Babul is a large tree that grows up to 14 meters high, with thorns on its branches. It has darkish grey bark and yellow flowers in spherical heads. It yields a gum, known as babul gum.
Babul is planted for its bark. The bark of babul tree contains tannin and garlic acid the leaves and fruits of the tree also contain tannin and garlic acid.
Botanical Name- Acacia arabica
Indian Name- Kikar
Below are some of the medicinal properties of babul:
- Babul is used in the treatment of diarrhea of ordinary intensity. A mixture of equal parts of the tender leaves with white and black cumin seeds can be administered in doses of 12 grams, thrice daily. An infusion made of the bark of the tree may also be taken thrice daily for the same purpose. The gum used either in decoction or in syrup, is an effective medicine for diarrhea.
- The bark of babul tree is useful in the treatment of eczema. About 25 grams each of this bark and the mango bark should be boiled in about 1 liter of water and the vapors allowed fomenting the affected part. After the fomentation, the affected part should be anointed with ghee.
- Chewing of fresh bark of babul tree daily, helps strengthen loose teeth and arrest any bleeding from the gums. Dirty teeth can be cleaned effectively by brushing them with a powder in which 60 grams of charcoal of babul wood, 24 grams of roasted alum and 12 grams of rock salt have been included.
- The leaves of babul tree are effective in the treatment of conjunctivitis. The leaves, ground to a paste, should be applied on the affected eyes at night, supported by a bandage which should be untied the next morning. This removes pain and redness.
- The leaves of babul are also beneficial in treating epiphora- that is watering of the eyes, in which tears flow onto the cheeks due to abnormality of the tear drainage system. About 250 grams of leaves should be boiled in one and a quarter liter of water until only a quarter liter of water is left. This should then be filtered and kept in a well-corked bottle. The eye-lids should be painted morning and evening with this liquid.
- Babul gum allays any irritation of the skin and soothes the inflamed membranes of the pharynx, alimentary canal and genitor-urinary organs.
- A decoction of the babul bark, mixed with rock salt, should be used as a gargle in treating tonsillitis.
- The bark of the babul tree is useful in leucorrhea; its decoction should be used as a vaginal douche for treating this disorder.
- The fresh pods of babul tree are effective in sexual disorders like spermatorrhea, loss of viscidity of the semen, frequent night discharges and premature ejaculation. In Ayurveda, a preparation made from the pods is considered highly beneficial in treating these disorders. It is prepared thus: about 1 to 1.5 meters of coarse cloth is spread evenly and its corners secured. The fresh pods of babul tree are pounded and their juice squeezed. This fresh juice is pasted on the cloth every morning and evening for at least 20 days until a 5-6 centimeters thick layer is formed on it. A small piece of this cloth weighing 5 to 9 grams is cut and boiled in a liter of cow's milk which is taken after adding brown sugar to taste.
It is also said to increase the power of retention of the semen. Even extremely debilitated patients suffering from the bad consequences of masturbation are believed to get rejuvenated by its use and attain normal retentive power. It improves the spermatorrhea.
Another preparation made from the pods is also effective in spermatorrhea. Tender, seedless pods are dried in shade, powdered and mixed with an equal weight of brown sugar. Six grams of this mixture may be taken with milk in the morning.