- Acacia senegal L.
- Acacia greggii
- Mimosa family
- Fabaceae family
Gum Arabic tree
India gum tree
Uña de gato (Spanish name)
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.
There are literally dozens of species of acacia, worldwide. Their descriptions and usefulness varies greatly. Be sure to get the advice of a knowledgeable herbalist before using acacia.
Acacia senegal L.: Grows in sandy soil, mostly in tropical Africa
Acacia greggii: a member of the Fabaceae family; it is native to the Southwestern United States and northern Mexico.
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
ACACIA is much revered in religious and magical practice. The ancient Egyptians made funeral wreaths of Acacia leaves and the Hebrews planted a sprig of evergreen Acacia to mark the grave of a departed friend. Acacia wood is the Biblical shittim-wood from which Noah’s Ark and the Tabernacle and Altar were made. Jewish legend tells us that the Burning Bush of Moses was an Acacia. Christian legend links an Acacia tree with the Cross and its spiny branches with the Crown of Thorns . The Acacia is an emblem of immortality and of initiation, in the sense that initiation is symbolic of resurrection. Many people burn these leaves as incense or dip them in holy water and sprinkle an altar to communicate with or to memorialize the Dead.
Acacia senegal) Also known as gum arabic, gum senegal and gum acacia; produced by a tree that grows in North Africa. The species of acacia that produces gum arabic and gum acacia are so closely related that one can be used for the other.
Parts Used – flowers, leaves, stems, root, bark, resin, seeds, and essential oil
Magical Uses – (Herb and Oil) Burn for altar offerings or purification; aids psychic powers, meditation, platonic love, psychic awareness; purification; inspiration; wisdom; visions; anointing; protection; prophetic dreams; spirituality; money. A sprig place over the bed wards off evil.
Ritual Uses – In India, the wood is used as fuel in scared fires, and also in building temples. Acacia is an excellent choice to build a small chest or sacred box. It should be handmade and used only to store your ritual tools.. If unable to obtain enough to build the box, the powdered herbe may be used to consecrate the containers you use for sacred items.
Other Uses – The dried gum can be burned as incense, the leaves and wood can be infused to create sacred water for aspurging. This gum is water soluble and when dissolved in boiling water, clarifies and makes a very good adhesive that is used, among other things, to make scented beads and pomanders.
Acacia can be used for blessing any sacred space.
- Heather’s Tummy Fiber POUCH Organic Acacia Senegal (16 oz) for IBS (findmedicalsolutions.com)
- Acacia’s plan for sustainability in Tunisia (Google / Wamda) (desertification.wordpress.com)
- Food Snob Chronicles – The skinny on gum arabic (unorthodoxepicure.com)
- The Secular Thinker (evangelinethetraveler.wordpress.com)