Herbs & Plants

Acacia mollissima

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Botanical Name: Acacia mollissima
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Acacia
Species: A. mearnsii
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Fabales
Taxonomic name: Acacia mearnsii De Wild.
Synonyms: A. decurrens var. mollis, Acacia mollissima

Common names : Black Wattle, Acácia-negra (Portuguese), Australian Acacia, Australische Akazie (German), Swartwattel (Afrikaans), Uwatela (Zulu),
Late black wattle

Habitat :Acacia  mearnsii is native to Southeastern Australia and Tasmania, but has been introduced to North America, South America, Asia, Europe, Pacific and Indian Ocean islands, Africa, Europe, and New Zealand.

It has been introduced to numerous parts of the world, and in those areas is often used as a commercial source of tannin or a source of firewood for local communities. In areas where it has been introduced, it is often considered a weed, and is seen as threatening native habitats by competing with indigenous vegetation, replacing grass communities, reducing native biodiversity and increasing water loss from riparian zones. Found in tropical rainforests.

In its native range A. mearnsii is a tree of tall woodland and forests in subtropical and warm temperate regions. In Africa the species grows in disturbed areas, range/grasslands, riparian zones, urban areas, water courses, and mesic habitats at an altitude of between 600-1700m. In Africa it grows in a range of climates including warm temperate dry climates and moist tropical climates. A. mearnsii is reported to tolerate an annual precipitation of between 6.6 – 22.8 dm (mean of 6 cases = 12.6), an annual mean temperature of 14.7 – 27.8°C (mean of 6 cases = 2.6°C), and a pH of 5.0 – 7.2 (mean of 5 cases = 0.5). A. mearnsii does not grow well on very dry and poor soils.

Acacia mearnsii is a fast-growing leguminous tree.The trees are unarmed, evergreen and grow six to 20 meters high. The branchlets are shallowly ridged; all parts finely hairy; growth tips golden-hairy. Leaves dark olive-green, finely hairy, bipinnate; leaflets short (1.5 – 4 mm) and crowded; raised glands occur at and between the junctions of pinnae pairs. Flowers pale yellow or cream, globular flower heads in large, fragrant sprays. Fruits dark brown pods, finely hairy, usually markedly constricted.


The species is named after American naturalist Edgar Alexander Mearns, who collected the type from a cultivated specimen in East Africa.

You may click to see the pictures  of Acacia mearnsii

Acacia mollissima plays an important role in the ecosystem in its native Australia. As a pioneer plant it quickly binds the erosion-prone soil following the bushfires that are common in the Australian wilderness. Like other leguminous plants, it fixes the atmospheric nitrogen in the soil. Other woodland species can rapidly utilise these increased nitrogen levels provided by the nodules of bacteria present in their expansive root systems. Hence they play a critical part in the natural regeneration of Australian bushland after fires.This plant is now known as one of the worst invasive species in the world.

Cultivation & Propagation:
A. mearnsii produces copious numbers of small seeds that are not dispersed actively. The species may resprout from basal shoots following a fire.[4] It also generates numerous suckers that result in thickets consisting of clones.[4] Seeds may remain viable for up to 50 years.

The invasiveness of this species is partly due to its ability to produce large numbers of long-lived seeds (which may be triggered to germinate en masse following bush fires), and the development of a large crown which shades other vegetation. Its leaves and branches may have allelopathic properties. A. mearnsii competes with and replaces indigenous vegetation. It may replace grass communities to the detriment of the grazing industry and grazing wildlife. By causing an increase in the height and biomass of vegetation A. mearnsii infestations increase rainfall interception and transpiration, which causes a decrease in streamflow. Soil under A. mearnsii becomes desiccated more quickly (than it does under grass). A. mearnsii stands also destabilise stream banks and support a lower diversity of species.

Commercial plantations and invasive stands of A . mearnsii in South Africa reduce surface runoff and decrease water ability, causing an estimated annual economic loss of $US 2.8 million. According to KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife (the governmental agency responsible for managing protected areas in KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa) the advance of alien plants (particularly Chromolaena odorata, Lantana camara, Acacia dealbata, and Acacia mearnsii) is the most significant past and future threat to conservation in these areas.

Edible Uses  : Edible portion: Gum, Seeds. The gum is eaten and dissolved in water and used to make drinks.


