A new body wrap being offered at London’s first ‘Africology Spa’ is made from potatoes and claims to help reduce skin inflammation and improve elasticity, which could help with skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
The potatoe being used for the spud body wrap is known commonly as the African Sausage Potatoe although its official name is Kigelia Africana.
The leaves and seeds as well as the pulp of the fruit are used in preparation. The leaves and seeds are dried and powdered and are said to have potent wound healing activity, as well as the ability to clear infections from wounds.
In one study, conducted on behalf of the Southern African Natural Products Trade Association, the researcher, Dr. John A. Wilkinson, Director of Herbal Sciences International Ltd.UK, stated that extracts from the tree had anti-inflammatory effects and could be useful in sun creams and to soothe irritated skin.
This has been supported by other research carried out by a team from the Universityof Karachi. Their report states that the anti-inflammatory properties come from caffeic acid derivatives and other compounds unique to Kigelia africana.
Extracts from K. africana are currently used in cosmetics and claim to have antioxidant effects as well as helping with sun-burn. Skin ointments containing K. Africana are widely available on the internet or in pharmacies.