Origin, Distribution and Composition
Acacia, popularly known as babul, is a large tree, up to 14 meters high,
with thorns on its branches. It has darkish grey bark and yellow flowers
in spherical heads.
Babul tree is indigenous to Sind in Pakistan. It occurs wild in India and
tropical Africa. It is planted for its bark. The tree yields a gum, known
as babul gum. The bark of babul tree contains tannin and gallic acid. The
leaves and fruits of the tree also contain tannin and gallic acid.
Healing Power and Curative Properties
The leaves, the bark, the pods and the gum of the tree have medicinal
virtues. The leaves and the bark are useful in arresting secretion or
bleeding. The pods help remove catarrhal matter and phlegm from the
bronchial tubes. The gum allays any irritation of the skin and soothes the
inflamed membranes of the pharynx, alimentary canal and genito-urinary
The various parts of babul tree are useful in diarrhea of ordinary
intensity. A mixture of equal parts of the tender leaves with white and
black cumin seeds (zeera) can be administered in doses of 12 grams,
thrice daily. An infusion made of the bark of the tree may also be taken
thrice daily for the same purpose. The gum, used either in decoction or in
syrup, is an effective medicine for diarrhea.
Chewing of fresh bark of this tree daily, helps strengthen loose teeth and
arrest any bleeding from the gums. Dirty teeth can be cleaned effectively
by brushing them with powder in which 60 grams of charcoal of babul wood,
24 grams of roasted alum and 12 grams of rock salt have been included.
The bark of babul tree is useful in the treatment of eczema. About 25
grams each of this bark and the mango bark should be boiled in about 1
liter of water and the vapors allowed to foment the affected part. After
the fomentation, the affected part should be anointed with ghee.
A decoction of the bark, mixed with rock salt, should be used as a gargle
in treating tonsillitis.
The leaves of babul tree are effective in the treatment of conjunctivitis.
The leaves, ground to a paste, should be applied on the affected eyes at
night, supported by a bandage which should be untied the next morning.
This removes pain and redness.
The leaves are beneficial in treating epiphora - that is watering of the
eyes, in which tears flow onto the cheeks due to abnormality of the tear
drainage system. About 250 grams of leaves should be boiled in one and a
quarter liter of water until only a quarter liter of water is left. This
should then be filtered and kept in a well-corked bottle. The eye-lids
should be painted morning and evening with this liquid.
The bark of the tree is useful in leucorrhoea. Its decoction should be
used as a vaginal douche for treating this disorder.
Sprematorrhoea: Fresh pods of babul tree are effective in sexual disorders
like spermatorrhoea, frequent night discharges, loss of viscidity of the
semen and premature ejaculation. In Ayurveda, a preparation made from the
pods is considered highly beneficial in treating these disorders. It is
prepared thus: about 1 to 1.5 metres of coarse cloth is spread evenly and
its corners secured. The fresh pods of babul tree are pounded and their
juice squeezed. This fresh juice is pasted on the cloth every morning and
evening for at least 20 days until a 5-6 centimeters thick layer is formed
on it. A small piece of this cloth weighing 5 to 9 grams is cut and boiled
in a liter of cow's milk which is taken after adding brown sugar to taste.
It is also said to increase the power of retention of the semen. Even
extremely debilitated patients suffering from the bad consequences of
masturbation are believed to get rejuvenated by its use and attain normal
retentive power. It improves the viscidity of the semen and is an
excellent medicine for spermatorrhoea.
Another preparation made from the pods is also a very effective remedy for
spermatorrhoea. Tender, seedless pods are dried in shade, powdered and
mixed with an equal weight of brown sugar. Six grams of this mixture may
be taken with milk in the morning.