Babul tree has been used for medicinal purposes since ancient times. The leaves, bark, seeds, and gum have wonderful health benefits, and here in India, babul is well known for its amazing use in treating gum problems. In Tamil Nadu, Babool | Babul | Kikar | Karuvelam tree is very common and especially, you will find babul trees in almost all the villages.
Babool | Babul Tree:
The tree is native to Africa, the Middle East, and India. The botanical name of the babul tree is called Vachellia Nilotica (formerly Acacia Nilotica | Acacia Arabica). The tree belongs to the genus Vachellia. Since the babul tree is found in plenty along the Nile river, it was given the species name of Nilotica.
The tree grows to a height of 15 to 20 meters and has thorns on its branches and produces yellow flowers with spherical heads, has dark bark, and long constricted pods that almost look like a necklace.
Babul Tree Common Names:
The tree yields a gum called Gum Arabic and so it is also popularly called Gum Arabic tree in English, some other common English names for it are Egyptian Thorn tree, Prickly Acacia, and Sant Tree. It is very popularly called Karuvela Maram in Tamil, Karuvolam in Malayalam, Babul | Kikar | Babool | Keekar in Hindi, Nalla Tumma in Telugu, Babla in Bengali, Baval in Gujarati, Gobli Mara in Kannada, Babhul in Marathi.
Babul Tree Benefits & Medicinal Uses:
In addition to the below-mentioned medicinal uses, it has anti-spasmodic, anti-mutagenic, anti-plasmodial, anti-hypertensive, anti-diabetic, and very interestingly it also has galactagogue properties (increases breast milk).
1. Anti Fungal & Anti Viral Properties:
Babul leaves have wonderful anti-fungal & anti-viral
properties. Both the methanolic and water extract showed strong anti-fungal and anti-viral properties.
2. Anti Diarrhoeal Properties:
Traditionally the bark extract of the plant is used for treating diarrhea and it has been proven through clinical research
. Both chloroform and ethanolic bark extracts inhibit Escherichia Coli very effectively. At home, we can boil the bark in water and drink it for treating diarrhea.
3. Antioxidant Properties:
Babul tree is rich in polyphenols and all parts of the tree including leaves, bark, and pods are known to exhibit strong antioxidant properties
and can help prevent diseases caused due to oxidative stress. An extract of any part of the babul tree has amazing antioxidant properties.
4. Anti Bacterial & Anti Malarial Properties:
Babul tree root has been clinically proven to have antibacterial properties, especially against 3 of the common ones (Escherichia Coli, Staphylococcus Aureus, and Salmonella Typhi). The root extract showed effective anti-malarial
5. Analgesic, Anthelmintic & Anti-inflammatory Properties:
Babul leaves have wonderful pain relieving, inflammation-reducing, and parasite-expelling properties. The leaf got by boiling the leaves in water can be taken to reduce pain and inflammation. It can also be taken to expel worms.
Babul Tree Chemical Constituents :
Leaves and flowers contain tannin, bark contains tannin and other polyphenolic compounds, and fruits contain gallic acid. Almost all parts of the babul tree including leaves, bark, pods, and roots are used for medicinal purposes.
Babul Tree Side Effects:
Babul has abortifacient and anti-fertility properties (you can find the study that proves it here
) so pregnant women should never consume babul extracts. Also since it has anti-diabetic properties, diabetic patients should be cautious as it will lower blood sugar levels drastically if consumed along with diabetic medications.
5 Top Medicinal Uses & Health Benefits Of Babul Tree:
1. Homemade Babool Tooth Powder:
This homemade babul tooth powder made using babul powder, baking soda, and salt will prevent and treat plaque and tartar in teeth. It is also very very easy to make at home. You can find the recipe for the tooth powder here.
2. Babul Leaf Paste For Wounds:
Babul leaf paste heals wounds and traditionally the leaves are ground in a mortar and pestle and applied as a poultice, works well for treating wounds fast.
3. Babul For Diarrhea:
Babul has wonderful anti-diarrheal properties. For the remedy, take a small piece of the bark of babul and boil in a cup of water till it reduces in half and strain. Take around 30 to 45 ml of the decoction to stop diarrhea.
4. Babul Leaf Rinse For Eyes:
Babul leaves decoction when used as an eyewash reduces watering of eyes also called Epiphora. It also reduces, redness and swelling. For the remedy, boil a handful of fresh babul leaves in 2 cups of water till it reduces in half and strain. Use it as an eyewash.
5. Babul Bark Tooth Brush:
Like neem, babul sticks can also be used as a toothbrush. For using it as a toothbrush, break a small tender branch of babul. Be careful while breaking as it is filled with thorns. Use the branch to brush your teeth. Brushing with a babul stick will keep the teeth and gums healthy.