Black plum benefits.The gum exudes readily from these cuts in the form of ribbons or flakes, which become brittle on drying. The plants require an abundance of water during the growing season but need a dry climate during the collecting time, which extends from April to September for ribbons and from August to November for flakes.
Collections are first brought to trading centers and then to wholesale markets where they are hand sorted, graded, packed, and shipped.
Tragacanth is used in a wide variety of medicinal emulsions, jellies, syrups, ointments, salves, lotions, and creams as a thickener, emulsifier, and lubricant. By increasing the viscosity of the external phase, the gum suspends and prevents the active ingredients from settling out.
Tragacanth is used in cod liver oil emulsions to facilitate the absorption of poorly soluble substances, such as steroid glycosides and fat-soluble vitamins. It is also used in low-calorie elixirs and syrups. Tragacanth acts as a suspending agent in various toothpaste to form a creamy, brilliant product. Its long shelf life and film-forming properties make it useful in hair lotions, and hand lotions and creams.