Tragacanth is natural powdered gum used as a binder for incense , foods and art supplies. We use it for making incense sticks and cones and also Aromatic beads and amulets. It lends very little to no scent in an incense blend.
- Gum tragacanth is used in incense-making as a binder to hold all the powdered herbs together. Its water solubility is ideal for ease of working and an even spread. Only half as much is needed, compared to gum arabic or something similar.
- Tragacanth is a natural gum obtained from the dried sap of several species of Middle Eastern legumes of the genus Astragalus, including A. adscendens, A. gummifer, A. brachycalyx, and A. tragacanthus. Some of these species are known collectively under the common names "goat's thorn" and "locoweed". The gum is sometimes called Shiraz gum, shiraz, gum elect or gum dragon. The name derives from the Greek words tragos (meaning "goat") and akantha ("thorn"). Iran is the biggest producer of the best quality of this gum.
Gum tragacanth is a viscous, odorless, tasteless, water-soluble mixture of polysaccharides obtained from sap which is drained from the root of the plant and dried.
- Gum tragacanth is less common in products than other gums, such as gum arabic or guar gum, largely because most tragacanth is grown in Middle Eastern countries which have shaky trade relations with countries where the gum is to be used. Commercial cultivation of tragacanth plants has generally not proved economically worthwhile in the West, since other gums can be used for similar purposes.
- For more on using Tragacanth in the making of incense we recommend Carl Neal’s Book,
Incense Crafting and Use in Magickal Scents