Kareel plant: A natural source of medicines and nutrients

Ravi K. Upadhyay


Capparis decidua or kareel is an indigenous medicinal plant of India having large biodiversity in different north-western states of India. The young flower bud and fruits are used to make pickles while caper berries are used as vegetable. Plant has its wider utility in traditional folk medicine and is used as ailments to relieve variety of pains or aches such as toothache, cough and asthma heal. Plant contains few important secondary metabolites such as quercetin which act as melanogenesis stimulator and also increase tyrosinase protein expression. Capparis sp. seeds contain lectin that exhibit potent anti HIV-1 reverse transcriptase inhibition activity and also inhibits proliferation of hepatoma HepG2 and breast cancer MCF-7 cells. It shows anti-rheumatic, anti-diabitic, anti-arthritis and anti-gout agent. C. decidua contains generous quantities of alkaloids, fatty acids, terpenes, vitamins, fibre and oils that show greater medicinal and nutritive value. It also contains saccharides, glycosides, flavonoids, volatile oils, sterols and steroids, which showed
multiple pharmacological effects such as anti-inflammatory, odynolysis, anti-fungus, hepatoprotective effect, hypoglycemic activity, anti-oxidation, anti-hyperlipemia, anti-coagulated blood, smooth muscle stimulation, anti-stress reaction. Cadabicine an alkaloid that occurs in leaves shows anti-parasitic activity, while root bark and pulp are used to kill helminthes. Due to enzymatic inhibition plant extract shows the ability to control Leishmania major and L. infantum, L. donovani, L. braziliensis, Crithidia fasciculata and Herpetomonas muscarum infection. In the present review article both medicinal and nutraceutical properties of C decidua have been described in detail and special emphasis is given on its sustainable use of plant and its conservation in natural habitat.
Key words: Capparis decidua, folk medicine, neutraceuticals, pharmaceuticals, secondary metabolites

Full Text:



Bown D. Encyclopedia of Herbs. 1st ed. London: The Royal

Horticulture Society, Dorling Kindersley Ltd; 2008.

Ozacus M. Pickling and storage of caper berries (Capparis sp.).

Z F Lebensmittel-Unter Suchung Forchung A. 1999; 208:379-82.

Chopra RN, Chopra IC, Handa KL, Kapur LD. Indigenous drugs

of India. Calcutta: (UN Dhar and Sons Pvt Ltd; 1950.

Musa O, Attila A. Picklining process of capers (Capparis sp.) flower

buds, Grasas Y Aceites. 1999;50;94-9.

Jiang HE, Li X, Ferguson DK, Wang YF, Liu CJ, Li CS. The discovery

of Capparis spinosa L. (Capparidaceae) in the Yanghai Tombs

(2800 years b.p.), NW China, and its medicinal implications.

J Ethnopharmacol 2007;113:409-20.

Zhou H, Jian R, Kang J, Huang X, Li Y, Zhuang C, Antiinflammatory

effects of caper (Capparis spinosa L.) fruit aqueous

extract and the isolation of main phytochemicals. J Agric Food

Chem 2010; 58:12717-21.

Arslan R, Bektas N, Ozturk Y. Antinociceptive activity of methanol

extract of fruits of Capparis ovata in mice. J Ethnopharmacol 2010;


Yang T, Liu YQ, Wang CH, Wang ZT. Advances on investigation

of chemical constituents, pharmacological activities and clinical

applications of Capparis spinosa. Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi 2008;


Kirtikar KR, Basu BD. Indian Medicinal Plants. Vol. 1. Allahabad:

Lalit Mohan Publication; 1993. p. 197-8.

Warrier PK. Some rules of hygiene in Ayurveda, Nagarjun. 1969;


Hebbar SS, Harsha VH, Shripathi V. Hegde GR. Ethnomedicine of

Dharwad district in Karnataka, Indian–plants used in oral helath

care. J Ethnopharmacol 2004; 94:261-6.

Ahmad VU, Ismail N, Arif S, Amber AR. Isocodonocarpine from

Capparis decidua. Phytochemistry 1989; 28:2493-5.

