Posts Tagged ‘thickener’

Acacia Gum- the Gift that Keeps On Giving

Friday, January 11th, 2013


In what seems to be a never ending list of uses, Acacia gum tops the herb charts with its versatility.
 

History has long seen Acacia Gum as a prized export among many countries.  The acacia gum is a natural gum that is produced from the sap of acacia trees. Harvested during the rainy season, acacia trees discharge the gum, which then collects in the furrows of the bark, as well as on the branches and stems of the tree.  Once exposed to the air, the gum begins to harden; a process that takes about 15 days.  The hardened gum which is either in tear drop shape or vermicular (worm shape) is then collected by hand.

Thriving in unfavorable conditions, the Acacia trees yield more gum where there is excessive heat, drought, or poor soil.  In fact, damaged Acacia trees actually produce more abundant gum then the healthier trees.  The most bountiful harvest of the Acacia tree gum is generated in Sudan.

Medically speaking, Acacia gum has been used for years in herbal medicine.  Safe for ingestion, the herb is easily digested by humans and is colorless, flavorless, and odorless.  Externally, this herb is limitless although allergens can play a role for certain people.

Until 1940, Acacia gum was seen as the go to remedy for any ailment needing a coating of alleviation.  Prime examples of this would include laryngitis, UTI’s, sore throats, IBS, and diarrhea.  Acacia gum powder mixed with water was even highly recommended for the early stages of typhoid.  This medical marvel was even used in bandages for burns, rashes, and diseases of the skin, as well as inflammations of the body.

Nutritionally, Acacia gum was often consumed by many Nomadic tribes as a form of food supplement since fresh fruits and veggies were scarce.  Today many of our foods contain Acacia gum for various reasons.  For example, soda pops that contain flavoring oils (lemon/lime) use the addition of acacia gum to help keep the flavor evenly suspended among the beverage.  In the baking world, Acacia gum is used in making gum paste, whipped creams, sweet syrups, and candies.  Acacia gum can even extend the shelf life of some foods.

For bath and body products or cosmetic recipes this ingredient is a dream come true.  It can be used to make a medium for applying oils (like essential oils or musks), stabilizer, thickener, emulsifier, demulcent, suspending agent, emulsion stabilizer, and foam stabilizer.  Acacia gum can even be added to lose powder cosmetics to prevent clumping.  Other bath and body items that can be made with Acacia gum at a usage rate varying for 1-10% (of the formula) include:  lotions, creams, pomades, shampoos, body washes, balms, and mascara.

Note: Natures Garden sells our herbs for external use only. We do not sell them as food items. (The information we provide is for educational purposes only. This information is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration). Keep all herbs out of reach of children and pets. Special care should be taken by pregnant and/or lactating women when handling herbs. Natures Garden accepts no responsibility (written or implied) for any products you make with our herbs. All testing is the responsibility of the customer.