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Form: Whole, raw
Unit size: 1 ounce
Other names: Astragalus Gum, Moroccan Sandarac, shiraz gum, shiraz, gum elect, gum dragon, Goat-Horn in Greek: "tragos" meaning goat and "akantha" meaning horn, because of the shape of the thorns on this shrub
Esoteric Uses: Celebrations, calming, clearing, bringing happiness, lifting spirits
Esoteric Associations: Sun, Fire
Incense Aroma: Not remarkable by itself as an incense
Tragacanth is a gum obtained from the dried sap of several species of Middle Eastern legumes of the genus Astragalus. It 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 vegetable-tanned leather-working as an edge slicking and burnishing compound, and is occasionally used as a stiffener in textiles. The alkaloid it contains has historically been used as an herbal remedy for such conditions as cough and diarrhea. 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. Also, it is the traditional binder used in the making of artists' pastels, as it does not adhere to itself the same way other gums (such as gum arabic) do when dry. Tragacanth is also used in incense making.
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