Ahmad VU, Arif SA, Amber R, Usmanghani K, Miana GA. A new

spermidine alkaloid from Capparis decidua. Heterocycles 1985;


Xiao PF, Tao W, Miriban A, Zhen S, Xue LH, Haji AA, et al. New

spermidine alkaloids from Capparis spinosa roots. Phytochem Lett


Farooq Z, Iqbal Z, Mushtaq S, Muhammad G, Iqbal MZ, Arshad

M. Ethnoveterinary practices for the treatment of parasitic diseases

in livestock in Cholistan desert (Pakistan). J Ethnopharmacol


Upadhyay RK, Rohatgi L, Chaubey MK, Jain SC. Ovipositional

Response of the Pulse Beetle, Bruchus chinensis (Coleoptera:

Bruchidae) to Extract and Compounds of Capparis decidua. J Agric

Food Chem 2006; 26:9747-9751.

Upadhyay RK, Jaiswal J, Shoeb A, Khanna L, Jain SC. Antitermite

activities of C deciduas extracts and pure compounds against Indian

White Termite Odontoternes obesus (Isoptera: Odontotermitidae).

Psyche 2012.

Gaind KN, Juneja TR, Bhandarkar PN. Volatile principles from

seeds of Capparis decidua. (Kinetics of in vitro antibacterial activity

against (Vibrio cholerae, Vibrio ogava, Vibrio inaba and Vibrio eltor).

Indian J Pharm 1972; 34:86-8.

Dhar DN, Tewari RP, Tripathi RD, Ahuja AP. Chemical examination

of Capparis decidua.Natl Acad Sci Ind Sec. A 1972; 42:24-7.

Mishra SN, Tomar PC, Lakra N. Medicinal and food value of

Capparis a harsh terrain plant. Indian JTradit Knowl 2007;6:230-8

Rhizopoulou S, Psaras GK. Development and structure of droughttolerant

leaves of the Mediterranean shrub Capparis spinosa L. Ann

Bot 2003; 92:377-83.

Zhou HF, Xie C, Jian R, Kang J, Li Y, Zhuang CL, et al. Biflavonoids

from Caper (Capparis spinosa L.) fruits and their effects in inhibiting

NF-kappa B activation. J Agric Food Chem 2011; 59:3060-5.

Yadav P, Sarkar S, Bhatnagar D. Action of Capparis decidua against

alloxan-induced oxidative stress and diabetes in rat tissues.

Pharmacol Res 1997; 36:221-8.

al-Said MS, Abdelsatter EA, Khalifa SI, eI-Ferlay FS. Isolation

and identification of an anti-inflmmatory principle from

Capparis spinosa. Pharmazie 1988; 43:640-1.

Ageel AM, Parmar NS, Mossa JS, Al-Yahya MA, Al-Said MS,

Tariq M. Anti-inflammatory activity of some Saudi Arabian

medicinal plants. Agents Actions 1986; 17:383-4.

Bonina F, Puglia C, Ventura D, Aquino R, Tortora S, Sacchi A, et al.

In vitro anti-oxidnat and in vivo photoprotective effects of a lyophilized

extract of Capparis spinosa L buds. J Cosmet Sci 2002; 53:321-35.

Tlili N, Khaldi A, Triki S, Munné-Bosch S. Phenolic compounds

and vitamin antioxidants of caper (Capparis spinosa). Plant Foods

Hum Nutr 2010; 65:260-5.

Tlili N, Nasri N, Saadaoui E, Khaldi A, Triki S. Carotenoid

and tocopherol composition of leaves, buds, and flowers of

Capparis spinosa grown wild in Tunisia. J Agric Food Chem 2009;


Sharma B, Kumar P. Extraction and pharmacological evaluation

of Tridex procumbens and Capparis deciduas. Inter J Appl Res Nat

Prod 2009; 1:5-12.

Cao YL, Li X, Zheng M. Effect of Capparis spinosa on fibroblast

proliferation and type I collagen production in progressive

systemic sclerosis]. Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi 2008; 33:560-3.

