Caesalpinia bonduc L Roxb

[After A Caesalpini, 1519-1603, an Italian physician and a botanist and from Persian, finduk]

Synonymy: Caesalpinia crista L., Caesalpinia bonducella (L.) Flem.

Common names: Nicker tree; gorek (Malay); yeux de bourique (French); putikaranja (Sanskrit); akitmakit (Arabic).

Physical description: It is a scandent, prickly, woody and tropical climber which grows to a length of 10 m. The stems are lenticelled. Leaves: bipin-nate and 1 m long. The rachis is prickly and shows several pairs of folioles which are elliptic-oblong, 2cm-5cm long, and obtuse or acute. The flowers are yellow and 1 cm long, arranged in axillary racemes. The fruits are 5 cm-10 cm, inflated, and prickly pods, each containing 1-2 subglobose and lead-colored seeds (Fig. 157).

Pharmaceutical interest: Extracts of this plant display antimicrobial, antive-nom properties, as well as hypogly-caemic activity in rats (Datte JY et al., 2001; Simin K et al., 2001; Sharma SR et al., 1997; Saeed MA et al, 2001). It increases the contractile force dose-dependently in isolated portions of pregnant rat myometrium and an increase of contractile force in rat skeletal muscle via a possible role of cholinergic receptors (Datte JY et al., 1998; 2004). It will be interesting to learn whether a more intensive study on the

Uses: In Indonesia, the roots of Caesalpinia bonduc (L.) Roxb. are chewed to stop diarrhea and the seeds are used to expel intestinal worms. In Malaysia, a poultice of the powdered leaves is applied to the abdomen to expel intestinal worms. In the Philippines, the powdered seeds are used to treat fever, invigorate health, promote digestion and relieve the bowels of costiveness. The seeds of Caesalpinia bonduc (L.) Roxb. were known as Ibn Sina and were later named Frutex Globulorum by Georgius Everhardus Rumphius (1628-1702). In 1868, the seeds were made official in the Indian Pharmacopoeia, and were used to invigorate health and to treat malarial fever. Clinical experiments conducted in 1886 (Jour de Phar et de Chim., Aout 1886) showed that 10-20 centigrams of seeds were as effective as quinine salt in treating malarial fever.

Fig. 157. Caesalpinia bonduc (L.) Roxb. From: KLU 30912. Flora of Malaya. University of Malaya Herbarium. Field Collector: Omar bin Hamzah. 10 Nov 1979. Geographical Localization: Pulau Singa Besar, Pulau Langkawi. Botanical identification: AHB Loo. 27 July 1998. From: KLU Herbarium 31266. Field collector: Chia LokThye, 10 Nov 1979. Botanical identification: AHB Loo. 27 July 1998.

seeds of this plant will disclose any molecules of therapeutic interest. Note that the plant is known to produce bitter cassane diterpenes: caesalpinin, cae-saldekanin C, F and G which are probably pharmacologically active (Peter S etal, 1998), the pharmacological potential of which remains undiscovered.

Caesaldekanin C (R= H, CH3) Caesaldekarin G Caesalpinin

Caesaldekarin F (R= CH3)

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