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Caesalpinia crista


Caesalpinia bonducella (L.) Flem., Caesalpinia bonduc (L.) Roxb., Caesalpinia jayabo Maza, Guilandina bonduc Linn., Guilandina bonducella Linn.[1][18]

Vernacular Names:

Malaysia Gorek, Kuku Tupai, Rentang
English Bonduc Nut, Fever Nut

Kelengkeng, Lengkeng, Kutuk, Tengl;ur, Tinglur (Jawa); Aroi Mata Hi Yang (Sunda)

Thailand Wat, Wiet

Dawer (Ilocano)


Kanchaki, Kankachia (Gujarati); Sagargotta, Gajra (Marathi); Katuk Ranja, Karanjava (Hindi); Lata Karancha (Bengali); Gujugu, Gaduggu (Kannad); Kalarkodi (Tamil); Guchepikka Kachkai (Telagu)

Arabic Akit-makit, Banduc, Bunquq hindi
Persian Khayahe-i-iblis
French Yeux de Chat, Yeux de Bourrique
Portuguese Noz de Bonduque


General Information


Caesalpinia crista is a member of the Fabaceae family. It is a climber with finely downy gray branches armed with both hooked and straight hard yellow thorns. The leaves are bipinnate, 30-60cm long with short prickly petioles. There is a pair of stipules at the base of the leave which in believed to be a rudimentary pinnae. Each stipule is armed with a long mucronate point. There are usually 6-8 pairs of pinnae, each measuring 5.0-7.5cm long and with a pair of hooked stipular spines at the base. Each pinna has 6-9 pairs of leaflets, measuring 2.0-3.8cm long and 1.3-2.2cm wide, membranous, elliptic to oblong, obtuse, strongly mucronate, glabrous above and more or less puberous below. The flowers are produced in dense terminal racemes, with long peduncles and supra-auxillary racemes which are close at the top and looser lower down, 15-25cm in length. The flower has 6–8mm long calyx which is fulvous and hairy; lobes are obovater. The petals are yellow and oblanceolate; filaments are declinate, flattened at the base, and covered with long white silky hairs. The pedicels are 5mm in flowers and 8mm in fruits; they are brown and downy. The pods are has short stalk, oblong measuring 5.0-7.5cm long and 4.5cm wide. They are densely armed with wiry prickles. The seeds are oblong, dark gray and up to 1.3cm long. [19]

Plant Part Used

Seeds, leaves, bark, roots. [1]

Chemical Constituents

1a-acetoxy-5a, 7b-dihydroxucassa-11, 13(15)-diene-16,12-lactone; 1-deacetoxy-1-oxocaesalmin C; 1-deacetylcaesalmin C; 2-acetoxycaesaldekarin e; 2-acetoxy-3-deacetoxycaesaldekarin e; 6-acetoxy-3-deacetoxycaesaldekarin e; 6beta-cinnamoyloxy-7beta-acetoxyvouacapen-5alpha-ol; 6beta, 7beta-dibenxoyloxyvouacapen-5alpha-ol; 7-acetoxybonducellpin C; 14(17)-dehydrocaesalmin F; 17-methylvouacapane-8(140,-9(11)-diene; alpha-amyrin; beta-amyrin; bonducellpin C; caesalpinins MA-ME, MM and MN; caesaldekarin e, caesalmin B, caesalmin C, caesalmin E; caesalmin G; caesalpinin C; caesalpinin D; caesalpinin E; caesalpinin F; caesalpinin H – P; lupeol; lupeol acetate; neocaesalpinin H & I; norcaesalpinins A-C, E, F; norcaesalpinins MA-MC; norcaesalpinin MD; zeta-caesalpin.


Traditional Used:

The nuts and root bark of C. crista are considered antiperiodic, antispasmodic, bitter-tonic, anthelminthic and febrifuge. The powder seeds are tonic, febrifuge and antiperiodic. The leaves are deobstruents and emmenagogue.

Gastrointestinal Disease

The fruit of C. crista is considered hot and it is used in treatment of vomiting, billousness and parasitic infestation. The seed kernel is recommended for digestive problems, dysentery and diarrhea. The root is considered a gastric tonic.  [1][19][20][21]

Parasitic Infestations

The seeds of C. crista have been used to treat many forms of intestinal parasitic infestations including ascariasis and strongyloidiasis. One of the famed Indian Surgeon of antiquity, recommend the use of the juice extracted from the fruit to treat elephantiasis and also recommends a mixture of the seed kernel in honey or castor oil for other intestinal worms. The tender leaves are given to children as anthelmintic. The seeds and leaves have been used in many communities as anthelmintic. Both the shoots and the seeds have been advocated in the treatment of intestinal worms. In Malaysia a decoction of the leaves are given in cases of taeniasis. [1][12][19][20][21]

Gynaecological problems

C. crista is considered emmenagogue and is used to treat amenorrhoea, dysmenorrhoea and dysfunctional uterine bleeding. The parts used in these conditions includes the leaves, powedered seeds and roots. The roots formed part of a concoction for contraception. In Java a decoction of the leaves are given to treat menstrual problems.  [1][12][19][20]

Other uses

C. crista has been used in the treatment of fractured bones, control of blood sugar level and asthma. The seed kernel is given for fever, internal abscesses, infected wounds and cutaneous affections. The oil extracted from the seeds is an emolient are good for hydrocele, ear infection, removal of skin freckles and other skin problems.

