Acacia concinna

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Acacia concinna
Acacia concinna Blanco2.374.png
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Acacia
Species: A. concinna
Binomial name
Acacia concinna
(Willd.) DC.[1]
  • Acacia concinna (Willd.) DC. var. rugata (Benth.)Baker
  • Acacia hooperiana Miq.
  • Acacia hooperiana Miq. var. glabriuscula Miq.
  • Acacia hooperiana Miq. var. subcuneata Miq.
  • Acacia philippinarium Benth.
  • Acacia poilanei Gagnep.
  • Acacia polycephala DC.
  • Acacia pseudointsia auct. non Miq.
  • Acacia quisumbingii Merr.
  • Acacia rugata (Lam.) Merr.
  • Guilandina microphylla DC.
  • Mimosa concinna Willd.
  • Mimosa rugata Lam.
  • Nygae sylvarum-minimae Rumph.[2]

Acacia concinna is a climbing shrub native to Asia, common in the warm plains of central and south India.[2] The tree is food for the larvae of the butterfly Pantoporia hordonia.[3] Alkaloids are found in the tree's fruit.[4]



Acacia concinna has been used traditionally for hair care in the Indian Subcontinent since ancient times. It is one of the Ayurvedic medicinal plants. The fruit is known in India as shikakai (Hindi: शिकाकाई, śikākāī; Kannada: ಸಿಗೆಕಾಯಿ; Tamil: சிகைக்காய் - literally "hair-fruit", sigai=tresses and kaay=fruit;) "fruit for hair" in its use as a traditional shampoo.[5] In order to prepare it the fruit pods, leaves and bark of the plant are dried, ground into a powder, then made into a paste. While this traditional shampoo does not produce the normal amount of lather that a sulfate-containing shampoo would, it is considered a good cleanser. It is mild, having a naturally low pH, and doesn't strip hair of natural oils. Usually no conditioner is needed, for shikakai also acts as a detangler.[6] An infusion of the leaves has been used in anti-dandruff preparations.[citation needed]

A. concinna extracts are used in natural shampoos or hair powders and the tree is now grown commercially in India and Far East Asia.[7] The plant parts used for the dry powder or the extract are the bark, leaves or pods. The bark contains high levels of saponins, which are foaming agents found in several other plant species used as shampoos or soaps. Saponin-containing plants have a long history of use as mild cleaning agents. Saponins from the plant's pods have been traditionally used as a detergent, and in Bengal for poisoning fish; they are documented to be potent marine toxins.

Other uses[edit]

Acacia concinna flowers

The leaves have an acidic taste and are used in chutneys.

Chemical constituents[edit]

In commercial extracts, when the plant is hydrolyzed it yields lupeol, spinasterol, acacic acid, lactone, and the natural sugars glucose, arabinose and rhamnose. It also contains hexacosanol, spinasterone, oxalic acid, tartaric acid, citric acid, succinic acid, ascorbic acid, and the alkaloids calyctomine and nicotine.


  1. ^ "Acacia concinna information from NPGS/GRIN". Retrieved 2008-03-13. 
  2. ^ a b "Acacia concinna - ILDIS LegumeWeb". Retrieved 2008-03-13. 
  3. ^ "Pantoporia". Retrieved 2008-03-13. 
  4. ^ Archived October 2, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ Flowers of India - Shikakai
  6. ^ Natural bodycare
  7. ^ Tamilnadu Agricultural university - Acacia concinna

External links[edit]

Media related to Acacia concinna at Wikimedia Commons