MEDICINAL PROPERTIES OF DIFFERENT PARTS OF ACACIA NILOTICA LINN (BABUL), ITS
PHYTOCONSTITUENTS AND DIVERSE PHARMACOLOGICAL ACTIVITIES
RUSHDA SAEEDI1, ARSHIYA SULTANA2*, KHALEEQUR RAHMAN3
1Department of Amraze Niswan wa Ilmul Qabalat, Jamia Tibbiya Deoband, Sararanpur, UP, India. 2Department of Amraze Niswan wa Ilmul
Qabalat, National Institute of Unani Medicine, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India. 3
Received: 13 Sep 2019, Revised and Accepted: 30 Dec 2019
Department of Ilmus Saidla (Pharmacy), National Institute of
Unani Medicine, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
Acacia nilotica Linn commonly known as Babul is a multipurpose tree. As the world is turning back towards the herbal drug, it is the need of the
hour to re-evaluate the knowledge of traditional medicine through vast review. In the Unani traditional system of medicine, all parts of the plant
have been used as a remedy for various diseases and are imputed for their medicinal properties. Hence, this review presents an overview of the
medicinal properties of different parts of A. nilotica L. used in Unani medicine, its phytochemical constituents, and diverse pharmacological
activities. The information related to this drug was retrieved using the classical Unani sources viz., Al-Qanun fi’l Tibb (Canon of Medicine), Iksir-i-
A‘zam, Al Hawi fi’l Tibb (Continens Liber), Tarjuma Kamil al-Sana‘a al-Tibbiyya, Dhakhira Khawarizm Shahi, Biyaz-i-Kabir and Tibb-i-Akbar for
medicinal properties used in Unani Medicine. Further for other traditional uses, phytoconstituents and pharmacological activities, different search
engines like PubMed, Medline, Google Scholar, Ovid, Science Direct and Scopus were also browsed.
A. nilotica possesses various medicinal properties as per classical Unani texts such as astringent, tonic, wound healing, aphrodisiac, expectorant,
resolvent, and antispasmodic. In vivo, in vitro, and clinical studies from the published articles validate the fact that A. nilotica is a potential source of
various bioactive compounds having various pharmacological properties and therapeutic uses. The various pharmacological activities are anti-
inflammatory, analgesic, antibacterial, anticancerous, antidiabetic and antihypertensive properties. This review concludes that the Unani medicinal
effects of A. nilotica are proven by scientific studies.
Keywords: Acacia nilotica Linn, Analgesic, Antibacterial, Anti-inflammatory, Antioxidant
© 2020 The Authors. Published by Innovare Aca demic Sciences Pvt Ltd. This i s an open access article under the CC BY license (http://cre ativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
DOI: http://dx.do i.org/10.22159/ijpps.2020v12 i2.35672. Journal homepage: htt ps://innovareacademics.in/journals/index.php/ijpps
Medicinal plants have a long history of use for the benefit of
mankind. According to the report of the World Health Organization
(W. H. O), about 80% of the world’s population relies chiefly on
traditional therapies . Acacia nilotica Linn commonly known as
Babul and Kikar has been used in Unani and other Indian System of
Medicine for hundreds of years for the prevention and treatment of
various health ailments. It was first described by Linnaeus in 1773
. A. nilotica L belongs to the kingdom Plantae and family Fabaceae
. It is the second-largest genus of the family Fabaceae, with about
1350 species. It is distributed throughout tropical and warm
temperate areas of the world like Asia, Australia, Africa and America
[4, 5]. A. nilotica has various complex phytoconstituents including
alkaloids, volatile essential oils, phenols, phenolic glycosides, and
terpenes. These types of phytoconstituents play a role in the
therapeutic actions of A. nilotica. Earlier traditional description
confirmed that A. nilotica has a rich amount of nutrients and
contains a high therapeutic value which is capable of prevention,
mitigation, and treatment of various infectious diseases and
deleterious conditions . The studies based on the animal model
established that A. nilotica and its chief phytoconstituents play a
pivotal role in anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-
cancer, and anti-hypertensive management. It is considered a safe
medicinal plant and modulates the numerous therapeutic actions
without any adverse effect.