Medicinal Uses:
Acacia mearnsii has some known medical applications, such as its use as a styptic or astringent. The planting of wattles has also been used as a soil stabiliser to decrease erosion (preferably far from river courses to minimise the water loss caused by the tree’s high rate of transpiration). The agroforestry industry promotes the use of Acacia mearnsii (among other similar species) as a potential “soil improver”. (Duke, 1983; Franco, 1971; Paiva, 1999; Tutin et al., 1992; de Wit, Crookes and van Wilgen, 2001; Young, 2002).

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Other Uses:
The species is grown commercially in many areas of the world for a variety of uses, in addition to use as an ornamental. Commercial stands have been established in Africa, South America and Europe. The tannin compounds extracted from the bark of A. mearnsii are commonly used in the production of soft leather. A range of other products, such as resins, thinners and adhesives, can also be made from bark extracts. The timber is used for building materials, the charcoal is used for fuel and the pulp and wood chips are used to produce paper. In rural communities in South Africa the trees are important as a source of building material and fuel. Growers of the tree in that country banded together to form the South African Wattle Growers Union. A. mearnsii has some known medical applications, such as its use as a styptic or astringent. The planting of wattles has also been used as a soil stabiliser to decrease erosion (preferably far from river courses to minimise the water loss caused by the tree’s high rate of transpiration). The agroforestry industry promotes the use of the species (among other similar species) as a potential “soil improver”.The charcoal is extensively used in Brazil and Kenya, and in Indonesia the tree is extensively used as a domestic fuel and for curing tobacco.

Acacia mearnsii has been shown to contain less than 0.02% alkaloids.

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.


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Herbs & Plants

Sweet Acacia (Acacia famesiana Willd.)

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Botanical Name :Acacia famesiana Willd.
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Vachellia
Species: V. farnesiana
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Fabales
Syn. : Vachellia farnesiana Linn
Common Names: Farnese Wattle, Dead Finish, Mimosa Wattle, Mimosa bush, Prickly Mimosa Bush, Prickly Moses, Needle Bush(It is so named because of the numerous thorns distributed along its branches), North-west Curara, Sheep’s Briar, Sponge Wattle, Sweet Acacia, Thorny Acacia, Thorny Feather Wattle, Wild Briar, Huisache, Cassie, Cascalotte, Cassic, Mealy Wattle, Popinac, Sweet Briar, Texas Huisache, Aroma, (Bahamas) Cashia, (Bahamas, USA) Opoponax, Cashaw, (Belize) Cuntich, (Jamaica) Cassie-flower, Cassie, Iron Wood, Cassie Flower, Honey-ball, Casha Tree, Casha, (Virgin Islands) Cassia, (Fiji) Ellington’s Curse, Cushuh, (St. Maarten).

Habitat:The native range of Needle Bush is uncertain. While the point of origin is Mexico and Central America the species has a pantropical distribution incorporating Northern Australia and Southern Asia. It remains unclear whether the extra-American distribution is primarily natural or anthropogenic.The plant has been recently spread to many new locations as a result of human activity and it is considered a serious weed in Fiji, where locals call it Ellington’s Curse. It thrives in dry, saline or sodic soils. It is also a serious pest plant in parts of Australia, including north-west New South Wales, where it now infests thousands of acres of grazing country.

It is deciduous over part of its range, but evergreen in most locales.The species grows to a height of up to 8 metres (26 ft) and has a life span of about 25–50 years.It is a medium-sized shrub with many spreading branches and basal stems. The
leaves are alternate, bipinnately compound with two  to six pairs of pinnae, each with 10 to 25 pairs of  narrow leaflets 3 to 5 mm in length. The slightly zigzag twigs are dark brown with light-colored dots  (lenticels) and paired spines 3 to 20 mm in length at  the nodes. The older bark is also dark brown and  smooth. Its bright yellow or orange flowers,  produced over a period of 2 to 4 months, depending  on locality, are very fragrant and used in the  perfume industry in France and elsewhere.
click to see the pictures….>……(01)....(1).….…(2).…....(3).…...(4)…...(.5)....……………..
Sweet acacia produces small (to 5 mm in length) flowers that have functional male and female parts, borne in compact rounded heads 0.6 to 1.3 cm across. The flowers are very fragrant and are pollinated by bees and other insects. The thick, slightly flattened pods, 4 to 9 cm in length and 0.5 to 1.3 cm broad, are produced in abundance after about 3 years. They mature 4 to 6 months after flowering  and contain a number of hard-coated, brown seeds embedded in a pulpy mesocarp.

