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latakaranja - Caesalpinia crista Linn.

latakaranja :

latakaranja  : Caesalpinia crista Linn. Caesalpinia Crista of family Fabaceae is a prickly shrub or woody vine reaching a length  of 10 m or more also known as Sagargoti (Marathi). Leaves are bi-pinnate, often nearly 1 m long, with the rachis armed with stout, sharp, recurved spines. The leaflets also number 10 pairs and are oblong, 2 to 5 cm long and somewhat hairy. The Flowers are yellow, borne in axillary, simple or panicled raceme and about 1 cm long. The fruits are pods, oblong 5 to 7 cm in length, inflated and covered with slender spines and contain one or two seeds. The seeds are large, somewhat rounded or ovoid, hairy, grey and shiny.  


Pütika or Atika terms are found in the vedic literature. It is an effective remedy for acute pain abdomen (anti-spasmodic), malarial fever

Taxonomical Classification

Kingdom: Plantae - Plants
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Caesalpinia
Species: Caesalpinia crista

Allied species:

-Caesalpinia paniculata, 
Caesalpinia paniculata, 
Guilandina paniculata,
Caesalpinia bonduc (Linn.) Roxb.
Latin Caesalpinia, commemorating Andrea Cesalpino, a 16th century Italian botanist; Greek crista, with a small crest, the reference to which is unknown


Sanskrit: puti karanj, lata karanj, ghrit karanj, kantaki karanj, kuberaksha, prakirya, shakra, virasya, najrabijaka 
English: bonducella nut, Bonduct nut, Fever nut, Nicker tree.
Hindi: Kantakareja
Urdu: Akitmakit, Bandu
Telugu: Gachchakaya
Bengali: Natakani
Marathi: Sagargoti, Gajra, kanchak
Konkani: vakeri
Oriya: Kotokolejaa
Gujarathi: Kanchaki, Kankachia.
Tamil: Kazhar Shikkay
Malayalam: Kalanchikkru, കഴഞ്ച് Kazhanchi, Kalimarakam, Kazhanchikkuru, Kazhanji
Kannada: Gujugu, Gaduggu
Arabic: Akit makit, Banduc, Bunduq hindi
Spanish: Mate de costa, Matojo de playa, Ojo de Venado.
Assamese: Letai-goch, Letaguti-goch, লেটাগুটি Letaguti
Japanese: nanten-kazura
Chinese: Hua nan yun shi., ci huo su mu
French: Canique grise, Cadoc, Cniquier, Graines quinique, Guénic, Quinique jaune, Sappan liane, Yeux à chatte, Yeux de bourrique, Yeux de chat, Yeux de chatte.
German: Molukkenbohne.
Nepal: Karaunjee
Persian: Khayahe i iblis.
Sinhalese: Kumburu wel , Kalu vavuletiya, Wael kumburu




  1. Caesalpinia Crista
  2. Caesalpinia bonduc

Bharamisrain the content of Karanja , it has got three varities.

  1. Kantakakaranja
  2. GhrtaKaranja
  3. Karanji


Putika’ or ‘Atika’ terms are found in the vedic literature. It is described in connection with ‘soma’ and in fact described as the substitute for soma. Some commentators consider this plant as a grass, while other accept it as a creeper like soma.  P. V. Sharmaji identifies it with caesalpiniaboundaries.


Synonyms in Ayurveda: puti karanj, lata karanj, ghrit karanj, kantaki karanj, kuberaksha, prakirya, shakra, virasya, najrabijaka

kantaki karanja - because it is a prickly shrub
kuberaksha - its seeds resemble the size of eyes

Latakaranja:A scandent shrub or a drug which   similar property of Karanja but grows as a scandent shrub.

Puthykaranja: Having a foetid smell or bad odour

Kantakikaranj :It has thorns all over the plant and fruits.

