Mulungu Bark Powder – Erythrina mulungu
Mulungu Bark Powder or Erythrina mulungu is named after Mulungu (also spelled Murungu and Mlungu) is a common name of the creator deity in a number of Bantu languages and cultures over East and Central Africa. This includes the Nyamwezi, Shambaa, Kamba, Sukuma, Rufiji, Turu, and Kikuyu cultures. Today, the name “Mulungu” is also often used to refer to the Christian or Islamic God. The Swahili word for God, “Mungu”, is a contraction of the original form “Mulungu”, which still appears in Swahili manuscripts of the 18th Century.
In some Bantu cultures (for example the Ruvu culture) the same word “mulungu” is also used with a distinct meaning, to refer to certain forest spirits; this homonymy has occasionally confused ethnographers and missionaries. The original early-Bantu name for the creator God was probably Nyàmbé, possibly from the verb root -àmb-, “to begin”. With the diversification of Bantu cultures, other names came about, with “Mulungu” emerging in the ancient Southern-Kaskazi group (about 6000 BC). The etymology of the name is disputed. One hypothesis is that the name is derived from a verb root -ng-, meaning “to be rectified”, “to become right”; in this case, the original concept of Mulungu is that of a creator god that established the original, right order on the world.
Several Erythrina tree species are used by indigenous peoples in the Amazon as medicines, insecticides and fish poisons. Tinctures, decoctions and Mulungu Bark Powder made from the leaves or barks of Mulungu are often used in Brazilian traditional medicine. Commercial preparations of Mulungu are available in Brazilian drugstores, but is not very widely known in North America and almost unknown in Europe; mostly appearing as an ingredient in only a few herbal formulas. Chemical compounds found in Mulungu extract include the tetrahydroisoquinoline alkaloids erythravine and (+)-11α-hydroxy-erythravine.
In traditional medicine, mulungu bark has been used in both North and South America herbal medical systems. It’s widely known to provide a state of calm and relaxation that may help calm agitation. It has also been used traditionally for its analgesic properties as well. Some traditional formulations include combining mulungu bark with other plants, such as passionflower and valerian, to enhance a sense of relaxation.
Herb Stomp also has Mulungu Bark in a shredded form.