The healing power of haronga

Haronga can be found on the African continent south of the Sahara. The tree grows up to an altitude of 1550 meters and blooms from January to April. It is often the first plant to emerge in a piece of forest that has been cut down. It is a shrubby tree that can reach a height of 25 meters, but you will find it much more often when the tree is four to seven meters high. The tree is used for medicinal purposes in several ways in Africa. The antibacterial properties of the leaves have been scientifically proven. NB! This article is written from the personal view of the author and may contain information that is not scientifically substantiated and/or in line with the general view.


  • Naming
  • History of use of haronga
  • Active substances haronga
  • Essential oils
  • Good for the liver and pancreas
  • Dose and safety


In Latin this medicinal plant is called Harungana madagascariensis . In English, blood tree is a name for this tree because it produces orange-reddish sap that is reminiscent of blood. As the second part of the Latin name suggests, this tree grows not only in all of Africa south of the Sahara, but also on the African island of Madagascar.

History of use of haronga

A sap is extracted from the harunga tree. By the way, this liquid plant substance is also called sap in English. The leaves and wood of the tree are used by pressing them and using the red sap. The sap of this tree is mainly used against tapeworm. Traditionally, medicines are made from the leaves of this tree to treat hemorrhoids, diarrhea, gonorrhea, sore throat, headache and fever. The flowers are used to treat colic in the stomach and intestines. A decoction of the bark is often used for malaria and gout. The roots are said to be good for promoting breast growth in women. Young leaves are sometimes used in an asthma medicine. The fruit has red juice and cannot be eaten, but is used in African folk medicine as a medicine for internal bleeding. Furthermore, the buds of the flowers are used to treat skin infections, wound infections, parasitic infections and anemia. In 2012, it was investigated that the seeds of the haronga tree also contain many phytonutrients that could possibly be helpful to humans.

Active substances haronga

The leaves and bark of this tree are mainly used in phytotherapy. These parts of the haronga contain the following active substances: Dimeric 1,8-dihydroxyanthracene derivatives. The bark contains mainly harunganine and madagascine and the leaf contains hypericin and pseudohypericin.

Essential oils

Medical essential oils containing many sesquiterpenes can be extracted from haronga. Essential oils can be made from the leaves, fruit and bark. These should have the same medicinal properties as those used in herbal therapy. However, these essential oils were only created and subjected to scientific research in 2009.

Good for the liver and pancreas

Haronga has bile-forming and bile-driving qualities. It promotes the secretion of gastric and pancreatic juices. This makes it good for digestion in general and extra good for the liver. This medicinal plant is used in phytotherapy for the following indications:

  • Dyspepsia,
  • Weak liver function,
  • Pancreatic problems.

Dose and safety

  • 7.5 to 15 mg of a hydroalcoholic tincture per day.

For people with white skin gland, a rash may appear due to sunlight if this natural medicine is taken. Haronga should be avoided in case of chronic pancreatitis, severe liver disease, gallstones or kidney stones. You should never use Haronga for longer than two months. If these safety instructions are adhered to and the correct dose is used, the side effects are minimal.