Get the Facts About the Acacia Herb| Acacia Tree Information

by | Jun 4, 2018

Get the Facts About the Acacia Herb| Acacia Tree Information

The acacia herb is commonly known as wattles or gum Arabic. It is a tree type with bright yellow flowers and a top that looks like an upside-down umbrella. Acacia tree information can stem back for thousands of years.

Renowned as a herbal healer for a multitude of common and uncommon illnesses. It has a history of use on such things as the common cold to devastating plagues like smallpox.

Although these past claims are not backed by evidence acacia is still used for many things today. Acacia is packed with soluble fiber and beneficial prebiotics that can make this a powerhouse herbal for over-all good health.

Interesting Facts About Acacia Herb

  • History of Acacia traceable back as far as 40 CE.
  • Egyptians used Acacia as an ingredient in the construction of their ink.
  • A Medium sized tree that loves arid soil.
  • A brilliant flowering tree that is often covered in bright yellow blooms.
  • During dry periods the roots of Acacia tree can be tapped for water.
  • Moses may have used the Acacia tree wood in building the Ark of the Covenant and the Sacred Tabernacle.

Botanical Names for Acacia

From the Family Leguminosae. The two main types discussed in this article are. Acacia arabica and Acacia Senegal. Other variations include Acacia catechu, Acacia decurrens, and Acacia farnesiana.

What is Gum Arabic and Other Common Names for Acacia

Different regions around the world they may refer to an herb with various names. The most common names that I have heard Acacia referred to as are: Gum Arabic, Wattles or Wattle, Babul, Indian Gum, Senegal, Cape Gum, Egyptian Thorn, Gum Acacia, Gum Senegal, and Tamarisk.

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Acacia Tree Information and Origin

Growing to heights of 30 to 70 feet, the Acacia tree is often found in warm arid climates. Often familiar are the yellow flowering branches that look like they have been blown in an upward motion and reach for the sky.

They are native to the regions around the Nile, Ethiopia, East Africa, South Africa, and Arabia. Other species are found in Australia and other warm tropic and arid environments. The Australian and other species are traceable in lineage to their African ancestors.

The trees produce a pod-like fruit in addition to their beautiful flowers. Flowers are brightly colored and extremely fragrant. Yellow is common, but cream and white are addition variations. Many times, the flowers are used in making of essential oils. Their pleasing scent and aroma-therapeutic properties make them an ideal herb for this purpose.

The spread of the Acacia Tree Species, Varieties

Over time, and millennia, new subspecies have developed and flourished. Wikipedia list over 900 possible sub-species of this amazing herb. You can see them here.

There are several common species that have been adapted to grow in other areas of the word. Perhaps you have an Acacia tree species near you?

Acacia Koa

This acacia species is found commonly in the Hawaiian Islands. The wood of this Acacia is often used to make guitars and surfboards.

Photo By Forest & Kim Starr [CC BY 2.5 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

Green Wattle or Green Cancer

This acacia tree/shrub is considered invasive in some areas, hence the foreboding name. The gum of this tree is often used to make jelly.

By Lazaregagnidze. [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

Kangaroo Thorn

This thorny Acacia can be found along the coast and tolerate salty waters. Sometimes considered invasive this is a hedge or shrub type. Can be found in Australia, Africa and California coast of the US.

By John Tann from Sydney, Australia (Kangaroo Thorn). [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Acacia Pravissima or Ovens Wattle

This type of Acacia has some of the prettiest flowers and has even received garden awards. Bright yellow balls adorn this 10 to 25-foot tree with balls of color.

By Donald Hobern from Copenhagen, Denmark (Acacia pravissima). [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Umbrella Thorn Acacia

Some believe this type was used to build the Arch of the Tabernacle and Covenant in the Bible. This tall typical type has the inverted umbrella appearance and is native to Africa. The wood of this Acacia is often used in constructing furniture and fences.

By Stolz Gary M, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

This was just a glance at the potential 900 subspecies of this amazing herbal tree. They all have unique characteristics yet still similar growing habits.

