Acacia Rigidula: Benefits, Medicinal Properties, and Side-Effects
1Acacia Rigidula (A.k.a Vachelliarigidula) is a shrub whose extracts are used in the manufacturing of various drugs. It acts as a stimulant and increases the metabolic activity of an individual. It is also used as a plant-derived fibre that aids in the process of digestion. Being a dietary fibre, people who consume it feel full and might eat in lesser quantities. This helps people to lose weight and also to reduce the cholesterol levels.
What is Acacia Rigidula?
Acacia Rigidula trees usually grow in warm climates and are a native of Australia, India, Texas, and Mexico. It is a species of the genus Acacia, which has almost 40 variant species in it. This herb belongs to the family Leguminosae
Various parts of acacia such as stem, leaves, roots and seeds and their extracts are used to manufacture drugs. Phenethylamine is a chemical that is naturally found in the leaves of Acacia Rgidula that has many medicinal benefits.
What are the Benefits of Acacia Rigidula?
Acacia provides immense benefits in the treatment of a toothache, sore throat and malaria. Fresh parts of the plant have been found to be active against the Hepatitis C virus.
Each part of the plant Acacia Rigidula has different benefits. Some of them are listed below:
- Stem Bark: It can be used as an astringent and also to treat various conditions such as skin diseases, hemorroids, cough and asthma.
- Gum: It is used as an analgesic in case of oral cavity lesions.
- Hormonal Extracts from Plants(Gibberellic acid or GA): It acts as an effective anti-oxidant and is also known to reduce the adverse effects of chronic kidney failure. It can also be used in diarrhoea as it has some probiotic or pro-absorptive properties. There is evidence that it has some antimicrobial activity and can be used to treat various dental conditions.
- Flowers: The flowers of Acacia are found to reduce the body temperature and to treat conditions such as an earache. A tonic made from these flowers has also been effective in treating dysentery and diarrhoea.
- Pods: They are found to be effective in treating dry cough, impotency and uro-genital problems.
- Seeds and Leaves: Various extracts prepared from these are useful in improving the general body vigour, diarrhoea, eczema, abscesses, headaches and other eye-related diseases.
- Leaves: Phenethylamine is a chemical in the leaves that give a stimulant property to the shrub. It helps in weight reduction and in improving the performance of an athlete.
- Roots: They are used for treating acidity and for wound healing.
What are the Medicinal Properties of Acacia?
Acacia is found to have various medicinal properties and some of them are listed here:
- Antibacterial: The leaf, gum and the fruit of Acacia are proved to have antimicrobial property.
- Antifungal: The bark and flowers have shown antifungal properties.
- Antivirus: The bark extract showed many viral properties and has also inhibited the potato virus.
What are the side-effects of the use of Acacia rigidula?
Along with its immense benefits, Acacia also has some side-effects such as:
- Acacia Rigidula may increase the heart rate and palpitations and cause heart failure or cardiac arrest.
- Acacia, when chewed, may result in various gastrointestinal problems such as bloating, gas 2flatulence and neurological problems.
- Acacia can also cause allergic reactions such as rash, conjunctivitis, rhinitis and asthma.
- The fibre from acacia may impair the assimilation of oral drugs.
- Tannins from the herb may increase the risk of oesophageal and oral cancer.
Why to use Acacia Safely?
Acacia can be used safely by almost all the adults. But, some precautions are to be followed while using it in the following cases:
- Pregnancy: Not enough data is found regarding the safety of the use of acacia in pregnant and breastfeeding women. So, it is better to avoid the use of acacia in such women.
- High Blood Pressure (BP): Increased blood pressure levels were reported in some patients who had used acacia Rigidula supplements. It is still not clear if acacia or other stimulants in the supplement have caused this side-effect of high BP.
- Cross-allergies: If you are allergic to plants such as rye or quillaja, you may also be allergic to acacia. So, use it with proper precaution.
- Taking Oral Drugs: If you are already using amoxicillin or any iron supplements, talk to your doctor before using acacia as it has some properties to curb the mechanism of these oral drugs.
- Respiratory Disorders: Take enough precautions before using acacia if you are already suffering from respiratory disorders like cough or cold.
Acacia Rigidula may accelerate heart rate, blood pressure and may impede the process of surgeries due to this increased blood flow. So, the intake of acacia rigidula supplements has to be stopped two weeks before the surgery.
What are the Drug Interactions for Acacia Rigidula?
The exact drug interactions of Acacia rigidula are not yet found. However, the drug interactions of acacia extracts, in general, are listed below:
- Amoxycillin: It is a major contraindication. People who are on Trimox or Amoxil have to be very careful while taking acacia as it can prevent the body from absorbing them. To avoid this interaction acacia should be taken at least four hours before or after taking amoxicillin.
- Anticancer Drugs: Acacia, when dissolved in water, forms a surfactant that increases the intestinal absorption of drugs such as anticancer drugs. This results in an ineffective action of the drugs
- When acacia is mixed with a substance having >50% ethyl alcohol, it may result in the insolubility of acacia. Iron salts can mix and gelatinize acacia. All such mixtures may give rise to various complications such as indigestion. Acacia may also impair the absorption of oral herbs or supplements.
- Tannins from, the herb when combined with other substances that contain high amounts of tannins may result in the development of oesophageal and oral cancer.
What is the Dosing Consideration for Acacia?
The appropriate dose of acacia depends upon many factors such as the person’s age, health and other conditions. Not enough information is now available for the determination of the exact range of doses for acacia. The use of all-natural products or herbs is not safe and dose is definitely important to avoid any side-effects. If you are using acacia, it is important to follow the dosage as advised by your doctor or other healthcare practitioners.
Acacia, is a medicinal herb with a rich source of many vitamins and minerals, is used to treating various health conditions such as skin diseases, infections and allergies. Research is still going on how to make its use safer.