Source is strong and the download was hard and fast on this tree – Almost a year ago today I took my son and his two friends camping on the Kohala coast. As a single female I don’t know how to put up a tent or how to choose a decent location, but I did my best in finding a location so we could fish, make a fire, camp out, and have fun. I chose a spot based on what was available as far as camping registration, no mixed words here it was a horrible hellish place with trees that had huge thorns on them. We started noticing that we were getting thorns poking through our sandals, I had never seen anything like it and sensed a valuable lesson was to come of this experience but I wasn’t sure how this puzzle piece would fit into place… Until now. I was drawn to an article yesterday and it led me down a path of information to valuable to ignore, to important not to share with you. There is just something about this thorny tree, and yes there is something about this tree. Every time I would drive on the Kohala coast of the Big island I would see acres upon acres of dry barren lava rock and my mind would wonder what, what, what, could grow there… What would be a valuable resource to the community… Puzzle SNAPS together! Kiawe “The Tree of Life” also called, “The One” also called huarango ( I am discovering many other names are popping up as well). Ahh and yes you guessed it, the Agenda 21 folks ICLEI folks have this tree on their list of trees they call “Invasive”, “Unsustainable”, “Satan’s Weed”. They want to “eradicate it” … Shall we let them? No. “The clearing of kiawe (huarango) has been suggested as a major reason for the collapse of the Nazca culture in southern Peru at the beginning of the 6th century AD after an El Niño event led to flooding, erosion and desertification.” (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prosopis_pallida) there are varieties with smaller thorns and some with no thorns, as we learn and grow, lets think and apply this information.
Imagine a tree that has the following qualities and can grow on barren land, sand, or lava rock …
Kiawe as Food
1. Pod seeds can be pounded down into a highly nutritious super flour that is 11% protein
2. Dried bean pods and the flour made from dried Kiawe pods will store for YEARS.
3. A Brazilian study found that the broken pods of Kiawe could be boiled for 2 hours and the resulting liquid fraction is concentrated into a syrup similar to molasses but with a bitter flavor
4. Dried Kiawe bean pods ground into meal or flour is considered a staple food. It is very delicious and adds a sweet nutty taste to breads, pancakes, muffins, cakes and cookies.
5. Kiawe is also gluten free, GMO free, highly nutritious, diabetic friendly and can be used to make syrup, jelly, tea, milk, and wine and beer.
6. Unlike wheat that digests within one to two hours, Kiawe takes four to six hours to digest, resulting in delay of hunger pangs.
7. Diabetics! Daniel I found it! The sweetness in the Kiawe bean pod comes from fructose which does not require insulin to be metabolized and because of its high fiber content, the nutrients are absorbed which also assists in stabilizing blood sugar levels. Kiawe breaks down slowly in our bodies, providing lasting energy and stabilizing blood sugar levels. It is a diabetic-friendly food that is also gluten free.
8. Syrup made from the pods is a highly nutritional supplement given to children and lactating mothers to fortify their diets.
9. ANIMAL FOOD! Yes animals can eat Kiawe an abundant supply for our livestock and animals!
10. The light yellow flowers of the Kiawe attract bees. Now there exists an opportunity to fill a niche with little to no competition – pharmaceutical grade, raw, medicinal honey, propolis and bee pollen, sustainably produced utilizing compassionate beekeeping techniques coupled with organic agricultural practices from Kiawe in Hawaii. (Source: http://www.rnl3.net/ilsdweb/projects/kiawe/kiawe_draft_1.htm)
11. Kiawe contains protein and minerals such as barium, boron, calcium, chromium, obalt, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, phosphorus, potatssium, sodium, sulfur, and zinc. (Source: http://themolokaidispatch.com/kiawe-beans-pods-not-just-food-for-livestock/)
12. Tea!`Ai Pohaku Kiawe Bean Tea Recipe Ingredients: Fresh Kiawe bean pods and Water. Directions: Rinse Kiawe bean pods if necessary, then fill pot 1/2 way. Add water to pot, until it’s 2/3 full. Bring to a rolling boil, 10-20 minutes then simmer on lowest heat for one hour. Makes beautiful dark brown sweet tea. Very tasty hot or iced! (Source: http://themolokaidispatch.com/kiawe-beans-pods-not-just-food-for-livestock/)
13. BEER and WINE – Kiawe pods can contain in excess of 40% sucrose. This is a large amount of sugar that lends itself quite readily to fermentation. Kiawe Beer: “The kiawe could be used as an adjunct to barley to offer its own characteristic flavor. Possibly you could substitute the pounds of barley for pounds of kiawe grain. Since the kiawe has more available mono and di saccarides. Heat the grain less, to alpha/beta diastase levels (ie between 145-160 F) than you would have to do with barley (high in starches, low in soluble sugars).” (Source: http://www.rnl3.net/ilsdweb/projects/kiawe/kiawe_draft_1.htm)
14. The Mexicans make a sort of gruel, called atole de mezquite, by boiling the Kiawe or mesquit pods, mashing them to a pulp in fresh water, and straining.
