Medical Reviewer: Dr Surabhi Rawat
The Ayurvedic world is known to treasure many gems. These gems are found in this big mine we call “nature”. They’re rightly called so owing to their valuable properties. One such highly cherished and valued gem is Acacia or Babool.
Commonly known as Babool, it is essentially a herbaceous plant. It can be found in the dry and sandy geographical areas, especially in the Middle East, the African continent and the Indian subcontinent. It is also popular in the United States of America and the Australian subcontinent. Babool is valued for its many medicinal properties, being put to use by practitioners since ages.
Babool – Biological Name, Classification And Characteristics
Family – Fabaceae
Botanical name – Vachellia Nilotica
Gum Arabic Tree
Other common names – Acacia Arabica, Egyptian Thorn, Prickly Acacia, Sant tree.
- Up to 20 metres in height,
- Dense spheric crown,
- Dark, usually black stems and branches,
- Bark full of fissures,
- Grey-pinkish slashes that exude a reddish gum.
Chemical Composition And Properties
These magnanimous trees house many different chemicals. The composition is variable, but the constituents are often the same. Some major chemical constituents are:
- Aldobiouronic acid
- Amino acids (valine, histidine, isoleucine, threonine, lysine, leucine, etc)
Having such a variety of chemicals living inside a tree in perfect harmony, it is only obvious that Babool can be used for its varied properties:
- expectorant, and
Benefits & Uses Of Babool
The aforementioned properties only imply that babool has not one or two, but innumerous uses. There are several applications and it’s rather safe as well.
#1. Improve Teeth
The toothpaste industry uses babool extract in toothpaste. Often tooth pastes that have babool talk about healthy gums and teeth in the advertisements. It happens to be true. Ancient ayurvedic practitioners used babool as a supplement, since it promotes oral care. It is very useful against dental cavities, toothache and different gum diseases. The peel and pod of the tree are combusted to the point that only ash is left. This ash is finally used to brush teeth. Much like Neem, Babool’s tender branches are used to brush the teeth, thus strengthening the teeth and healing different dental infections. Therefore, it is used both as the brush and the toothpaste.
In case of mouth ulcers and bleeding gums, babool extract can be used to gargle as well. Such is the versatility of the plant.
#2. Stops Hair Fall
Hair fall is a common problem especially in the middle aged population. Ayurveda has many well known remedies to stop hair fall, never the less, this herb can also be used to treat it efficiently. Its leaves promote healthy hair growth and are also useful as a remedy for premature greying of hair.
- Prepare a thick paste of babool leaves
- Apply it evenly on the scalp and massage gently, making sure it covers the entire scalp
- Once massaged, leave it for up to 15-20 minutes.
- Rinse thoroughly with warm water.
Always shampoo your hair afterwards with a decent shampoo, one that is free of harmful chemicals, in order to yield the best result.
#3. Heal Wounds
The leaves of babool can also be used to heal wounds. They are best known for their healing properties. As mentioned before, the bark and leaves of this plant have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which are extremely helpful in putting a halt to bleeding from the wound. Also, it stops the spread of all sorts of infections. This aids in speeding up the healing process and the cuts and injuries are healed in no time.
- Take some babool leaves and turn them into a powdery form.
- Apply the powder directly to the wound by sprinkling it to heal the wound quickly.
#4. Helps Fight Conjunctivitis
Babool can help fight communicable diseases like Conjunctivitis as well.
In case of conjunctivitis, a thick paste of babool tree leaves should be applied on the affected eye(s). Not only does it help with the redness, but also reduces the pain.
#5. Good Aphrodisiac
An aphrodisiac is a substance that promotes sexual desire and regulates sexual behaviour and tendencies. Babool is a great aphrodisiac. Its pods have been used in the past and are still used because of its aphrodisiac properties. They form an effective age-old traditional remedy in improving a man and woman’s libido and vitality. Not only does it increase sexual behaviour, but it is extremely beneficial in the treatment of various sexual problems. Premature ejaculation and spermatorrhea, to name a few, can be treated with babool.
- Obtain babool pods in powdery form
- Mix the powder well with honey
- Intake this mixture twice a day.
The above-mentioned remedy is proven helpful in improving the quality of semen and treating many sex-related problems.
