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Table 1 Ritual uses of palms in traditional medicine in sub-Saharan Africa, including scientific plant names, plant parts used and detailed use description

From: Ritual uses of palms in traditional medicine in sub-Saharan Africa: a review

PALM SPECIES PART USED (MENTIONED) MEDICINE USED FOR/ACTIVITY PREPARATION APPLICATION COUNTRY ETHNIC GROUP REFERENCES NOTES
Borassus aethiopum root Epilepsy maceration body bath Togo   [65] the author adds that epilepsy is believed to occur mostly during the full moon (10th to 15th days of a month)
B. aethiopum seed Scarification seeds hollowed out used as containers for a charred medicinal mixture called 'katala' in Haussa. This mixture was rubbed into skin incisions during scarification practices Ghana Ghana Haussa [11]  
B. aethiopum root Any disease caused by a curse decoction drunk Ghana Kokomba [Gruca,unpublished]  
Cocos nucifera fruit skin rash due to HIV/AIDS    Kenya Suba, Luo [46] the disease is locally known as ‘chira’, and its etiology is related to the transgression of principles governing sexuality or seniority; for example: adultery committed during a wife’s pregnancy, having sexual intercourse during the harvest, or failure to observe the proper separation of sexuality between generations
C. nucifera whole plant (palm tree)   planted at sacred places   Madagascar Betsimisaraka [13]  
C. nucifera* + Elaeis guineensis* seed (coconut) + fruit (palm oil) miscarriage/preventive one tortoise is roasted with water inside a coco-nut along with half a bottle of palm oil. All is roasted until it is almost burnt and then ground to powder the powder is used in a corn flour pudding, which a woman should take on rising and going to bed throughout the course of one menstruation. The man should sleep with her five days after she has finished menstruating Nigeria Yoruba [47] for Yoruba tortoise is a symbol of a prostitute
C. nucifera* + Unidentified palm seed shell + sap (palm wine) offering   coconut shells filled with palm wine placed on ancestors’ graves as an offering Kenya Mijikenda [62]  
E. guineensis root epilepsy powder, decoction or burnt powder orally Togo   [65] the author adds that epilepsy is believed to occur mostly during the full moon (10th to 15th days of a month)
E. guineensis seed (nut) mental fatigue a fresh nut easy to pound or smash is mixed together with leaves from Hibiscus surattensis L., Asystasia gangetica T.Anderson, Musa x sapientum L., NGONGOA, Lopèto and Cyperus articulates L. the mixture is rubbed on the body of the patient. The patient should be facing the sun during the treatment and pronounce “wishes” of good luck. The residues are put under the patient’s pillow. If he dreams of a young girl with erected breasts, there is hope for cure. He should not wash himself during the rest of the treatment day Cameroon   [51]  
E. guineensis guineensis seed (nut) oracle rituals palm nuts are used for ritual usages going as far as to be made sacred at the oracle Fa (Fon), Ifa (Yoruba), Afan (Ewe) consulted very often when looking for the causes of illnesses and of fate dreams   Benin Fon [51] The author mentions Togo and Benin - ethnic groups were assigned to these countries
Yoruba
Togo Ewe
E. guineensis leaf (twig) vulnerability ill people carry pieces of palm twigs around the neck or arm to get invulnerability   Togo, Benin   [51]  
E. guineensis root keeping away bad spirits roots are associated with the resin from Daniellia oliveri (Rolfe) Hutch. & Dalziel and Commiphora Africana (A. Rich.) Endl to keep away the bad spirits   West Africa   [51]  
E. guineensis infructescence make children walk empty infructescences of Elaeis guineensis alone or mixed with ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe) are burned and applied as magical medicine in the form of an enema to small children to encourage them to walk at an early age   Ghana   [van Andel, unpublished]  
E. guineensis inflorescence drive away bad spirits inflorescences from Elaeis guineensis are burned so the smoke drives away bad spirits   Ghana Akan [7, 11]  
Elaeis guineensis var. idolatrica whole plant (palm tree) sacred place the palm is protected as sacred where ever it grows because it is seen as the realization on earth of the god Fa. Nobody is allowed to cut it down or to use its fruits for making oil. The ritual use of these palms is reserved for soothsayers called bokonon   Benin   [71]  
