Botanical: Acacia nilotica (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Leguminosae
Acacia Nilotica (LINN.)
Medicinal Action and Uses
Gummy Exudation from stem.
ACACIA NILOTICA (LINN.)
All the gum-yielding Acacias exhibit the same
habit and general appearance, differing only in technical characters. They are
spiny shrubs or small trees, preferring sandy or sterile regions, with the climate
dry during the greater part of the year.
The gum harvest from the various species lasts about five weeks. About the
middle of November, after the rainy season, it exudes spontaneously from the
trunk and principal branches, but the flow is generally stimulated by incisions in
the bark, a thin strip, 2 to 3 feet in length and 1 to 3 inches wide being torn off.
In about fifteen days it thickens in the furrow down which it runs, hardening on
exposure to the air, usually in the form of round or oval tears, about the size of a
pigeon's egg, but sometimes in vermicular forms, white or red, according to
whether the species is a white or red gum tree.
About the middle of December, the Moors commence the harvesting. The
masses of gum are collected, either while adhering to the bark, or after it falls to
the ground, the entire product, often of various species, thus collected, is packed
in baskets and very large sacks of tanned leather and brought on camels and
bullocks to the centres of accumulation and then to the points of export, chiefly
Suakin, Alexandria, or - in Senegambia - St. Louis. It is then known as 'Acacia
sorts,' the term being equivalent to 'unassorted Acacia.' The unsorted gums show
the widest variation as to size of fragments, whiteness, clearness, freedom from
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