A number of trees belonging to the genus Sterculia in India, particularly Sterculia urens and, Africa, and Australia yield gums in considerable quantity, most of which resemble in their appearance Tragacanth, some of which have remarkable adhesive properties and in some of which the adhesive power is lacking but the swelling power when moistened with water is enormous. These gums have been much used of recent years, frequently under the unqualified name of Tragacanth Compositional analysis of the gum revealed uronic acids to be the major component of the polymer ( 26 mol %). Goond Katira, being rich in rhamnose, galactose, and uronic acids, can be categorized on the basis of its sugar composition as a rhamnogalacturonan type of gum.The difference between the Sterculia gums and true Tragacanth can be readily proved by a distillation test with water and the determination of the acidity which is due to acetic acid.
It is useful in cough, hoarse throat and scaldng in urine. Mixed with curd it is useful in diarrhea and dysentery. Gum is used to make lozenges and mucilage. It is useful in cough hoarse throat and scaling in urine. It is mixed with curd or whey and is used when affected by diarrhea and dysentery. New leaves are used as a cooling wash agent for the hair.
They are employed frequently as filler in the manufacture of ice cream and even desserts where vegetable gums are found to be of service in preventing the product from losing its form as it melts. They are made into lozenges and mucilages.