Drugs A - Z

Acacia

treats Plaque and Hypercholesterolemia

Generic Name: Acacia

Category

Herbs & Supplements

Synonyms

Acacia arabica, Acacia arabica gum, Acacia aulacocarpa, Acacia auriculiformis, Acacia baileyana, acacia bark, Acacia catechu, Acacia caven, Acacia concinna, Acacia confusa (ACTI), Acacia coriacea, Acacia dealbata, Acacia farnesiana, Acacia floribunda, Acacia glaucoptera, Acacia greggii, acacia gum, Acacia lenticularis, Acacia longifolia, Acacia melanoxylon, Acacia mellifera, Acacia nilotica, Acacia pilispina, Acacia pycnantha, Acacia senegal, Acacia senegal (L.) Willd., Acacia seyal, Acacia tenuifolia, Acacia tortilis sp. raddiana, Acacia tortuoso, Acacia victoriae (Bentham), black wattle, blackwood, catclaw acacia, espinillo negro, Fabaceae (family), gastrilis, gomme arabique, gomme de Senegal, gum arabic, gum senegal, huizache, ker, khadira, kikar, Leguminosae (family), mimosa, miswaki, Robinia pseudoacacia, silver wattle, Sydney golden wattle, wattles, white acacia seeds.

Background

The name "acacia" is derived from the Greek word "akis" meaning "sharp point," and relates to the sharp thorny shrubs and trees of tropical Africa and Western Asia that were the only known acacias at the time that the name was published. The Australian acacias are commonly called "wattles" because of their pliable branches that were woven into the structure of early wattle houses and fences.

Acacia is commonly present in chewing sticks, mainly as an antimicrobial with activity against Streptococcus fecalis. Acacia has also shown some cholesterol-lowering and antidiabetic properties, although there is insufficient evidence in support of these uses.

Acacia is generally considered to be safe. Adverse reactions appear to be mild, with occasional gastrointestinal symptoms.

Acacia has been used to treat high cholesterol, diabetes, cancer, gingivitis, stomatitis (mouth sores), pharyngitis, and indigestion in children. Acacia gum is used as a food additive. Acacia concinna is often used in cosmetics.

Evidence

DISCLAIMER: These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

Plaque: The available data shows promising results; however further studies are warranted.
Grade: C

Hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol): There is preliminary evidence that acacia may not be helpful for hypercholesterolemia.
Grade: D

Tradition

WARNING: DISCLAIMER: The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.
Astringent, blood clots, cancer, contraception, cosmetic, dandruff, diabetes, flavoring agent, food additive, gingivitis, hepatitis, HIV, indigestion, infection, inflammation, leprosy, lice, parasites (visceral leishmaniasis), pharyngitis, renal failure, sexually transmitted diseases (Acacia nilotica), stomatitis (mouth sores).

Dosing

Adults (18 years and older)

There is no proven safe or effective dose for Acacia. Traditionally, 5 grams twice daily for four weeks has been used.

Daily use of a chewing stick of Acacia arabica may be effective for plaque; studies have shown positive results in as little as seven days.

Children (younger than 18 years)

Insufficient available evidence.

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