Cao YL, Li X, Zheng M. Capparis spinosa protects against oxidative

stress in systemic sclerosis dermal fibroblasts. Arch Dermatol Res

; 302:349-55.

Tesoriere L, Butera D, Gentile C, Livrea MA. Bioactive components

of caper (Capparis spinosa L.) from Sicily and antioxidant effects in

a red meat simulated gastric digestion. J Agric Food Chem 2007;


Luecha P, Umehara K, Miyase T, Noguchi H. Antiestrogenic

constituents of the Thai medicinal plants Capparis flavicans and

Vitex glabrata. J Nat Prod 2009; 72:1954-9.

Germanò MP, De Pasquale R, D’Angelo V, Catania S, Silvari V,

Costa C. Evaluation of extracts and isolated fraction from

Capparis spinosa L. buds as an antioxidant source. J Agric Food

Chem 2002; 50:1168-71.

Lam SK, Ng TB. A protein with antiproliferative, antifungal

and HIV-1 reverse transcriptase inhibitory activities from caper

(Capparis spinosa) seeds. Phytomedicine 2009; 16:444-50.

Matsuyama K, Villareal MO, El Omri A, Han J, Kchouk ME, Isoda H.

Effect of Tunisian Capparis spinosa L. extract on melanogenesis in

B16 murine melanoma cells. J Nat Med 2009;63:468-72.

Lam SK, Han QF, Ng TB. Isolation and characterization of a lectin

with potentially exploitable activities from caper (Capparis spinosa)

seeds. Biosci Rep 2009; 29:293-9.

Rathee P, Rathee D, Rathee D, Rathee S. In vitro anticancer activity

of stachydrine isolated from Capparis decidua on prostate caner

lines. Nat Prod Res 2011 [Epub ahead of print].

Venugopal Y, Ravindranth A, Kalpana G, Prabhakar PR. Antitumor

activity of Capparis sepiaria on Ehrlich Ascites Carcinoma

in mice. Int J Biomed Res 2011; 2:262-71.

Karanayi RS, Sinha BN, Rajsekaran A. Protective efficacy of Cappris

zeylonica Linn. Leaf extract on Gastric lesions in experimental

animals. Avicenna J Med Biotechnol 2011;3:31-5.

Yu L Le-Qiong Xie, Yu-bin Ji. Preliminary Study on Apoptotic

Effect Induced by N-Butanol Extract in Capparis spinosa L. on

SGC-7901. Bioinformatics and Biomedical Engineering (iCBBE),

4th International Conference; 18-20 June 2010

Li YQ, Yang SL, Li HR, Xu LZ. Two new alkaloids from

Capparis himalayensis. Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo) 2008; 56:189-91.

Wu JH, Chang FR, Hayashi KI, Shiraki H, Liaw CC, Nakanishi Y,

et al. Antitumor agents, Part 218: Cappamesin A, a new in vitro.

Anti-cancer principle, from Capparis sikkimensis. Bioorg Med Chem

Lett 2003; 13:2223-5.

Gaind KN, Juneja TR, Jain PC. Investigations on Capparis decidua

Edgew. Part II. Antibacterial and antifungal studies. Indian J Pharm


Darwish RM, Aburjai TA. Effect of ethnomedicinal plants used

in folklore medicine in Jordan as antibiotic resistant inhibitors on

Escherichia coli. BMC Complement Altern Med 2010; 10:9.

Pérez Pulido R, Omar NB, Lucas R, Abriouel H, Martínez

Cañamero M, Gálvez A. Resistance to antimicrobial agents in

lactobacilli isolated from caper fermentations. Antonie Van

Leeuwenhoek 2005;88:277-81

Mahasneh AM. Screening of some indigenous Qatari medicinal

plants for antimicrobial activity. Phytother Res 2002; 16:751-3.

Ali-Shtayeh MS, Abu Ghdeib SI. Antifungal activity of plant

extracts against dermatophytes. Mycoses 1999; 42:665-72.

