Acacia Senegal

Acacia Senegal
Also called Acacia Gum/Gummi acaciae

When the Egyptians brought gum from the Gulf of Aden in the seventeenth century BC, they called it Kami and used it mainly for painting and as an adhesive for lapis lazuli or coloured glass. Theophrastus mentioned Kami, in the fourth century B.C., and Celsus called it Gummi acanthinum. In the first century B.C. Arabian physicians at the medieval school of Salerno used it and it was liable for customs duty at Pisa and Paris. It reached London by 1521 via Venice. Gum Arabic is still used pharmaceutically.

  • Description: Low tree- 3- 6 m high, bending grey branches, grey bark; leaves pale green, smooth; flowers yellowish, fragrant; corolla white.
  • Distribution: Indigenous to east and west Africa. Common in Arabia and India.
  • Cultivation: Not cultivated; trees incised and gum collected early winter.
  • Constituents: Consists mainly of calcium, magnesium and potassium salts of arabic acid (arabin). Forms a mucilage in water.
  • Uses: (dried gummy exudation from stems and branches) Soothing for inflamed tissue. Used in mouth lozenges, cough mixtures, emulsions. Highly nutritious taken as gruel. Adhesive.

    -p. 142, The Encyclopedia of Herbs and Herbalism edited by Malcom Stuart (1979)

  • Acacia Senegal Flowers
    Acacia Senega Diagram
    Acacia Senegal Plant