceiba pentandra and salted.Ailments ranging from diarrhea and dysentery to gastric problems and even leprosy have been treated with bark infusions in Guinea Bissau.