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Latin NamesCapparis spinosa linn.
English NamesThe Caper Bush
Sanskrit NamesHimsra
Local NamesCabra
Caper bark is does not appear to have been as a medicine to the Hindus until introduced by the Mahometans. But its fruits are mentioned in Sanskrit works. Also it is mentioned by the Greek and Latin works. The author of the Makhzan-el-Adwiya gives a good description of the plant and mentioned the root bark is the most active part. He considers it to be hot and dry, and to act as a detergent and astringent, expelling cold humors. It is recommended in dropsy, gouty and rheumatic affections. All part of the said to have stimulating and astringent effect when applied externally. The fresh plant yields a volatile oil having the properties of garlic oil.Distribution:
Found in Afghanistan, West Asia, Europe, North Africa and Australia. In India it is available through Punjab, Rajesthan to the Deacon Peninsula.Habit:
A prostrate, glabroscent, polymorph shrub or climber armed with divaricate light yellow thorns, occurring in dry rocky and stony soils. Branches terete and glabrous or pubescent. Leaves variable in texture, orbicular to elliptic, base rounded and apex mucronate. Flowers white, solitary, axillary. Sepals sub equal, petals white, and anther filaments purple and longer than the petals. Berry ellipsoid, ovoid or obovoid and pericarp thin. Seeds 3-4 mm in diam., globose, smooth and brown.Phytochemistry:
The cortex and leaves contain stachydrine and 3-hydroxystachydrine. The root contains, glucobrassicin, neoglucobrassicin and 4-methoxy-glucobrassicin. The crude extract of the flowerbuds contains 162 volatile constituents of which isothiocyanates, thiocyanates, sulphides and their oxidative products have been identified as the major components (Schraudolf, Phytochemistry, 1989, 28, 259; Brevard et al Flav Fraqr J, 1992, 7, 313).. The seeds and leaves contain glucocapparin and glucocleomin. The root bark contains stachydrine, rutic acid and a volatile substance with garlic odour.  Pharmacology:
Liv 52, a Ayurvedic preparation is reported to protect albino rats against toxic effects of beryllium compounds, and mice against Semliks Forest Virus (SFV) (Mathur et al , Curr Sci, 1986, 55, 899; Handa et al, Fitoterapia, 1986, 57, 347; Sama et al, Indian J med Res, 1976, 64, 738; Bhargava & Soni, Rajasthan med J, 1980, 19, 23; Gupta et al , Probe, 1979-80, 19, 99; Khandeparker & Kulkarni, Indian Drugs , 1980-81, 18, 346).Clinical studies:Toxicology:Indications:
The plant is credited with antitubercular property. The root bark is extensively used in Ayurvedic system of medicine. The bark is bitter, diuretic and expectorant. It is given in spleen, renal and hepatic complaints. The bruised leaves are applied as a poultice in gout. An extract of the plant is one of the constituents of the Ayurvedic preparation `Liv 52′ administered to treat preliminary cases of acute viral hepatitis and cirrhosis of liver; and has shown encouraging results against viral infection in man. The plant extract is also a constituent of another drug `Geriforte’ useful in treating senile pruritis, itching and other ailments associated with old age and anxiety neurosisProduct Range:
Bonnisan, Geriforte, Liv-52.

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