The leaves has tonic properties and decoction of it is given to ally debility. The tender shoots are taken by Malays as ulam and it treats toothache and ward off intestinal worms in children.

Used in the treatment of amenorrhoea, dysmenorrhoea, diabetes, intermittent fever. Action: febrifuge, anthelmintic, expectorant.

The roots of C. crista are also considered as a tonic and the decoction given for debility and fatigue. The decoction in combination with Pseudoranthemum laxifolium provides relieve of rheumatoid arthritis, and in combination with other plants treats tuberculosis and venereal disease especially gonorrhea. [1][12][19][20]

Pre-Clinical Data


Antitumour activity

The compound 1α-acetoxy-5α, 7β-dihydroxycassa-11,13(15)-diene-16,12-lactone, a cassane-type diterpene, isolated from Caesalpinia crista was found to have significant inhibitory activities against T47D and DU145 tumour cell lines. [11]

Anthelmintic activity

The seed of C. crista is a well known as traditionally used for anthelmintic treatment by the inhabitant of mangrove areas. The investigations had showed that it is effective against Ascaris galli and Haemonchus contortus. [12-15]

Antimalarial Activity

Fourty-four cassane and norcassane-type diterpenes isolated from C. crista were found to be active against Plasmodium falciparum clone in vitro. Of these the most potent was norcaesalpinin E with IC50 value of 0.090 microM. [16]

Antioxidant activity

A 70% methanol extract of C. crista leaves was subjected to a number of tests to determine its antioxidant and reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenger activities. It was found that the antioxidant activity based on trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity has the value of 0.546 +/- 0.014. The ROS scavenging activities has the following values: hydroxyl (0.44 +/- 0.1mg/mL); superoxide (24.9 +/- 0.98mug/mL); nitric oxide (33.72 +/- 0.85mug/mL); singlet oxygen (61.13 +/- 3.24mug/mL) and hypochlorous acid (170.51 +/- 4.68mug/mL). IC50 was 279.85 +/- 4.72mug/mL. It was found to be a potent iron chelator too. The extract showed ability to significantly increase levels of superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione-S-transferace and reduced glutathione in vivo. This extract yielded 50.23 +/- 0.003mg/mL gallic acid equivalent phenolic content and 106.83 +/- 0.0003mg/mL quercetin equivalent flavonoid content. Thus the antioxidant and the ROS scavenging activity can be attributed to the presence of phenolic and flavonoid compounds. [17]

Anti-amyloidogenic property

It was found that the aqueous extract from the leaves of C. crista was able to inhibit Amyloid beta aggregation from monomers and oligomers and able to disaggregate the pre-formed fibrils. Amyloid beta has been implicated in Alzheimer’s Disease where it was found to self-assembles to form oligomers and fibrils via multiple aggregation process. [17]


The irritant effects of alpha-amyrin, beta-amyrin, lupeol and lupeol acetate, triterpenoids isolated from the seeds of C. crista was demonstrated in open mouse ear assay. [2]

Teratogenic effects

No documentation

Clinical Data

Clinical Trials

No documentation

Adverse Effects in Human:

No documentation

Used in Certain Conditions

Pregnancy / Breastfeeding

In view of the fact that it is considered as emmenagogue, it should not be used during pregnancy, especially those in the habit of taking it as ulam.

