Mulungu (Erythrina mulungu)Shredded, 50 g
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History of Mulungu
Erythrina Mulungu, more commonly known as Mulungu, is a tree growing in the marshes and along riverbanks of Central and South America. As part of the Erythrina species, the Mulungu is often referred to as a ‘coral tree’ or ‘flame tree’, courtesy of its distinctive features, resembling underwater corals. The name Erythrina, comes from the Greek ‘Erythros’ (red), referring to the color of the tree, usually ranging from orange to red.
Some of the other names for Erythrina Mulungu are Corticeira, Murungu, Muchocho, Murungo, Totocero, Flor-De-Coral, Árvore-De-Coral, Amerikadeigo, Ceibo, Chilichi, Chopo, Hosoba Deiko, Pau-Imortal, Mulungu-Coral, Capa-Homem, and Suiná-Suiná.
Although it was first noted in botanical records in 1829, the indigenous peoples of the Brazilian Amazon and surrounding regions have been using Mulungu since ancient times. Different parts of the tree are used for different purposes, including applications such as medicine, fish poison, and insecticide. Tinctures and teas made from the leaves and barks of the Mulungu tree are often used in Brazilian traditional medicine as a sedative.
Apart from the effects due to its chemical composition, the Mulungu tree found its use in a very banal kind of way at the local cacao plantations. As a rather large tree (growing to a height of 15-30m), with a branching canopy high up, it is extremely useful as natural protection against direct sunlight, for both people as well as the cacao trees which favor shade over being struck by direct sunlight.
Although various parts of the tree have been and can be used for various uses, it should be noted that the seeds belonging to the Mulungu tree are toxic and should never be consumed. They, however, are a popular source material for making traditional jewelry. As a member of the Fabaceae (pea) family, the fruits produced are in pea pods containing one or more seeds. As these pea pods or ‘sea beans’ are buoyant, the Mulungu is able to disperse its seeds effectively in a large area of specifically coastal regions, as is the case with other plants and trees using similar strategies, like the coconut tree which can be found along long stretches of shores.
The Mulungu is an excellent tree for both decorating and attracting wildlife to one’s garden as hummingbirds in particular are fond of the nectar-rich flowers growing from its branches. Some other birds that are particularly attracted to the nectar of Erythrina species are green-breasted mangos, black drongos, and lorikeets.
Effects of Mulungu
When administered in the form of tea, inhaled through the method of vaping, or used as a tincture, Mulungu has sedative effects and can help relax.
Mulungu Uses and Dosage
Mulungu can be made into a tea, vaped with your preferred vaporizer, or made into a tincture.
To make Mulungu tea - Add 5-15g of dried herb to 1 cup of boiling water and let it seep for 15-20 minutes. It is recommended to add some lemon juice as it helps to properly extract the alkaloids from the herb. A little honey can be added for taste. Drink the tea up to three times a day.
Vaping Mulungu - Mulungu herbs can be vaped by simply adding them to your favorite herb vaporizer along with your choice of base herbs or by themselves. Set the vaporizer temperature to 200 °C for optimal results.
To make a Mulungu tincture - Mix the finely chopped herb or powder with a neutral alcohol such as vodka in a 1:5 ratio of Mulungu to alcohol, store it in a sealed container and add a few drops of white distilled vinegar. Let it rest for 1 month whilst shaking it twice per day. Filter it out when it is ready to be bottled or leave it to evaporate for a dark resinous Mulungu extract. Consume the tincture up to 1-2ml twice daily.
Keep Mulungu in its original packaging in a dry and cool place, out of the reach of children.
Mulungu is best avoided if pregnant or breastfeeding, and in children. Avoid driving or using heavy machinery when under the influence. It is not recommended to take Mulungu if being treated for high blood pressure, diabetes, or hypoglycemia. Please refer to your healthcare practitioner before mixing Mulungu with any prescription drugs such as sedatives or antidepressants.