Herbs & Plants

Caesalpinia crista

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Botanical Name : Caesalpinia crista L.
Other scientific names :Caesalpinia nuga Ait.,Caesalpinia kwangtungensis Merr. ,Caesalpinia szechuenensis Craib. ,Caesalpinia bonducella (L.) Fleming ,Caesalpinia bonduc (L.) Roxb.
Family : Fabaceae
Subfamily: Caesalpinioideae
Tribes: Caesalpinieae
Genus: Caesalpinia
Species: Caesalpinia crista

Syn. : C.donduc, C.donducella

Common Names :Nata, Karanja, Lathakaranja, Putikaranja, Bondoc nut, Indian Filbert, Molluca nut, Physic nut, Tapasi, Gajjaga,Bangbang (C. Bis.) ,Sabinit (Bik.),Bayag-kambing (Tag.), Smbar (Bag.),Dalagdag (Tag.),  Siñgor (Ilk.)Kamot-kabag (Tag.),  Dawer (Ilk.),Bebit (Sub.)  Physic nut (Engl.) , Binit (Bik.),  Grey niker seed (Engl.) ,Bugtong (Bis.),  Erolucca bean (Engl.), Dalugdug (Tag., Bis.), Bonduc seed  (Engl.),Kalumbibit (Tag., Pang.) Fever nut (Engl.)
Kamaunggi (Sul.)

Habitat :India and Sri Lanka through most of Southeast Asia to the Ryukyu Islands, Queensland, and New Caledonia. In thickets along and near the seashore.

The plant is a prickly shrub or woody vine reaching a length of 10 m or more.

click to see the pictures.

· Leaves: bipinnate, often nearly 1 m long, with the rachis armed with stout, sharp, recurved spines. The pinnae usually number about 10 pairs and are about 20 cm long with a pair of short, sharp spines at the point of attachment of each pair of leaflets. The leaflets also number 10 pairs and are oblong, 2 to 5 cm long and somewhat hairy.

click to see the pictures

· Flowers: yellow, borne in axillary, simple or panicled raceme and about 1 cm long. Calyx deeply cleft, the disk basal, the lobes imbricate, the lowest one larger than the others. Petals spreading, usually clawed, the uppermost smaller than the others. Stamens, 10, free, declinate, anthers versatile. Ovary few-ovuled.


· Fruits: pods, oblong 5 to 7 cm in length, inflated and covered with slender spines and contain one or two seeds. The seeds are large, somewhat rounded or ovoid, hairy, grey and shiny.

Properties and constituents :
Bitter tasting, cooling.
Reported as anticontusion, analgesic, antipyretic, antidiarrheal, antidote, antinociceptive, anxiolytic, diuretic, anthelmintic.
Study isolated four known cassane-type diterpenes and three new norcassane-type diterpenes.
Phytochemical studies of seeds have revealed alkaloids, flavonoids, glycosides, saponins, tanins and triterpenoids.

Medicinal Uses:
Parts Used : Leaves.
· Collect leaves from May to July; sun-dry.
· Propagation by seeds and cutting.

· Acute and chronic gastritis, gastric ulcer, carbuncle, furuncle.
· Dosage: Use 6 to 9 gms dried material in decoction. Pounded fresh material may be applied as poultice on carbuncle and furuncle.
• In Ayurveda, sprouts and root bark used to treat tumors. The juice of leaves for elephantiasis, worms. Paste of leaves used for pain and edema. Internally, used for abdominal pain, diarrhea, dysentery and colitis.
• In Assam, seeds are used in the treatment of diabetes.
• In traditional Indian medicine, used as antipyretic, antiperiodic, anticonvulsant and antiparalytic.

Anthelmintic: Anthelmintic activity of Chenopodium album (L.) and Caesalpinia crista (L.) against trichostrongylid nematodes of sheep: Study showed both C. crista and C. ablum possess anthelmintic activity in vitro and in vivo, supporting its traditional use in Pakistan.

• Antimalarial: (1) Study isolated 44 casssane- and norcassane-type diterpenes. Most of the tested diterpenes showed antimalarial activity; norcaesalpinin E showed the most potent activity, more than the drug chloroquine. (2) In a study of six plants used in traditional medicine for malaria, C. bonducella and Cassia abbreviata leaf ethanol extracts were the most promising for further studies.

Antioxidant: (1) Study showed the methanolic extract of C crista has potent antioxidant activity and ROS scavenging acitivity as well as iron chelating property. (2) Ethyl acetate extract showed a maximum of 49% free radical scavenging activity at the end of 1 hr. Although it may help in diabetes-linked oxidative stree, it does not necessarily contribute to its hypoglycemic activity.

• Antidiabetic / Hypoglycemic: (1) Study showed the seed kernel of Caesalpinia bonducella has significant antidiabetic and hypoglycemic effects. Activity may be partly due to a positive effect on glycogen synthesis in the liver, skeletal muscle and heart muscle due to an insulin-like action of its constituents and partly due to stimulatory action on insulin release. (2) Study of ethanolic and aqueous extracts showed significant blood sugar lowering effect of C. bonducella in the type 2 diabetic model. (3) Study of aqueous extract of C. bonducella seed shell showed very significant blood sugar lowering in glucose loaded, STZ and alloxan diabetic models.

• Antifilarial: Study showed the C. bonducella seed kernel extract and fractions showed microfilaricidal, macrofilaricidal and female-sterilizing efficacy against L. sigmodontin and microfilaricidal and female-sterilizing efficacy against B. malayi in animal models, suggesting a potential for its use in new antifilarial drug development.

• Anxiolytic Activity: Study of seed extract of C. bonducella showed a significant and dose-dependent anxiolytic activity.

• Antitumore / Antioxidant Activity: Study of methanol extract of C. bonducella showed significant antitumor and antioxidant activity in Erllich ascites carcinoma (EAC)-bearing mice.

Analgesic Activity: Study of flower extract of C. bonducella showed siginificant antinociceptive effect in the inflammatory phase of formalin-induced pain and acetic-induced parietal pain.

• Analgesic / Antipyretic / Anti-Inflammatory: Study showed the seed oil of C. bonducella could be a potential source of an anti-inflammatory, antipyretic and analgesic agent.

• Immunomodulatory: Study of the aqueous extract of C. bonducella seeds on cell mediated and humoral components of the immune system in rats produced an increase in hemagglutinating antibody titer and a change in delayed-type hypersensitivity suggesting that the extract could be a promising immunostimulatory agent.

The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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