E. guineensis* fruit (palm oil) backache the doctor goes in the early morning to where the mortar stands. He gets a women to shift its position, digs down and removes a piece of any root he finds there, then he scraps some dirt from the base of the mortar itself. The scrapings from the root and the earth are mixed with palm oil in a potsherd the doctor makes the patient lie across the hole where the root was removed, then he makes three lines of cuts with the razor across the patient's back where he felt pain and rubs medicine into the incisions. After that the patient has to pull himself upright by means of the pounding pole that usually goes with the mortar. He must then walk to his hut, and leave the pounding pole upright against a tree near his hut and never let it lie on its side Zambia Lunda [9] author: “the treatment for backache appears to be almost entirely magical”
E. guineensis* fruit (red palm oil) backache first the doctor prepares the following: a part of a broken hoe blade and a portion of the splintered wood from a tree that has been struck by lightning. After that he goes to an old village site to the place where a mortar once stood for pounding cassava roots and grain. There he digs and removes the first root he finds (any species of tree). The patient is brought to lie under the Diplorhynchus condylocarpon (Müll.Arg.) Pichon tree that is naturally bent. The doctor scrapes off bark from underneath the bend in the tree, and also collects some scrapings from the upper side. Then he places a pounding pole at right angles to the tree. Then he adds to the medicine some scrapings from the top of a tortoise’s shell. Then the doctor brings a potsherd in which he puts red palm oil. He scrapes some iron dust from the broken hoe on to the oil. Then he burns the piece of lightning-struck tree and adds its ash to the mixture. In go the tortoise shell scrapings and finally the scrapings from the tree. The medicine is thoroughly mixed with the oil the doctor makes two or three lines of small incisions across the patient’s back, where the pain is. When the blood begins to ooze, the doctor rubs the medicine into those cuts. Afterwards the doctor takes the pounding pole and presses it on the patient’s back where the incisions are. He presses the pestle lengthwise on the back with both hands. Subsequently the patient has to hold the pounding pole up vertically and go under the crook in the Diplorrhyncus condylocarpon tree. The patient has to straighten himself up, with the help of the pounding pole and push the tree up with his back. Then he must address the tree: “I have already left this disease with you. I must go home feeling no more pain, because I have left it already with you”. The patient returns home bearing the pounding pole Zambia Lunda [9] symbolic explanation of the ritual from the author: broken hoe blade snaps suddenly when people are digging; in the same way the person with backache feels as though he has suddenly been broken. A meal mortar is used because of the pounding, this represents hitting and having backache is like being hit very hard. A tortoise shell is used because it is hard and this medicine strengthens the back. The tree used has a white gum so it is white or lucky tree, the whiteness of the tree gives the patient health (color symbols among Ndmebu)
E. guineensis* fruit (palm oil) medico-magic leaves of Hyptis lanceolata Poir. mixed with palm oil   Gabon Masango [49]  
E. guineensis* seed (palm kernel oil) scarification wounds two loops of the split vine used, one left with a flat sharp edge for scrapping off the pus, the other pounded to make a soft brush loop with which the dressing is completed. The juice of Rothmannia whitfieldii (Lindl.)Dandy (cited as Randia malleifera) is rubbed in to cause a slight formation of keloid The boy is told to lie on his mat first on one side, then on his face, then on the other side, then on his back, changing his position often to avoid uneven scarring, and bad sores. After a few days the wounds are dressed with palm kernel oil applied with a brush of owl's feathers Liberia Mano/Poro [48]  
E. guineensis* fruit (red palm oil) fractures a stick from each of the following trees or shrubs is calcined: cited as Ricinodendron africanum Pierre ex Pax, Dracena sp., Whitfieldia lateritia Hook. and any small twig broken over with the break healed so that the stick is growing in the twisted or bent position. The calcined wood is powdered and mixed with the red palm oil the ointment is rubbed on the area over the fracture Liberia Mano [48]  
