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Arabic Gum History

Ancient times

In the Stone Age, at least 70,000 years ago, acacia gum was already used as a food in the Sahara and as an adhesive in Africa. However, in arid land where acacia gum grows, it may have been used for food and non-food applications since ancient times.


Around 4000 BC, Chinese and Japanese used acacia gum in their paintings. Other documented uses of acacia gum indicate that it was used in ancient Egypt around 2650 BC for the preparation of inks, watercolors and dyes. It was a pigment binder for paints used in hieroglyphs and ancient inscriptions and was called "God".


It was also used in cosmetics and foods to quickly apply bandages for mummies. For example, Queen Cleopatra's favorite lipstick is known to have been made from acacia gum and ordered a recipe using it.


Greeks and Christian times
The ancient Greeks also explained the use of gum acacia. They are especially found in the books of the philosophers Theophrastus and Pliny. They mainly mention therapeutic use. For example, make a compress, relieve irritation, sore ulcers and burns, stop bleeding.
In the Christian era, the use of gum acacia continued to expand, as was found in Europe. From treating bleeding and hill bites to reducing bone marrow inflammation, acacia gum has quickly become a product of the first century of our time. Originally called "Gum Arabic" because of its Arabic origin. Then it became "Acacia gum", emphasizing its natural origin.


Medieval and modern
By the Middle Ages, acacia gum was highly regarded by writers and illustrators and used in color as a binder for pigments. It is widely used in manuscripts, paints, and inks, and is used by artists such as Rembrandt.
Acacia gum was used in textiles around the 19th century, but it was also used as a raw material for lithographic and early photographic dichromic gum prints in photography.
In the modern industrial era, the use of acacia gum for manufacturing has exploded. Carbonless paper, stamps, adhesives, and carbon nanotubes all have in common that they were at some point compounded with acacia gum. But today, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and food ingredients are the main applications. Consumer goods manufacturers are harnessing the unlimited potential of gum acacia to evaluate a number of functional properties that are key ingredients in thousands of beauty, health and food products.

References by Allandrobert

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