Devi BP, etal. (2003) J Ethnopharmacol 87(1): 11-13.

Devi BP, etal. (2003a) Fitoterapia 74(3): 262-266.

Nagaya H, etal. (1997) Phytochem 44(6): 1115-1119.

Nicola WG, etal. (1996) Bull Chim Pharm 135(9): 507-517.

Perumal Samy R, et al. (1999) J Ethnopharmacol 66(2): 235-240.

Warning: Caution must be taken as the toxic effects of this plant are unknown.

Fig. 121. Cytotoxic flavonoids from Polinasia dodecandra.

210 Division MAGNOLIOPHYTA Capparis zeylanica L.

[From Greek, kapparis = caper and from Latin, zeylanica =

from Ceylon]

Synonymy: Capparis horrida L. F.

Common names: Nahmanitanget, nahmanithanjet, nwamanithanleyet (Burmese); govindi, kadambha (Sanskrit); indu, tonbai (Tamil).

Physical description: It is a climbing shrub which grows in the geographical zone, spanning India and the Philippines. The branches are terete, and the young parts are rufous hairy. Leaves: 2.5 cm-7.5 cm x 1.8 cm-5 cm. The petiole is 6 mm long. Stipular hooked prickles are present.The blade is elliptic, oblong, obtuse, acute or retuse, and shows a long and stout midrib. The blade is narrow at the base, reticulately veined, glabrous and glossy above. The flowers are supra-axillary, solitary or grouped in twos or threes. The calyx comprises of 5, 9 mm long sepals which are densely rufous pubescent outside and very concave. The petals are twice as long as the sepals and densely rufous. The gynophore is 3.2 cm long. The ovary is ellipsoid and apiculate. The fruits are subglobose and 4 cm long capsules supported by a thick pedicel and containing several seeds (Fig. 122).

Pharmaceutical potential: The counter-irritant property of Capparis zeylanica L. is attributed to isothiocyanates (see Cleome gynandra L.). The therapeutic potential of Capparis zeylanica L. remains unexplored.

Uses: In Burma, Capparis zeylanica L. is a counter-irritant remedy. Internally, the bark is used to treat cholera and the root bark is used to promote digestion. In India, the roots of Capparis zeylanica L. are bitter, cooling, hep-atoprotector and sedative (Ayurveda). The leaves are pounded and applied to boils, swollen parts and piles. In the Philippines, the leaves are rubbed with salt and applied to the head in order to assuage headache. In Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam, Capparis zeylanica L. is invigorating, antiscorbutic and is used to treat gastritis.

Fig. 122. Capparis zeylanica L.

Warning: Caution must be taken as the toxic effects of this plant are unknown.

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