HomeHerb DatabaseAcacia Tuesday, October 21, 2014  
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Acacia

  • Acacia senegal L.
  • Mimosa family



Common Names

herbsCape gum
herbsEgyptian thorn
herbsGum Arabic tree
herbsGum acacia
herbsGum Arabic
herbsIndia gum tree
herbsBablah pods
herbsAcacia bambolah


Parts Usually Used

Gum


Description of Plant(s) and Culture

Acacia is a small, spiny, leguminous tree or shrub. After the rainy season ends, the stem begins to exude gum, which is collected from December to June for marketing as gum Arabic. The acacia has alternate, bipinnate leaves and axillary racemes of yellow flowers arranged in globose heads. The fruit is an oblong pod.


Where Found

Grows in sandy soil, mostly in tropical Africa


Medicinal Properties

Demulcent, mucilaginous


Legends, Myths and Stories

Acacia was a sacred wood for the ancient Hebrews. Moses used acacia wood in building the Ark of the Covenant and the sacred Tabernacle (see Exodus, chapters 25-40).

According to Near-Eastern Christian legend, a thorny species of acacia was used for Christ's crown of thorns.

Moapa Paiute name for acacia is "Pah oh pimb." Used for inflammation of the eyes, due to dust; vaqueros and travelers habitually carry acacia seeds and put 4 in each eye on retiring.


Uses

Gum Arabic's main effect is to form a protective, soothing coating over inflammations in the respiratory, alimentary, and urinary tracts. It is helpful for coughs, sore throat, and catarrh, eyewash, diarrhea, and dysentery. Sweetened, it is sometimes used for typhoid fever.


Formulas or Dosages

Gum Arabic is usually dissolved in water to make a mucilage.

Mucilage: a dose is from 1 to 4 tsp.

Syrup: mix 1 part mucilage with 3 parts of a syrup. A dose is from 1-4 tsp.

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