Common Names: Sweet Acacia, Popinac, Sponge Tree, and Needle Bush, thorntrees or wattle
Botanical Name: Acacia Sp includes Cassie-Acacia farnesiana, and Mimosa-A. Decurrens Delbata, Acacia Senegal, Acacia seyal
Description: A perennial thorny Bush or small tree roughly 8 m tall.
Origin: South USA and Mexico
Cultivation: The usual way of growing acacias from seed is by first soaking the seed in near boiling water and leaving it overnight. Seeds should be sown about 5 mm apart in prepared soil mix, lightly covered with mix to the depth of the seed or a little more, lightly pressed flat, watered and the containers placed in a semi-shaded site and kept above ground level or placed in a propagation unit. Soil should be kept moist but not wet. Germination can occur between a few days and a few weeks. Pruning is advisable each year to maintain a bushy healthy shrub. This is best undertaken after flowering.
History: The ancient Egyptians used Acacia in paints.
Parts Used: bark, flower, gum
Storage: In airtight container away from heat or light.
Acacia’s are alterative, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, astringent, demulcent, diarrhea, febrifuge, rheumatism, and stimulant. (Duke, 1981a).
* The Acacia flowers dried are used in herbal bath mixtures for dry skin, and facial steams for complexion.
* Cassie perfume is distilled from the flowers
* Uttar Pradesh and the Punjab produce Cassie pomades.
* The bark is astringent and demulcent.
* Gum Arabic is derived from the Acacia Senegal and the Acacia seyal. (See Gum Arabic)
Other uses: Tannins are derived from the bark and fruit and used in making dyes and inks. The pods and bark are used for tanning leather. Trees used as an ingredient in the Ivory Coast for arrow poison. The gum is used in painting. The branches are used as toothbrushes. In Ayurvedic medicine, Acacia nilotica is considered a remedy that is helpful for treating premature ejaculation.
Excerpt from A Consumer’s Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients: Fifth Edition (Paperback) Amazon.com