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vyaghranakhi - Capparis zeylanica Linn.

vyaghranakhi :

vyaghranakhi : Capparis zeylanica Linn.
Capparis zeylanica is an evergreen climbing shrub producing stems 2 - 5 metres long, occasionally to 10 metres
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and occasionally as a food

Taxonomical Classification

Kingdom: Plantae - Plants
Subkingdom: Streptophyta
Superdivision: Spermatophyta - Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida - Dicotyledons
Family: Capparidaceae
Genus: Capparis
Species: Capparis zeylanica


Sanskrit: व्याघ्रनखी Vyaghranakhi , करम्भ karambha, तपसप्रिय tapasapriya
English: Ceylon caper, Indian caper
Hindi: Aradanda
Urdu: بھارتی کاپیر
Telugu: Palaki
Bengali: kalokera কন্টকলতা, কালকেড়া, আসারিলতা, আসারি, বাগানই, কালোওকড়া,
Marathi: गोविंदी Govindi
Konkani: गोविंदफल Govindphal
Gujarathi: Karrallura •
Tamil: Adondai
Malayalam: Elippayar, Karthotti, Gitoran
Kannada: Mullukattari
Punjabi: ਗਰਨਾ garna, ਕਰਵੀਲਾ karwila, ਕਰਵੀਲੂੰ karwilun
Sindhi: انڊين ڪئپر
Arabic: الكبر الهندي alkibar alhindiu
Spanish: alcaparra india
Assamese: -Gobindaphal
Japanese: インドケイパー Indokeipā
Chinese: Chui Guo Teng
French: -câpres indiennes
German: -indische Kapriolen
Burma: -aindiy caper
Nepal: बन केरा Ban kera
Persian: -کاپیتان هند
Sinhalese: -ඉන්දියානු කපර් indiyānu kapar
Greek: ινδικό καπετάνιο indikó kapetánio


Synonyms in Ayurveda: करम्भ karambha, तपसप्रिय tapasapriya, व्याघ्रनखी vyaghra nakhi

KAP-ar-iss -- from the Greek kápparis, originating in the Near or Middle East 
zey-LAN-ee-kuh -- of or from Ceylon (Sri Lanka)

Rasa: Kashaya Katu Madhura Tikta
Guna: Laghu Ruksha
Veerya: Ushna
Vipaka: Katu
Karma: Kaphahara Vatahara Vishahara-Anti toxic,

The leaves are employed as a counter-irritant, and are made into a poultice for treating boils, swellings and haemorrhoids
 They are also used to reduce perspiration and to improve the appetite
A decoction of the root-bark is used as a remedy for vomiting and to improve the appetite


A plant of low elevations in the tropics, where it is found at elevations up to 700 metres in areas with a distinct seasonal climate


Seed -


The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and occasionally as a food


Root - E-octadec-7-en-5-4 noic acid Leaves and seeds contain thioglucosides, glucocapparin, n-tricontane, α-and β-amyrin, an alkaloid, a phytosterol, a mucilaginous substance and a water-soluble acid, capric acid. The seeds contain fixed oil (Ghani, 2003).



Parts used for medicinal purpose

Fruit, ,


As needed


-Traditionally it is also used as antidote to snake bite


A climbing shrub, 2-5(-10) m tall with zigzag branches, pubescence tawny to brownish red.

Leaves ovate to elliptical, 4-10(-18) cm × 3-6(-9) cm, base acute or obtuse, tip acute, leathery, petiole 0.5-1.5 cm long, thorns 3-6 mm long, recurved.

Flowers 2-5 in a row, rarely solitary, before the leaves on young twigs, pedicel stout, 1-2 cm long, sepals concave, 1 cm long, hairy, petals 0.9-1.6 cm long, thin, white to pinkish, inner side later darker, pinkish to red; stamens 30-50, filaments 2.5-3.5 cm long, pink, later turning dark purple; gynophore 2.5-4.5 cm, pubescent only towards the base.

