Tragacanth is a natural gum obtained from the dried sap of plants from the Astragalus family.
These pretty and unusually shaped ribbons will not lose their good looks or their practicality over the years and can be powdered and used anytime.
These are beautiful specimens carefully collected and stored to preserve their form. They are a stunning addition to any artisan’s exotic material collection. They are beautiful and extremely practical, dissolving readily in warm water.
The name Tragacanth is rooted in its colloquial name “goat’s thorn” and comes from the Greek words tragos (“goat”) and akantha (“thorn”).
Gum Tragacanth is used as food, in traditional medicine, in art, craft and in various industrial applications.
The gum seeps from the plant in twisted ribbons or flakes that can be powdered. It absorbs water to become a gel, which can be stirred into a viscous, odourless, tasteless, paste.
Gum tragacanth is used in incense-making as a binder to hold all the powdered ingredients together.
For binding purposes, the ribbons can be easily ground in a mortar or coffee grinder and dissolved in warm water.
It is used in vegetable-tanned leatherworking as an edge sealing and burnishing compound.
It is considered a demulcent in traditional herbal medicine and has been used historically as a remedy for coughs, Irritable bowls and to help ease both diarrhea and constipation.
In some cultures, it is considered an aphrodisiac and used to increase libido in men, address ED and treat urinary incontinence.
A paste of Gum Tragacanth has been used as a poultice for burns. It is found in pharmaceuticals as an emulsifier, thickener and stabilizer and used as a binder for pills.
It is used in the production of artists’ pastels, in the paper marbling process, as a thickener and stabilizer in the food and beverage industry, (sauces, ice cream, mayonnaise, salad dressings etc.), and to harden fondants used in floral sugarcraft and cake decorations.