The main objective of this review article is to describe a
comprehensive therapeutic Unani traditional uses and novel scientific
studies of A. nilotica, which will be noteworthy for the design and
synthesis of new promising leading compounds with all plant parts.
Literature sources were from the Unani classical texts viz., Al-Qanun
fi’l Tibb (Canon of Medicine), Iksir-i-A‘zam, Al Hawi fi’l Tibb
(Continens Liber), Tarjuma Kamil al-Sana‘a al-Tibbiyya, Dhakhira
Khawarizm Shahi, Biyaz-i-Kab'ir and Tibb-i-Akbar for medicinal
properties used in Unani Medicine. For recent scientific studies
articles published in Pub Med, Ovid, Medline, Science Direct,
Springer, Scopus, Google scholars, and Google electronic databases
The vernacular names of A. nilotica are Ammughilam, Ummughilam,
Akakia  in Arabic. Babbuula, Babbuuri, Baavari, Aabhaa, Shuulika,
Shitaka, Kinkiraata, Yugmakantaka, Sukshmaptra, Pitapushpaka 
in Ayurvedic medicine. It is known as Babul, Black babul, Indian gum
Arabic tree [7-10] and Karemugila [7, 11] in Persian. The other
synonyms of A. nilotica are Acacia arabica Willd [8, 10], Acacia
scorpioides, Mimosa Arabica and Mimosa nilotica .
A. nilotica L. is described as a perennial tree, 2.5-10 m tall. Branches
spread, forming a dense flat or rounded crown with dark to black
coloured stems. Bark thin, rough, fissured, deep red-brown. Spines
(thorns) thin, straight, light grey in axillary pairs, usually in 3-12
pairs, 5-5.7 cm long in young trees. Leaves bipinnate 30-40 mm long,
often with 1-2 petiolar glands; pinnae 2-11 pairs, with 7-25 pairs of
leaflets per pinnae. Peduncles clustered at nodes of leafy and leafless
branchlets. Flowers prolific, golden yellow, in globules heads 1.2-1.5
cm in diameter. Pods straight or slightly curved 5-15 cm long on a
pedicel, 0.5-1.2 cm wide, with constrictions between the seeds
giving the appearance of a string of pearls, fleshy when young
indehiscent, becoming black and hard at maturity. Seeds are deep
blackish-brown, smooth, sub-circular, compresses, areole 6-7 mm
long, 4.5-5 mm wide. Branches are scattered and the bark is thick
and fissured. The orange-brown coloured sticky resinous substance
is present inside the plant [11, 13-16].
As per Unani classical texts, the parts used are flower [15-17], leaves
[7, 10, 15-18], roots , stem/bark [7, 8, 10, 11, 15, 16], gum [7, 8,
10, 12, 15-17, 20], pods [7, 10, 16, 17, 20, 22], seeds [8, 7] and
branches [15, 19]. The temperament as per Unani classical texts is
Hot and Dry 2 ° [14, 15], Cold and Dry 2 °[11, 13, 16, 17, 23, 24], and
gum-moderate . The dosage mentioned in classical texts for
International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Print ISSN: 2656-0097 | Online ISSN: 0975-1491 Vol 12, Issue 2, 2020
Sultana et al.
Int J Pharm Pharm Sci, Vol 12, Issue 2, 8-14
roots decoction is 84 g to 112g and 5 to 7 g  for powder. The
compound formulations of Babul are Habbe tappe balghami, Habbe
sil, Laooq sapistan [11, 14] and Sanoone mughilan .
