Ghatti Gum

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Chapter: Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry : Drugs Containing Carbohydrates and Derived Products

It is the gummy exudates obtained from the tree bark of Anogessius latifolia Wallich, belonging to family Combretaceae.






Ghati, Gutty.


Biological Source


It is the gummy exudates obtained from the tree bark of Anogessius latifolia Wallich, belonging to family Combretaceae.


Geographical Source


It is most commonly found in the forests of the sub-Himalayan tract in Sivalic hills as well as in the mountainous region throughout India at the altitude of 1,200 m. It has got this name from its transportation routes, as they are obtained after their travel through mountain ‘ghats’.


Cultivation and Collection


Artificial incisions are made on the tree bark in the absence of rain and gum is picked up in the month of April. The gums are graded into different grades depending upon the colour of the gum. The lighter the gum the superior its grade is. About two to three grades of Ghatti are available in the United States. The No. l Grade has low levels of ash and high viscosity. Gum is dried under sun for many days and then pulverized. It is then subjected to undergo various processes like sifting, aspiration and density table separation, for the removal of impurities.




                      Anogessius latifolia twig

Chemical Constituents


It consists of the calcium salt of a complex high molecular weight polysaccharide made up of sugars and uronic acid units. One of the polysaccharide acid ghattic acid contains mainly arabinose, galactose, mannose, xylose and galac-turonic acid. On hydrolysis of gum ghatti, it also affords aldobiouronic acid 6-O-β-D-glucopyranosyl uronic acid and D-galactose which is also found in gum acacia. Complete analysis of ghatti gum shows 26.3% pentosans, 7.6% methyl pentosan, 7.6% galactan, 15.8% moisture, about 3% ash and smaller quantities of riboflavin.


Identification Tests


1.     Aqueous solution (5%) of gum ghatti treated with Million’s reagent gives fine precipitate.

2.     Aqueous solution of gum treated with 2% gelatin solution gives white precipitates.

3.     White precipitate is produced with 10% solution of tannic acid.

4.     With water the gum forms viscous colourless mucilage which is glairy and ropy.




Gum ghatti is used as a very good emulsifier, stabilizer and thickener in pharmaceutical, food and also in ceramic industry. It is an efficient binder for the compressed tablets which is comparable with acacia gum and starch paste. It gives stable oil in water emulsion therefore used in the formulation of oil soluble vitamin preparation.


Gum is edible. It is administered as a good tonic to women after child birth. It is extensively use in the pure state in calico printing and in confectionery. It is good stabilizer for ice cream in 0.5% concentration. The gum also finds its applications in the petroleum industry as a drilling mud conditioner.


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