ACACIA CATECHU (BROWNS)

ACACIA CATECHU (BROWNS)

Acacia Catechu is commonly known as catechu or catch, an extract of acacia trees used
variously as a food additive, astringent, tannin, and dye. It belongs to the family of
Fabaceae.
The catch powder is prepared from steeping the wood of the Acacia catechu tree in hot
water until a syrupy liquid emerges which is dried and then ground into powder. Cutch is
common to most parts of India, Burma, Indonesia and Peru. Indian cutch is by far the most
beautiful.
The different parts of the tree have a variety of medicinal uses, in haemoptysis (spitting of
blood), and the paste of the bark is useful in conjunctivitis and in the treatment of snake
bites. As an astringent it has been used since ancient times in Ayurvedic medicine as well as
in breath-freshening spice mixtures-for example in France and Italy it is used in some
licorice pastilles. It is also an important ingredient in South Asian cooking paan mixtures,
such as ready-made paan masala.
The catechu powder is high in natural vegetable tannins (catechin and catechol, which
accounts for its astringent effect), and used for the tanning of animal hides as well as the
dye component catechin. It is easily soluble in water. The brown dye is used for dyeing and
also for preserving fishing nets and sails. Cutch will dye wool, silk, and cotton in brown
shade
The natural catechu dye in powder form produces brown (light to dark shades), grey etc by
standardized dyeing process using different combination of natural mordants on fibers,
fabric and garments with excellent fastness properties.