- Acacia senegal L.
- Mimosa family
Parts Usually Used
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.
Grows in sandy soil, mostly in tropical Africa
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.
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.