Medicinal properties of A. nilotica in unani traditional medicine
Qabiz (Astringent), Habis-i-dam (Haemostatic), Mujaffif (Desiccant),
Mubarrid (Cooling), Muqawwi (Tonic), Mufattih (Deobstruent), Muqi
(Emetic), Mudammil-i-juruh (Wound healing), Mumsik (Aphrodisiac),
Muzeeqi-i-farj (Constricts vagina), Munaffith-i-balgham
(Expectorant), Muqawwi-i-mida wa jigar (Liver and stomach tonic),
Rada (Divergent), Muhallil (Anti-inflammatory), Muqawwi basr (Eye
tonic) and Dafi-i-tashannuj (Antispasmodic) [8, 11, 13-, 15, 20, 24].
Phytoconstituents of a. nilotica l. (babul) with the possible
mechanism of action
A. nilotica has a therapeutic implication in disease prevention and
treatment as it is a source of various types of phytoconstituents like
tannins, alkaloids, polyphenolic compounds, and flavonoids. The most
characteristic types of secondary metabolites of this genus are
flavonoids . The compounds such as kaempferol-3-glucoside, iso-
quercetin, catechin, kaempferol, galactose, l-arabinose, l-rhamnose, etc
are also present in this plant. The isolated bioactive constituents of A,
nilotica are summarized in table 1. [8, 9, 18, 27-38].
The Possible mechanism of action of A. nilotica is presented as follows
Flavonoids present in the flower, fruit, and leaves are the key
constituents responsible for an anti-microbial property. The plant
parts exhibit anti-microbial role through inhibition of microbial
growth, inhibition of cytoplasmic membrane function, inhibition of
the attachment and biofilm formation, and alteration of the
membrane permeability .
A. nilotica plays an important role as free radical scavenging
properties due to a rich source of antioxidants like flavonoids,
phenolics, tannins, curcumin, and terpenoids. They can reduce the
contact of oxidants and other toxic molecules due to their ability to
scavenge oxygen-nitrogen-derived free radicals by donating
hydrogen atom or an electron, chelating metal catalysts, activating
antioxidant enzymes, and inhibiting oxidases. A. nilotica ingredient
shows an effective role in the management of cancer through the
regulation of cell signalling pathways. It modulates the activity of
various tumour suppressor genes, angiogenesis, and apoptosis .
A. nilotica also plays a role as an anti-inflammatory via regulation of
pro-inflammatory enzyme activities including cyclooxygenase and
lipoxygenase enzyme. Among the phytoconstituents found in plants
like flavonoids, polysaccharides and organic acids may be mainly
responsible for its pharmacological action . Tannin is an active
chemical responsible for its anti-diabetic activity .
Table 1: Phytoconstituents of Acacia nilotica Linn
Dimethyltryptamine, N-methyltryptamine, tryptamines
Gallocatechin-5-O-gallate, Dicatechin, Polygalloytannin
Cysteine, Methionine, Threonine, Lysine, Tryptophan
Lupenone, Lupeol, Niloticane
D-Galactose, L-Arabinose, L-Rhamnose
Gallic acid, Tannic acid, Cresol
Kaempferol kaempferol-3-glucoside, iso-quercitin, leucocyanidi, Catechin, Catechin-7-O-gallate,Quercetin,
Quercetin-3-O-β-glucopyranoside, Naringenin, Naringenin-7-O-β-glucopyranoside, Chalconaringenin-4′-O-β-
Therapeutic implications and pharmacological studies of A.
A. nilotica fruit is used for the treatment of sore throat, cold,
bronchitis, pneumonia, ophthalmia, diarrhoea, dysentery, leprosy
and venereal diseases as per Unani traditional medicine. The
decoction of the bark is largely used as an astringent douche in
sozak (gonorrhea), waram al-mathana (cystitis), waram-al-mahbil
(vaginitis), sayalan al-rahim (leucorrhoea) .