E. guineensis* fruit (red palm oil) hiccough a whole vine of Clerodendron sp. is calcined and beaten to powder. This powder is kept in a small horn, and a small amount mixed with red palm oil eaten Liberia Mano [48] author: “charred drug is magical”
E. guineensis* fruit (red palm oil) palpitation an inflorescence of Costus sp. is peeled; then a handful of Harungana madagascariensis Poir. buds is added - all beaten up in a mortar. Some of the mixture is put in an iron spoon with red palm oil, four pebbles are heated in the fire (three if for a woman) and dropped into the spoon the patient licks the spoon Liberia Mano [48] numeric symbols
E. guineensis* fruit (palm oil) heart trouble, rapid pulse a young shoot of unidentified plant is beaten up to a pulp and put in the spoon with a little palm oil. Three (or four) pebbles are heated in the fire and added to the spoon, stirred until cool - all done in the morning before the patient has eaten the patient takes the contents of the spoon into his mouth spitting out the stones far away and swallowing the pulp. What is left on the spoon is rubbed over the pericordium Liberia Mano [48] numeric symbols
E. guineensis* fruit (red palm oil) rheumatism (due to yaws) a small horn is filled with powdered charcoal from various plants mixed with red palm oil and leaves beaten to pulp   Liberia Mano [48] author's explanation of symbolism: 'This is an example of blending "male" and "female" elements in a mixture to form a more powerful medicine. The leaves and bark of living plants and the red palm oil are supposed to represent the active male elements; the charred stems of other plants and "burned" oil … are supposed to represent the attenuated, magical, kore zxpreventive female elements’
E. guineensis* fruit (palm oil) respiratory pain due to pleurisy a doctor takes a handful of Bidens pilosa L. (cited as Spanish needle), burns to ashes and mixes the ashes with palm oil doctor and the patient sit facing each other, a doctor rubs the ointment on his hands, make two false passes around the patient's chest from back to front, then with the third he rubs hard (or fourth if it is a man). He gets a good hold for this last rub to lift a tremendous weight, pulls forward, and with what seems to be a great effort, rubs the sickness out and wipes it off on a bit of trash which he throws away Liberia Mano [48] numeric symbols
E. guineensis* fruit (red palm oil) influenza a handful of thorns of Combretum grandiflorum G.Don is burned to charcoal in a pot, then heated with red palm oil used to anoint the ankles, knees, and elbows Liberia Mano [48] "this remedy was originally revealed in a dream, probably suggested by the flaming suddenness of blooming of the great red panicles of this vine as resembling the appearance of the epidemic."
E. guineensis* fruit (palm oil) acute hepatitis a piece of a large shelf fungus shaped like a liver is charred, powdered and mixed with palm oil rubbed over the liver Liberia Mano [48] shape of the fungus is the shape of the organ cured
E. guineensis* fruit (red palm oil) coma a knot of the parasite Loranthus micranthus Hook.f. where it joins the host branch is calcined and triturated in an iron pot. The black powder is mixed with red palm oil rubbed on the patient's cheeks toward the mouth and he will talk Liberia Mano [48]  
E. guineensis* fruit (red palm oil) coma a medicine to give the cow's tail (see application) its magical power is made as follows: a piece of the length of a finger of any branch broken off by wind but lodged before it reached the ground, a pinch of the flowers of Parkia biglobosa Benth., a bit of the vine of Piper guineense Schumach. and some other plants (names unknown) - all is calcined in a pot and triturated with a stick. Red palm oil is added and some of the black paste is put into the little horn a snake doctor brings the prepared cow's tail and he brushes the sick man's face and asks him a question. If he does not answer it means he will die. If he answers the doctor dips his left third finger into a small horn tied to the cow's tail, gets some medicine and rubs it over the patient's heart saying: 'this is my own medicine… I will make you well'. After that the doctor proceeds to make medicine for whatever sickness the patient had to start with Liberia Mano [48]  