Cultivation :
Prefers a light sandy loam and a very sunny position sheltered from strong winds. Plants can grow well in pure sand. Most species in this genus become chlorotic on limey soils. Established plants are very drought tolerant. The species and its cultivars are reported to exhibit tolerance to drought, high pH, heat, low pH, salt, sand, slope, and Savannah. Plants tolerate a pH range from 5.0 to 8.0. Whilst this species is not very tolerant of cold, being damaged by even a few degrees of frost, the variety A. farnesiana cavenia seems to be more resistant to both drought and frost. Both A. farnesiana and its var. cavenia are extensively cultivated for the essential oil in their flowers in and around Cannes, southern France, which is the centre for production of the perfume. A good bee plant. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby.

Propagation :
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a sunny position in a warm greenhouse. Stored seed should be scarified, pre-soaked for 12 hours in warm water and then sown in a warm greenhouse in March. The seed germinates in 3 – 4 weeks at 25°c. As soon as the seedlings are large enough to handle, prick them out into individual pots and grow them on in a sunny position in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts, and consider giving them some protection from the cold for their first winter outdoors. Cuttings of half-ripe wood with a heel, July/August in individual pots in a frame. Overwinter in a greenhouse for the first winter and plant out in their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Fair percentage[

Medicinal Uses:-
Astringent;  Demulcent;  Poultice;  Stomachic.

The bark is astringent and demulcent. Along with the leaves and roots it is used for medicinal purposes. Colombians bathe in the bark decoction as a treatment for typhoid. The gummy roots have been chewed as a treatment for sore throat. A decoction of the gum from the trunk has been used in the treatment of diarrhoea. An infusion of the flowers has been used as a stomachic. It is also used in the treatment of dyspepsia and neuroses. The flowers are added to ointment, which is rubbed on the forehead to treat headaches. The powdered dried leaves have been applied externally as a treatment for wounds. The green pods have been decocted and used in the treatment of dysentery and inflammations of the skin and raucous membranes. An infusion of the pod has been used in the treatment of sore throats, diarrhoea, leucorrhoea, conjunctivitis, and uterorrhagia. The juice of the bark is used in Nepal to treat swellings

Traditional medicine:
The bark and the flowers are the parts of the tree most used in traditional medicine. V. farnesiana has been used in Colombia to treat malaria, and it has been confirmed in the laboratory that extract from the tree bark and leaves is effective against the malarial pathogen Plasmodium falciparum. Indigenous Australians have used the roots and bark of the tree to treat diarrhea and diseases of the skin. The tree’s leaves can also be rubbed on the skin to treat skin diseases.

One or more alkaloids present in Vachellia farnesiana: “phenethylamine; N-methly-.beta.-phenethylamine; tyramine; hordenine; N,N-dimethyl-phenethylamine; and N,N-dimethyl-.alpha.-methylphenethylamine” in the “leaves, bark, and roots.”

The following compounds are said to be in Vachellia farnesiana:

*?-methyl-phenethylamine, flower.

Ether extracts about 2-6% of the dried leaf mass. Alkaloids are present in the bark.

Other Uses:

Some of the reported uses of the plant: to see

The bark is used for its tannin content. Highly tannic barks are common in general to acacias, extracts of many being are used in medicine for this reason. (You may click & See cutch:). to see
“Roasted pods used in sweet and sour dishes.” to see
The flowers are processed through distillation to produce a perfume called Cassie. It is widely used in the perfume industry in Europe. Flowers of the plant provide the perfume essence from which the biologically important sesquiterpenoid farnesol is named.

Scented ointments from Cassie are made in India.

The foliage is a significant source of forage in much of its range, with a protein content of around 18%.

Seed pods
The concentration of tannin in the seed pods is about 23%.

The seeds of V. farnesiana are completely non-toxic to humans and are a valuable food source for people throughout the plant’s range. The ripe seeds are put through a press to make oil for cooking. Nonetheless an anecdotal report has been made that in Brazil some people use the seeds of V. farnesiana to eliminate rabid dogs. This is attributed to an unnamed toxic alkaloid.

The tree makes good forage for bees.

Dyes and Inks
A black pigment is extracted from the bark and fruit.

Acaci farnesiana flowers are distilled in the south of France to make an essential oil called Cassie which is used as a basis for aromatherapy and perfume.[14]

You may click to know more :

Known Hazards:  The seeds, containing an unnamed alkaloid, are used to kill rabid dogs in Brazil

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.


