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Acacia for Medicinal Uses

By Lynn DeVries

The gum of the acacia plant has been used medicinally for centuries. The gum is harvested from the plant by gathering the mature pods and crushing them. You should consult with a trained herbalist before taking acacia. Drugs.com warns that people with elevated cholesterol levels should avoid the use of acacia since it is thought to raise cholesterol when ingested. However, there is no clinical proof of this effect. Any new substance can cause an allergic reaction. Watch for rash, hives or shortness of breath when taking acacia. If these symptoms occur, stop its use and contact your health care provider.

Periodontal Treatment

Acacia gum may be used to rid the mouth of the bacteria that causes periodontal disease. The gum from the plant is dissolved in water, then swished in the mouth to treat gum disease. Drugs.com says that some studies seem to support this use of the gum, but there still needs to be more study before it can be recommended.

Treatment for Wounds

Drugs.com describes acacia gum as a demulcent, or soothing to mucus membranes. Because of this effect, this substance is often applied to affected skin to treat minor wounds and scrapes.

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Relief for Cough & Sore Throat

Purdue University’s Horticulture website and the New Mexico State University website both report that acacia gum is helpful in treating cold symptoms and relieving the sore throat associated with them. You may drink a tea made with the herb or gargle it to help the sore throat.

Gastrointestinal Relief

The PUH web site says that acacia gum is useful in treating dysentery, diarrhea and other intestinal ailments. Make a tea or extract with the gum and drink is for the desired effect. According to the NMSU site, the acacia flowers are useful in treating a hangover, nausea and vomiting when made into a tea. However, the proof for this effect is strictly anecdotal so far.

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