E. guineensis* fruit (red palm oil) amenorrhea Three seeds of Ricinodendron heudelotii subsp. africanum (Müll.Arg.) J.Léonard (cited as Ricinodendron africanum) and a quantity of canna blooms Canna indica L. (cited as Canna bidentata) are beaten together in a mortar, and put into a big spoon. Then a little salt and red palm oil (freshly prepared, not refined by heating) is added. Three pebbles are put in the fire and allowed to get hot, then one of these "rocks" is put into the spoon and stirred until it has cooled, and then discarded. The same process is repeated with two other rocks Woman starts up the ladder-stick towards the loft and stands with both feet on the first notch and she dips her fingers into the spoon and lick off the medicine. She will have her menstrual function restored in two or three days Liberia Mano [48]  
E. guineensis* fruit (red palm oil) gonorrheal orchitis A doctor takes a piece of the bark of Erythrina latissima E.Mey with two of the conical thorns still adherent. He scrapes off the inner bark and chews it up with a few grains of Aframomum angustifolium K.Schum. (cited as Amomum melagueta) First a doctor tells the patient to 'wash the thing'. Holding the scrotum in both hands he blows his medicine from his mouth onto it, then he breaks off the two thorns from the bark, calcines them and mixes the powder with red palm oil, and rubs it on the scrotum. In two or three days the swelling will go down Liberia Mano [48]  
E. guineensis* fruit (palm oil) gonorrhea Bark fibers of Waltheria americana L. are twisted into a cord to be worn around the waist. The cord and loin cloth are smeared with an ointment made of the flower stalks of Cyathula prostrata Blume, fried black, and ground up with palm oil worn around the waist Liberia Mano [48]  
E. guineensis* fruit (palm oil) tinea cruris Ointment made of some plant (name unclear) and charred big black ants- ground with palm oil ointment Liberia Mano [48]  
E. guineensis* fruit (palm oil) chronic ulcers Leaves of the variety of Combretum aculeatum Vent. growing on dry ground are fried in palm oil with a finger ring in the pot the mass is rubbed on the legs and the ring is worn Liberia Mano [48]  
E. guineensis* fruit (red palm oil) snake bites a piece of every sort of thorny shrub or scratchy vine is collected and all calcined in a pot, beaten to a black powder in a mortar and mixed with red palm oil. The medicine is put into a horn or into a big acatma snail shell. Only the horn of the black antelope (Cephalopus niger) is a taboo for this purpose. Leaves of Mareya spicata Baill. are beaten up with clay and a little put in the horn before it is filled with a calcined mixture a horn decorated with bracelets is carried by the snake man. The medicine is smeared on the legs if going onto the forest at night without the light. If the snake bites the snake man will not be hurt. The medicine is said to kill the snake if rubbed on its head. This medicine is also used as an emergency treatment for any snakebite. A little eaten and rubbed on the wound is thought to be efficient first-aid treatment Liberia Mano/Ba Kona [48]  
E. guineensis* fruit (red palm oil) control of snakes leaves of Mareya spicata Baill. are calcined and mixed with red palm oil. The black ointment is put into a horn when a snake is seen on a tree, some of the black ointment is taken and rubbed around the tree trunk saying 'gbaka'. The snake is supposed to fall down out of the tree, and be easily killed. If there is no stick handy to kill the snake with, a person should rub the ointment on both hands, grab the snake by tail and beat it against the ground Liberia Mano/Ba Kona [48] the author mentions that this procedure is probably all magical except the act of beating the snake on the ground
E. guineensis* fruit (red palm oil) protection for women calcined twig of Protomegabaria stapfiana Hutch. (mentioned as Protomegabaria staphiana) mixed with red palm oil and salt and put into a horn any woman member of the snake society has a horn of this medicine tied to her waist to keep her from getting sick as a result of her contact with the snake people when she attends a meeting to sing and dance. She may lick the medicine from the end of the finger if she feels dizzy or afraid Liberia Mano/Ba Kona [48] the author mentions that these practices are highly magical
E. guineensis* fruit (palm oil) protective medicine and fetishes when preparing the Poro session the ritual of feeding the fetish had to be made: with cooked rice, the gizzard cut into bits and some palm oil, saying: “(…) Let all people come here so we can be prosperous” see preparation Liberia Mano/Ba Kona [48]  
