Botanical: Acacia catechu
Family: Leguminosae (legume)
Other common names: Cutch, Black Catechu, Black Cutch, Wattle Bark, Black Wattle
Acacia Bark is an ancient herbal remedial plant used mainly for digestive disorders and to help halt diarrhea. It is a natural astringent that is rich in tannic acid that works with the body to stanch bleeding, discharges and excess mucus. Recent research has discovered that an extract from this highly astringent herb may help to block the body's pain triggers.
The information presented herein by Herbal Extracts Plus is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
A native of Australia, Acacia is one of more than seven hundred species of Australian Wattles, and it has been prized for its significant pharmacological, nutritive and toxicological associations in herbal medicine since before recorded history, an interplay that continues to the present day. Acacia is also highly valued commercially, in addition to its medicinal applications. Also known as Wattle Bark, Black Catechu and Black Wattle, it is collected from wild or cultivated trees that are seven years or older. The plant thrives in well-drained, neutral-to-acid soil in full sun at a minimum 45 degrees Fahrenheit. For medicinal purposes, the bark must be allowed to mature for a year, and it is often substituted in its medical applications for Oak Bark. Although they are different in appearance, both have an astringent taste. When boiled, the foliage and bark of the tree produces a dark brown, sticky substance known as gum or "catchou" or "cutch." Acacia Bark is hard and woody with a rusty, brown color, and because it contained large amounts of tannin and gallic acid, its powerful astringency made it the backbone of the Australian and New Zealand tanning industry. The outer surface of older pieces is covered with thick blackish periderm, rugged and fissured. The inner surface is red, longitudinally striated and fibrous. The timber itself was highly valued commercially as a fuel wood, and the bark, also known as Babul, became a mainstay in the area's tanning and dyeing industries (source for khaki dye). That same astringency has special use when employed therapeutically.
When used mainly in the form of a decoction, Acacia Bark is well known for its help in cases of diarrhea and digestive ailments, and when made into a decoction, it can also be used as a topical astringent, herbal mouthwash and lotion. Acacia Bark has also been used in the management of dysentery.
Acacia is commonly used in maintaining dental and oral hygiene. The fresh twigs have long been employed for the protection of gums and teeth, and recent studies indicated that Acacia's natural antiseptic qualities were found to inhibit the growth of germs in the oral cavity. The herb is also considered useful as an external application for mouth ulcers. Further, extract of Acacia has been found to reduce gingival (gum) inflammation occurring as a consequence of plaque reduction.
In India, Acacia Bark has long been administered for its astringent properties, and there are current reports that, in combination with other herbs and barks, traditional Indian healers use it in cases of leprosy in rural areas. The healers also claim that it aids in the relief of stomachache and is used as an aid to digestion.
There are reports claiming that Acacia Bark extract appears to block the body's pain trigger mechanisms. It is already highly regarded by Australian Aborigines for headache relief.
Used externally, Acacia Bark's astringency helps to stanch bleeding, nose bleeds, hemorrhoids, skin eruptions, bed sores, mouth ulcers, canker sores, sore throats and dental infection, including gingivitis.
Currently, there are no known warnings or contraindications with the use of Acacia Bark Herbal Supplement.