Other Names: Gum Tragacanth. Syrian Tragacanth. Gum Dragon
Scientific Names: Astragalus gummifer
Bangladesh names: Gond Katira
Arabic names: الكثيراء (al kutheiraa’e)
Rain Forest names:
Approximate Number of Species Known:
Common Parts Used: Gummy exudation
Height: upto 4 cm
Actions: Demulcent, but owing to its incomplete solubility is not often used internally. It is much used for the suspension of heavy, insoluble powders to impart consistence to lozenges, being superior to gum arabic, also in making emulsions, mucilago, etc. Mucilage of Tragacanth has been used as anapplication to burns; it is also employed by manufacturers for stiffening calico, crape, etc.
Known Constituents: The portion soluble in water contains chiefly polyarabinan-trigalaetangeddic acid; the insoluble part is called bassorin. Tragacanth also contains water, traces of starch, cellulose, and nitrogenous substances, yielding about 3 per cent ash
Description: (please note: this is the general characteristics – colour, flavor etc)
Scientific name: Astragalus gummifer
Family: N.O. Leguminosae
Gum Tragacanth, Syrian Tragacanth and Gum Dragon.
Tragacanth is a natural gum obtained from the dried sap of several species of Middle Eastern legumes of the genus Astragalus. Iran is the biggest producer of the best quality of this gum. It is also found in Persia and Kurdistan. Gum tragacanth is a viscous, odorless, tasteless, water-soluble mixture of polysaccharides obtained from sap which is drained from the root of the plant and dried. The gum seeps from the plant in twisted ribbons or flakes which can be powdered. It absorbs water to become a gel, which can be stirred into a paste. The gum is used in veg-tanned leatherworking as an edge slicking and burnishing compound and is occasionally used as a stiffener in textiles. It contains an alkaloid that has historically been used as an herbal remedy for such conditions as cough and diarrhea.
The portion soluble in water contains chiefly polyarabinan- trigalaetangeddic acid; the insoluble part is called bassorin. Tragacanth also contains water, traces of starch, cellulose, and nitrogenous substances, yielding about 3 per cent ash.
As a mucilage or paste it has been used as a topical treatment for burns. It is used in pharmaceuticals and foods as an emulsifier, thickener, stabilizer, and texturant additive (code E413). Also, it is the traditional binder used in the making of artist’s pastels, as it does not adhere to itself the same way other gums (such as gum arabic) do when dry. Gum tragacanth is also used to make a paste used in floral sugarcraft to create life-like flowers on wires used as decorations for cakes. It makes a paste which dries brittle in the air and can take colorings. It enables users to get a very fine, delicate finish to their work.