Fruit a globular to ellipsoid berry, up to 5 cm × 4 cm, on 5 cm-long gynophore; skin woody-coriaceous, red to purple.

Seeds numerous, embedded in fleshy pulp.


Fruit – Epicarp shows thick cuticle covering the single layered epidermal cells followed by thick walled parenchyma, filled with yellow contents, mesocarp composed of thick walled parenchyma, having groups of pitted sclereids at places along with some vascular strands, endocarp contains collapsed cells, abundant oil globules present.

Seed – T.S. shows testa having thick cuticle; with a single layered, laterally elongated, loosely packed, pigmented, epidermal cells, followed by 8 to 10 layers of compactly arranged circular pitted stone cells with very thick wall and narrow lumen; tegmen consists of collapsed cells; endosperm parenchyma filled with oil and aleurone grains, oil cells with yellowish oil at some places.

Powder – Reddish brown, sticky, shows sclereids, parenchymatous cells filled with oil and cells filled with aleurone grains.

Geographical distribution:

Sri Lanka, Thailand, China (Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan), Java, Lesser Sunda Isl. (Lombok, Sumbawa, Semau, Timor), Sulawesi (incl. Selayar Isl.), Philippines (Luzon, Mindoro, Mindanao), Moluccas (Sulu Arch.), Taiwan (I), Andamans (Middle Andamans, South Andamans), Myanmar [Burma] (widespread), India (widespread), Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan (Sind), Vietnam, Laos


C. zeylanica occurs in hedges, brushwood, savannas, forest borders, at low and medium altitudes, under seasonal climatic conditions.

General Use:

Fungal infections.
Chest congestion.
Intestinal worms.
A skin disease caused by parasites (leishmaniasis).
Skin disorders, when applied directly.
Improving blood flow near the skin’s surface, when applied directly.
Dry skin, when applied directly.
Other conditions.

Therapeutic Uses:

Severe head ache, Cough, Cold, Nasal congestion, Throat infection

Systemic Use:

Stomachic, Sedative


Unripe fruit is prepared as pickle and taken along with food


Root bark is sedative, cooling, cholagogue, stomachic and antihidrotic; along with spirit given in cholera. Leaves are used as a counter irritant and as a cataplasm in boils, swellings, piles and rheumatism. Flowers are used as laxative.

Clinical trials:

Protective Effects of Capparis zeylanica Linn. Leaf Extract on Gastric ...
by KR Sini -

(PDF) Antibacterial potency screening of Capparis zeylanica Linn.


Research Journal of Pharmaceutical, Biological and ... - RJPBCS

Anticonvulsant Study of Capparis zeylanica Linn. Root in Wistar Rats ...

Research Paper Studies on Immunomodulatory Activity of Capparis ...
by SS Agrawal 


Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Capers are LIKELY SAFE when eaten as food, but there’s not enough information to know if they are safe in the larger amounts that are used as medicine. If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, stick with food amounts until more is known.

Diabetes: There is some concern that capers might alter blood sugar control in people with diabetes. Monitor you blood sugar closely if you have diabetes and use capers.

Surgery: Capers might affect blood sugar levels. There is some concern that capers might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop using capers at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery

Toxicity studies:

Capers are LIKELY SAFE for most people when eaten as a food. There isn’t enough information available to know if capers are safe in medicinal doses. Capers can cause skin rash and irritation.

Capers can cause skin rash and irritation.

Use in other system of medicine:

In folk medicine, leaves used as cataplasm for boils, swelling and hemorrhoids. Decoction of root-bark used for vomiting and for improving the appetite. Leaves also used to improve the appetite.


Capparis zeylanica is a climbing shrub common in the forests of the Indian subcontinent, Indo-China, China and Malesia; no subspecies are listed in the Catalogue of Life. Several species of Lepidopteran larvae feed on its leaves.

KEY WORDS: vyaghranakhi , Capparis zeylanica Linn.

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