AcaciAe Gummi. Gum Acacia. Gum Arabic. A gummy exudation from the stem of Acacia Vera, A. Arabica, and other allied species. Nat. Ord. LeguminosAe. Linn. Syst. Polygamia Moncia. Source, Various - Cordofan, Senegal, Arabia, Cape of Good Hope, the Persian Gulf, Bombay, and New Holland.
Med. Prop. and Action. Demulcent. In moderate quantities it does not produce any sensible effect on the system; indeed, it is stated to be used as food by the natives of Senegal; six ounces being considered sufficient for the daily support of an adult. It forms an excellent adjunct to other demulcents in pulmonary and genito-urinary affections. The Mucilage is the best form for internal use. Prof. Graham* considers that the Gum may be employed as an article of diet for diabetic patients, without risk of increasing .the quantity of saccharine matter discharged in their urine. This is not what would d priori have been expected, but it is nevertheless a valuable fact to be aware of. Prep. Mucilago Acacise (Gum Arabic oz. iv.; Distilled Water fl. oz. vj.) fl. drm. j - fl. oz. j. of Gum Arabic gr. xxx. - gr. Ix. or ad libitum. In compatibles. The strong Mineral Acids; Alcohol; Ether; Sub-Acetate of Lead; Tinct. Ferri Sesquichlor., and other Tinctures.
* Quoted by Ballard and Garrod, Mat. Med. p. 26.
In Coughs much relief is often experienced from allowing a piece of gum to dissolve slowly in the mouth. It is particularly useful in allaying the irritation of the throat which excites Cough in Phthisis. Dr. A. T. Thompson* advises the following formula: - Mucilag. AcaciAe fj.; 01. Amygd., Syr. Papav. Alb. aa fss.; Aquae fiv.; Acid. Citrici, q. s. ad gratam acidulat. M. Dose, a dessert-spoonful repeated frequently.
3. In Ardor Urince, Calculous affections, and in Diarrhoea, the mucilage, combined with narcotics or demulcents, proves of great service.
4. In Hemorrhage, the local application of finely-powdered gum is often effectual in arresting the flow of blood. A case of severe Epistaxis, successfully treated by finely-powdered gum, blown into the nostril, is reported in Hufeland's Journal.t The application of powdered gum, however, in these cases is not new. It was adopted by Heister in 1713.
Rhind,§ of Edinburgh, advises applying a thick solution of Gum Arabic over the burnt surface. He states that it relieves the pain almost immediately, and that, under its use, the healing process appears to be hastened. He adds, that repeated trials for several years, and strict observation, confirm him as to the value of the treatment. It doubtless acts by excluding the air, on the same principle as Collodion or Cotton.
Mr. Erasmus "Wilson|| speaks of the mucilage of Acacia as a useful application. He directs it to be pencilled on the tender part immediately after suckling, and the nipple to be protected with a leaden shield. He also speaks favourably of the application of a powder composed of equal parts of Gum Acacia and Borax.