Feb 12, 2014
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SEMECARPUS ANACARDIUM

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Linn. f.

Family ► Anacardiaceae.

Habitat ► Punjab, Assam, Khasi Hills, Madhya Pradesh and Peninsular India.

English ► Marking-Nut.

Ayurvedic ► Bhallaataka, Bhallata, Arushkara, Agnik, Agnimukha, Sophkrit, Viravrksha.

Unani ► Balaadur, Bhilaayan, Bhilaavaan.

Siddha/Tamil ► Shenkottei, Erimugi. (Kattu shen-kottai is equated with S. travancorica Bedd., found in evergreen forests of Tinnevelly and Travancore.)

Folk ► Bhilaavaa.

Action ► Toxic drug, used only after curing. Fruit—caustic, astringent, anti-inflammatory, antitumour. Used in rheumatoid arthritis and for the treatment of tumours and malignant growths.

A decoction, mixed with milk or butter fat, is prescribed in asthma, neuralgia, sciatica, gout, hemiplegia, epilepsy. Kernel oil—antiseptic; used externally in gout, leucoderma, psoriasis and leprosy. Bark gum—used for nervous debility; in leprous, scrofulous and venereal affections.

Bigger var. is equated with S. kurzii Engler.

The nut shells contain biflavonoids, including tetrahydrobustaflavone, tet- rahydroamentoflavone and anacardu- flavanone; nallaflavone; anacardic acid; aromatic amines and bhilawanol. Bhi- lawanol is a mixture of phenolic compounds, including cis and trans isomers of urushenol (3-pentadecenyl-8′ catechol), monohydroxy phenol and semicarpol. These are the major constituents of the shell liquid, isolated from the nuts (about 46% of the weight of extract).

A mixture of closely related pentade- cyl catechols exhibits anticancer activity. Extracts of the fruit was found effective against human epidermoid carcinoma of the naso-pharynx in tissue culture.

Milk extract of the nut showed anti-inflammatory activity against car- rageenin, 5-HT and formaldehyde- induced rat paw oedema in acute anti- inflammatory studies. (About 20% animals developed gangrene of limbs, tail and ears.)

Dosage ► Detoxified fruit—1-2 g in milk confection. (API, Vol. II.)

Article Categories:
Indian Medicinal Plants

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