Uganda's 'sex tree' under threat
- Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 July 2007, 12:36 GMT 13:36 UKUganda's 'sex tree' under threatBy Joshua MmaliBBC News, KampalaThe omuboro grows mainly in protected forest reserves
The soaring demand for a tree which some Ugandans believe can boost a man's libido and virility, may lead to its extinction, researchers warn.
The most popular part of the slow growing citropsis articulata tree, locally known as omuboro, is its roots.
Ugandan lecturer Maude Mugisha says this means the whole tree is uprooted to satisfy the consumer's needs.
Found mainly in forest reserves, the tree's aphrodisiac qualities are yet to be scientifically proven.
The experts' concern was revealed during a symposium in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, on conserving and improving the use of endemic plant species.Some of them are open and tell you that they have used it and it's very goodMakerere University employee
A by-product of the tree was actually on sale outside the conference venue.
The vendor said he had been growing the tree himself, and extracts a powder which is steeped in hot water and drunk as a beverage.
He recommended drinking the beverage once a day for only three days.
Conference participants also shared their experiences about the popular stimulant.
"I actually know a number of professors who have recommended it and during our field research, locals also recommend it," a woman who works at Uganda's Makerere University said, asking not to be identified.
"Some of them are open and tell you that they have used it and it's very good."
She says it resembles the orange tree, and has several local nicknames, most of which are names for the male reproductive organ.
It is said that the tree's stimulating effects are only evident in men.