15. Sweet, fresh pods were commonly chewed in indigenous cultures, and are today still consumed raw by children and in rural areas
Kiawe as Medicine
1. A useful by-product of the Mesquit-tree (Kiawe) is a gum that exudes from the bruised bark and may be used for the purpose of gum arabic, which it much resembles” (Bartlett in Moore 2003). The amber-colored exudate is soluble in water, but not in alcohol, ether, or oils. Gum of Acacia is also known as Gum Arabic. It forms thick, adhesive mucilage with cold or hot water. If allowed to evaporate the gum will be left with its properties in tact. Gum Arabic is considered nutritive as well as demulcent. It is used to soothe mucous membranes in cases of dysentery, gastritis, bronchitis, coughs, colds, hoarseness, diarrhea, and of typhoid. It is consumed dissolved in cold water for as many days as needed or the stomach will bear. Mixed with sugar it becomes an excellent delivery vehicle for medicines. (Source: http://www.rnl3.net/ilsdweb/projects/kiawe/kiawe_draft_1.htm)
2. “Its leaves can be chewed into a poultice and applied to cuts and punctures, kill the pain and prevent infection. We have used the chewed poultice on serious wana punctures. It relived the pain on contact, reduced the swelling in 10 minutes and neither the pain or swelling returned. It was amazing!” (Source: http://waianaegold.com/what-is-kiawe/)
3. Diabetics! Anecdotal reports indicate that when Kiawe honey is consumed in its raw state, people with diabetes recognize a lowering in insulin levels. (Source: http://www.rnl3.net/ilsdweb/projects/kiawe/kiawe_draft_1.htm)
Kiawe as Fuel
1. Kiawe is a gourmet firewood for smoking meats and barbeque
2. Kiawe can be turned into Charcoal
3. Kiawe’s dense wood makes excellent biofuel, post and lumber material
Kiawe as EcoSystem Sustainable System Assistant
1. Kiawe trees are excellent shade trees
2. Kiawe trees leaves are high in nitrogen and make excellent mulch and compost material for dirt and soil restoration as well as a nitrogen fixer. (Source: http://www.rnl3.net/ilsdweb/projects/kiawe/kiawe_draft_1.htm)
3. Kiawe trees assist in stopping soil erosion
4. Assists in growth of under forage ground cover that is shade tolerant
“Kiawe is botanically known as Prosopis pallida. The tree is a tropical legume from coastal South America whose range spans southern Ecuador, coastal Peru, Bolivia and northern Chile. Half way between the Port of Quilca, Arequipa and the Port of Callao, Lima, is an inland desert town of Ica. Ica is world renown for its dry climate, massive sand dunes, and excellent wine. In the early 1500’s the Spanish attempted to produce wine in different regions of Peru. They first tried the high altitude region of Cuzco, and then later moved to Arequipa before finally settling in the lower Ica Valley where they could achieve the quality they wanted. Up to that time the sand dunes were covered with forests of a tree the locals call huarango. This ancient Quechua word translates to “the tree” or “the one” an allusion to its significance as the tree of life in a marginal desert environment.” (SOURCE: http://www.rnl3.net/ilsdweb/projects/kiawe/kiawearticle/honolulu_prosopis_article_2.htm)
“On November 21st 1826 La Comete left France on its voyage to the Sandwich Islands. Before arriving in Honolulu circa July 6th 1827 the ship made two stops in Peru for 6 weeks. On board was Hawaii’s first Catholic Priest, Father Alexis Bachelot, also known as the man who brought Kiawe to Hawaii.” (Source: http://www.rnl3.net/ilsdweb/projects/kiawe/kiawearticle/honolulu_prosopis_article_2.htm)
Do your own research on this tree and discover why eradication efforts are underway to stifle our ability to live freely off the aina ~ Open your eyes something that looks like a weed might actually be one of the most perfect blessings you have or will ever cross paths with ~ Blessings and love and light to you all…