Usable Parts of the Acacia

Acacia is commonly used as a source of dietary fiber. This involves extracting the gum(sap) of the tree. This sap is dried and then ground into a fine powder that is dissolved in water.

Acacia also has many other medicinal properties that do not have to be derived from the sap alone. In many cultures, the leaves, stems, and pods are used as well.

Flowers are used in part to construct essential oils for aromatherapy.

“Sap(gum), Leaves, stems, and pods.

Acacia Benefits and Uses

Digestive Troubles:

Since Acacia is loaded with beneficial soluble fiber it is naturally equipped to aid with digestion. It can have soothing effects for those who suffer from digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Soothing a Sore Throat:

Acacia is a natural herb that acts as a demulcent, soothing to the mucous membranes. This soothing action can coat and soothe the irritations associated with sore throats. Many of today’s cough medicines and drops contain Acacia.

Detoxify the Body, a replenishing cleanse:

As a beneficial prebiotic acacia helps to cleanse the digestive tract and replace with beneficial gut bacteria. This is unlike many other products on the market for gut health due to this beneficial factor of replacement. It is like out with the old and in with the good.

Fiber without gas and bloat:

Unlike many any fiber supplements, acacia ferments slowly in the stomach. This slow process decreases gas and bloat. This also eliminates unpleasant gas effects later as it enters the colon. Nobody wants embarrassing gas from trying to live a healthier lifestyle.

Dental Health:

Acacia extract added to toothpaste can add an extra boost of gingivitis fighting power to your dental hygiene plan. It has also been found that this addition of acacia has a strong antibacterial effect in the mouth. This can help to prevent many gum diseases and reduce plaque.

Acacia for Acne:

Special acacia honey, concentrated sweet sap, has strong antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. These key properties are ideal for reducing and preventing acne breakouts.

What is the Big Deal About Acacia for Weight Loss?

A Nice full feeling! The fibers in acacia build up a gel in your tummy causing you to feel fuller faster. This natural fiber prevents you from overeating and helps you feel full. Cravings subside, and snacking is minimized when you feel full at mealtime.

Keeps you feeling satisfied! The slower digesting of this soluble fiber also helps you to maintain that satisfied feeling longer. In fact, this slow digestion of acacia fiber can keep you feeling content until your next meal.

Slows sugar absorption! Due to it slowing digestion it also helps to slow down the glucose absorption of your food. This can help to maintain energy longer and decrease the likelihood insulin spikes and fat storage.

Optimize nutrient absorption! This slowed healthy digestion also improves the body’s ability to take up nutrients. You are benefiting more from the healthy foods you eat and not reaching for useless empty calories. A healthy body loaded with the proper nutrients has fewer cravings and better complete health. Thereby aiding in weight loss.

Other Potential Benefits Acacia May Have

  • Reducing Cholesterol
  • Strengthening Immunity
  • Regulating Blood Sugar – Diabetes Type 2
  • Reducing the Side Effects of Chemotherapy

Acacia Powder Supports Weight Loss, Reduces Gut Inflammation and Lowers Cholesterol – Gum Arabic

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Side Effects and Warnings When Using Acacia

  • Like many herbs acacia has the potential for side effects. You should always consult with a medical professional before starting a herbal supplement or change in diet. Allergies are always a possibility when using any herb for the first time.
  • Dust allergies can lead to possible asthma or lesions with the introduction of Acacia.
  • People with Allergies may have a sensitivity to Acacia pollen.
  • Those will allergies to Rye may have a sensitivity to this herb.
  • Always check your current medications for potential drug interactions.
  • Acacia may affect your ability to absorb iron, especially when pregnant.

See additional warnings and Side effects at WebMd.

⇒Disclaimer: The information presented here by Inside Herb Gardens and Its Authors are intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Individual results may vary. Before using any herbs, supplements or other natural treatments it is always advisable to consult your own doctor or medical professional.

History & Folklore of Acacia

Egyptians ink was formulated with acacia as part of its ingredients. It was used to coat the bandages of the mummies and create inscriptions. Egyptian healers as used acacia as part of healing many ailments from sore throats and coughs to serious plagues.