#6. Skin That Stays Healthy
Who doesn’t want healthy skin? There are innumerable artificial products in the market, most of them containing chemicals that do more harm than good. Babool, on the other hand, is a gift of nature and a boon to skincare. If you have dry skin, there is nothing better than babool. It cures and relieves you from itchiness and flakiness. Its leaves preserve moisture in the skin and bring out the natural shine and glow. Moreover, it can be used to heal inflammations, and its antiseptic and antifungal properties help in treating numerous skin problems. Oozing eczemas can also be treated.
- Make a thick paste of the bark of babool
- Apply it directly over the oozing eczema
Arthritis is a disease of joints. It is rather nasty and can be quite troublesome. Still, this plant is excellent for managing arthritis pain.
- Make the powder out of babool gum
- Take 3 grams of the powder and mix it to some water
- Heat the water for 2-3 minutes.
Consuming this mixture once a day for up to a month can relieve the patient of inflammation
Moreover, babool pod powder can be mixed with pain-relieving oils (Mahanarayana taila) in order to obtain a paste. This paste can then be applied locally. This is an unparalleled cure to muscular pain and painful joints for patients of arthritis.
#8. Other Uses
- If there’s rectal prolapse, a sitz bath with a decoction prepared from the bark of the babool plant is extremely beneficial and relieving.
- In case of fire burns, apply a thick paste prepared from the leaves of babool plant over the wound directly. It relieves instantly and prevents further complications.
- If a person is suffering from diarrhoea or intestinal worms, give him/her a decoction of babool plant in a small dosage of 40-50 ml. It helps in getting rid of the worms and relieves instantly.
- Babool exhibits phytochemical properties, acting as a potent antimicrobial agent, a good antioxidant, and acts as a great anti-bacterial, anti-malarial, and anthelmintic agent.
- If a woman is suffering from heavy menstruation, a decoction prepared from the plant pods is given to her. It helps to curb down excessive bleeding during the menstruation cycle.
- In the case of haemorrhoids and piles, the patient should be given a decoction of the bark and pods of this plant in a small dosage of 45-50ml. Immediate results are observed.
- To cure Dhat syndrome or nightfall in men, babool is used. The leaves are crushed, 2 to 3 grams are taken with a teaspoon of sugar. This is done once or twice a day.
Ayurvedic Preparations With Babool As Key Ingredient
Many ayurvedic medicines, whose effectiveness still remains unmatched, use babool as their key ingredient. Some of the medicines are mentioned below:
- Dasanakanti Churnam – It is a churan or powder. It is used to strengthen the gums and teeth.
- Trayodashang Guggulu – It is a well-known ayurvedic tablet used to ease patients with low backache, arthritic pain, locked jaw and sciatica.
- Pepcer capsule – It is essentially a capsule given to patients of peptic ulcer, gastritis, and people suffering from heartburn condition.
- Khadiradi Gutika – It is a decoction of babool plant bark. It is used to bind together the powders used in making Khadiradi tablets, which are used in order to treat cough.
Side Effects & Precautions
Everything mentioned above discusses the many uses, benefits and perks of Babool. The medicinal applications are many, almost uncountable. However, it must be understood that Babool, like any other herb from Ayurveda and any other medicine, has some side-effects associated with it as well. These side-effects must be strictly taken into account.
It is generally SAFE. For an adult, up to 60 grams is safe for oral consumption on a daily basis. However, some side-effects of Babool are as follows:
- When consumed orally, there may be side-effects like bloating, gas, loose stools and nausea.
- While no side-effects have been established for pregnant and breastfeeding women, it is not advised to consume babool in an amount greater than food.
- If you’re suffering from asthma, you might be sensitive to babool pollen.
- There are chances of cross-allergies. If you are allergic to any particular tree bark, you might be allergic to babool as well.
- Babool has an effect on diabetes. It minimises blood sugar levels, which might lead to further issues. Always consult a physician.
- As mentioned above, babool reduces blood sugar levels. This is also seen during surgeries and post-surgery scenarios. It is advised to stop consuming babool at least a couple weeks prior to any sort of surgery.
Thankfully, you don’t have to go through the hassle to spot a babool tree and gather supplies all by yourself. There are many options available for you to buy the same, all in a tap of your finger.
Famous brands that sell babool are
Hence it is evident enough – Babool indeed is a jewel of nature. There aren’t many herbs that have so many benefits, yet almost no side-effects. Babool medicines are health-friendly and easy to put to use. However, one must always consult a practitioner before application. With correct usage and proper application, the benefits are endless.