Related entry: Acacia (U. S. P.)—Acacia
SYNONYM: Mucilage of gum Arabic.
Preparation.—"Acacia, in small fragments, three hundred and forty grammes (340 Gm.) [11 ozs. av., 435 grs.]; water, a sufficient quantity to make one thousand grammes (1000 Gm.) [2 lbs. av., 3 ozs., 120 grs.]. Wash the acacia with cold water, and let it drain. Then add to it enough water to make the mixture weigh one thousand grammes (1000 Gm.) [2 lbs. av., 3 ozs., 120 grs.], agitate or stir occasionally until the acacia is dissolved, and strain. Keep the product in well-stoppered, completely filled bottles, in a cool place"—(U. S. P.). Clear, white pieces of gum acacia should be selected for this mucilage. By rapid washing of the fragments first with cold water, much of the impurities may be removed. The mucilage becomes thick and dense during preparation, making it somewhat difficult to stir or agitate, and it has been proposed to make the solution by suspending the gum in a loose-textured bag, which should be moved occasionally from place to place in order to bring it into contact with successive portions of water. In our experience, however, no difficulty is experienced in making it by the usual method. It should be at once put into well-filled bottles, and even then it readily sours with the development of acetic acid. Mucilage of acacia should be colorless, or but faintly yellowish, transparent, nearly tasteless, viscid fluid, with faint, although not disagreeable odor. Aluminum sulphate (1 to 125 parts) is said to increase its adhesiveness. Heat should not be employed in the preparation of this mucilage as it is said to promote the formation of acetic acid.
Action, Medical Uses, and Dosage.—This flavored and sweetened, diluted mucilage forms an agreeable and soothing drink for febrile and inflammatory conditions, being particularly applicable in gastric and respiratory inflammations. It is probably nutritive. In pharmacy it is employed to give adhesiveness in pill masses, and in mixtures to hold in suspension insoluble ingredients. It is sometimes used in making troches. It may be freely given.
King's American Dispensatory, 1898, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M.D., and John Uri Lloyd, Phr. M., Ph. D.