A study was conducted to investigate the in vitro antibacterial
activity of Acacia nilotica methanolic fruits extract against clinical
isolates performed by cup-plate agar diffusion method against five
gram-negative bacteria (E. coli, S. flexneri, Salmonella typhi,
Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Klebsiella pneumonia) and 2 gram-
positive bacteria i.e., Listeria monocytogenes and Bacillus cereus. Out
of 7 cultures tested, it showed good activity against Salmonella typhi
and Bacillus cereus. The authors concluded that the methanolic fruit
extract of A. nilotica showed significant inhibition against gram-
positive and gram-negative species . One of the studies found
that the methanolic extracts of A. nilotica pods were most active
against different bacterial and fungal strains. The methanolic extract
of pods showed the highest activity against E. coli, S. aureus and A.
niger . The antimicrobial property of 50 percent aqueous
ethanolic leaf extract of A. nilotica
Some of these diseases such as venereal diseases, diarrhoea,
vaginitis, cystitis, pneumonia, and sore throat are microbial diseases
mentioned in Unani medicine [15, 17]. A. nilotica is effective in
aforementioned conditions because of its anti-microbial activity.
(L.) exhibited antifungal property
against Rhizoctonia solani. . A. nilotica demonstrated the highest
activity against three bacterial strains (E. coli, S. aureus and
Salmonella typhi) and two fungal strains (Candida albicans and
Aspergillus niger) . Pods and leaf extracts exhibited the anti-viral
effect . Pods of A. nilotica were reported to inhibit HIV-1 induced
Traditionally, A. nilotica is used in various inflammatory conditions like
bronchitis, pharyngitis, vaginitis, and conjunctivitis as it possesses
Muhallil al waram (anti-inflammatory) property. The decoction of the
bark is locally useful in cystitis, and vaginitis . The juice of bark mixed
with breast milk is dropped into the eye in conjunctivitis [7, 15].
Theointment of the young leaf around the eyes is beneficial in Ashob-i-
chashm harr (Acute conjunctivitis) . It is used in ophthalmia, tender
leaf fried in ghee and wrapped around the eyes in chronic ophthalmia
and subconjunctival haemorrhage . The bruised leaves are applied to
sore eyes in children. The tender leaves growing tops rubbed into a
paste with sugar and water and given two times a day are useful in
cough . The bark is also used in asthma and bronchitis .
Plants or their isolated derivatives are in practice to treat/act as anti-
inflammatory agents. Study results had confirmed that ethyl extract of
A. nilotica bark showed significant anti-inflammatory activity in 12-O-
tetradecanoyphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) induced mouse ear oedema
Sultana et al.
Int J Pharm Pharm Sci, Vol 12, Issue 2, 8-14
. Other study results revealed that its pod aqueous extract at a
dose of 50 and 100 mg/kg b.w. showed significant anti-inflammatory
activity in cotton pellet granuloma assay in rats . Another study
investigated the anti-inflammatory effect of A. nilotica on albino rats
using carrageenan-induced paw oedema and yeast induced pyrexia at
a dose of 100 mg/Kg b.w. The results exhibited an increased inhibition
of paw oedema and pyrexia (20%) .
Cancer is a multifactorial disease and a major health problem worldwide.
Earlier studies reported that plants and their constituents show
inhibitory effects on the growth of malignant cells through modulation of
cellular proliferation, tumour suppressor gene, apoptosis, etc. It contains
flavonoids and various other constituents that play an important
function in the inhibition of cancer development. The experiment was
made to evaluate the anticancer activity of aqueous extracts of gum,
flower and leaves of A. nilotica in 7, 12-dimethylbenz(a) anthracene
(DMBA) induced skin papallomegenesis in Swiss albino mice. The results
showed a significant reduction in the values of tumour burden, tumour
incidence and cumulative papillomas . A study finding revealed that
methanolic pods extract showing anti-uveal melanoma activity .