E. guineensis* fruit (palm oil) malaria   shea butter (Vitellaria paradoxa C.F.Gaertn.) is used to make a ring around the neck. Underneath another ring with palm oil is made. If a patient is a female, a doctor puts left hand on her head; and right hand if it is a man. Then the following incantation is recited: “The mosquito with six children is the name given to the blacksmith who makes headache (repeat thrice). Two of the children went to a white tree, two went to a Kogbe tree, the last two were sent by Orunmila [the deity] to go and beat the kiriji drum on the heads of human beings. But Orunmila ordered that this drum should not be beaten on the head of those patients that make this mark of shea butter and oil around their neck. Because of this, [name of the patient] whose neck has been marked around with shea butter and oil should be quickly spared” Nigeria Yoruba [47] the author mentions this treatment is for high temperature and severe headache, but makes a note that this is probably equivalent to Western malariology
E. guineensis* fruit (palm oil) smallpox leaves of Kalanchoe sp., leaves of Peperomia pellucida Kunth. and powdered snail shells are mixed into an oily base consisting of palm oil and shea butter. Preparation of the ointment is accompanied by the long incantation. A particular Ifa sign (from Ifa-oracle divination) should be made upon the surface of the calabash containing the ingredients the resulting ointment is efficacious in reducing pock marks or scarring Nigeria Yoruba [47]  
E. guineensis* fruit (palm oil) offerings palm oil is offered to a variety of vodun spirits. For the annual yam celebration, Legba – the guardian spirit, is offered yams, palm oil, chicken blood, and other offerings. Throughout coastal Benin palm oil is also used in vo, which are sacrifices or offerings used in daily problem solving. An example of vo is a calabash containing kola nuts, palm oil, and other items indicated by the diviner. It is placed in the center of a paved road, and by end of the day it is run over by cars, so the problems are destroyed   Benin   [37]  
E. guineensis* fruit (palm oil) offerings near almost every door there used to stand the Legba-pot, filled every morning and evening with cooked maize and palm oil. And upon the vodun called the “Vulture’s Dish” the passers-by used to deposit a little food or palm oil, to bring luck or ward off danger   Benin   [50]  
E.guineensis* + Unidentified palm fruit (red palm oil) + sap (palm wine) black magic - poison a bark of a tree from Rutaceae family is mixed with young branches of Mimosa sp. and Byrsocarpus coccineus Schumach., thoroughly roasted in a pot, beaten to powder and mixed with red palm oil and crocodile gall. Kept in a horn of the black antelope. A little of a poison is put under the thumb-nail and placed in the palm wine see preparation Liberia Mano [48]  
Dypsis canaliculata whole plant (palm tree)   palm tree planted at sacred places   Madagascar Betsimisaraka [13]  
Dypsis fibrosa leaf festivities   leaves used to decorate houses at clerical festivities Madagascar Betsimisaraka [14]  
Dypsis pinnatifrons leaf festivities   leaves used in decoration of churches, and pinnae to manufacture crosses for churches Madagascar Betsimisaraka [13]  
Hyphaene coriacea leaf circumcision ceremony   leaves are tied to legs of boys and heads of women during circumcision ceremony Kenya Camus [57]  
Hyphaene coriacea leaf ritual   leaves used to prepare bridal hats Namibia Ovambo [58]  
Phoenix reclinata leaf ceremonial and religious purposes    Uganda   [59]  
Raphia farinifera leaf festivities   leaves are utilized for making crosses, and they are burned as incent at church Madagascar Betsimisaraka [13]  
Raphia hookeri seed ritual baby care the seeds of Raphia hookeri are used to treat the baby’s fontanel that “beats”. The seeds are roasted over the fire till they are black as coal, ground to powder, mixed with some unknown ingredient (perhaps oil) and the mixture is smeared on the fontanel   Ghana and Benin   [54]  
Raphia vinifera leaf against witchcraft, or any member who recently had sexual intercourse/preventive a curtain made of bud leaves of Raphia vinifera a curtain is a barrier set up across the road leading to the secret place of a meeting. It is effective against any outsider that may bring witchcraft medicine, poison, or any member who recently had sexual intercourse Liberia Mano [48]  
