Gum Tragacanth (Katira)

Scientific Name : Astragalus plant
500 grams
1 KG
5 KG


Gum tragacanth, commonly known as "katira" in some regions, is a natural gum obtained from the sap or resin of various species of the Astragalus plant, particularly Astragalus gummifer and Astragalus adscendens. This gum has a long history of use in various applications, including food, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics. Here's some information about gum tragacanth (katira) tears:

Appearance: Gum tragacanth is typically available in the form of translucent, glassy, and brittle tears or nodules. These tears are irregularly shaped and can range in color from white to pale yellow or light brown.

Harvesting: The gum is collected by making incisions in the stems and branches of the Astragalus plants, allowing the sap to exude and then harden into these tear-shaped resinous lumps. The tears are usually harvested in late spring or early summer.

Properties: Gum tragacanth is hygroscopic, which means it can absorb and retain moisture from the environment, making it an effective thickening agent and stabilizer. It is insoluble in cold water but swells and forms a gel-like substance when mixed with water.


Food Industry: Gum tragacanth is used in the food industry as a thickening and stabilizing agent. It is often added to products like ice cream, salad dressings, and confections to improve their texture and prevent crystallization.

Pharmaceuticals: In pharmaceuticals, gum tragacanth is used as a binder and emulsifying agent in tablet formulations, and it can be found in some cough syrups and lozenges.

Cosmetics: The gum is used in cosmetics and personal care products such as creams, lotions, and toothpaste for its gelling and thickening properties.

Traditional Medicine: In traditional medicine, especially in some Asian countries, gum tragacanth has been used for its supposed medicinal properties, such as soothing sore throats and addressing digestive issues.

Safety: Gum tragacanth is generally considered safe for consumption. However, like any food additive, it should be used in moderation, and some individuals may be sensitive or allergic to it.

Alternative Uses: Apart from its practical uses, gum tragacanth has been employed in arts and crafts, particularly for marbling paper and as a binding agent for pigments.

Keep in mind that the quality of gum tragacanth can vary depending on its source and processing. It is important to use food-grade or pharmaceutical-grade gum tragacanth when intended for these applications. When using it in cooking or baking, follow recipes and guidelines for proper usage to achieve the desired results.