Black Locust

Other Names of Black Locust: Robinia pseudoacacia, acacia blanc, robinier faux-acacia, false acacia, robinia, white acacia, yellow locust, valse acacia, honey locust, locust tree, white locust, acacia locust, black locust

Useful Parts of the Plant: Flowers, wood, bark, leaves, seeds

Black locust, scientifically known as Robinia pseudoacacia, is a melliferous tree which grows easily on any type of soil. It originates in North America and is popular for its therapeutic uses. Its trunk attains a height of 30m and its leaves grow to about 20 to 30m in length. The fruit of black locust is a flattened pod which is reddish-brown in color. It blossoms between May till June. The wood obtained from the black locust tree is strong and moisture-resistant and hence is commonly used for construction purposes. The flowers and leaves are picked, dried and then used in natural pharmacy.

Nutritional information and Properties of Black Locust

The seeds, roots, flowers and bark of the black locust vary in their chemical composition. The dried seeds contain nutrients such as calcium, protein, fat, fiber, phosphorus and many other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts. The black locust flowers contain components that are converted into quercetin and sugar after hydrolysis. The bark of the black locust tree is known to contain a static albumin, fatty substances and small quantities of choline, a toxic alkaloid. Tannin, gum, starch, cane sugar and inactive resin may also be present in the bark.

Health Benefits and Therapeutic Uses of Black Locust

Various parts of the black locust tree have different uses. They can be used to purify the body, cure spasms and encourage proper flow of bile. Some of the well known health benefits and therapeutic uses of black locust are as follows;

  • The blossoms of the black locust are known for their diuretic, emollient and anti-spasmodic properties. Some also consume cooked flowers to relieve eye problems. The flowers are even known to contain a chemical which may help to combat tumors. The crushed flowers help in healing of the skin after burns. They may be applied to the affected area and left on for a couple of hours.
  • A beneficial infusion can be prepared with a teaspoonful of black locust flowers and a cup of water. Drinking this after meals helps to alleviate burning in the stomach and is helpful for people with gastritis.
  • Hot black locust tea helps in treating cough, sore throat, bronchitis and asthma.
  • Add lime flowers to an infusion of black locust flowers to prepare a relaxing remedy for mental fatigue and nervousness.
  • The inner bark and root bark of the black locust helps to remove waste from the body. The root bark is sometimes chewed to induce vomiting. It may also be placed in the mouth to cure a toothache.
  • The fruits, berries and seedpods are used as an analgesic due to their narcotic properties.
  • The leaves of black locust are known to improve secretion and flow of bile. The juice obtained from the leaves may also help to fight against viruses. The dried leaves may be used to heal burns and wounds.
  • Black locust seeds are usually boiled to reduce the bitterness and then consumed. The seedpods may also be eaten as they contain a sweet pulp. The seeds are known to be rich in nutrients.

Other Uses of Black Locust

The wood of the black locust tree is very strong and also durable. The wood is therefore used for making fence posts and railroad ties. It can also be used to make an efficient fuel. Due to its quick growth, the black locust is also used by environmentalists to regulate soil erosion.