Tag Archives: Gum Arabic

Sonajhuri (Acacia auriculiformis)

Botanical Name :Acacia auriculiformis
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Acacia
Species: A.auriculiformis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Common Names:Auri, Earleaf acacia, Earpod wattle, Northern black wattle, Papuan wattle, Tan wattle,  In Bengal it is called Sonajhuri

Habitat :Acacia auriculiformis is native to Australia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea. One can see these trees in Santinikatan in West Bengal, India

Description:
Acacia auriculiformis is an evergreen tree that grows between to 15-30 m tall, with a trunk up to 12 m long and 50 cm in diameter. It has dense foliage with an open, spreading crown. The trunk is crooked and the bark vertically fissured. Roots are shallow and spreading. Leaves 10-16 cm long and 1.5-2.5 cm wide with 3-8 parallel nerves, thick, leathery and curved. Flowers are 8 cm long and in pairs, creamy yellow and sweet scented. Pods are about 6.5 x 1.5 cm, flat, cartilaginous, glaucous, transversely veined with undulate margins. They are initially straight but on maturity become twisted with irregular spirals. Seeds are transversely held in the pod, broadly ovate to elliptical, about 4-6 x 3-4 mm. The generic name acacia comes from the Greek word ‘akis’ meaning a point or a barb and the specific epithet comes from the Latin ‘auricula’- external ear of animals and ‘forma- form, figure or shape, in allusion to the shape of the pod.
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Medicinal Uses:
It was also reported that the oil from the seeds produced some medicinal properties such as spermicidal and anti-HIV properties along with the safe use on vaginal epithelium.

The tannin rich inner bark and gums of wattles have therapeutic effects, and this has been known to Indigenous peoples since time immemorial. Bark can alleviate diarrhoea, gums can soothe inflamed skin. The Zulu of Africa use Acacia caffra as an emetic, and give the leaves to their children for tummy troubles.

In more recent times, Gum Arabic has been used as a major component of artificial blood serum. Sap from the phyllodes of the Hawaiin Acacia koa can inhibit Golden Staphylococcus bacteria, and there are recent reports that Acacia victoria in Australia can produce chemicals called triterpenoid saponins that inhibit tumour growth. More bioprospecting needs to be done!

Other Uses:
This plant is raised as an ornamental plant, as a shade tree and it is also raised on plantations for fuelwood throughout southeast Asia, Oceania and in Sudan. Its wood is good for making paper, furniture and tools. It contains tannin useful in animal hide tanning. In India, its wood and charcoal are widely used for fuel. Gum from the tree is sold commercially, but it is said not to be as useful as gum arabic. The tree is used to make an analgesic by indigenous Australians. Extracts of Acacia auriculiformis heartwood inhibit fungi that attack wood.

Fodder: Not widely used as fodder, but in India 1-year-old plantations are browsed by cattle. Apiculture: The flowers are a source of pollen for honey production. Fuel: A major source of firewood, its dense wood and high energy (calorific value of 4500-4900 kcal/kg) contribute to its popularity. It provides very good charcoal that glows well with little smoke and does not spark. Fibre: The wood is extensively used for paper pulp. Plantation-grown trees have been found promising for the production of unbleached kraft pulp and high-quality, neutral, sulphite semi-chemical pulp. Large-scale plantations have already been established, as in Kerala, India, for the production of pulp. Timber: The sapwood is yellow; the heartwood light brown to dark red, straight grained and reasonably durable. The wood has a high basic density (500-650 kg/m³), is fine-grained, often attractively figured and finishes well. It is excellent for turnery articles, toys, carom coins, chessmen and handicrafts. Also used for furniture, joinery, tool handles, and for construction if trees of suitable girth are available. Tannin or dyestuff: The bark contains sufficient tannin (13-25%) for commercial exploitation and contains 6-14% of a natural dye suitable for the soga-batik industry. In India, the bark is collected locally for use as tanning material. A natural dye, used in the batik textile industry in Indonesia, is also extracted from the bark. Other products: An edible mushroom, Tylopylus fellus, is common in plantations of A. auriculiformis in Thailand.

Usefullness of the plant:
Erosion control: Its spreading, superficial and densely matted root system makes A. auriculiformis suitable for stabilizing eroded land. Shade or shelter: The dense, dark-green foliage, which remains throughout the dry season, makes it an excellent shade tree. Planted to provide shelter on beaches and beachfronts.

Reclamation: The spreading, densely matted root system stabilizes eroding land. Its rapid early growth, even on infertile sites, and tolerance of both highly acidic and alkaline soils make it popular for stabilizing and revegetating mine spoils.

Soil improver: Plantations of A. auriculiformis improve soil physio-chemical properties such as water-holding capacity, organic carbon, nitrogen and potassium through litter fall. Its phyllodes provide a good, long-lasting mulch.

 Nitrogen fixing: Acacia auriculiformis can fix nitrogen after nodulating with a range of Rhizobium and Bradyrhizobium strains. It also has associations with both ecto- and endo-mycorrhizal fungi.

 Ornamental: It is used for shade and ornamental purposes in cities where its hardiness, dense foliage and bright yellow flowers are positive attributes.

