Acacia senegal, which is also referred to as gum acacia or gum arabic, is a tree native to parts of Africa and Asia. It has been used historically as a treatment for pain and irritation and is sometimes used for these purposes in modern medicine. This plant is also used to treat a variety of other conditions including bleeding, respiratory infections, and diseases that affect the internal organs. In the past, it has also been used as a treatment for low blood pressure.
In modern medicine, Acacia senegal is frequently used as a treatment for pain and irritation. It has a soothing effect on mucous membranes and may be taken orally if a patient has discomfort in the throat or stomach. Swallowing this herbal treatment puts it in direct contact with the digestive system, allowing it to work effectively. Similarly, Acacia senegal may also be placed on an external wound such as a cut or sore, where it works as a minor pain reliever and helps to prevent infection.
Dentists may also make use of the medical properties of Acacia senegal. Scientific studies have shown that it has anti-bacterial properties that specifically target periodontal bacteria. The use of this herbal treatment can help prevent cavities and gum disease by destroying harmful bacteria in the mouth. It also inhibits the growth of plaque on the teeth and patients may chew Acacia senegal as a gum in order to receive these medicinal benefits.
In the past, doctors have used Acacia senegal to raise a patient's blood pressure. It has been shown to effectively raise blood pressure when injected into a patient's veins. Though the treatment works, it can also cause potentially serious reactions and can lead to disease of the liver or kidneys. The adverse effects of this plant have led doctors to discontinue this use of it.
Historically, Acacia senegal has also been used in the treatment of a number of other disorders. In the Middle East, one of the regions where the plant is endemic, doctors would often prescribe this type of acacia to patients who suffered from intestinal disorders, leprosy, and gonorrhea. Though it does have antibiotic and anti-microbial properties that make it somewhat effective against these ailments, modern medical treatments are more reliable than Acacia senegal in the treatment of serious infections. The historical uses for this plant also included the treatment of minor gastrointestinal problems such as pain, indigestion, and diarrhea.