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Family Caesalpinaceae
Caesalpinia crista Linn.
Hua nan yun shi

Scientific names Common names
Caesalpinia chinensis Roxb. Bakaig (Tag.)
Caesalpinia crista Linn. Binit (Bik.)
Caesalpinia kwangtungensis Merr. Kalauinit (Tag.)
Caesalpinia laevigata Perr. Kabit-kabag (Tag.)
Caesalpinia nuga (L.) W.T.Aiton Kamit-kabag (Tag.)
Caesalpinia paniculata Desf. Sagmit (Tag.)
Caesalpinia paniculata (Lam.) Roxb. Sampinit (P. Bis.)
Caesalpinia scandens Roth Sapanit (Sbl.)
Caesalpinia szechuenensis Craib. Sapinit (Tag., S. L. Bis.)
Genista scandens Lour. Suba (Sul.)
Guilandina crista Small Crested fever nut (Engl.)
Guilandina nuga Linn. Yellow niker (Engl.)
Guilandina paniculata Lam. Nickernut (Engl.)
Guilandina semina Lour. Seabean (Engl.)
Ticanto nuga (L.) Medik.  
Quisumbing's compilation lists (1) Caesalpinia crista, Kalumbibit and (2) C. nuga, C. laevigata, Bakaig as separate species. Other compilations list C. crista Linn and C. nuga (Linn.) Ait as synonyms. For this compilation, Kalumbibit is listed as Caesalpinia boducella and Bakaig as Caesalpinia crista.
Caesalpinia crista L. is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
BENGALI: Lata Karancha.
CHINESE: Hua nan yun shi.
GUJARATI: Kanchaki, Kankachia.
HINDI: Katuk ranja, Karanjava.
KANNADA: Gujugu, Gaduggu.
MARATHI: Segargoti, Gajra, Kanchak.
SANSKRIT: Putrakaranj.
TAMIL: Kalarkodi, Kalichikai.

Bakaig 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.

- Study yielded nine new cassane-type diterpenes, taepeenin A-I, and two new norcassane-type diterpenes, nortaepeenin A-B from the stems and roots, with three known diterpenes, vinhaticoic acid, methyl vinhaticfoate and taepeenin A. (5)
- Leaf extracts yielded phenolic acids viz., gallic, protocatechuic, gentisic, chlorogenic, caffeic, p-coumaric and ferulic acids. (see study below) (7)
- Ethanolic seed extract yielded flavonoids, alkaloids, tannins, triterpenoids, coumarin glycosides, and proteins. (12)
- Seed kernel extracts yielded five new cassane-type diterpenes, caesalpinins MA-ME (1-5), and three new norcassane-type diterpenes, norcaesalpinins MA-MC (6-8), together with 12 known cassane type diterpenes: 14(17)-dehydrocaesalmin F, caesaldekarin e, caesalmin B, caesalmin C, caesalmin E, 2-acetoxy-3-deacetoxycaesaldekarin e, 2-acetoxycaesaldekarin e, caesalpinin C, 7-acetoxybonducellpin C, caesalpinin E, norcaesalpinin B, and 6-acetoxy-3-deacetoxycaesaldekarin e. (15)
- A methanolic extract yielded two novel compounds, 2-hydroxytrideca-3,6-dienyl-pentanoate and octacosa-12,15-diene along with known compounds 3-O-methylellagic acid 3′O-α-rhamnopyranoside, β-sitosterol and sucrose. (see study below) (22)

- Roots considered diuretic, tonic, anticalculous.
- Seeds considered antiperiodic, tonic, febrifuge, antidiarrheal.
- Bark considered antiperiodic, rubefacient.

Parts used
Seeds, leaves, fruit.


