With a delicate floral scent and sparkling white color, White Acacia flowers attract thousands of bees at this time of year. Apart from its beauty, acacia has been known since ancient times for its healing properties. Thanks to their chemical composition, acacia flowers have found application not only in the treatment of various diseases, but also in their prevention.
The white acacia /Robinia pseudoacacia/ is a large tree, the height of which reaches 15-20 meters. This tree belongs to the legume family and is one of the main honey plants in Bulgaria. The white acacia has a beautiful and spreading crown, and along the trunk of the tree, which is gray-black or gray-brown in color, longitudinal cracks are visible. The shoots and young branches of the acacia are green and smooth. The leaves of the acacia are ovate and located opposite on stalks of 7-21 pieces. The outside of the leaves is smooth and green, and the inside is velvety gray-green. The flowers of the acacia are white and have a pleasant smell, collected in inflorescences with a stalk in the middle, which look like bunches. The fruit of the white acacia is a dark brown flat pod with 4–6 grain-like seeds. The white acacia blooms in late May and early June, and the flowers yield a lot of nectar and bees produce high-quality honey from it.
In folk medicine, all parts of the plant are used – flowers, leaves, bark and seeds. The flowers and leaves contain various vitamins and minerals, tannins, essential oils, flavonoids, glycosides, sugars and pectins, as well as organic acids. The following compounds were found in the essential oil during laboratory tests – methyl ether, anthranilic acid, heliotropin, indole, linalool, benzaldehyde. The leaves contain flavonoids with their associated glucosides – acaciacin, accetin, robinin. Robin, a dye, an alkaloid, and syringic acid have been isolated from the bark of the acacia. Phytosterol, amygdalin, stigmasterol, globulin, an enzyme that decomposes urine were found in its interior in August. Its wood contains flavonoids, robinetin, tannins, dihydrorobinetin.
Some of the substances contained in the leaves and seeds, the bark and the wood are poisonous and it is not recommended to use them at home!
Picking and drying flowers
When picking the flowers of the White Acacia, care must be taken for the presence of bees and wasps in the flowers, which can lead to unwanted stings and, in some people, allergic reactions. Only the florets at the beginning and during flowering without the common peduncle to which they are attached are collected. Dry, if possible, sunny weather should be chosen for picking, and it is good to pick after dew. The collected flowers are placed in baskets or baskets, without being crowded and crushed.
Once cleaned of random impurities and flower stalks, blooms and parts of leaves flourished. The collected flowers are dried in ventilated rooms in the shade by spreading them in a thin layer, periodically carefully turning them over and drying them well. Improperly dried flowers quickly darken, blacken and become unusable. They can also be dried in a dryer at a temperature of up to 45°С. The finished herb after drying should have retained its natural appearance, and it is possible that it may have changed its color to a pale yellow shade during drying. From 6 kg of fresh flowers, 1 kg of dry flowers is obtained, so carefully consider how much you need for personal use!
Dried flowers are stored in a tightly closed container in a dark and dry place for up to 1 year!
Medicinal properties of acacia flowers
The flowers have antispasmodic, aromatic, diuretic, softening and laxative effects. During scientific studies, the presence of the antitumor compound benzoaldehyde was established. When taken internally as a decoction or tincture, they soothe heartburn and are usually recommended for people who suffer from hyperacid gastritis and bloating. Tea from the flowers is used to treat asthma and bronchitis, as well as headaches and stress. The infusion added to baths can help young children who suffer from insomnia. Dried powdered flowers are used for gastritis, duodenal ulcer and stomach.
- improving eye health
- expansion of blood vessels and relief of spasms
- increase in sputum production during a cold
- decrease in body temperature
- increased sweating
- destruction of pathogenic bacteria
- has a diuretic effect
- normalization of blood pressure
- stimulation of bile secretion
- reduction of stomach acidity
Application of acacia flowers
Acacia flowers can be used to purify the body, treat spasms and promote the proper flow of bile. Some of the well-known health benefits are as follows:
- Crushed flowers help heal skin after burns. They can be applied to the affected area and left for several hours.
