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Tragacanth is a dried gum secretion from several plant species. Tragacanth species are small plants one meter high and native to Asia Minor, Iran, Syria and Greece. Iran is the largest exporter of tragacanth in the world. Tragacanth sap and gum are taken from the roots and stems of astragalus and extracted by making scratches and cavities. Scratches on the surface of the stem and roots should be 5 cm deep. The gum of this plant comes out in the form of twisted strips. The sap or gum that comes out of the roots and stems of tragacanth is collected and dried in the form of sheets or small pieces of pebbles. This juice absorbs water to form a gel or to form a paste when stirred. The shape of the dried crop depends on the type of incision made on the stem. This plant gum has different species in the form of shrubs or perennial herbaceous plants in Iran are generally called guan. Tragacanth consists of two main components called basorin and tragacanth. Basurin accounts for 70-60% of the total gum and is a water-insoluble component that has the ability to swell and form a gel. The other component, or tragacanth, dissolves in water to form a colloidal solution. The properties of tragacanth gum are highly related to basurin. Tragacanth is one of the materials that has a wide range of applications in industry and medicine. Tragacanth boosts the immune system. It is rich in fiber and is useful for weight loss. It is used as a hair conditioner and also increases sexual desire in men. It regulates blood sugar and causes the body to cool down, thus preventing overheating.

Genus name


Ayurvedic name


Chinese name

Xue yan

Plant type

Herb – Small shrubs

Collected parts


Main producer


Main use

Food, Pharmaceutical, Cosmetic, Ceramic and Textile industries


Viscous, Odorless, Tasteless

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