Boga C, Forlani L, Calienni R, Hindley T, Hochkoeppler A, Tozzi S,

et al. On the antibacterial activity of roots of Capparis spinosa L. Nat

Prod Res 2011;25:417-21.

Mali RG. Hundiwale JC, Sonawane RS, Patil N, Hatapakki BC.

Evaluation of Capparis decidua for anthelmintic and antimicrobial

activities. Indian J Nat Prod 2004; 20:10-3.

Iqbal H, Khan ZU, Sher Z. Antimicrobial activity of Capparis decidua

(Forssk.) Edgew. Pak J Plant Sci 2008; 14:29-33.

Juneja TR, Gaind KN, Panesar AS. Investigation on Capparis decidua

edgew, study of isothiocynate glucoside. Res Bull Punjab Univ Sci

; 21:519-21.

Gupta J, Ali M. Oxygenated heterocyclic constituents from Capparis

decidua root bark. Indian J Heterocycles Chem 1997; 6:295-302.

Upadhyay RK, Ahmad S, Tripath R, Rohtagi L, Jain SC. Screening

of antimicrobial potential of extracts and pure compounds isolated

from Capparis decidua. J Med Plant Res 2010; 4:439-45.

Shah HH. In-vitro study on bactericidal activity of Rudanti

(Capparis moonii). Indian J Med Sci 1962; 16:347-9.

Sama, Ajiyeoba EO. Phytochemical and antimicrobial studies of

Capparis thoningii and Capparis tomentosa. Pharmacogn Mag 2006;


Lam SK, Ng TB. A protein with antiproliferative, antifungal

and HIV-1 reverse transcriptase inhibitory activities from caper

(Capparis spinosa) seeds. Phytomedicine 2009; 16:444-50.

Abdel-Sattar E, Maes L, Salama MM. In vitro activities of plant

extracts from Saudi Arabia against malaria, leishmaniasis, sleeping

sickness and Chagas disease. Phytother Res 2010; 24:1322-8.

Jacobson RL, Schlein Y. Phlebotomus papatasi and Leishmania major

parasites express alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase. Acta Trop

; 78:41-9.

Arena A, Bisignano G, Pavone B, Tomaino A, Bonina FP, Saija A,

et al. Antiviral and immunomodulatory effect of a lyophilized

extract of Capparis spinosa L. buds. Phytother Res 2008; 22:313-7.

Caruso M, Frasca G, Di Giuseppe PL, Pennisi ATringali G, Bonina

FP. Effects of a new neutraceutical ingredient on allergen-induced

sulphidoleukotrienes production and CD63 expression in allergic

subjects. Int Immunopharmacol 2008; 8:1781-6.

Trombetta D, Occhiuto F, Perri D, Puglia C, Santagati NA,

De Pasquale A, et al. Antiallergic and antihistaminic effect of two

extracts of Capparis spinosa L. flowering buds. Phytother Res 2005;


Angelini G, Vena GA, Filotico R, Foti C, Gandolfo M. Allergic

contact dermatitis from Capparis spinosa L. applied as wet

compresses. Contact Dermatitis 1991; 24:382-3.

Feng X, Lu J, Xin H, Zhang L, Wang Y, Tang K. Anti-arthritic active

fraction of Capparis spinosa L. fruits and its chemical constituents.

Yakugaku Zasshi 2011; 131:423-9.

Agarwal V, Chauhan BM. A study on composition and

hypolipidemic effect of dietary fibre from some plant foods. Plant

Foods Hum Nutr 1988; 38:189-97.

Sharma B, Salunke R, Balomajumder C, Daniel S, Roy P. Antidiabetic

potential of alkaloid rich fraction from Capparis decidua

on diabetic mice. J Ethnopharmacol 2010; 127:457-62.

Eddouks M, Lemhadri A, Michel JB. Caraway and caper: potential

anti-hyperglycaemic plants in diabetic rats. J Ethnopharmacol

; 94:143-8.

Eddouks M, Lemhadri A, Michel JB. Hypolipidemic activity of

aqueous extract of Capparis spinosa L. in normal and diabetic rats.

