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Family Capparidaceae / Capparaceae
Capparis micracantha DC.

Niu yan jing

Scientific names    Common names 
Capparis bariensis Pierre ex Gagnep. Abuñgung (P. Bis.)
Capparis billardieri DC Balituk (Buk.)
Capparis callosa Blume Bayabas-uak (Tag.)
Capparis donnaiensis Pierre ex Gagnep. Dauag (Tag.)
Capparis forsteniana Miq. Dawag (Tag.)
Capparis hainanensis Oliv. Halubagat-kahoi (Tag.)
Capparis liangii Merr. & Chun Kasuit (Pamp.)
Capparis micracantha DC. Malarayat-kahoi (Tag.)
Capparis myrioneura Hallier f. Salimbagat (Tag.)
Capparis odorata Blanco Salimomo (Bis.)
Capparis petelotii Merr. Saluasua (Bis.)
Capparis roydsiifolia Kurz Tarabtab (Ilk.)
Capparis venosa Merr. Tarabtab-ual (Ilk.)
  Taraptap (Ilk.)
  Tinikan (Tag.)
  Capertree (Engl.)
  Caper thorn (Engl.)
Capparis micracantha DC. is an accepted name. The Plant List

Other vernacular names
CAMBODIAN: Kanchoen bai dach.
CHINESE: Niu yan jing, Xiao ci shin gan.
FRENCH: Capre micracanthe.
INDONESIAN: Balung, Kledung, Sanek.
LAOTIAN: Say sou.
MALAY: Melada, Kaju tuju.
THAI: Chingchi.
VIETNAMESE: B[uf] ch[ef], C[as]p gai nh [or].

Capparis is the largest genus of the family Capparaceae, with aoubt 250 tropical and subtropical species.

Salimbagat is a smooth, half-erect shrub with drooping branches or a vine growing to 2 to 4 meters, with short, sharp and nearly straight stipular thorns. Leaves are oblong to oblong-elliptic, 8 to 17 centimeters long, leathery, shiny, with a blunt apex and rounded base. Flowers are in vertical line along the branches above the leaf axils, shortly pedicelled, 2 to 6 in a series, the uppermost one of each series opening first. Sepals are pale green. Petals are oblong or elliptic, 1 centimeter long. Fruit is ovoid or rounded, 4 to 5 centimeters long, smooth and bright red when ripe. Rind is thin, somewhat stony. Within the rind is a whitish and transparent sweet pulp with a fairly good flavor. Numerous seeds are embedded in the pulp.

- In thickets, second-growth forests, at low and medium altitudes from northern Luzon to Mindanao.
- Also occurs in Myanmar, Thailand, and Indo-China to the Malay Peninsula and Archipelago.

Parts utilized

- Fruit reportedly edible, with a sweet aromatic flavor. However, also reported unsafe to eat unripe. (9)
- In the Philippines, decoction of roots used for stomach pains and as uterine tonic after childbirth.
- Plant also used for asthma and for breast pains.
- Bark is used as diuretic and used for bronchitis and nasal ulcerations.
- In Cambodia, roots and wood used as diuretic.
- In the Yasothon province of Thailand, roots used as tonic; also, for tuberculosis.
- Stems used for breast cancer.
- In India, root is grated with water and used to treat quotidian fever.
- In Indonesia, root is employed as a diuretic; infusion with other ingredients used for bronchitis.
- In Thailand, root decoction used for fever and to strengthen body elements. (12)
- Benchalokawichian (BCW): Capparis micracantha, along with Ficus racemosa, Clerodendrum petasites, Harrisonia perforata, and Tiliacora triandra, is one of five root components of the Thai traditional herbal formulation, Bench-Loga-Wichienis, also known as Ha-Rak formula (HRK) used for allergic disorders, fever, and skin disorders.

