|This tropical rain forest plant is found in West
Africa, where the Pygmies used it as an alternative
agent of pleasure and inebriant to bangi (Cannabis
sativa) and tava (Nicotiana tabacum):
In an emergency, when there is no tobacco or
hemp to be found, the Pygmies turn to the
leaves of a forest plant, medeaka, which they
smoke. The effects are said to be stronger than
those of bangi [= Cannabis sativa]. But it does
not seem correct that the leaves of the
poisonous tava tree are smoked as well.
(Schebesta 1941, 179)
The root, which was known as masili, was
chewed as an aphrodisiac (Schebesta 1941, 236).
This plant may be one of the many West AfricanMitragyna species (cf. Mitragyna speciosa).
Schebesta, Paul. 1941. Die Bambuti-Pygmaen von
Ituri, vol. 2: Ethnographie der Ituri-Bambuti.Brussels: George van Campenhout.