Acacia, popularly known as babul, is a large tree, upto 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 of Babul
The leaves, the bark, the pods and the gum of the tree have medicinal virtues. 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 organs.
The various parts of babul tree are useful in diarrhoea 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 diarrhoea.
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 a 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 I 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 tonsilitis.
The leaves of babul tree are effective in the treatment of conjuctivitis. 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 botde. 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.