Age Limitations

No documentation

Neonates / Adolescents

No documentation


No documentation

Chronic Disease Conditions

No documentation


Interactions with drugs

No documentation

Interactions with Other Herbs / Herbal Constituents

No documentation



No documentation

Case Reports

No documentation


    1. Khare CP. Indian Herbal Remedies: Rational Western Therapy, Ayurvedic, and Other Traditional Usage and Botany Springer Berlin; 2004. p. 115 – 116.
    2. Saeed MA, Sabir AW. Irritant potential of some constituents from the seeds of Caesalpinia bonducella (L.) fleming. Journal of Asian Natural Products Research. 2003 Mar;5(1):35-41.
    3. Jadhav AN, Kaur N, Bhutani KK. A new furanoditerpenoid marker for the distinction between the seeds of two species of Caesalpinia. Phytochemical Analysis. 2003 Sep-Oct;14(5):315-8.
    4. Kalauni SK, Awale S, Tezuka Y, Banskota AH, Linn TZ, Kadota S. Cassane- and norcassane-type diterpenes of Caesalpinia crista from Myanmar. Journal of Natural Products. 2004 Nov;67(11):1859-63.
    5. Kalauni SK, Awale S, Tezuka Y, Banskota AH, Linn TZ, Kadota S. New cassane-type diterpenes of Caesalpinia crista from Myanmar. Chemical & Pharmaceutical Bulletin (Tokyo). 2005 Feb;53(2):214-8.
    6. Linn TZ, Awale S, Tezuka Y, Banskota AH, Kalauni SK, Attamimi F, Ueda JY, Asih PB, Syafruddin D, Tanaka K, Kadota S. Cassane- and norcassane-type diterpenes from Caesalpinia crista of Indonesia and their antimalarial activity against the growth of Plasmodium falciparum. Journal of Natural Products. 2005 May;68(5):706-10.
    7. Kinoshita T, Haga Y, Narimatsu S, Shimada M, Goda Y. The isolation and structure elucidation of new cassane diterpene-acids from Caesalpinia crista L. (Fabaceae), and review on the nomenclature of some Caesalpinia species. Chemical & Pharmaceutical Bulletin (Tokyo). 2005 Jun;53(6):717-20.
    8. Kalauni SK, Awale S, Tezuka Y, Banskota AH, Linn TZ, Kadota S. Methyl migrated cassane-type furanoditerpenes of Caesalpinia crista from Myanmar. Chemical & Pharmaceutical Bulletin (Tokyo). 2005 Oct;53(10):1300-4.
    9. Awale S, Linn TZ, Tezuka Y, Kalauni SK, Banskota AH, Attamimi F, Ueda JY, Kadota S. Constituents of Caesalpinia crista from Indonesia. Chemical & Pharmaceutical Bulletin (Tokyo). 2006 Feb;54(2):213-8.
    10. Das B, Srinivas Y, Sudhakar C, Mahender I, Laxminarayana K, Reddy PR, Raju TV, Jakka NM, Rao JV. New diterpenoids from Caesalpinia species and their cytotoxic activity. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters. 2010 May 1;20(9):2847-50. Epub 2010 Mar 12.
    11. Tian QJ, Ou YH, He XB, Jiang YD. One new antitumour cassane-type diterpene from Caesalpinia crista. Nat Prod Res. 2012 May 14
    12. Javed I, Akhtar MS, Rahman ZU, Khaliq T, Ahmad M. Comparative anthelminthic efficacy and safety of Caesalpinia crista seed and piperazine adipate in chickens with artificially induced Ascaridia galli infection. Acta Veterinaria Hungarica. 1994;42(1):103-9.
    13. Hördegen P, Hertzberg H, Heilmann J, Langhans W, Maurer V. The anthelmintic efficacy of five plant products against gastrointestinal trichostrongylids in artificially infected lambs. Veterinary Parasitology. 2003 Nov 3;117(1-2):51-60.
    14. Hördegen P, Cabaret J, Hertzberg H, Langhans W, Maurer V. In vitro screening of six anthelmintic plant products against larval Haemonchus contortus with a modified methyl-thiazolyl-tetrazolium reduction assay. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2006 Nov 3;108(1):85-9. Epub 2006 Apr 27.
    15. Jabbar A, Zaman MA, Iqbal Z, Yaseen M, Shamim A. Anthelmintic activity of Chenopodium album (L) and Caesalpinia crista (L) against trichostrongylid nematodes of sheep. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2007 Oct 8;114(1):86-91.
    16. Mandal S, Hazra B, Sarkar R, Biswas S, Mandal N. Assessment of the Antioxidant and Reactive Oxygen Species Scavenging Activity of Methanolic Extract of Caesalpinia crista Leaf. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2009 Jul 13.
    17. Ramesh BN, Indi SS, Rao KS. Anti-amyloidogenic property of leaf aqueous extract of Caesalpinia crista. Neurosci Lett. 2010 May 14;475(2):110-4.
    18. Buttner R. Mansfeld’s Encyclopedia of Acricultural and Horticultural Crops Spinger Berlin; 2001. p. 547.
    19. Preedy VR, Watson RR, Patel VB. Nuts and Seeds in Health and Disease Prevention. Academic Press London; 2011. pg. 562.
    20. Burkill IH. A Dictionary of Economic Products of the Malay Peninsula. Volume 1. Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperative Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur; 1966. p. 391 – 393.
    21. Cambie RC, Ash J. Fijian Medicinal Plants CSIRO Australia; 1994. p. 44–45.

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