Vitapakaranja: Has got bad odour

Kuberaksha: The seeds are lead coloured and is said to be like the eyes of Kubera the god of wealth

Dusparsha   : Difficult to touch because of the           presence of thorns on the plant

Vajraviraka   : Seeds are head like that of diamond

Kantapphala     : Fruits with wiry Prickles

Ganadaksha    : Thecolourof the seed indicates the cornea of a race who are rich

Rasa: Kashaya Tikta
Guna: Laghu Ruksha
Veerya: Ushna
Vipaka: Katu
Karma: Kaphahara Pittahara Vatahara

The famous utility in Satpuda region among the Aadivasi people is anthelmentic. The other mentioned utility of different parts like seeds are sometimes used in necklaces are considered febrifugal, periodic, tonic, and vesicant. They are used to treat colic, convulsions, leprosy, and palsy. The oil from the seeds is said to soften the skin and remove pimples. The bark is antiperiodic, rubefacient and plant to counteract toothache. A leaf decoction is as collyrium. The different parts such as Leaves, seed, root, bark is also used in Colic fever, intermittent fever, malaria, menstrual complaints, pneumonia, skin diseases, swelling, tonic, pulmonary tuberculosis and as a uterine stimulant, to cleanse the uterus. It also alleviates the fever, edema and abdominal pain during this period.


Succeeds in any moderately fertile, well-drained soil[]. Requires a position in full sun
Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby


Seed - pre-soak for 12 - 24 hours in warm water prior to sowing. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on until large enough to plant out.
Softwood cuttings in sand in a frame


The plant is sometimes harvested from the wild for local medicinal use and for the oil obtained from its seed.

Flowering & Fruiting : January--March


The seeds contain some important chemical constituents like triterpenoids, flavonoids, glycosides, saponins, amino acids, tannins and alkaloids. Some of the amino acids found in the seed kernel are aspartic acid, lysine, glycine, leucine, histidine, isoleucine, serine, butyric acid, tyrosine, citrulline, etc. The important glycoside found in kalarchikai is bonducin. The fatty oil found in the kernel consists of stearic, palmitic, oleic, linolenic and linoceric acids. 


  1. Aragvadhadi Kvatha Curna, 
  2. Kuberaksdi Vati
  3. Anthrakutharam gulika
  4. Himasagara Taila
  5. ayaskriti

Parts used for medicinal purpose

Bark, Leaves, Seed, ,


Juice of leaves 5-10 ml.


-Powder of roasted pods are used as a substitute for Quinine


- C. jayoba is an adulterant of C. crista.


-There is controversial reports exist regarding the presence of alkaloids in C. crista. Earlier workers detected an alkaloid “Natin” in the plant but could not confirm the presence  The presence of alkaloid in the seed  and twigs  and its absence in stem and leaf was indicated in later reports.

Commercial value:

It is suitable for growing in parks over trellises for its ornamental, fragrant flowers. However, it should be noted that there are prickles and spines on this plant.


Growth Form: A climber with a scrambling growth form up to 5 to 20m in height and can scramble over tall trees. 

Foliage: Its spirally arranged, stalked, bipinnate leaves have about 2–4 pairs of primary leaflets (pinnae) that are up to 8 cm long and each has 1–5 pairs of opposite secondary leaflets (pinnules). Its leathery pinnule blades are egg-shaped to lance-shaped, shining green above, and 2–10 by 1–5 cm. There are blackish recurved spines along the leaf parts.

Stems: The stems are long and covered with short, sharp and curved spines. The young stems are red and turn green as they mature. 

Flowers: Its flowers grow on terminal and axillary flowering shoots that are 10–20 cm long. The flowers are yellow, fragrant, with egg-shaped petals, and 1.2 cm wide.

Fruits: Its pods are leathery, round, egg-shaped to kidney-shaped, swollen, with a beaked tip, and 3–4 by 2–3 cm. Each fruit contains a single seed that is black, compressed, and 12 by 20 mm.


Testa shows an outer single row of radially elongated, very narrow, transluscent, compactly arranged cells forming a palisade layer (Malpighian layer) passing through which is the ‘linea lucida’. These cells appear hexagonal in surface view and possess thick walls (rich in pectin as evident from Chloro-zinc Iodine Test); a sub-epidermal zone of 2 or 3 layers of thick walled bearer cells present, followed by multiple rows of osteosclereids, which progressively increase in size, elongate laterally and have more intercellular spaces towards the inner side; the outer few layers of these osteosclereids contain a brown substance; laterally elongated vascular tissues present in the lower region of this zone. The cells inner to vascular elements gradually compacted and rounded towards the inner margin; cotyledons show an outer single layer of epidermis made of small, isodiametric cells, and inner parenchymatous ground tissue cells rich in fixed oil, and having empty cavities uniformly distributed in them

Geographical distribution:

From India and Sri Lanka, eastward to the Ryukyu Islands, throughout Southeast Asia to Queensland and New Caledonia.