Anti-Cancer / Antituberculosis / Non-Cytotoxicity: Study of hexane extract of the leaves of Capparis micracantha showed lung cancer inhibition. The hexane and dichlormethane extracts of flowers showed anti-tuberculosis activity. All crude extracts showed non-cytotoxicity against Vero cells. (3)
Antibacterial / Benchalokawichian Remedy: Study evaluated the antimicrobial activity of a Thai traditional formula, Benchalokawichian remedy, which has shown antipyretic and antiseptic properties on previous studies. The water extracts of the components (Capparis micracantha, Tiliacora triandra, and Harrisonia perforata) inhibited the Gram positive and Gram negative bacterial strains tested. Only T. triandra showed activity against C. albicans growth. (6)
Potential Contact Allergy: Study of an ethanolic extract of Thai medicinal formula “Benjalokawichien (Ha-Rak)” showed phenolic content with good anti-IgE effect. Tests showed no irritation or human skin allergic reaction. Extract of Capparis micracantha DC root caused an allergic reaction and suggests it may not be safe to use as active ingredient in topical preparations for skin. (8)
• Antioxidant / Antibacterial / Stems: Study evaluated the antioxidant capacity, total phenolic content, and antibacterial activity of crude extract of stems of C. micracantha. A methanol extract showed highest antioxidant activity with IC50 of 2.4 mg/ml. Water extraction showed high total phenolic content with 10,1365.9 mg GAE/g dw. Methanol and aqueous extract showed remarkable inhibition of bacterial growth against L. monocytogenes and S. aureus. (11)


Updated September 2018 / April 2016

IMAGE SOURCE / PHOTO /Cappars micracantha / Thorn caper / / DSC09594 (10) / Click on image to go to source page / © www.NatureLoveYou.sg)  
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE / Public Domain / File:Capparis micracantha Blanco1.178-original.png / Flora de Filipinas / Plate from book Capparis micracantha / Franciso Manuel Blanco (OSA), 1880-1883 / Wikimedia Commons

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Medicinal plants used in the Loengnoktha District / Thai Journal of Phytopharmacy Vol. 9(2) Dec. 2002
STUDIES ON ALKALOIDS / Shoib Arif / Thesis /

ANTI-CANCER AND ANTI-TUBERCULOSIS ACTIVITY OF THE CRUDE EXTRACTS FROM Capparis micracantha DC / Itsara Khantikaew et al / 33rd Congress on Science and Technology of Thailand /

Capparis micracantha DC. (accepted name) / Chinese names / Catalogue of Life, China
Sorting Capparis names / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / A Work in Progress. School of Agriculture and Food Systems. Faculty of Land & Food Resources. The University of Melbourne. Australia / Copyright © 1997 - 2000 The University of Melbourne.
Antimicrobial activity of the extracts from Benchalokawichian remedy and its components.
/ Nuaeissara S, Kondo S, Itharat A. / J Med Assoc Thai. 2011 Dec;94 Suppl 7:S172-7.
Capparis micrantha / Synonyms / The Plant List
A CLINICAL STUDY PHASE I ON SAFETY OF THAI MEDICINAL FORMULA “BENJALOKAWICHIEN (HA-RAK)” AND EACH PLANT COMPONENT EXTRACT. / Warumpa Suwannarat, Mali Achariyakul, Arunporn Itharat, Somboon Kiettinun / Thammasat Medical Journal, Vol 12, No 4, 2012
Capparis micracantha / Useful Tropical Plants
Capparis micracantha: Vernacular names / GlobInMed
Antioxidant and antibacterial activity of Thai medicinal plant (Capparis micracantha) / Nonglak Laoprom, Araya Sangprom, Patcharaporn Chaisri / April 2018 -- AIP Conference Proceedings 1954(1):030007 / DOI: 10.1063/1.5033387
Ethnomedicinal plants used by traditional healers in Phatthalung Province, Peninsular Thailand / Katesarin Maneenoon, Chuanchom Khuniad, Yaowalak Teanuan, Nisachon Saedan, Supatra Prom-in, Nitiphol Rukleng, Watid Kongpool, Phongsura Pinsook, and Winyu Wongwiwat / Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, 2015; 11:43 / https://doi.org/10.1186/s13002-015-0031-5
The Effects of Thai Herbal Ha-Rak Formula on COX Isoform Expression in Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells Induced by IL-1𝛽 / Titchaporn Palo, Athiwat Thaworn et / Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Vol 2017 / http://doi.org/10.115/2017/9383272

It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page.

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