Delile. (Sub species
indica (Benth.) Brenan /
A. arabica Willd. var. indica Benth.
Indian Gum Arabic
Tree, Black Babool
This tree is the "babbula" of Sanskrit writers, who
mention the use of young leaves and pods as an astringent.
The bark is used as a substitute for oak in government
hospitals in India. The gum is used as a substitute for Gum
Arabica. It is indigenous to the plains of Andhra Pradesh
and Maharastra in India.
It grows throughout the drier
parts of India.
Morphology Description (Habit)
It is a moderate-sized, almost evergreen tree with a short
trunk, and a spreading crown. The bark is dark brown to
almost black, longitudinally fissured or deeply cracked.
Leaves are 2-pinnate and the main rachis has glands.
Stipular spines are variable. Leaflets are subsessile and
glabrous. Flowers golden-yellow, fragrant, crowded in
long-stalked globose heads, forming auxiliary clusters of
2-5 heads. Pods are stalked, flat, compressed 7.5-15.0 cm in
length and contracted between the circular seeds. Three
subspecies are recognized in India.
It contains gallic acid, m-digallic acid,(+)-catechin,
chlorogenic acid, gallolyated flavan-3,4-diol and
It has spasmogenic, vasoconstrictor2, anti-hypertensive,
antispasmodic3, anti-inflammatory4 and anti-platelet
A. nilotica, at 2% and 8% levels, has a low toxicity
potential6. In a survey of potentially allergenic plants in
Pondicherry, it was reported likely to cause pollen
It is astringent, demulcent, aphrodisiac, tonic and
antipyretic. It is used in conditions of bleeding gums,
mouth ulcers and genitourinary disorders.
- AHEAD CD, CSIR, New Delhi.
- Amos, S. et. al., 1999, Phytother. Res., Vol. 13(8)
- Gilani, A.H. et. al., 1999, Phytother, Res., Vol.
3(8), pp. 665-669.
- Dafallah, A.A., et. al., 1996, Am. J. Chin. Med., Vol.
24, pp. 263-269.
- Shah, B. H. et. al., 1997, Gen. Pharmacol. V. 29(2),
- Al-Mustafa Z. H. and Dafallah A.A., 2000, A study on
the toxicology of Acacia nilotica, Am. J. Chin. Med. Vo.
28(1): pp. 123-129.
- Anonymous, 1998, Wealth Asia CD-ROM, CSIR, New Delhi.