Acacia vera, A. arabica, A. senegal
The bark of acacia is used to make a gum, commonly known as Gum Arabic. It is used to treat a sore throat, relieve clogged bronchial passages, and is often mixed with water to make a paste to soothe and heal external injuries.
According to Sudanese sources, gum arabic was an article of commerce as early as the 12th century BC.
Mucilage of Acacia is a nearly transparent, colorless or scarcely yellowish liquid, having a faint odor and an insipid taste.
Acacia is used as a soothing agent in inflammatory conditions of the respiratory, digestive and urinary tract. It is useful in diarrhea and dysentery. It may be diluted and flavored to suit the taste.
Gum Acacia is highly nutritious.
Gum arabic is the hardened sap of the Acacia senegal tree, which is found extending from Senegal on the west coast of Africa all the way to Pakistan and India.
During the time of the gum harvest, the Moors of the desert are said to live almost entirely on it, and it has been proved that 6 ounces is sufficient to support an adult for 24 hours. It is related that the Bushman Hottentots have been known in times of scarcity to support themselves on acacia for days at a time. In many cases of disease, it is considered that a solution of Gum Arabic may for a time constitute the exclusive drink and food of the patient.
The water-soluble gums made from acacia are used as a thickening agent in your favorite frozen dessert. In addition, acacia also provides beautiful hardwood floors.
In addition to its use in foods, hand lotions and soaps, acacia is used in fine water colors and inks. It also produces the water-soluble adhesive on postage stamps and the "lace curtain" on the sides of your beer glass.
If you enjoy soft drinks, marshmallows and hard gummy candies, then you undoubtedly have consumed gum arabic. It is used in many flavoring syrups of beverages and confections.
Home Made Ink with Gum Arabic
Buy lamp black in a tube or make it by holding a plate over a lit candle.
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon gum arabic
1/2 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon lamp black
Mix the egg yolk, gum arabic, and honey in a small bowl. Add the lamp black and thin with a little water if necessary.
Home Made Brown Ink
Here's how to make your own with ordinary tea bags.
1/2 cup boiling water
5 tea bags
1 teaspoon gum arabic
In a medium-size bowl, pour the water over the tea bags. Stir in the gum arabic and let steep until cool. Squeeze the tea bags to get all the tannic acid out. Use with a paintbrush or quill pen or any other type of writing utensil. Yield: 1/3 cup.
Acacia is classified as GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) by the FDA. Certified organic by QAI, vegan, and certified kosher. Highly recommended.
Photo of the Acacia Plant
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