Free radical or reactive oxygen species are one of the main causes in the
genesis of various diseases. Antioxidants deactivate free radicals, often
before the attack targets in cells. Medicinal plants have been reported to
have antioxidant activity. A valuable study was carried out to evaluate in
vitro antioxidant activity in 8 different crude extracts of the pods of A.
nilotica. The results obtained strongly indicated that green pods of A.
nilotica are an important source of natural antioxidants . Other
results revealed that umbelliferone a coumarin derivative studied in
vitro, and exhibited a higher antioxidant activity . Another study
revealed that A. nilotica was an easily accessible source of natural
antioxidants, which can be used as a supplement to aid the therapy of
free radical-mediated diseases such as cancer, diabetes inflammation, etc
. Furthermore, the high scavenging property of A. nilotica may be
due to hydroxyl groups existing in the phenolic compounds that can
scavenge the free radicals [The antioxidant activity of fruit extract of A.
nilotica and leaves extract of the date palm revealed that the methanol
extract of each plant powder was obtained by dissolving 5g of each plant
powder in 50 ml methanol-water had rich sources of total phenol
content and Trolox Equivalent Antioxidant Capacity (TEAC) radical
scavenging activity .
A study was performed to investigate the anti-plasmodium activity of
aqueous and methanolic root extract of Babul in Plasmodium Berghei
infected mice. The results revealed significant activity against
chloroquine-sensitive strains . Ethyl acetate extract of its root
showed the highest activity against P. falciparum. Another in vitro
study was made to evaluate the antimalarial activities of leaves, pods
and bark extracts of A. nilotica. The results revealed that it had an
antimalarial effect as all extracts inhibited the development of mature
schizont indicating schizonticide activity against P. falciparum .
Analgesic and antipyretic activity
Traditionally, A. nilotica has been shown to be a potent analgesic as
it is used in ophthalmic pain. The young leaves fried in ghee and
wrapped around the eyes in chronic ophthalmia and subconjunctival
haemorrhage [15, 20].
Modern researches also have revealed that it has analgesic and
antipyretic activity. One of the studies examined antipyretic as well
as the analgesic activity of an aqueous root extract of A. nilotica in
Wistar Albino rat models. The antipyretic and analgesic activity of
the extract was compared with acetaminophen. The results showed
that extract produces a significant dose-dependent reduction in
rectal temperature of rats at 200 and 400 mg/kg body weight.
Significant analgesic activity was also observed which was
comparable to the acetaminophen .
Acetylcholinestrase (AChE) inhibitor has been used as a drug for the
symptomatic treatment of Alzheimer’s disease . The root
aqueous, ethyl acetate leaf, ethanol leaf, and ethyl acetate bark
extract of A. nilotica had AChE inhibitory activity . Another study
showed inhibition of acetylcholinesterase by diterpene niloticane
isolated from stem bark ethyl acetate extract of A. nilotica .
TheeExperimentation showed potent that the AChE-inhibiting effect
of A. nilotica was much more potent than Portuguese and Danish
medicinal plants such as Brassica nigra and B. alba, Myristica
fragrans, Juniperus Sabina and other plants .
Traditionally, the decoction of leaves is used as astringent for the bowels
[11, 14, 17]. Pods and bark are useful in piles . Dry thorn of Acacia,
boiled in 400 ml of water, filtered and add honey in it, is useful in hiccups
[15, 20]. The gum mucilage in useful in diarrhoea and dysentery . The
paste of leaves with Zeera siyah (Bunium bulbocastanum) and Zeera
safaid (Cuminum cyminum) is useful in phlegmatic diarrhoea. Powdered
pods and leaf extracts are also useful in diarrhoea. Flowers are used as a
tonic in diarrhoea and dysentery. Fresh leaves along with sugar and Kali
mirch (Piper nigrum) are useful in intestinal abrasions and hemorrhagic
diarrhoea. The decoction of bark causes constipation when used orally
or as an enema .
