Acacia arabica Willd var indica Benth

Synonym ► A. nilotica (Linn.) Delile subsp. indica (Benth.) Brenan.

Family ► Mimosaceae.

Habitat ► Throughout the drier parts of India.

English ► Babul, Black Babul, Indian Gum arabic tree.

Ayurvedic ► Babbuula, Babbuuri, Baavari, Aabhaa, Shuulikaa, Shitaka, Kinkiraata, Yugmakantaka, Sukshmapatra, Pitapushpaka.

Unani ► Aqaaqia, Babuul, Kikar, Mughilaan, Samur.

Siddha/Tamil ► Karu-velamaram, Karuvelei. Velampisin (gum).

Action ► Stembark—astringent, spasmolytic, hypoglycaemic. Gum—demulcent (soothing agent for inflammatory conditions of the respiratory, digestive and urinary tracts). Pods—used in urogenital disorders. Seeds—hypoglycaemic in normal rats; no such effect in

Acacia catechu (Linn. f.) Willd.

diabetic rats. Seed oil—antifungal. Flowers, pods and gum resin—used in diarrhoea and dysentery.

Along with other therapeutic applications, The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India indicates the use of stembark in acute diarrhoea and helminthiasis.

Tannin contents of the bark varies considerably (12-20%). Several poly-phenolic compounds have been reported in the bark, also in the pods. The whole pod contains 12-19% tannins and 18-27% after the removal of seeds.

The seeds of A. benthamii, A. nilotica ssp. subulata, probably same as ssp. indica, are considered hypoglycaemic. Some seed components stimulate insulin secretion by beta cells.

The gum contains galactose; l-ara-binose, l-rhamnose and aldobiouronic acids, also arabinobioses.

The flowers contain flavonoids— kaempferol-3-glucoside, iso-quercitrin and leucocyanidin.

Dosage ► Stembark—20-30 g for decoction. (API Vol. I.)

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