Acacia is the gum that is exuded from the acacia tree. It’s a dietary fiber that can dissolve in water.
Acacia is used for high cholesterol, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
In manufacturing, acacia is used as a pharmaceutical ingredient in medications for throat or stomach inflammation and as a film-forming agent in peel-off skin masks.
Don’t confuse acacia with acai, cassie absolute, or sweet acacia (Acacia farnesiana).
How does it work?
Acacia is a source of dietary fiber. It tends to make people feel full, so they might stop eating earlier than they otherwise would. This might lead to weight loss and reduced cholesterol levels.
Uses & Effectiveness?
Insufficient Evidence for
- Tooth plaque. Early research shows that chewing acacia gum for 7 days reduces dental plaque more than chewing sugar-free gum. Other research shows that applying a gel containing acacia and other ingredients after brushing for 6 weeks can decrease plaque similarly to using chlorhexidine 1% gel.
- Diabetes. Some research shows that taking acacia gum powder might help to lower blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes who are also taking diabetes medications. However, acacia does not completely normalize blood sugar.
- A mild form of gum disease (gingivitis). Early research shows that applying a gel containing acacia and other ingredients after brushing for 6 weeks can decrease gingivitis severity similarly to using chlorhexidine 1% gel.
- High cholesterol. Early research shows that taking acacia by mouth doesn’t lower cholesterol levels in people with high cholesterol.
- Obesity. Early research shows taking 30 grams of powdered acacia daily might help weight loss.
- Skin breakdown around a stoma (peristomal lesions). Early research shows that applying a thick layer of acacia gel to the skin around a colostomy appliance decreases skin inflammation better than applying zinc sulfate ointment.
- Sickle cell disease. Early research shows that taking acacia powder doesn’t improve how well the liver or kidneys work in people with sickle cell disease. But it might lower cholesterol levels in people with this condition.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of acacia for these uses.
Side Effects & Safety
When taken by mouth: Acacia is LIKELY SAFE for most adults in amounts commonly found in food. When taken by mouth in medicinal amounts, acacia is POSSIBLY SAFE. Up to 30 grams daily has been used safely for 6 weeks. However, it can cause minor adverse effects, including gas, bloating, nausea, and loose stools.
When applied to the skin: There isn’t enough reliable information to know if acacia is safe when applied to the skin or what the side effects might be.
Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn’t enough reliable information to know if acacia is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use of acacia in amounts greater than those found in food.
Asthma: People with asthma might be sensitive to acacia pollen.
Cross-allergies: People with known allergies to other plants such as rye or quillaja bark might have a reaction to acacia.
Diabetes: Acacia can decrease blood sugar levels. Your diabetes medications might need to be adjusted by your healthcare provider.
Surgery: Acacia can decrease blood sugar levels. In theory, acacia might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop taking acacia at least 2 weeks before elective surgical procedures.
Do not take this combination!
- Amoxicillin (Amoxil, Trimox) interacts with ACACIAAcacia can prevent the body from absorbing the antibiotic amoxicillin (Amoxil, Trimox). To prevent this interaction, take acacia at least four hours before or after taking amoxicillin (Amoxil, Trimox).
The appropriate dose of acacia depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for acacia. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.