The significant protective effect of 50% hydroethanolic and 70%
hydroethanolic pods extract was revealed in gastric ulcers . The
methanol fruit (pods with seeds) extract of A. nilotica showed a dose
and time-dependent antihelminthic effects in worms by inhibiting
egg hatching and larval development . The methanol bark
extract was used to treat barium chloride-induced peristaltic
movements and castor oil, magnesium sulfate-induced diarrhoea
and in vitro antimicrobial activity against common micro-organisms
causing diarrhoea in Swiss albino mouse model .
Metabolic disorders consist of hyperglycemia, hypertension,
hyperlipidemia, and central obesity. Each metabolic disorder is
associated with other risk factors that promote cardiovascular disease
. Herbal medicines have therapeutic effects on regulating these
disorders. A. nilotica is a useful drug for Zyabetus (diabetes) as stated
in the traditional Unani medicine , which is scientifically proven i n
various in vivo, in vitro and clinical studies. An in vitro study was
undertaken to evaluate the hypoglycemic activity of roasted A. nilotica
powder in diabetic rats, statistically significant lowering of blood
glucose levels from 132.23±26.68 to 106.1±10.92 was observed .
Another important study suggested that aqueous and methanol leaves
extracts of A. nilotica exhibited hypoglycemic and anti-platelet
aggregation activity in the streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats .
The hot water extract of pods showed hypoglycemic effects in adult
male albino rat models . However, pods and tender leaves are
considered very beneficial in folk medicine to treat DM.
Hyperlipidemia one of the risky metabolic disorders can progressively
cause and/or exacerbated a wide spectrum of co-morbidities. Animal
studies have shown that A. nilotica is protective against hyperlipidemia.
In an animal study, A. nilotica extract was given in doses of 100 mg/kg
and 200 mg/kg orally for 21 d to the streptozotocin-induced diabetic
female albino rats to assess antidiabetic, antihyperlipidemic and
antioxidant effects. Its treatment had decreased total cholesterol level
(TC), triglycerides (TG), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C),
malondialdehyde (MDA) and a significant increase in high-density
lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) was observed .
Traditionally, flowers of A. nilotica are powerful tonic and enrich the
blood . The flower extract is useful in Khafaqn harr (palpitation)
A decrease in arterial blood pressure was reported with the use of a
methanolic extract of A. nilotica pods and provided evidence of
antihypertensive activity independent of muscarinic receptor
stimulation. In the in vitro study, A. nilotica has an inhibitory effect
on force and rate of spontaneous contractions in guinea-pig paired
atria and rabbit jejunum. Another study showed that methanol
extract of A. nilotica pods had antihypertensive and antispasmodic
activity . It also inhibited K+induced contraction in rabbit
jejunum and suggested the antispasmodic action of A. nilotica, which
was mediated through the calcium channel blockade, hence also be
responsible for the blood pressure-lowering effect of A. nilotica
observed in the in vivo studies .
Sultana et al.
Int J Pharm Pharm Sci, Vol 12, Issue 2, 8-14
Table 2: Clinical studies of Acacia nilotica linn
Title of the study,
author with year
Dosage with route of
Subjects having chronic
Local application of gel
The gel contains Acacia
clinical improvement in
gingival and plaque
index as compared to
8-37 y of age with
minimum of 15 teeth,
good general health, a
baseline plaque index
(PI) mean>1.510 and the
presence of established
with mean gingivitis
Subjects brush their
teeth thrice daily with
50g 0f non-fluoridated
PI and GI score change
between baseline and
28 d was recorded in
the test group before
crossover is (0.69) and
0.94 whereas the lowest
score differential was
recorded in the control
group after crossover
i.e., 0.1 and 0
Evaluate the efficacy
Acacia) in improving
women quality of
life in uterine
prolapse with P-QOL
with uterine prolapse.
