Black Catechu

Home My Blog Herb Profiles Botanical Names Glossary Treatments Recipes Other stuff HERB SHOP Books & Equipment Useful Links

Acacia catechu (Willd.)

Synonyms: Catechu nigrum, cutch, dark catechu

Order: Leguminosae

Description: This tree is indigenous to eastern India, Bangladesh and Burma. 

Parts used: dried extract from the heartwood, occurring in commerce as black shining pieces or cakes.

Collection: The bark and sapwood are stripped from the felled tree and the heartwood cut into pieces and boiled with water. The decoction is then evaporated to a syrup and allowed to cool in moulds. The resulting dried mass is broken into irregular pieces.

Constituents: 20-35% tannins, mainly catechutannic acid; 2-10% acacatechin, quercetin and catechu-red.

Actions: Antiseptic, strong astringent

Indications: Chronic diarrhoea, dysentery, mucous colitis, as a douche in leucorrhoea, and as a mouthwash or gargle in gingivitis, stomatitis and pharyngitis.

Therapeutics and Pharmacology: Acacia is a useful remedy for arresting excessive mucous discharges and checking haemorrhages. It may be used as a douche for leucorrhoea or as a mouthwash or gargle for pharyngitis, laryngitis, gingivitis and stomatitis. Acacia has a very high tannin content and is therefore an excellent astringent for overcoming relaxation of the mucous membranes in general. Externally, it can be applied in the form of a powder to boils, ulcers and cutaneous eruptions as well as to spongy gums.

Combinations: It may be combined with  Acorus, Mentha piperata, Filipendula, Agrimonia and Quercus in lower bowel conditions. It may be used with Commiphora and Hamamelis as a gargle for pharyngitis, tonsillitis or gingivitis.

Caution: Incompatible with alkalis, lime water, metallic salts and gelatin.

Preparation and Dosage: (thrice daily)

Regulatory status GSL

Dried extract: 0.3-2g or by infusion

Tincture: 1:5 in 45% alcohol, 2.5-5ml

Additional Comments: The resin from the heartwood of black catechu can be used to tan leather, and it also produces a brown dye. Pale catechu (Uncaria gambier Roxb.) may be used medicinally in the same way but is slightly less astringent.

 

Bibliography

BHMA 1983 British Herbal Pharmacopoeia, BHMA, Bournemouth.

Grieve, M. 1931 A Modern Herbal, (ed. C.F. Leyel 1985), London.

Hoffmann, D. 1990 The New Holistic Herbal, Second Edition, Element, Shaftesbury.

Lust, J. 1990 The Herb Book, Bantam, London.

Mills, S.Y. 1993 The A-Z of Modern Herbalism, Diamond Books, London.

Wren, R.C. 1988 Potter's New Cyclopaedia of Botanical Drugs and Preparations, C.W.Daniel, Saffron Walden.

 

Back to top

Previous herb Back to Index Next herb


 

Contact: woldfarm@aol.com Please complete the 'Subject' heading or your email will be assumed to be spam and automatically deleted. Before you contact me, I'd be grateful if you would please check to see if this website has the answer to your question (search box at the top of the homepage) - I have time to answer only a few of the many emails that arrive in my inbox every day. See also the statement below:

For your safety I am prohibited from giving specific medical advice to individuals over the internet or telephone so please do not waste your time or mine by emailing or calling me with detailed information about your health problems - I can only undertake face-to-face consultations for what should be obvious reasons. Diagnoses cannot be made remotely, and I am unable to offer any advice or treatment until I am completely satisfied that I know what I'm dealing with!  The herb profiles and treatment suggestions on this website will help enable you to choose which herbs might be appropriate for minor ailments. For more serious or chronic conditions you should seek professional advice. This is particularly important if you are taking medication from your doctor or pharmacist, as some herbs can interact adversely with other drugs. If you would like to have a consultation with a medical herbalist then you should click here  then scroll to 'Professional Organisations' at the bottom of the page to find a qualified practitioner in your area.

Hit Counter

Christine Haughton, MA MNIMH MCPP FRSPH

Wold Farm, West Heslerton, Malton, North Yorkshire YO17 8RY, UK

Last updated 27th November 2014     ęPurple Sage Botanicals