R. vinifera leaf to ward off the evil fresh bud leaves are suspended as a curtain in the villages’ entrances to ward off the evil   Cameroon   [van Andel, unpublished]  
Unidentified palm seed (palm nut) oracles palm nuts used in Afa divination in Benin. The 16 palm nuts were cleared, marked with certain Afa motif, and thrown from right hand to the left to reveal the destined combination   Benin   [50]  
Unidentified palm seed (palm nut) oracles palm nuts used in secret Fa divination in order to decrypt and read the signature of god   Benin   [38]  
Unidentified palm leaf (palm mat made of leaf fiber) broken limbs/splints mats of split palm are tied around with bark string. The legs of chicken are broken to cure the patient and the chicken together the patient is segregated from the village in a grass hut. Medicine leaves are applied to the skin under the mats. The legs of chicken are broken to treat the chicken and the patient together. When the chicken starts to walk again so will the patient Zambia Lunda [9]  
Unidentified palm seed (palm nut) craw-craw leaves of Morinda morindoides (Baker)Milne-Redh. (cited as Morinda confusa) are mashed and made into a leaf packet with two palm nuts; the packet is roasted in the fire the pulp is rubbed on the skin Liberia Mano [48] the author adds: “the nuts are obviously magical”
Unidentified palm seed (palm nut) pterygium a palm nut is carefully cracked and the kernel removed entire; a hole is bored through the kernel; the operator chews up a leaf of Microdesmis puberula Hook.f., and holding the palm kernel bead against the white spot on the eye, blows the leaf emulsion into it the leaf emulsion is blown into the eye. If the lesion is recent it will go away at once Liberia Mano [48]  
Unidentified palm seed (palm kernel) impotence young leaves of Microdesmis puberula Hook.f. are chewed with palm kernels, while the mass is rubbed on the back of the loins see preparation Liberia Mano [48]  
Unidentified palm sap (palm wine) smallpox palm wine is an important drink for patient, and offering to the Shopanna god palm wine should be drunk and sprinkled throughout the house to appease Shopanna, but the patient should also be rubbed with it. Relatives should not sleep near an infected person, nor visit anyone outside. Roasted groundnuts should not be eaten during an epidemic, as this would offend Shopanna. No drumming should be performed Nigeria Yoruba [47]  
Unidentified palm sap (pam wine) against witchcraft a small switch of Ixora sp. and a bit of Vernonia conferta Benth are calcined and the powder is put in a small horn; palm wine is added a snake man rubs his finger in medicine and licks it saying: "if anyone wants to make wi for me, let him come to me straight" - meaning that if anyone wants to bewitch him will come foolishly like an intoxicated man and tell him what he has come for Liberia Mano/Ba Kona [48]  
Unidentified palm sap (pam wine) black magic - poison a bark of a tree from Rutaceae family is beaten and partially dried, castings of earth worms are added and all heated thoroughly. While beating the mixture the name of the victim is called and the poison is told to kill the victim in two days. A thumb of the poison is placed in a gourd of palm wine the victim is invited a gourd of palm wine with a thumb of the poison always using the left hand Liberia Mano [48]  
Unidentified palm sap (palm wine) sacrifice to various spirits to buy protection a sacrifice (offering) made of food, cotton, parts of a sacrificial animal and palm wine accompanied by a prayer: “We come to you. We want you to come and eat with us. Here is your part. This cotton is our clothing and our money. This is part of our meat. Here is some palm wine for you. We want you to help us. Bring us good luck, let us have no sickness, let us have plenty of money, let us have good crops and plenty of children. (…) Come and be a god to us and do not let any evil befall us” Liberia Mano [48]  
Unidentified palm whole plant (palm tree) charm, selfprotection a self-protecting charm which involves putting one's life into a hiding place; and some people are doctored to hide in a palm tree. When such a one dies, the palm falls; and should the palm fall first (a very unlikely event), the man would die see preparation Zambia Ba-Ila [45]  