Acacia powder orally as
well in the form of
A group who is given
powder shows a
improvement in QOL in
the uterine prolapse
patient as compared to
Babul A potential
source of tannin and
its suitability in the
management of type
II diabetes mellitus
30 normal subjects (20
female and 10 males) for
assessing the Glycemic
12 diabetic subjects (8
males and 4 females)
Babul pods powder
incorporated in biscuits
(3g per serve)-Blood
sugar levels recorded at
every 30 min interval for
Babul powder is
effective in management
of blood glucose levels.
Efficacy of Herbal
Arabica and Butea
Treatment of Post-
21-45 age year women in
the postnatal period
white discharge and
fatigue without any other
6g of Acacia and Butea
powder gave twice daily
with a glass of milk for 30
7 Out of 12 (
Patients respond well
for pain relief. Relief in
other symptoms is
77.7% patients for
fatigue and 60% for
Efficacy of Acacia
gum as an
adjunct to scaling
and root planning in
the treatment of
Age between 18-70 y with
mild to moderate chronic
periodonitis analyzed for
clinical improvements in
periodontal pocket depth
and clinical attachment
Application of Acacia gel
twice daily after tooth
PPD and CAL gain was
observed with the use of
Efficacy of bark of
with bacterial vaginosis
The decoction of Chal
was given orally
(30 gms twice daily) for
one month and standard
drug Tab. Metronidazole
(400 mg twice daily) for
7 d was given
A. nilotica was found to
have similar effects as
the control drug in the
Effect of Abzan of
Married women within
the age group of 18–50 y,
presenting with sayalan
and/or associated with
any of these symptoms
such as pain in the lower
abdomen, low backache,
vulvar itching and vulvar
In the test group aqueous
extract powder of
babool (30g) followed by
hamul (5 ml of the same
and in the control group
placebo palm sugar
powder (30g) once daily
for 10 d. In both groups,
orally, one capsule of
placebo was given daily
for 10 d.
Samar babool is a safe
and effective therapy
for the treatment of
assessed by VAS scale
and for the
improvement in HRQoL
of women assessed by
Gum arabic reduces
C-reactive protein in
urea or indoxyl
Eligible candidates were
adult CKD patients in
Each patient 28 labelled
packages containing 10,
20, or 40 grams of gum
Arabica in the form of
instantly soluble granules
Supplementing the diet
of CKD patients with
10–40 g/day of GA
Sultana et al.
Int J Pharm Pharm Sci, Vol 12, Issue 2, 8-14
Oral hygiene measures have been practiced by different populations
around the world since antiquity. Dental caries is one of the most
common human diseases that affect the vast majority of individuals.
The bark of Acacia is used in toothpaste, which acts as a Mujali-i-
dandan (tooth cleaner) . Extract of leaves is used as hemoptysis,
the paste of its bark makes the gum strong, strengthens the teeth
and also checks bleeding gums. The bark decoction is used as a
gargle in various throat problems. The bark of Acacia and the bark of
mango in an equal quantity (6g) boiled in 750 ml of water for half an
hour and gargled with the filtered solution is useful in mouth ulcers.
Gargles with its leaves, bark and Hardh (Terminalia chebula) bark
are also used in the treatment of sore throat [7, 15, 47].
An in vitro study was done to assess the effectiveness of 5%, 10%, and
50% extract of dried chewing sticks of A. nilotica on Streptococcus
mutans. The results showed the effect of various concentrations of
aqueous A. nilotica extracts on Streptococcus mutans .
Prolactin release and milk production
Stem bark aqueous extract in the dose of 280-560 mg/b. w was
proven to have the stimulation of milk production and mammary
gland development in the female rats .
Sexual and urogenital
Traditionally, A. nilotica has been used to treat sexual dysfunctions.
Pods are Muqawwi-i-bah (strong aphrodisiac) and useful to treat
Salyan al-rahim (leucorrhoea) [13, 15, 20, 47]. A douche of decoction
of the bark is also useful in Silsil al-bawl (incontinence of urine) .