It was believed in Egypt that the first Gods were born from beneath the Acacia trees. This made the tress themselves very sacred and held in high regard. Many cultures today still use gum Arabic and resin of the acacia tree as a symbol of protection and a connection to divine (godlike) energy.

The reach of acacia can be found throughout other cultures and history dating back as far as 40CE from Greek botanist Discorides. Also, later placed in Roman history in Pliny’s herbal treatises as a herbal medicine.

Today, acacia popularity has spread throughout many countries and cultures. It has been planted in more than 80 countries with more than 900 species and sub species.

Other Resources:

Articles on Site:

If you like Acacia you may also be interested in these other great herbal powerhouse herbs on site.

In addition, learn about the folk medicine practice of creating Tinctures and extracts with the first article in the series.

Sources:

Are you Ready to Explore Acacia?

I know that in recent years I have run across several infomercials and web advertisements about diet products with acacia as an ingredient. It is nice to see that there is some acknowledgment of this wonderful herbal tree beginning to resurface.

I do often wonder though how much of these “new fancy” products are natural! Acacia as a standalone has many benefits. They can enrich many dietary and medicinal needs without fad plans and gimmicks.

I hope this article encourages you to explore this herb at its very heart and purest forms.

red arrow down rightHave you tried acacia? Prior to this article did you know about gum Arabic or any other common names for this herb?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. I look forward to sharing more acacia tree information with you!

8 Comments

  1. Pernilla

    Hello Christina,

    I haven’t tried any Acacia products yet and I didn’t know about all the different names this tree has. Very interesting to learn so much about this exciting tree. The health benefits of the Acacia fibers appeals to me as well as the toothpaste added with Acacia extract.

    The detox effect is another great benefit. Christina, do you know how to detox with Acacia? With help of the powder made out of sap?

    Already looking forward to your next blog!
    Pernilla

    Reply
    • Christina

      Hi Pernilla,
      The acacia tree/herb I think makes a great addition to at least herb knowledge if not to the “herbal cupboard”. I am glad you liked to learn about it. I know my interest really got sparked when I saw all the bits about it as a “diet craze” a couple years back. usually, those things that hit the market, especially natural, have a lot of truth or backing to them. The unfortunate “side effect” of the big boom promotion is that many companies jump on giving inferior products or little to no real herb, to just get with the “program”.
      Be honest, I am also a painter. The first intro I had to gum arabic was with watercolor. The addition makes a vibrant change to the paint pallet. It adds a gloss to the paint that really makes it stand off the canvas as well as a consistency change. When I spoke to other of my herbalist friends they had never heard of this method, and I thought it was pretty common.
      It shows how wide a range of knowledge can come not only from areas but from interests alone on herbs.
      In regards to using Acacia as a cleanse or detox method. Introducing the fiber into your diet is going to help naturally take care of this for you. In addition, a clean diet can enhance the beginning effects if you choose. As an example, I introduced Acacia fiber when I began a juice cleanse. It is not necessary to do not does Acacia fiber cleansing require a stringent plan to achieve the benefits. I use this Organic Acacia Fiber from 365 It is a clear 100% natural organic Acacia Senegal fiber powdered from the sap/gum of the tree. That is the United States Link. If you are UK Check Here a similar brand or in Canada Here. Acacai fiber can be taken taken daily or used as a routine cleansing.
      let me know how that helps you.
      Christina

      Reply
  2. Dena

    This is an awesome post on Acacia, I have been interested in this but have not had a chance to review it so when I received this in my email after subscribing to your page, I was excited. I love your articles and think they are great, everyone should really take advantage of getting your posts in their email they are so helpful.

    I am really excited to learn about the benefits of Acacia as my husband is a diabetic and we are always looking for something that will keep his sugars in check. The benefits of Reducing Cholesterol and Strengthening Immunity is a real plus for both him and myself as it is always a plus to be able to keep healthy naturally for us.

