Soothes and binds
Tragacanth gum is a natural binder that helps other ingredients stick together. When in water, it swells slightly and creates a mucilaginous texture that's soft and soothing on the skin.
Native to Western Asia, tragacanth is a dried sap derived from a group of plants from the genus Astragalus. They're often cultivated for their gum and the most commonly used species for this. Gum, more generally, is a type of resinous sap that flows from certain plants when they're injured, which helps protect them like a bandage. This helps prevent dehydration, infection and insect bites. Gum has been collected and used in cosmetics, incense and medicine for centuries.
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