The Amazing Acacia Tree
There are many types of Acacia Trees native to Africa and Australia. The acacia senegal, native and growing wildly throughout Sudan and South Sudan, emits a very useful sap.
Gum arabic, also called acacia gum, has myriad uses. “In the days of the Egyptian Pharaohs, gum arabic was essential to mummification, and since Biblical times, it has been used to maintain the integrity of paints. It can also soothe a worried belly, diarrhea, and constipation, and it’s a key ingredient in soft drinks. …It’s a natural emulsifier, which means that it can keep together substances which normally would not mix well. Pharmaceutical companies use it to keep medicines from separating into their different ingredients, and a dab of gum arabic makes newspaper ink more cohesive and permanent.” Read and hear more here at NPR.
Check out more photos from the African landscape at Explore.org.