    Reply
    • Christina

      Hi Dena!
      Thank you so much for the boost on my article importance the mail list. I appreciate that. I try to get a few new articles out to my subscribers every week, so glad that you appreciate them 🙂
      I can not 100% attest to the Acacia working on or for diabetes, or cholesterol because I do not have them myself. I have seen it benefit people with their weight and general health though, that helps both of those things. I always recommend that you check with your Doctor and make sure that introducing any herb is safe, especially if you are already taking medication.
      In most cases, however, Acacia has been shown to be very food level safe as a regular introduction to the diet. Introducing the fiber as part of the diet may be something your medical professional may get behind. I am fortunate enough to have a great Doctor. (took a while to get there) That openly looks at Western and Eastern Medication. She knows that me as an Herbalist that I am going to have very open ideas in regards to my health care and is willing to work within my ideas. I hope that we begin to see more doctors opening to that. I have not found many that argue fiber being beneficial though, and essentially that is what acacia is. A very beneficial herbal fiber!
      I am glad that I was able to introduce you to this wonderful herb and look forward to sharing more with you and your husband. Be healthy Friend!
      Christina

      Reply
  3. Jeff

    You did an awesome job on this post, I was amazed the more I read about the Acacia. I received a good education on the Acacia from your post. I am allergic to pollen especially ragweed, so would this affect me in a negative way using this?

    I agree everyone should consult their physician before adding anything new to their diet, I especially have to be careful with my autoimmune digestive disease.

    Interesting Post
    Jeff

    Reply
    • Christina

      Hi Jeff,
      Yes, it is always wise to check with your doctor especially when you have a pre-existing autoimmune disease. I would start there to check for any possible interactions.
      I am not a doctor. Saying that I would think if any sensitivity was to occur it would be to the pollen excreted from the flower if you were going to have a similar reaction like that of ragweed. Fortunately, the fiber benefits from Acacia do not come from the flower but from the sap or gum of the tree. There is likely no correspondence between the two. I would verify this.
      This is never a pleasant conversation. However, I also have an autoimmune disease. Although it is a primary diagnosis of Lupus I experience multiple side effects and symptoms of other diseases as a part of this. One of those unpleasant issues for me personally is digestive issues. Including a battle with chronic diarrhea. It was even once considered that I may have Chrohns in addition to Lupus. This makes me sensitive to some fibers and some painful drastic IBS type symptoms. Acacia fiber is one of the few that I find very helpful to keep my digestive tract healthy and pain-free. Can’t say that can help you, but again something I would ask your doctor about. It is loaded with prebiotics that is beneficial.
      I hope that helps, and I am glad I was able to assist.
      Christina

      Reply
  4. Cynthia

    I have heard of the Acacia tree but had no idea of all of the benefits for health. I really like the idea that it is good for losing weight because of the fiber. I also like the idea because it doesn’t give you a lot of gas like other fiber supplements. Where do you buy this and what form does it come in?

    Reply
    • Christina

      Hi Cynthia,
      The gum of the acacia needs to be dried and processed into a powder. I am an advocate for growing and doing your own herbs in most cases. With an herb like acacia being a tree type that makes it more difficult. I rely on purchasing the fiber. I found these to be great sources. I use this Organic Acacia Fiber from 365 It is a clear 100% natural organic Acacia Senegal fiber powdered from the sap/gum of the tree. That is the United States Link. If you are UK Check Here a similar brand or in Canada Here. You can get whole gum arabic and grind yourself into powder. Always choose food grade and organic.
      I find this to be the best options for adding the fiber to your diet. If it is the first time using a fiber supplement start in smaller doses to allow your body to get used to it. The sudden introduction of any fiber supplement can sometimes lead to unpleasant side effects. This is often times why people will stop using them. Acacia fiber adds well to most liquids. It also adds well to moist foods like yogurt, cereals, soups and etc. It has very little taste. I prefer to add it this way to boost fiber intake throughout the day vs a boost at one time.
      I hope that this helps. Any other questions. Please let me know.
      Christina

      Reply

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