A douche of bark decoction with alum powder is useful in abnormal
vaginal discharge. The oral intake of bark decoction is useful in
Istehaza (Abnormal uterine bleeding) . Powdered pods are used
in impotency, spermatorrhoea and effective in urogenital disorders
. Recent scientific studies have also proven the same effect that
the fresh pods extract are useful in the treatment of sexual disorders
such as spermatorrhoea, loss of viscidity of semen, frequent night
discharges and premature ejaculation .
In vitro study with ethanolic bark extract of A. nilotica 300 mg/kg b.
w showed an increase in the volume of urine and concentrations of
Na, K, and Cl ions proving its diuretic effect .
Smooth muscle relaxant property
An experiment was made to assess the smooth muscle relaxant
activity of methanolic leaf extract against the acetylcholine and
oxytocin-induced contractions in isolated Wistar rat uterus. The
results showed excellent muscle relaxant activity of A. nilotica .
Various clinical trials were conducted to study the effect of A.
nilotica in gingivitis, uterine prolapse, leucorrhoea, diabetes
mellitus, postnatal backache, chronic periodontitis, and bacterial
vaginosis. The clinical trials are summarized in table 2 [41, 70-77].
Side effects as per unani classical texts
It affects stomach [11, 13, 14, 23], intestines [11, 13, 14]; rectum
, brain , chest [15, 16]. To prevent these side effects Kateera
(Astragalus tragacanth) [11, 13, 14, 16, 23], Shehad (Honey) [11, 13,
14, 16], Mirch siyaah (Piper nigrum)  and Banafsha (Viola
odorata); Bahi (Cydonia oblonga) is used.
Safety and toxicological studies
The measurement of toxicities of the natural compounds are crucial
before their application in health management. Various studies
based on animal models confirmed that A. nilotica is safe at a certain
dose. One of the studies has proven that A. nilotica extract has
hepatoprotective action and this effect relies on reducing the
oxidative stress in acetaminophen-induced hepatic damage in the
rat model . Another study showed the protective effect of A.
nilotica leaf extract and ethyl gallate on DNA and protein against
oxidative stress in
A study showed that the bark extract of Acacia is very much toxic to
Vero cells at concentrations ranging from 50 to 200 micro gm/ml
. Another study revealed that LD50 was found to be 215.36
mg/kg for ethanolic extract of Acacia in rats. Further, the authors
concluded that some toxicity was observed when administered
subacutely and intraperitoneally in rats, especially at a higher dose
of 60 mg/kg . The possible toxicity of A. nilotica was examined in
rats maintained at 2% and 8% acacia diet for 2 and 4 w. A significant
reduction in body weight in all acacia fed rats and a significant
decrease in the levels of hemoglobin, serum total protein, and total
cholesterol in rats fed at 8% acacia diet for up to 4 w were noted
. One of the studies showed that goats who received oral doses
of 1 g/kg/day of Acacia had an intermittent loss of voice, in-
coordination in movement and one goat died after 3 d of dosing,
another died on day 15 and the last goat with this dose died on day
35. Goats who received oral doses of 5 g/kg/day of Acacia nilotica
pods, the prominent signs observed from day one of dosing was the
thick saliva, loss of voice, staggering movement, recumbence loss of
appetite and all goats with this dose died between day 4 and day 8 of
the experiment .
in vitro study .
The popularity of Traditional medicinal plants or their derivatives role
in disease prevention and management is increasing worldwide. The
extensive survey of literature revealed that A. nilotica is an important
traditional medicinal plant with diverse medicinal properties with an
array of pharmacological activities. It has been traditionally used
worldwide since ancient times. The clinical-based studies confirmed
that it plays an important role in the prevention and management of
various diseases. Further, evaluation needs to be carried out in order
to explore the concealed areas and their practical clinical applications,
which can be used for the welfare of mankind.
Authors acknowledge the tremendous help obtained from the
scholars whose articles are cited and included in references for this
CONFLICT OF INTERESTS
The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.
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