Acacia vera sive spina Aegyptiaca.
THE acacia is a large but not tall tree, with prickly branches: the leaves are winged, or composed of several small ones set on each side a middle rib; and the flowers are yellow. The trunk is thick, and the top spreading.
The leaves are of a bluish green; and the flowers resemble in shape pea blossoms; many of them stand together. These are succeeded by long and flatted pods. The seeds contained in each are from four to seven; and the pod between them is very small and narrow: the breadth is where they lie.
The tree is frequent in Egypt, and there are a great many other kinds of it. No part of the acacia tree is kept in the shops; but we have from it two drugs:
1. The acacia juice (Acacia nilotica. -Henriette), and 2. The gum arabic (Acacia senegal, Acacia seyal. -Henriette).
The acacia juice, or succus acaciae, is like liquorice juice, hard and black. They bruise the unripe pods and seeds, and press out the juice which they evaporate to this consistence. The gum Arabic oozes out of the bark of the trunk and branches, as the plum-tree and cherry-tree gum do with us.
The acacia juice is an astringent but little used. The gum arabic is good in stranguries, and in coughs from a thin sharp rheum; it is to be given in solution, an ounce boiled in a quart of barley-water, or in powder in electuaries or otherwise.
What is called the German acacia is the juice of unripe sloes evaporated in the same manner.