Local Habitat: Throughout Bidar District Waste land, Forest, Uncultivated land, Field border. 

Plant conservation:

least concerned[NCS 2012]

General Use:

Its seeds are ground in water and the liquid drunk for colic. The leaves are prescribed for sharp gouty pains in hands and feet. A decoction of crushed seeds is used as an emetic and credited with anti-dysenteric properties. Its fruits are externally applied in the treatment of rash. Its roots are used in the treatment of kidney stones

Therapeutic Uses:

Sula, Sotha, Arsa, Svasa, Chardi, Amavata, Gulma, Kasa, Kustha, Meha, Sandhivata, Tvakroga, Vatavikara, Visamajvara, Vrana, Sutikajvara, Udarasula, Raktatisara, Agnimandya, Pravahika, Yakrtpliharoga, Krimi.

Systemic Use:

1. Kalarchikai Powder For Pcos:

For making kalarchikai powder, break the kalarchikai seeds using a hammer and you will find a white kernel inside. Now collect the kernels and sun dry till crisp and then powder along with black pepper in 1: 3 ratio and store. To use, mix 1/4 tsp kalarchikai powder with honey and make small balls. Take one ball each per day.

2. Kalarchikai For Skin Problems:

Make the powder as said before but powder without the peppercorns and store. To use, take little bit of the powder, mix with water and apply on the affected area. The inflammation will reduce very very quickly.

3. Kalarchikai For Periods Pain & Irregular Periods:

Due it’s antiestrogenic properties and anti spasmodic properties, kalarchikai is wonderful for reducing periods pain and also in regularising irregular periods. For both these problems make the powder with pepper like said before. Mix 1/4 tsp of the powder with water and consume.


Leaf paste
seeds paste
Leaf decoction


  1. Antimalarial activity
  2. Anthelmintic 
  3. Anti-spasmodic property
  4. Anti-oxidants
  5. Anti-diabetic
  6. Immunostimulant
  7. Antipyretic
  8. Respiratory complications
  9. Anxiolytic Activity 
  10. Memory Enhancer
  11. Anti-inflammatory activity 
  12. Menstrual problems
  13. skin diseases

Clinical trials:

(1)Caesalpinia crista L /Common names / World Flora. Database R. Bruno et allia / 
(2)Anthelmintic activity of Chenopodium album (L.) and Caesalpinia crista (L.) against trichostrongylid nematodes of sheep / Abdul Jabbar et al / Journal of Ethnopharmacology Volume 114, Issue 1, 8 October 2007, Pages 86-91 / doi:10.1016/j.jep.2007.07.027
(3)Anti-amyloidogenic property of leaf aqueous extract of Caesalpinia crista / Ramesh BN, Indi SS, Rao KS / Neurosci Lett. 2010 May 14;475(2):110-4. Epub 2010 Mar 29.
(4)Nootropic Activity of dried Seed Kernels of Caesalpinia crista Linn against Scopolamine-induced Amnesia in Mice / Sunil N Kshirsagar / International Journal of PharmTech Research, Vol. 3, No.1, pp 104-109, Jan-Mar 2011
(5)New diterpenoids from stems and roots of Caesalpinia crista / Sarot Cheenpracha, Rattikan Srisuwan, Chatchanok Karalai et al / Tetrahedron 61 (2005) 8656–8662
(6)Assessment of the Antioxidant and Reactive Oxygen Species Scavenging Activity of Methanolic Extract of Caesalpinia crista Leaf / Sourav Mandal et al / Evidence-based Compl. and Alt. Medicine / eCAM, doi:10.1093/ecam/nep072


Caesalpinia crista L. seed oil - a probable candidate for biodiesel. / Kulkarni, D. K.; Bhagat, R. B.; Joshi, V. N. / Indian Journal of Tropical Biodiversity 2008 Vol. 16 No. 1 pp. 93-96

Caesalpinia crista / Synonyms / The Plant List 

Hepatoprotective Potential of Caesalpinia crista against Iron-Overload-Induced Liver Toxicity in Mice / 
Rhitajit Sarkar, Bibhabasu Hazra, and Nripendranath Mandal / Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Volume 2012 (2012) /

ANTIVIRAL ACTIVITY OF LATHAKARANJA (CAESALPINIA CRISTA L.) CRUDE EXTRACTS ON SELECTED ANIMAL VIRUSES / Usha, Patil; Sharma, M C. / Global Journal of Research on Medicinal Plants & Indigenous Medicine1.9 (Sep 2012): 440-447.

