Acacia niloticaL. Willd.exDelile
Local Name: Babul
Sindhi Name: Babur
English Name: Gum Arabica, Kikar
Part Used: Inflorescence and pods
Acacia niloticaL. Willd.exDelile is a 1.2-18 m high tree. Branches are forming a dense flat or rounded crown. Stem produces gum. Bark on trunk is rough,cracked, and brown or blackish grey. Leaves are bi-pinnate and arranged in alternate manner. Flowers are creamy white or yellow with spherical heads. Fruits are indehiscent, glabrous to velvety, and long. Seeds are smooth, shiny, and 8-12 seeds per pod are present1,2,3.
A. niloticais distributed to Africa, Asia,Australia, and Kenya. It is extensively found Indian subcontinent2,3.
Ethnomedicinal Uses in Skin Diseases
- Wood of A. nilotica is burnt and extract is applied for the treatment of ringworm in Districts Sanghar, Umerkot, Sukkur,Naushehroferoz,Ghotki,and Shikarpur (Sindh). This remedy is also used for the treatment of scabies in District Tandojam (Sindh).
- Flower of A. nilotica is ground with herb of CressacreticaLinn. (Littoral Bind Weed) to form paste and applied topically for the treatment of ringworm in District Umerkot (Sindh).
- Leaves of A. nilotica are ground to form paste and applied for the treatment of ringworm in Districts Ghotki andTando Mohammad Khan (Sindh). This remedy is also applied for the treatment of alopecia in District Naushehroferoz (Sindh).
- Bark of A. niloticais boiled and bath is taken with this water for the treatment of ringworm in District Tando Mohammad Khan (Sindh).
Leaves of A. nilotica are soaked in water and bath is taken with this water for the treatment of pyoderma in District Umerkot (Sindh). This remedy is also used for the treatment of scabies in District Sukkur (Sindh).
Leaves and peel of A. nilotica are boiled with leaves of AzadirachtaindicaA. Juss. (Neem), this water is used for the treatment of Abscess in District Jamshoro (Sindh).
Wounds and Pyoderma
- Leaves of A. niloticaand Withania Coagulation Dunal. (Vegetable rennet) are tied in affected area for the treatment of wounds in District Thatta (Sindh).
- Leaves ofA. nilotica and RicinuscommunisL. (Castor) are ground with oil to make paste, this paste is applied warmed on affected area for the treatment of wound in District Jacobabad (Sindh)
- Leaves of A. nilotica are ground to form paste and applied on affected area for the treatment of wounds in DistrictKhairpur (Sindh). This remedy is also used for the treatment of pyoderma in District Jamshoro(Sindh).
Leaves of A. nilotica and Phyla nodiflora(L.) Greene (Frog fruit) are ground with fuller’s earth to form paste and applied on affected area for the treatment of fungal infection in District Tando Mohammad Khan (Sindh).
Scabies, Abscess, and Psoriasis
- Leaves of A. nilotica are ground to form paste and applied for the treatment of scabies in District Kambar-shahdadkot (Sindh). This remedy is also applied for the treatment of psoriasis in District Badin (Sindh) and for the treatment of abscess in District Sukkur (Sindh).
- Wood of A. niloticais burned with TriticumaestivumL. (Wheat) and extract is applied for the treatment of scabies in District Sukkur (Sindh).
Peel of A. niloticais boiled and bath is taken with this water for the treatment of prickly heat in Districts Sajawal, Khairpur, and Nawabshah (Sindh). This remedy is also used for the treatment of scabies in District Nawabshah (Sindh) and for the treatment of wounds in District Naushehroferoz (Sindh).
Bark of A. nilotica and Citruluscolocynthis(L.) Schard (Bitter apple) is burnt to ashes and applied for the treatment of burn in District Naushehroferoz (Sindh).
A. niloticacontain alkaloids, saponins,glycosides, tannins, amino acids, cyanogenic glycosides, flavonoids, cyclitols, steroids, and terpenoids4.Phenolic compounds such asellagic acid, gallic acid, m-digallic acid, protocatechuic acid, leucocyanidin, tryptophan,m-digallic dimer 3,4,5,7-tetrahydroxy flavan-3-ol, oligomer,4,5,7-tetrahydroxy flavan-3-ol 3,4,7-trihydroxy flavan 3,4-diol, 3, and (-)-epicatechol were isolated from seeds3,5.Bark extract containsaponinsterpenoids,phlobetannin, protocatechuic acid, pyrocatechol, (+) – catechin, and (-) epigallocatechin-5,7-digallate6. Root contains betulin, β-sitosterol, β-amyrin,and octaconsanol while tannins and galactoaraban are found in gum. Leaves extract containapigenin, 6-8-bis-D-glucoside, digestive protein, and rutin3.
Medicinal Uses and Pharmacology/Scientific Studies
All parts of A. niloticaareused for medicinal purposes.Itis used for the treatment of tumors, cancer, fever, hemorrhages, astringent, leucorrhea, ophthalmia, cold, congestion, and coughs. It is also used as an antiscorbutic, antispasmodial, antioxidant, nerve stimulant, astringent, diuretic, intestinal pains, diarrhea, and hypoglycaemic agent3. Gum is demulcent for inflammatory conditions of respiratory, digestive, and urinary tract. Infusion of the pods and bark is a common remedy for gastrointestinal disorders. Pods are used for the treatment of urinogenital disorders whileflowers are usedagainstdysentery,diarrhea, and fever. Fruits are used in ophthalmic, dysentery, and diabetes7. Root powder is used for healing wound and burning sensation8.
A. niloticahave been reported as antimicrobial, antimalarial, antibacterial, antifungal, antimutagenic, anthelmintic, antioxidant, cytotoxic, antihypertensive,abortifacient, and anti-infertility activities9.
- Malviya, S., Rawat, S., Kharia, A., andVerma, M. (2011). Medicinal attributes of Acacia nilotica Linn. – A comprehensive review on ethnopharmacological claims.International Journal of Pharmacy and Life Sciences.2(6), 830-837.
- Seigler,D. S.(2003). Phytochemistry of Acacia-sensulato.Biochemical systematics and ecology, 31(8), 845-873.
- Siddhuraju, P., Vijayakumari, K., andJanardhanan, K. (1996). Chemical composition and nutritional evaluation of an underexploited legume, Acacia nilotica (L.) Del.Food chemistry, 57(3), 385-391.
- Sultana, B., Anwar, F., andPrzybylski, R. (2007). Antioxidant activity of phenolic components present in barks of Azadirachtaindica, Terminaliaarjuna, Acacia nilotica, and Eugenia jambolana trees.Food Chemistry,104(3), 1106-1114.
- Farzana, M. U. Z. N., andTharique, I. A. L. (2014). A review of ethnomedicine, phytochemical and pharmacological activities of Acacia nilotica (Linn) Willd.Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry,3(1).
- Munira, S., Naim, Z., Akter, S., Majumder, R., Kabir, M. H., andAlam, M. B. (2013). Evaluation of Analgesic, Anti-Inflammatory and CNS Depression Activities of the Methanolic Extract of Acacia niloticaEuropean Journal of Biological Sciences, 5(4), 123-130.
- Ali, A., Akhtar, N., Khan, B. A., Khan, M. S., Rasul, A., Zaman, S. U.,and Ali, L. (2012). Acacia nilotica: a plant of multipurpose medicinal uses.Journal of Medicinal Plants Research, 6, 1492-1496.