- 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.
- 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. (9)

Anthelmintic activity of Chenopodium album (L.) and Caesalpinia crista (L.) against trichostrongylid nematodes of sheep: Study showed both C. crista and C. ablum possess anthelmintic activity in vitro and in vivo, supporting its traditional use in Pakistan. (2)
Anti-Amyloidogenic / Alzheimer's Disease:
Abeta (amyloid beta) is a major etiological factor in Alzheimer's disease. Study showed C. crista aqueous extract could inhibit the Abeta(42) aggregation from monomers and oligomers and able to disintegrate the preformed fibrils. (3)
Nootropic / Memory Enhancer / Seeds:
Study evaluated the potential of dried seed kernels of C. crista extract as a learning and memory enhancer. Results suggest CC can be beneficial in improving cognition in disorders like dementia and other neurodegenerative disorders. (4)
A 70% methanol extract of C. crista leaves showed antioxidant and ROS scavenging, attributed to phenolic and flavonoid compounds. (6)
Antioxidant / Anti-Inflammatory / Leaves: Study evaluated the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory potential of C. asiatica and C. crista leaf extracts. Both exhibited antioxidant properties and inhibited 5-lipoxygenase (anti-inflammatory) in a dose dependent manner, with C. crista showing better activities than C. asiatica, attributed to the higher gallic acid and ferulic acid content. (7)
Hepatoprotective / Iron-Overload Liver Toxicity: Study evaluated the ameliorating effect of C. crista extract on iron-overload-induced liver injury in mice. Treatment showed attenuation of percentage increase in liver iron and serum ferritin levels. CCME also showed a dose-dependent inhibition of lipid peroxidation, protein oxidation and liver fibrosis. The hepatoprotective effect against the iron overload was attributed to its potent antioxidant and iron-chelating property. (8)
Antidiabetic / Seeds: Study evaluated the antidiabetic activity of ethanolic and aqueous seed extracts of Caesalpinia crista in STZ-induced diabetic 2-day old pups model. Results showed antidiabetic effects, with the aqueous extract showing more significant effect than the ethanolic extract. Histopath studies showed regeneration of ß-cells of the pancreas. (10)
Anticancer / Root Bark: Study evaluated the possible anticancer activity of an alcoholic root bark of Caesalpinia crista against Ehrlich Ascites Carcinoma (EAC) Tumor model. Results showed increased survival time and life span, together with significant reduction of solid tumor mass. (11)
Analgesic / Antioxidant / Anti-Inflammatory / Seeds: Study of an ethanolic seed extract of C. crista showed potent antioxidant activity by DPPH assay, significant anti-inflammatory activity by Carrageenan induced paw edema with diclofenac as standard, and potent analgesic activity by writhing reflexes and tail withdrawal latency in mice. (12)
Antipyretic / Seeds: Study evaluated the antipyretic activity of ethanolic and aqueous extracts of seeds using Brewer's yeast induced pyrexia in various experimental animal models. Results showed antipyretic action attributed to the inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis. The ethanolic extract showed more significant activity than the aqueous extract. (13)
Antimicrobial / Seeds: Study showed seed extracts of Caesalpinia crista to have antimicrobial activity against seven of eight selected strains of bacteria and fungi, showing maximum inhibitory effect on P. aeruginosa and F. oxysporum. (14)
Antimalarial / Seeds: Study evaluated 44 cassane- and norcassane-type diterpenes isolated from C. crista of Mayanmar and Indonesia for antimalarial activity against Plasmodium falcifarum clone in vitro. Most of the tested diterpenes displayed antimalarial activity, with norcaesalpinin E showing the most potent activity with an IC50 of 0.090 µM, more potent than the drug chloroquine. (16)
Seed Oil / Potential: Study of shade dried oil yielded total 19.66% saturated fatty acids and 80.33% unsaturated fatty acids. Physiochemical analysis revealed a non-drying oil. Results suggest a potential for use in preparation of liquid soap, hair shampoos, and value added products. (17)
Hepatoprotective Against Iron Load-Induced Toxicity: Study evaluated the ameliorating effect of C. crista extract on iron overload-induced liver injury. Results showed a dose-dependent inhibition of lipid peroxidation, protein oxidation, and liver fibrosis. Study confirmed the hepatoprotective effect likely related to its potent antioxidant and iron-chelating property. (19)
Antiviral Against Against Poultry Viruses: Various extracts of lathakaranja showed complete inhibition of paramyxovirus while showing highly significant inhibitory activity on orthomyxovirus. Study concludes the medicinal plant C. crista might be useful against economically important viral pathogens of poultry birds. (20)
Anthelmintic / Seeds: Study evaluated crude seed extracts of Caesalpinia crista for anthelmintic activity against Pheretima posthuma and Ascardia galli. Results showed all extracts significantly demonstrated paralysis and death of worms at higher concentration 15% w/v compared to standard drug piperazine citrate. (21)
Antibacterial / Seeds: A methanolic extract yielded two novel compounds, 2-hydroxytrideca-3,6-dienyl-pentanoate and octacosa-12,15-diene along with known compounds. The isolated compounds, extract and fractions showed significant in vitro antibacterial activity against S. aureus and MRSA. (see constituents above) (22)


Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D.

Last Update May 2016

IMAGE SOURCE: illustration / File:Caesalpinia crista Blanco1.150.png / Plate from book / Flora de Filipinas / Francisco Manuel Blanco (OSA) / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Public Domain / File:C. crista L. as Caesalpinia nuga (L.) Alton f. / Illustration contributed by the Library of the Missouri Botanical Garden, U.S.A. / 1745-172409-162006] Indian medicinal plants, vol. 2: t. 345 /Plant Illustrations. org

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Caesalpinia crista L /Common names / World Flora. Database R. Bruno et allia /
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
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.
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
New diterpenoids from stems and roots of Caesalpinia crista / Sarot Cheenpracha, Rattikan Srisuwan, Chatchanok Karalai et al / Tetrahedron 61 (2005) 8656–8662
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
Comparative study on anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory activities of Caesalpinia crista and Centella asiatica leaf extracts. / Ramesh BN, Girish TK, Raghavendra RH, Naidu KA, Rao UJ, Rao KS / J Pharm Bioallied Sci. 2014 Apr;6(2):86-91. / doi: 10.4103/0975-7406.129172.
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) / http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/896341
Antidiabetic activity of seed extracts of Caesalpinia crista Linn. in experimental animals / Nakul Gupta*, Ishan Sharma, Meetu Agarwal, Safhi M. Mohammed, Prerna Chauhan, Tarique Anwer, Gyas Khan / African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, Vol. 7(26), pp. 1808-1813, 15 July, 2013 / DOI 10.5897/AJPP2013.3422
Phytochemical Investigation of Caesalpinia crista Seed Extract for their Therapeutic Potential
/ Naresh Singh Gill, Ramandeep Kaur, Rashmi Arora and Manoj Bali / Research Journal of Medicinal Plant, 6: 100-107. / DOI: 10.3923/rjmp.2012.100.107
Antipyretic activity of Caesalpinia crista linn. seeds extract in experimantal animals / Sharma Ishan, Gupta Nakul, Mohammed M. Safhi, Meetu Agrawal and Chauhan Prerna / International Journal of Current Research
Screening the Antibacterial and Antifungal Properties of Holarrhena antidysenterica (L.) and Caesalpinia crista (L.) / Joshi DM*, Verma R / International J ournal for P harmaceutical R esearch S cholars ( IJPRS )
V-3, I-2, 2014
Cassane- and Norcassane-Type Diterpenes of Caesalpinia crista from Myanmar / Surya K. Kalauni , Suresh Awale , Yasuhiro Tezuka , Arjun H. Banskota , Thein Zaw Linn , and Shigetoshi Kadota * / J. Nat. Prod., 2004, 67 (11), pp 1859–1863 / DOI: 10.1021/np049742m
Antimalarial activity of cassane- and norcassane-type diterpenes from Caesalpinia crista and their structure-activity relationship. / Syafruddin D / Hasanuddin University, 2006-03-3=26
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) / http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/896341
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

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