- The flowers contain a chemical that may help fight tumors.
- They are known for their diuretic, emollient and antispasmodic properties.
- A decoction prepared from a teaspoon of acacia flower and a glass of warm water and taken after a meal helps relieve heartburn and is useful for people with gastritis.
- Hot flower tea helps with coughs, sore throats, bronchitis and asthma.
- Tea from linden flowers and acacia flowers has a relaxing effect against mental fatigue and nervousness, as well as improves vision.
- A decoction made from fresh or dried flowers helps with diseases of the kidneys, genitourinary system and cystitis.
- The decoction of the flowers is used to gargle with stomatitis and periodontitis to relieve pain and heal the mucous membrane.
- The alcohol tincture of the flowers is applied internally in drops to calm the nervous system, improve sleep and relieve fatigue.
- The alcohol tincture is applied externally twice a day for rubbing to relieve pain in the joints, sciatica and rheumatism – inflammation and swelling decrease and pain disappears.
- An infusion of the flowers is taken three times a day for 1 month for gynecological diseases. A new infusion is prepared every day, because with long-term storage, the useful substances in it are lost.
- Acacia flower tea is taken for colds, women’s diseases, kidney and stomach problems. Also, the medicinal properties of acacia tea are used for prostatitis.
- Acacia flower tea is good for the whole body – it strengthens the immune system, relieves anxiety and depression and calms the nervous system. Tea is useful and harmful to the body if the intake is not followed. Take 1 cup 2-3 times a day. Take a break every 2 months. Taking healthy tea resumes after 2-3 months.
How to use acacia flowers?
- Infusion – brew 1/2 spoonful of dried flowers in 500 ml. boiling water. Let it stand for about 15-20 minutes and drink 2-3 times a day, 1 coffee cup.
- White acacia flower tea – usually prepared together with other herbs such as linden, chamomile, thyme, calendula, St. John’s wort, mint, etc.
- Alcoholic tincture for internal use – 500g of dry flowers are poured with 750ml of vodka or alcohol, left to stand for 3 weeks in a dry and dark place, strained through cheesecloth and stored in a tightly closed glass container. Take 20 drops dissolved in a little water in the evening before going to bed. It is taken for 1 month, then there is a break of 2 weeks and it can be repeated.
- Alcoholic tincture for external use – 50g of dried flowers are poured with 500ml of vodka or alcohol, left in a dark and dry place for 1 month, shaking periodically. Strain and store in a tightly closed glass container. It is used 2 times a day to rub the diseased areas.
- Decoction for gargling – 1 tablespoon of dried flowers are poured with 1 cup of boiling water and left to cool, strained and used within 1 day. The next day, a new potion is prepared.
Contraindications of Acacia
The content of toxic substances in the seeds and leaves, bark and roots of acacia is very high, therefore it is not recommended to use them at home and without medical supervision due to the risk of overdose. The substance Toxalbuminrobin, which is abundant in the bark, can cause severe irritation of the mucous membranes. Acacia flowers lower blood pressure and are not recommended for people with low blood pressure.
Allergic reactions are possible with individual intolerance to some of the substances contained in acacia flowers.
It is not recommended to use acacia flowers during pregnancy and breastfeeding, as there is not enough scientific research and it is not known how they can affect the body in such conditions!
Acacia Tea Recipe
12 g white acacia flowers mixed
can be replaced with 2 g of dry acacia flowers
5 g dry linden flowers
10 g natural dried apples
1 l filtered water
– a kettle with a capacity of over 1 l
1. With a kitchen scale and a measuring cup, I weigh all the ingredients separately.
2. I put the acacia and linden flowers, the pieces of dried apples and the water in a teapot, close it with a lid. I put the kettle on the stove and turn it on to the highest level of heat. When the water starts to boil, I wait 3 minutes, turn off the heat and leave the kettle aside to cool for 5 minutes.
3. I put the Acacia tea prepared in this way into suitable glasses and serve together with home-baked vegan gluten-free sweets. The tea is slightly sweet from the apples and does not need to be sweetened!