Botanical Name: Acacia arabica
Indian Name: Kikar
Origin, Distribution and Composition of Babul
Acacia, popularly known as babul, is a large tree, upto 14 metres 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 litre of water and the vapours 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 litre of water until only a quarter litre of water is left. This should then be fdtered 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.
Other Uses of Babul
Sprematorrhoea: Fresh pods of babul tree are effective in sexual disorders like spermatorrhoea, frequent night discharges, loss of viscidity of the sem,en and premature ejaculation. In A yurveda, a preparation made from the pods is considered highly beneficial in treating these disorders. It is prepared thus: about 1 to 1.5 metres of coarse cloth is spread evenly and its corners secured. The fresh pods of babul tree -are pounded and their juice squeezed. This fresh juice is pasted on the cloth every morning and evening for at least 20 days until a 5-6 centimetres thick layer is formed on it. A small piece of this cloth weighing 5 to 9 grams is cut and boiled ina litre of cow's milk which is taken after adding brown sugar to taste.
It is also said to increase the power of retention of the semen. Even extremely debilitated patients suffering from the bad consequences of masturbation are believed to get ruvenated by its use and attain normal retentive power. It improves the viscidity of the semen and is an excellent medicine for spermatorrhoea.
Another preparation made from the pods is also a very effective remedy for spermatorrhoea. Tender, seedless pods are dried in shade, powdered and mixed with an equal weight of brown sugar. Six grams of this mixture may be taken with milk in the morning.