Plant Profiler

Acacia (Acacia)

Synonyms / Common Names / Related Terms
Acacia arabica, Acacia arabica gum, Acacia aulacocarpa, Acacia auriculiformis, Acacia baileyana, acacia bark, Acacia catechu, Acacia caven, Acacia concinna, Acacia confusa (ACTI), Acacia coriacea, Acacia dealbata, Acacia farnesiana, Acacia floribunda, Acacia glaucoptera, Acacia greggii, acacia gum, Acacia lenticularis, Acacia longifolia, Acacia melanoxylon, Acacia mellifera, Acacia nilotica, Acacia pilispina, Acacia pycnantha, Acacia senegal, Acacia senegal (L.) Willd., Acacia seyal, Acacia tenuifolia, Acacia tortilis sp. raddiana, Acacia tortuoso, Acacia victoriae (Bentham), black wattle, blackwood, catclaw acacia, espinillo negro, Fabaceae (family), gastrilis, gomme arabique, gomme de Senegal, gum arabic, gum senegal, huizache, ker, khadira, kikar, Leguminosae (family), mimosa, miswaki, Robinia pseudoacacia, silver wattle, Sydney golden wattle, wattles, white acacia seeds.

Mechanism of Action
  • Constituents: The applicable part of acacia is the gum, which mainly consists of arabic acid, which becomes arabinose, galactose, and arabinosic acid when hydrolyzed. Acacia gum is highly water-soluble.
  • Anti-inflammatory effects: Avicins represent a new class of plant stress metabolites capable of activating stress adaptation and suppressing proinflammatory components of the immune system in human cells by redox regulation.5
  • Antitumor effects: Acacia inhibits tumor cell growth and induces apoptosis, in part, by perturbing mitochondrial function.6 It has been shown to possess activity against P-gp.7,4,8,9
  • Avicins are selectively toxic to tumor cells at very low doses.10 Avicins D and G have been shown to have potent cytotoxicity activity (apoptosis) against human T-cell leukemia (Jurkat cells) in vitro.11
  • The methyl ethyl ketone extract of Acacia pilispina was found to inhibit dRP lyase activity of DNA polymerase beta.3
  • Antiplatelet effects: Antiplatelet aggregatory activity of the extract of Acacia nilotica is mainly due to the blockade of Ca2+ channels. Evidence also suggests the involvement of protein kinase C.2
  • Hypoglycemic effects: Acacia catechu extract decreased blood sugar of normal animals but was not reduced in diabetic rats. It is believed that the extract causes the pancreas to secrete more insulin in normal animals.12 Similarly, Acacia coriacea mixed into wheat bread (18 grams per 82 grams wheat flour) significantly reduced the initial rise in plasma glucose levels (p<0.05) and the area under the plasma glucose curve (p<0.005) in six nondiabetic subjects compared to flour alone.1 Insulin values were also lowered at 60 minutes (p<0.025) and 90 minutes (p<0.05).

  1. Thorburn, A. W., Brand, J. C., Cherikoff, V., and Truswell, A. S. Lower postprandial plasma glucose and insulin after addition of Acacia coriacea flour to wheat bread. Aust N Z J Med 1987;17(1):24-26. 3304241
  2. Shah, B. H., Safdar, B., Virani, S. S., Nawaz, Z., Saeed, S. A., and Gilani, A. H. The antiplatelet aggregatory activity of Acacia nilotica is due to blockade of calcium influx through membrane calcium channels. Gen Pharmacol 1997;29(2):251-255. 9251908
  3. Li, S. S., Gao, Z., Feng, X., Jones, S. H., and Hecht, S. M. Plant sterols as selective DNA polymerase beta lyase inhibitors and potentiators of bleomycin cytotoxicity. Bioorg Med Chem 8-1-2004;12(15):4253-4258. 15246101
  4. Lo, Y. L., Hsu, C. Y., and Huang, J. D. Comparison of effects of surfactants with other MDR reversing agents on intracellular uptake of epirubicin in Caco-2 cell line. Anticancer Res 1998;18(4C):3005-3009. 9713500
  5. Haridas, V., Hanausek, M., Nishimura, G., Soehnge, H., Gaikwad, A., Narog, M., Spears, E., Zoltaszek, R., Walaszek, Z., and Gutterman, J. U. Triterpenoid electrophiles (avicins) activate the innate stress response by redox regulation of a gene battery. J Clin Invest 2004;113(1):65-73. 14702110
  6. Haridas, V., Arntzen, C. J., and Gutterman, J. U. Avicins, a family of triterpenoid saponins from Acacia victoriae (Bentham), inhibit activation of nuclear factor-kappaB by inhibiting both its nuclear localization and ability to bind DNA. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 9-25-2001;98(20):11557-11562. 11572998
  7. Deferme, S., Kamuhabwa, A., Nshimo, C., de Witte, P., and Augustijns, P. Screening of Tanzanian plant extracts for their potential inhibitory effect on P-glycoprotein mediated efflux. Phytother Res 2003;17(5):459-464. 12748979
  8. Goussault, Y., Sharif, A., and Bourrillon, R. Serum albumin biosynthesis and secretion by resting and lectin stimulated human lymphocytes. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 12-20-1976;73(4):1030-1035. 15625877
  9. Lemonnier, M., Goussault, Y., and Bourrillon, R. [Interactions of phytoagglutinins with urinary glycopeptides. Analysis of a glycopeptide inhibitor of phytoagglutinin from Robinia pseudo acacia]. Carbohydr Res 1972;24(2):323-331. 4667564
  10. Joshi, L., Van Eck, J. M., Mayo, K., Di Silvestro, R., Blake Nieto, M. E., Ganapathi, T., Haridas, V., Gutterman, J. U., and Arntzen, C. J. Metabolomics of plant saponins: bioprospecting triterpene glycoside diversity with respect to mammalian cell targets. OMICS 2002;6(3):235-246. 12427275
  11. Jayatilake, G. S., Freeberg, D. R., Liu, Z., Richheimer, S. L., Blake Nieto, M. E., Bailey, D. T., Haridas, V., and Gutterman, J. U. Isolation and structures of avicins D and G: in vitro tumor-inhibitory saponins derived from Acacia victoriae. J Nat Prod 2003;66(6):779-783. 12828461
  12. Singh, K. N., Mettal, R. K., and Barthwal, K. C. Hypoglycemia activity of Acacia catechu, Acacia suma, and Albizzia Odoratisima seed diets in normal albino rats. Indian J Med Res 1976;64(5):754-757.