This section is from the book "Dental Medicine. A Manual Of Dental Materia Medica And Therapeutics", by Ferdinand J. S. Gorgas. Also available from Amazon: Dental Medicine.
A thorny tree or shrub, of Arabia and Africa.
The concrete juice which exudes spontaneously from the stem of the Acacia vera, in the form of a gum, which hardens, on exposure, in small, irregular or roundish or oval pieces, of various sizes, more or less transparent, hard, brittle and pulverizable. It is generally either white or yellowish-white, but sometimes of a deep orange or brownish color; the powder, however, being pure white. It is inodorous, with a feeble, slightly sweetish taste, and when pure dissolves wholly away in the mouth.
In water it forms a viscid solution, known as mucilage.
It is insoluble in alcohol, ether and the oils. When kept dry it undergoes no change.
It consists of a peculiar proximate principle known as Gum or Arabin, composed chiefly of a soluble acid substance, Gummic Acid (H2C12H13O10H2O), combined with 3 per cent. of lime, forming a soluble salt, gummate of calcium.
Of the gum, ad libitum. Of the mucilage water daily, or ad libitum.
Coughs and hoarseness, gastro-intestinal irritation, infantile diarrhoea, epistaxis and superficial hemorrhages: applied in the form of fine powder.
As an emollient in the form of mucilage, to cover and protect inflamed surfaces of mucous membrane.
As a mechanical styptic, in a finely-powdered form, in superficial hemorrhages, such as from leech bites, etc.
Combined with borax, it is a useful application for inflamed mucous membrane.
Prof. Bonafoux, of the Academy of Medicine, Paris, recommends a powder composed of equal parts of gum arabic, colophony and carbon, as possessing great hemostatic powers, and capable of arresting the bleeding of large arteries.
For Inflamed Mucous Surfaces.
Fiat pulvis. SlG. - Apply to inflamed part.