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Gum Arabic

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  • Botanical: Acacia senegal
  • Family: Fabaceae
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Gum Arabic

Botanical

Acacia senegal

Family

Fabaceae

Known as

acacia gum, chaar gund, char goond, meska

Old Use

culinary use; production of ink

Medicinal

antiseptic, bronchitis, bronchitis, coughs, diarrhea

Heart & Circulation

bleeding

Infection & Inflammation

infections intestinal

Respiratory System

bronchitis, cough

Properties

antibacterial, antiseptic, antispasmodic, anti inflammatory, expectorant

Description

Acacia senegal is a low branching shrub or small tree to 7 m high (maximum 15 m). The tree flowers during the rainy season and loses its leaves during the dry season. When water is only available at great depth, deeply penetrating tap roots can develop, and the tree will grow considerably larger than normal.

The bark of Acacia senegal is yellow to brown and smooth in young trees, becoming dark grey, gnarled and cracked on older trees. It is armed with recurved prickles just below the nodes, in pairs or in groups of three.The leaves are 3.5 to 8 cm long, with 3 to 8 pairs of pinnae.

The rachis (main stem of the compound leaf) sometimes bears prickles. The pinnae are 1.5 to 2.5 cm long with 5 to 25 pairs of leaflets per pinna. The leaflets are 1 to 9 mm long, 0.5 to 3 mm wide, elongated-oval shape, sparsely hairy or smooth on both surfaces.

The flowers are borne on spikes 3 to 8.5 cm long. The fruits are flat, papery and yellowish to brown. The hairy fruits are yellow-brown, flat and papery, 1.8 to 9 cm long, 1.2 to 3.4 cm wide, 2 mm thick and open on maturity to discharge the seeds.

Properties & Uses

It is reportedly used as for its astringent properties, to treat bleeding, bronchitis, diarrhea, gonorrhea, leprosy, typhoid fever and upper respiratory tract infections

Cautions

There are some risks associated with supplementing your diet with acacia powder. Though generally safe, a small percentage of people may experience an allergic reaction to acacia fiber. The bulking property of acacia fiber may result in significant blockages in the esophagus, stomach or intestines if consumed excessively or without sufficient water. In addition, acacia fiber may react negatively with certain types of medications. As such, the addition of acacia fiber to your diet should be approached gradually and with caution. As with any form of supplementation, you should consult your doctor before adding acacia fiber to your diet.

Distribution

Acacia senegal is found growing in Mauritania, Senegal, The Gambia, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Côte d'lvoire, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, Rwanda, Chad, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Angola, South Africa, Namibia, Oman, Pakistan, and India. It has been introduced to Egypt, Australia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and elsewhere.

Constituents

polysaccharides, glycoproteins