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

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22377/ijgp.v5i4.210


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