Click to access Acacia%20farnesiana.pdf

Herbs & Plants

Babul (Vachellia nilotica/Acacia arabica)

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Botanical Name: Vachellia nilotica
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Vachellia
Species: V. nilotica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Synonyms: . Acacia  nilotica, Mimosa nilotica

Common Names:  Gum arabic tree, Babul/Kikar, Egyptian thorn, Sant tree, Al-sant or Prickly acacia; Thorn mimosa or Prickly acacia ( in Australia) Lekkerruikpeul or Scented thorn ( in South Africa) Karuvela maram (in South India)

In Bengal it is called Babla or Babul

Habitat:It is indigenous in Sind in Pakistan. Scented Thorn Acacia is native from Egypt south to Mozambique and Natal. Apparently, it has been introduced to Zanzibar, Pemba, India and Arabia. Acacia nilotica ‘Tomentosa’ is restricted to riverine habitats and seasonally flooded areas.

Description: It is a large tree with throns on it’s branches.It has darkish grey bark and yellowish flowers in spherical heads.

Click to see the picturer

The tree



Babul Tree

Acacia nilotica ‘Tomentosa’ is a tree 5-20 m high with a dense spheric crown, stems and branchlets usually dark to black coloured, fissured bark, grey-pinkish slash, exuding a reddish low quality gum. The tree has thin, straight, light, grey spines in axillary pairs, usually in 3 to 12 pairs, 5 to 7.5 cm long in young trees, mature trees commonly without thorns. The leaves are bipinnate, with 3-6 pairs of pinnulae and 10-30 pairs of leaflets each, tomentose, rachis with a gland at the bottom of the last pair of pinnulae. Flowers in globulous heads 1.2-1.5 cm in diameter of a bright golden-yellow color, set up either axillary or whorly on peduncles 2-3 cm long located at the end of the branches. Pods are strongly constricted hairy white-grey, thick and softly tomentose.

Food Uses
In part of its range smallstock consume the pods and leaves, but elsewhere it is also very popular with cattle. Pods are used as a supplement to poultry rations in India and Pakistan. Dried pods are particularly sought out by animals on rangelands. In India branches are commonly lopped for fodder. Pods are best fed dry as a supplement, not as a green fodder.

Medicinal Uses
According to Hartwell, African Zulu take bark for cough, Chipi use the root for tuberculosis. Masai are intoxicated by the bark and root decoction, said to impart courage, even aphrodisia, and the root is said to cure impotence.

The astringent bark is used for diarrhea, dysentery, and leprosy and the bruised leaves poulticed onto ulcers.

In West Africa, the gum or bark is used for cancers and/or tumors (of ear, eye, or testicles) and indurations of liver and spleen, condylomas, and excess flesh.

Sap or bark, leaves, and young pods are strongly astringent due to tannin, and are chewed in Senegal as an antiscorbutic.

In Ethiopia, it is used as a lactogogue.

In Tonga, the root is used to treat tuberculosis. In Lebanon, the resin is mixed with orange-flower infusion for typhoid convalescence. In Italian Africa, the wood is used to treat smallpox. Egyptian Nubians believe that diabetics may eat unlimited carbohydrates as long as they also consume powdered pods.

The bark of Babul tree is very useful in the treatment of Eczema and Leucorrhoea.The decoction of it’s bark mixed with rock salt should be use to gargle in treating Tonsillitis. The Babul leaves are beneficial in treating Epiphora(an eye disease). The various parts of Babul tree are useful in treating Diarrhoea of ordinary intensity.The leaves of Babul tree are effective in the treatment of Conjunctivitis.Fresh pods of Babul tree is effective in several Sextual Disorder. Chewing a fresh bark of Babul tree helps strengthen loose teeth and prevent gum bleeding.

As per ayurveda it subdues deranged kapha; astringent, beneficial in skin diseases; anthelmintic; antidotal. Its extract is astringent, subdues pitta and anila (vata); effective in the treatment of blood dysentery, haemorrhagic diseases, polyuria, leucorrhaea, fractures; sheeta (sheetaveerya) and styptic.

Parts Used: Pods, leaves, bark and gum.

Therapeutic Uses:

Pods: decoction beneficial in urinogenital diseases;

: infusion of tender leaves used as an astringent and remedy for diarrhoea and dysentery;

Bark: decoction used as a gargle in sore throat and toothache; dry powder applied externally in ulcers; useful in vitiated kapha, pitta, ascites,chronic dysentery, diarrhea, leprosy, leucoderma, leucorrhoea, seminal weakness, uterovesiccal disorders, oral ulcers, odontopathy.

astringent and styptic, useful in vitiated vata, pitta, cough, asthma, diarrhoea, dysentery, seminal weakness, leprosy, uriogenital discharges, burns haemorrhoids, colic.

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.