The false acacia plant was introduced to Europe in 1601 by Jean Robin, Gardner of the King of France. However, its scientific name (Robinia) and of its common names, too. Though used as an ornamental plant, it has interesting medicinal properties. With the nectar of its flowers, bees produce a highly desired honey.
False Acacia Scientific Facts
- Other names: Robinia.
- French: Robinier, faux acacia.
- Spanish: Falsa acacia, robinia.
- Environment: Native to North America, at present, it is cultivated as an ornamental plant worldwide.
- Description: The tree of the Leguminosae family grows from 4 to 20 m high, with thorny branches and white flowers growing in hanging clusters.
- Parts of the plant used medicinally: The flowers and the leaves.
Healing Properties and Warning
The flowers and the leaves contain flavonoids, glycosides (robinine), tannin, and essential oil. They have antispasmodic (alleviate the spasms of hollow organs), cholagogue (ease the emptying of bile), and emollient (soothe skin and mucosa) properties. They are used as stomachic for dyspepsia and gall bladder disorders. Due to their emollient properties, they protect the esophagus and stomach mucous membranes from an excess of acidity. They are recommended for pyrosis (acidity), esophagitis, and gastro-duodenal ulcer. When taken in gargles, they alleviate throat irritation.
WARNING! The seeds, the bark, and the root, despite their sweet flavor, are toxic and cause vomiting.
When bleeding the branches of other Acacia species, which belong to the Mimosaceae family, and especially those of Acacia nilotica (L.) Del (= Acacia arabica [Lasm.] Wild. = Mimosa nilotica L.) gum arabic is obtained.
This substance has excellent emollient properties, is beneficial to treat digestive mucosal inflammation, and is part of many syrups and pharmaceutical preparations. Gum Arabic, which is a tree, is cultivated in tropical Africa and Asia, and America, especially in Brazil and Argentina, where its leaves and fruits are sometimes used as forage, and the fiber is employed in rope making.
How to use False Acacia
- Infusion with 15-30g of flowers per liter of water. The recommended intake is one cup after each meal.
- Gargles with the infusion above.
George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. Ed. Francesc X. Gelabert. vols. 2 San Fernando de Henares: Editorial Safeliz, 2000. 469. Print. [false acacia]