Intercropping: The effect of intercropping with annual crops varies. Increased tree growth has been found with kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus), upland rice and groundnut in Thailand; reduced growth with maize in Cameroon.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darwin_black_wattle
http://www.worldwidewattle.com/schools/uses.php

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Acacia senegal

Botanical Name :Acacia senegal
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Acacia
Species: A. senegal
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Fabales
Commo Names:Swet khadira, khair swet, Catechu tree, Goradiobabul, Rfaudraksha, Gum Acacia, Gum Arabic Tree, or Gum Senegal Tree.  Svetakhadira.

Habitat : It is native to semi-desert regions of Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as Oman, Pakistan, and northwestern India. It grows to a height of 5-12m, with a trunk up to 30 ft in diameter.

Description:
Bush or small tree, usually 2 -6 m high, occasionally reaching 10 m under optimal conditions, frequently forming thickets. It has a short stem, is usually low branched with many upright twigs, the crown eventually flattened, umbrella-shaped. Bark pale brown to pale grey, smooth in young individuals, brown scaly on the older parts, slash mottled red and white, prickles up to 0.5 cm long, the centre one sharply curved, the other two more or less straight and directed forward. Leaves bipinnate, small, greenish-grey, with 3-6 pairs of pinnulae having 10-20 pairs of leaflets each. Leaflets grey-green, 3-8 x 1-2 mm. Flowers very fragrant, creamy white (red in bud), usually appearing before the leaves in pedunculate spikes 3-10 cm long either solitary or two to three together. Pods 7-10 cm long x 2 cm wide, flat and thin, papery, attenuated at both ends, containing 3-6 flat, round, light-brown to brown-greenish seeds. Both tap roots and lateral roots are very developed ; the latter may spread many metres from the tree, particularly in sandy terrain. The tree is deciduous, drooping its leaves in November in the Sudan.

You may click to see the pictures of Acacia senegal

 

The senegal gum acacia is a small to average sized thorn tree of the African grassland savanna. It can grow up to 20 meters tall. It has many branches that spread out into a flat and rounded top. These branches have many thorns that come in pairs. The leaves are a grey-green color. The flowers are yellow or cream colored and grow on spikes just above the thorns. These flowers turn into seed pods about 8 inches long and 2-3 inches wide. They look like giant dried up pea pods, and are yellowish to brown in color, and flat.

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The acacia can live through long periods of drought. They tend to grow in sandy places where there is only between 12 to 15 inches of rain a year. Periods without rain can last from 5 to 11 months a year.

Cultivation:
A. senegal is sensitive to frost but is very heat tolerant.

Water:  Occurring between the 100 and 800 mm of MAR, mainly between 200 and 600 mm. It is extremely drought resistant as it occurs close to the very border of the Sahara and West Asian Deserts.

Soil :  A. senegal is sensitive to water logging. In the drier parts of its area of distribution it tends to be restricted to sandy habitats and dry river beds, but to fine textured soils under the higher rainfalls of the South Sahelian and North Sudanian ecozones., it may also occur on shallow soils and duripan lithosols. The tolerance to pH is quite broad : 5-8 .

Propagation :
Propagation is made either from direct seeding of treated seeds (8,000-18,000 per kg) or via nursery-grown seedlings in various kinds of containers ; naturally the former is much cheaper and used to be a part of the traditional management of the Acacia bush-fallow production system of Kordofan (Seif el Din; 1965 ; Seif el Din & Mubarak, 1971).

Food Uses:It is also used as flavoring in certain soda (pop).

Gum arabic
It produces gum arabic, which is used as a food additive, in crafts, and as a cosmetic. The gum is drained from cuts in the bark, and an individual tree will yield 200 to 300 grams. Seventy percent of the world’s gum arabic is produced in Sudan.


Medicinal Uses:

Gum Arabic is used in making medicine. It is used to make a cream for skin inflammations and ailments of the respiratory and urinary tracts. Its also used for coughs, sore throats, eyewash, diarrhea, and dysentery. It is also used as flavoring in certain soda (pop).

The gum is used for soothing mucous membranes of the intestine . It is also reportedly used as for its astringent properties, to treat bleeding, bronchitis, diarrhea, gonorrhea, leprosy, typhoid fever and upper respiratory tract infections.


Other Uses:

Rope :Roots near the surface of the ground are quite useful in making all kinds of very strong ropes and cords. The tree bark is also used to make rope.

Wood : Handles for tools, parts for weaving looms.

The acacia provides shade and shelter for the animals of the savanna. Giraffes, antelopes and elephants eat its leaves, and birds make their nests in its branches and use them as perches to look out over the flat grasslands.

Acacia was considered sacred by the ancient Hebrew. It is said that Moses used acacia wood to build the Ark of the Covenant and the sacred Tabernacle (Exodus, chapters 25-40). Legend also has it that the thorns of the acacia were used for Christ’s crown of thorns.

Click to see Other Botanical variations
Acacia senegal var. leiorhachis Brenan  :
Acacia senegal var. rostrata Brenan   :
Acacia senegal var. senegal :

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acacia_senegal
http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/acacia_senegal.htm
http://www.fao.org/ag/AGP/agpc/doc/gbase/DATA/Pf000131.htm

http://www.whack.org/~xanthia/herbs/az/acacia.html