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Acacia

Synonyms/Common Names/Related Substances:

  • Acacia arabica, Acacia arabica gum, Acacia aulacocarpa, Acacia auriculiformis, Acacia baileyana, acacia bark, Acacia catechu, Acacia caven, Acacia concinna, Acacia confusa (ACTI), Acacia coriacea, Acacia dealbata, Acacia farnesiana, Acacia floribunda, Acacia glaucoptera, Acacia greggii, acacia gum, Acacia lenticularis, Acacia longifolia, Acacia melanoxylon, Acacia mellifera, Acacia nilotica, Acacia pilispina, Acacia pycnantha, Acacia senegal, Acacia senegal (L.) Willd., Acacia seyal, Acacia tenuifolia, Acacia tortilis sp. raddiana, Acacia tortuoso, Acacia victoriae (Bentham), black wattle, blackwood, catclaw acacia, espinillo negro, Fabaceae (family), gastrilis, gomme arabique, gomme de Senegal, gum arabic, gum senegal, huizache, ker, khadira, kikar, Leguminosae (family), mimosa, miswaki, Robinia pseudoacacia, silver wattle, Sydney golden wattle, wattles, white acacia seeds.

Clinical Bottom Line/Effectiveness

Brief Background:

  • The name "acacia" is derived from the Greek word "akis" meaning "sharp point," and relates to the sharp thorny shrubs and trees of tropical Africa and Western Asia that were the only known acacias at the time that the name was published. The Australian acacias are commonly called "wattles" because of their pliable branches that are woven into the structure of early wattle houses and fences.
  • Acacia is commonly present in chewing sticks, mainly as an antimicrobial with activity against Streptococcus fecalis (1;2;3). Acacia has also shown some cholesterol-lowering and antidiabetic properties (4;5;6;7;8), although there is insufficient evidence in support of these uses.
  • In manufacturing, acacia is used as a pharmaceutical constituent in making emulsions and troches, a demulcent for throat or stomach inflammation, a masking agent for bitter substances (e.g., capsicum), and as a film-forming agent in peel-off skin masks. A report of the safety assessment of Acacia catechu gum, Acacia concinna fruit extract, Acacia dealbata leaf extract, Acacia dealbata leaf wax, Acacia decurrens extract, Acacia farnesiana extract, Acacia farnesiana flower wax, Acacia farnesiana gum, Acacia senegal extract, Acacia senegal gum, and Acacia senegal gum extract showed that these ingredients are reported to be used in cosmetics at concentrations of 9% in mascara to 0.0001% in tonics, dressings, and other hair-grooming aids (9).
  • Acacia is generally considered to be safe (9). Adverse reactions appear to be mild, with occasional gastrointestinal symptoms.

Dosing/Toxicology

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Precautions/Contraindications

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Interactions

Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

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Mechanism of Action

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History

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Evidence Table

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Evidence Discussion

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Products Studied

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.