Combretum micranthum: Latin; ŋɔlɔbɛ: Bambara; Kinkiliba: Senegal, The Gambia and many West African dialects.
Kenkiliba is a very useful shrub, whose branches can be made into furniture and tools, and whose leaves have the most unusual properties. Its an unassuming plant, to be sure, but the lush thick leaves, pliant twigs and the very bark itself is harvested and sold, especially around the holy month of Ramadan.
Some West African Muslims will even prefer to break their all-day fast with bread and a sweet and milky kenkiliba tea. This is because kenkiliba is something of a digestive stimulant, and traditional healers and grandmothers say it keeps elimination healthy. That means clearer skin and easier digestion. People who drink kenkiliba regularly will tell you that it improves digestion, nourishes the liver, and helps with circulation.
The best (and only, to our knowledge so far only) way to enjoy kenkiliba is to take it in hot tea, perhaps with lots of local cruelty-free honey.
We’ve heard that some areas of West Africa, including Burkina Faso, use kenkiliba as a malaria treatment but we don’t recommend this. Please see your doctor to get — and finish — a full course of W.H.O.-approved malaria treatment for your country.