Bonduc nut/Karanja (کرنجوہ) is also known as Yellow Nicker, Gray Nicker, Nicker Seed, Fever Nut, Nicker Bean, Caesalpinia Bonduc is seen in hotter places in India, Sri Lanka and Burma. These trees grow on waste grounds and on coastal areas.
It is an extensive climber which reaches a length of around 6 m with branches spread out and has straight and hooked prickles. Leaves are around 30-60 cm long and have short prickly petioles. Small yellow flowers are produced in supra and terminal axillary racemes on the top. The pods are short stalked and are covered with prickles which have one or two seeds. The seeds are grey colored and have shining and smooth surface.
Therapeutic Powers of Bonduc Nut:
- Bonduc has febrifuge, antiperiodic, anthelmintic and tonic properties. Pods are roasted and the powder is used as a substitute for quinine. The root bark has been used for relieving intestinal worms, fever, tumors, cough, amenorrhea, and to remove placenta after childbirth.
- The leaves and the juice or paste is used for relieving smallpox, elephantiasis, liver diseases and for eliminating bad odors in perspiration. It is also used for reducing toothache.
- The flower tastes bitter and induces warming effect on the body. It improves the balance of vata and kapha and the ash is useful in ascites.
- The seeds have astringent properties and are being used to relieve inflammation, contagious diseases, skin diseases hydrocele, colic and leprosy.
- The seed sprouts are useful in relieving tumors. The fruit of the plant produces heat in the body, shows astringent action on bowels and is known as an aphrodisiac.
- The fruit is also used for eliminating piles, wounds, leucorrhoea and urinary disorders.
- Boiled leaves can be used for gargling to relieve sore throat.
- The leaves and seeds after roasting in castor oil can be applied to reduce piles, inflammatory swellings, orchitis and hydrocele.
Care for ailments:
- Fever: The kernel of the seed is used for relieving simple, intermittent fevers. The powder of the kernel mixed with black pepper in equal parts and is given three times a day in a dosage of 15-30 grains for adults and 3-4 grains for children. The medicine promotes perspiration and fever comes down.
- Liver disorder: The powder of the kernel mixed with goat milk and sugar is used to relieve disorders related to liver.
- Asthma: The kernels are roasted and a decoction is made to relieve asthma.
- Infant disorders: small children who are unable to digest mother’s milk can be given an extract of the kernel along with salt, honey and ginger.
- Boils and inflammation: A paste made with the kernel and applied on boils and other swellings gives positive results.
- Toothache: A paste made from the leaves and twigs is useful in reducing toothache.
- Elephantiasis and smallpox: The juice extract of the leaves are used in controlling elephantiasis and smallpox.
Safety & Precautions:
Bonduc nut is a relatively safer herb. However, its use must be done judiciously with pregnant or lactating women and also for children.