Kareera – Capparis decidua Uses, Dose, Research, Side Effects

Kareera – Capparis decidua is a very well known antioxidant herb, useful in diabetes, non healing wounds, parasitic worms, anorexia, asthma, cough, swelling etc. 

Botanical name- Capparis decidua Edgew.
Family- Capparidaceae (Varuna kula)

Image of the tree

Vernacular names

Names in different languages:
Hindi name- Kareel, Kareela, kair, kerda, karir, kirir, karril
Kannada name- Chipaauri, Chippuri
Tamil name- Sengam
Telugu name- Kareeramu, Enugu dantapu Chetu
Marathi name- Nebati
Punjabi name – Kareem
Gujarati name – Her
Sindhi name – ڪِرڙ

Sanskrit Synonyms

Apatra – old branches are leafless
Goodha Patra, Nishpatraka – having invisible leaves
Granthila – having nodules
Krakara – It has sharp spines
Marubhuruha – is found in moist and forest regions (Jangala Pradesha)
Mruduphala, Teekshnasara, Hutashana, Shakapushpa, Teekshna Kantaka, Teekshna Sara, Chakraka.


Found in dry lands of India and Pakistan.

Classical categorization

Classical categorization:
Charaka – Phala Varga(Charaka Samhita Sutrasthana 27)
Sushruta – Tikta Varga (S.S.Su. 42)

Fresh sprout of Kareera is considered as an Anu Shastra (sub surgical equipment) by Sushruta – Sushruta Sutrasthana 8. 
Kaiyadeva Nighantu – Oshadhi Varga
Dhanvantari Nighantu – Amradi Varga
Bhavaprakasha – Vatadi Varga
Raja Nighantu – Shalmalyadi Varga
Sodhala Nighantu – Amradi Varga

Major chemical constituents

Root & Stem- Capparine, Capparilline, Capparinine, Capparidisine, Isocooncarpine(alkaloids)
Leaves- Glucocapparin (Glucoside)
(Reference: Illustrated Dravyaguna VIjnana, Vol. II, by Dr JLN Shastry)\

Fatty acids, Flavons, oxygenated heterocyclic constituents, alkaloids and an isothiocyanate glucoside have been reported in different parts of this plant.

Medicinal properties

Capparis decidua medicinal properties:
Rasa (taste) – Katu (pungent), Tikta (bitter)
Guna- Laghu, Ruksa – Qualities – lightness, dryness
Vipaka- Katu – undergoes pungent taste conversion after digestion.
Veerya – Ushna – Hot potency
Effect on Tridosha – Balances Kapha and Vata Dosha
Flower – Pacifies Vata Dosha.

Part used, dosage

Part used:
Root bark, fruits; flowers
Powder 1-3 g in divided dose per day
Kashaya – decoction 50-100ml in single or divided dose per day


Glabrous shrub
Leaves – linear, oblong seen in only 1 shoot, spinous
Inflorescence – Corymb
Flowers – Red
Fruit – Globular

Sanskrit verse

Capparis decidua medicinal uses

Medicinal uses

Capparis decidua medicinal uses:
Swedya – increases sweating
Ruchya – improves taste, relieves anorexia.
Indicated in:
Garavisha – chronic poisoning
Shopha  – inflammation
Krumi – worm infestation
Vrana – Ulcers, wounds
Gudakeela – piles, hemorrhoid’s
Shwasa – asthma and chronic respiratory disorders
Arochaka – anorexia

Flowers of Kareera

Katu Vipaka – Pungent taste, and converts to same taste after digestion
Vatahara – useful in treating disorders of Vata Dosha imbalance such as neuralgia, paralysis, constipation, bloating, etc  (as per Kaiyadeva it increases Vata Dosha, but as per Sushruta, it decreases)
Srushta Mootra – diuretic, increases volume of urine
Srushta Pureesha – increases volume of feces

Fruit of Kareera

Tikta – bitter
Kashaya – astringent
Ushna – hot
Katu Rasa – Pungent taste
Katu Vipaka – Undergoes pungent taste conversion after digestion
Vikasiloosens joints
Rooksha – dry
Kapha Pittajit – Balances Kapha and Pitta Dosha

The plant is used in treating toothache, arthritis, asthma, cough, inflammation, intermittent fevers, malaria, rheumatism, and swelling

According to Bhojana Kutuhalam, Kareera is pungent in taste, penetrating in nature, chedana (does cutting through the doshas), bhedana (To liquefy the and to expel the out of the body), is hot in potency, It helps in treating hemorrhoids, vitiation of kapha and vata dosha, intoxication, edema, worm infestation and wounds.
Its flower aggravates vata and alleviates kapha and pitta dosha and is bitter in taste. Its fruit is bitter and astringent in taste, hot in potency, is pungent in its post metabolic state,

Research, side effects

Anti oxidant and anti-diabetic activity

Side effects:
Seek medical advice for its use during pregnancy and lactation.
It can be used in children in small doses.

Interaction with medicines, supplements

Can this be used while taking Homeopathic medicine?
Yes. This product does not react with homeopathic medicine.

Can this medicine be continued while taking supplements like multivitamin tablets, Omega 3 fatty acids etc?
Yes. Generally, this product goes well with most dietary supplements. However, if you are taking more than one product per day, please consult your doctor for an opinion.

With western medicines
Seek your doctor’s advice if you are taking this product along with other western (allopathic / modern) medicines. Some Ayurvedic herbs can interact with modern medicine.
If both Ayurvedic and allopathic medicines are advised together, then it is best to take Allopathic medicine first, wait for 30 minutes and then take the Ayurvedic medicine.

Sthanika Karma (Systemic Action)

External – Anti microbial, Analgesic and promotes wound healing. External application of its paste is indicated in joint pain, non healing wounds etc. Its leaves and leaf buds are beneficial in tooth aches.

Digestive System – It has Carminative, digestant, Ant helminthic properties. Effective against Helminthiasis, Constipation, Anorexia, Abdominal colic, Hemorrhoids etc.

Circulatory System – Acts as a blood purifier. Indicated in Amavata ( Rheumatic fever, Rheumatic joint disorder etc.
Respiratory system – Indicated in Swasa (Respiratory disorders)
Reproductive System – It has contraceptive action.
Skin – Sveda janana (Stimulate sweat production) Indicated in various skin disorders
Satmikarana – Indicated in general debility, Anti poisonous

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