EVALUATION OF ANTHELMINTIC ACTIVITY OF CAESALPINIA CRISTA LINN. SEED EXTRACTS / Lokesh K. Bhardwaj*, Dr. Kaushal K. Chandrul and Dr. U. S. Sharma / World Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Vol 5, Issue 2, pp 976-982
Isolation, characterisation and antibacterial activity of new compounds from methanolic extract of seeds of Caesalpinia crista L. (Caesalpinaceae) / Ankit Kumar*, Vikas Garg, Anurag Chaudhary, Pankaj Kumar Jain & Praveen Kumar Tomar / Natural Product Research: Formerly Natural Product Letters, Volume 28, Issue 4 (2014) / DOI:10.1080/14786419.2013.814054

EVALUATION OF ACUTE AND SUB-ACUTE TOXICITY OF ETHANOLIC EXTRACT OF SEED KERNELS OF CAESALPINIA CRISTA (LINN.) IN ALBINO MICE / S. N. Kshirsagar*, D.M. Sakarkar  and S.S. Deshpande / International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research

In Vitro Anthelmintic Studies of Caesalpinia crista Linn. and Its Clinical Evaluation in Goats / Surwase Santoshkumar Prabhakarrao / Thesis: 2006

Evaluation of anti-ulcer activity of caesalpinia crista linn. seeds on pylorus ligation and indomethacine induced gastric lesions in albino rats / Chauhan P, Gupta N, Safhi MM, Nomier Y, Agarwal M, Nayem M / Int J Res Pharm Sci 2015, 5(4); 9 –13 

Latakaranja: Fever Nut (Caesalpinia crista) / Planet Ayurveda 

Hepatoprotective potential of ethanolic extract of Caesalpenia crista leaves against paracetamol induced hepatotoxicity in rats / Garima Mishra*, Ratan Lal Khosa, Pradeep Singh, Keshri Kishor Jha / Journal of Coastal Life Medicine 2015; 3(1): 78-82 


its use must be done judiciously with pregnant or lactating women and for children

Toxicity studies:

- is a relatively safer herb

Use in other system of medicine:

- In the Philippines, decoction from crushed seeds used as emetic and for dysentery.
- In India, roots employed as diuretic and used for cases with stone or gravel in the bladder.
- Root juice used orally and externally as application for ophthalmia.
- Externally and internally the juice of the stem used for eye diseases. Roasted fruit also used for the same purpose.
- Finely powdered leaves used as uterine tonic for women immediately after delivery.
- In Ayurveda used for gynecologic diseases, piles, ulcers, worms and deranged kapha. Balances all the tridoshas: vata, pitta and kapha doshas. 
- In India, oil from the seed used to soften the skin and remove pimples. Bark used for toothaches. Used for colic, convulsions, malaria, tuberculosis, leprosy and palsy. Also used as uterine stimulant and for cleansing the uterus.

Ritual / Decorative: In India, seeds used as jewelry, prayer beads, good luck charms and worry stones.


Latakaranja is a smooth, climbing shrub reaching a length of 10 meters or more. Branches are armed with short, stout, hard, hooked prickles. Leaves are bipinnate, 20 to 30 centimeters long, and the rachis armed with recurved spines beneath. Pinnae are 6 to 8, and rather distant. Leaflets are 4 to 6 on each pinna, leathery, shining, ovate to elliptic-ovate, 2 to 5 centimeters long, and pointed at the tip. Flowers are yellow, borne in terminal and ample panicles, and about 1 centimeter in diameter. Pod is 4 to 5 centimeters long, 2.5 to 3 centimeters wide, beaked, hard, and indehiscent, and contains a single seed.

- Throughout the Philippines in tidal swamps, in thickets along the seashore, etc.
- Pantropic.

KEY WORDS: Fabaceae, febrifugal, rubefacient, collyrium, latakaranja , Caesalpinia crista Linn.

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