J Ethnopharmacol 2005; 98:345-50.

Purohit A, Vyas KB. Hypolipidaemic efficacy of Capparis decidua

fruit and shoot extracts in cholesterol fed rabbits. Indian J Exp Biol

; 43:863-6.

Purohit A, Vyas KB. Antiatherosclerotic effect of Capparis decidua

fruit extract in cholesterol-fed rabbits. Pharma Biol 2006; 44:172-7.

Goyal R, Grewal RB. The influence of teent (Capparis decidua) on

human plasma triglycerides, total lipids and phospholipids. Nutr

Health 2003; 17:71-6.

Sharma I, Gusain D, Sharma A, Dixit VP. Hypolipidaemic effects of

Capparis decidua fruit extract (50% EtOH) in cholesterol-fed rabbits.

Indian Drugs 1991; 28:412-6.

Chahlia N. Effect of Capparis decidua on hypolipidemic activity in

rats. J Med Plant Res 2009; 3:481-4.

Rashid S, Lodhi F, Ahmad M, Usmanghani K. Preliminary

cardiovascular activity evaluation of capparidisine, a spermidine

alcohol from Capparis decidua. Pak J Pharmacol 1989;6;6-16.

Panico AM, Cardile V, Garufi F, Puglia C, Bonina F, Ronsisvalle G.

Protective effect of Capparis spinosa on chondrocytes. Life Sci 2005;


Khanfar MA, Sabri SS, Zarga MH, Zeller KP. The chemical

constituents of Capparis spinosa of Jordanian origin. Nat Prod Res

; 17:9-14.

Schlein Y, Jacobson RL. Mortality of Leishmania major in Phlebotomus

papatasi caused by plant feeding of the sand flies. Am J Trop Med

Hyg 1994;50:20-7.

Huseini HF, Alavian SM, Heshmat R, Heydari MR, Abolmaali K.

The efficacy of Liv-52 on liver cirrhotic patients: A randomized,

double-blind, placebo-controlled first approach. Phytomedicine

; 12:619-24.

Gadgoli C, Mishra SH. Antihepatotoxic activity of p-methoxy benzoic

acid from Capparis spinosa. J Ethnopharmacol 1999; 66:187-92.

Gadgoli C, Mishra SH. Preliminary screening of Archilea

millefotium, Cichorium intybus, Capparis spinosa for anti-hepatotoxic

activity. Fitoterapia 1995; 66:319-23.

Ali SA, Al-Amin TH, Mohamed AH, Gameel AA. Hepatoprotective

activity of aqueous and methanolic extracts of Capparis decidua

stems against carbon tetrachloride induced liver damage in rats.

J Pharmacol Toxicol 2009; 4:167-72.

Dahot MU. Chemical evaluation of the nutritive value of flowers

and fruits of Capparis decidua. J Chem Soc Pak 1993; 15:78-81.

Duhan A, Chauhan BM, Punia D. Nutritional value of some nonconventional

plant foods of India. Plant Foods Hum Nutr 1992;


Rai S. Chemical examination of edible plants of Rajasthan desert

with special ref. to Capparadaceae. Curr Agric 1987; 11:15-23.

Zhong H, Lewis JA, Hanley AB, Fenwick. GR 2-hydroxyethyl-

glucosinolate from Capparis masaikai of Chinese origin.

Phytochemistry 1989; 28:1252-4.

Chaturvedi V, Nagar R. Levels of beta-carotene and effects of

processing on selected fruits and vegetables of the arid zone of

India. Plant Foods Hum Nutr 2001;56:127-32.

Rathee S, Rathee P, Rathee D, Rathee D, Kumar V. Phytochemical

and pharmacological potential of kair (Capparis decidua). Int J

Phytomed 2010;2:10-7.

Matthäus B, Ozcan M. Glucosinolates and fatty acid, sterol, and

tocopherol composition of seed oils from Capparis spinosa Var.

spinosa and Capparis ovata Desf. Var. canescens (Coss.) Heywood.