Unidentified palm fruit prayer before administratin g the drug a doctor sits before the patient and holds in one hand the small calabash containing the medicine, and in the other takes a rattle made of round palm fruit on a handle, and as he rattles it he prays as follows: “I am humble! It is thou who created this medicine and all things. May this person live. Drive away witchcraft. Let this medicine make him strong. May he see life!” see preparation Zambia Ba-Ila [45]  
Unidentified palm leaf (a string made of palm leaf) preventive against the malign influence of pregnant women a string made of palm leaf is suspended on poles in front of the hut to give warning, especially to the pregnant women. This is to “fend off by means of string”. If a pregnant woman enters a hut where there is a baby its skull would part asunder see preparation Zambia Ba-Ila [55]  
Unidentified palm whole plant (palm tree) a sacred spot associated with the demigod a bare place about an acre in extent, with a solitary palm-tree growing upon it. It is reckoned as “chikomo”: a word applied to places, rites, and customs traditionally associated with demigods. It is there that the communal gatherings take place before and after war: e.g. where the warriors are doctored see preparation Zambia Ba-Ila [55]  
Unidentified palm leaf protective amulet -against the perspiration of those who have sexual relations convalescents after a disease are provided with fowa- a rattle which consists of a root (unknown plant) contained in a kind of round box made of palm leaf tied around the ankle South Africa Thonga [10]  
Unidentified palm leaf possession by spirits -madness   a large palm leaf from Milala palm is waved in front of a patient – sufficient to “scatter the spirits” which cause madness South Africa Thonga [10]  
Unidentified palm sap (palm wine) preventive/offering/sacrifice palm wine in a big pot called gandjelo (which also means altar) is an offering for ancestor-gods. This is necessary to obtain the favor and help of the ancestor-gods; or to reduce their anger and, therefore, the risk of disease or other calamity brought by displeased ancestor-gods see preparation South Africa Thonga [10]  
Unidentified palm leaf punishment of thieves a person which is guilty of having stolen the missing property may be punished by confrontation with several palm leaves, which, by a kind of supernatural judgment, turn into snakes see preparation South Africa Thonga [10]  
Unidetified palm leaf “when it bites inside” - colic the remedy is prepared from the roots of unknown plants, cut into equal lengths and tied together with a band of palm leaf (a bunch is called shitsimbo). The bunch is then boiled to bring out the active principles of the drug the decoction is taken by a patient just as it is; sometimes it is mixed with maize. The bunch retains medicinal properties for a long time and it may be used during a whole week South Africa Thonga [10]  
Unidetified palm leaf festivities palm skirts used by dancers   Liberia Poro [48]  
Unidetified palm leaf festivities palm skirt used by women   Zambia Mwila [45]  
Unidetified palm leaf vodun a vodun Vo-sisa used to be placed opposite to the house gates to defend the inhabitants from harm. It usually consisted of a pole, with an empty old calabash for a head, and a body composed of grass thatch, palm leaves, fowl’s feathers, and snails’ shells   Benin   [50]  
Unidetified palm leaf sacrifice palm fronds are used in kudio, which are sacrifices used to heal a dying person by exchanging the life of an animal for that of the person   Benin   [37]  
Unidetified palm leaf offerings offerings are made to various vodun spirits over a fresh bed of azan - ritual palm fronds which mark the sacred spot   Benin   [37]  
Unidetified palm leaf protective the azan (ritual palm fronds) was worn around the throat, to protect from witchcraft or from being killed during war   Benin   [50]  
Unidetified palm leaf punishment palm fronds are carried by people involved in punishing social deviants, and those suspected of witchcraft   Benin   [38]  
Unidetified palm leaf punishment during the ‘witch parades ‘organized to punish and march the accused Beninese women to prison, the witches are bedecked in wreaths of palm fronds   Benin   [39]  
Unidetified palm sap (palm wine) offering sodabi which is a locally distilled palm wine is used in offerings made to vodun spirit called Tchamba – an old spirit based on domestic African enslavement   Benin   [63]  
  1. * scientific name not mentioned/specified by the author – assumption made based on the palm part used; as follows:
  2. coco-nut a ➜ Cocos nucifera.
  3. palm oil/red palm oil x➜ Elaeis guineensis.