J Agric Food Chem 2005; 53:7136-41.

Chauhan BM, Duhan A, Bhatt CM. Nutritional value of Capparis

deciduas fruit. J Food Sci Technol 1986; 23; 106-8.

Rai S. Rai S. Oils and fats in arid plants with particular reference to

Capparis decidua L. Trans. Indian Soc Des Technol 1987; 12:99-105.

Ozcan MM. Investigation on the mineral contents of capers (Capparis

spp.) seed oils growing wild in Turkey. J Med Food 2008; 11:596-9.

Ramezani Z, Aghel N, Keyghobadi H. Rutin from different parts

of Capparis spinosa growing wild in Khuzestan/Iran. Pak J Biol Sci

; 11:768-72.

Sharaf M, el-Ansari MA, Saleh NA. Quercetin triglycoside from

Capparis spinosa. Fitoterapia 2000; 71:46-9.

Caliş I, Kuruüzüm-Uz A, Lorenzetto PA, Rüedi P. (6S)-Hydroxy-

-oxo-alpha-ionol glucosides from Capparis spinosa fruits.

Phytochemistry 2002;59:451-7.

Chakravarty SN, Venkarasubramanian S. Preliminary chemical

examined in root bark of Capparis horrida. J Annamalai Univ


Bawaskar HS, Bawaskar PH. Call for global snake-bite control and

procurement funding. Lancet 2001;357:1132-3.

Bawaskar HS. Snake venoms and antivenoms: critical supply

issues. J Assoc Physicians India 2004;52:11-3.

Joshi SG. Medicinal Plants. Vol. 3. Calcutta: Oxford and IBH

Publication; 1997.

Juneja TR, Gaind KN, Gain PC. Preparation and study of hypnotic

activity and acute toxicity of stachychlor. Indian J Pharm 1970;


Gilani AU, Khalid-Aftab. Hypotensive and spasmolytic activities

of ethanolic extract of Capparis cartilaginea. Phytother Res 1994;


Sini KR. Sinha BN, Rajasekaran A. Protective effects of Capparis

zeylanica Linn. Leaf extract on Gastric lesions in Experimental

animals. Avicenna J Med Biotech 2011; 3:31-5.

Asolkar LV, Kakkar KK, Chakre OJ, Chopra RN, Nayar SL,

Chopra IC, Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants. 2nd Supplement,

New Delhi: Publications and Information Directorate; 1992.

Ahmed SA, Amin AE, Adam SE, Hapke HJ. By toxic effects of

the dried leaves and stem of Capparis tomentosa on Nubain goats.

Dtsch Tierarztl Wochenschr 1993;100:192-4.

Zhukova NV, Vassilii IS. 1H inodle-3-acetonitril glycosides from

Capparis spinosa fruits. Phytochemistry 1999; 50:1205-8.

Haque ME, Haque M, Rahman MM, Rahman MM, Khondkar P,

Wahed MI, et al. E-octadec-7-en-5-yonic acid from the rrots of

Capparis zeylonica. Fitoterapia 2004; 75:130-31.

Saraswati A, Sasikala E, Patra A, Kundu AB. Beutilin-28 actetate

from Capparis sepiaria. Indian J Chem Soc 1991; 68:633-4.

Jankowski WJ, Chojanacki T. Long chain polyisoprenoid

alcohols in leaves of Capparis species. Acta Biochem Pol 1991;


Attila A, Ozcan M. Some compositional characterstics of Cappers

(Capparis sp) seed oil, Grass Y Aceites. 1999; 50:42-52.

Pandey AN, Rokad MV. Sand dune stabilization: An investigation

in the Thar desert. Ind J Arid Environ 1992; 22:287-92.

Myers N, Mittermeier RA, Mittermeier CG, da Fonseca GA,

Kent J. Biodiversity: hotspots for conservation priorities. Nature

; 403:853-8.

Ghosh RC. Handbook on Afforestation Techniques. Forest

Research Institute, Dehra Dun, India: 1977.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22377/ijgp.v5i4.210


  • There are currently no refbacks.