Capparis decidua (Forsk.) Edgew

Capparis decidua (Forsk.) Edgew

Botanical Name:          Capparis decidua (Forsk.) Edgew Capparis decidua (Forsk.)Edgew

Kingdom:                      Plantae

Order:                           Brassicales

Family:                         Capparaceae

Genus:                          Capparis

Local Name:                 Kair

Sindhi Name:               Karir

English Name:             Caper-Berry

Part Used:                    Whole plant


Capparis decidua (Forsk.) Edgew is a perennial shrub or small and branched tree. Leaves are oblong to linear and spiny tip. Spines are stipular, short,and curved inward. Young stem bark is green and become grey at maturity. Flowers are present in cluster of 2-5.Fruit is sub globular and apiculate, yellow or red in color and few to many seeds1, 2.


C. deciduais distributed in deserted regions of Indian subcontinent, Saudi Arabia, and Africa3.

Ethnomedicinal Uses in Skin Diseases

Ringworm and Vitiligo

  1. The stem of Capparis decidua (Forsk.) Edgew (Caper-Berry) is burntto ashes and applied on affected area for the treatment of ringworm in District Umerkot (Sindh). This remedy is also used for the treatment of wounds in District Sukkur (Sindh).
  2. The wood of C. decidua is heated and extract is applied on affected area for a week for the treatment of ringworm in Districts Tando Allahyar, Kambar-shahdadkot, and Badin (Sindh). This remedy is also used for the treatment of vitiligo in District Sukkur (Sindh).


C. decidua is burntto ashes and mixed with Brassica compestris L. (Mustard) oil to make paste and applied for the treatment of the eczema in District Umerkot (Sindh).


C. decidua is ground and mixed with clarified butter to make paste and applied on the scalp for the treatment of alopecia in District Thatta (Sindh).

Candida Infection      

Leaves of C. decidua are boiled and bath is taken with this water for the treatment of fungal infection and Candida infection in District Thatta (Sindh).

Fungal Infection

Herb of Phyla nodiflora (L.) Greene (Frog fruit) is ground with leaves of C. decidua and fuller’s earth to make paste and applied on affected area for the treatment of fungal infection in District Tando Mohammad Khan (Sindh).


Calotropisporcera W.T. Aiton (Milk weed) and Capparis decidua (Forsk.) Edgew (Caper-Berry) are ground and mixed with milk, Triticumaestivum L. (Wheat) flour, and Brassica compestris(Mustard) oil to make paste and applied on affected area for the treatment of injuries in District Sukkur (Sindh).


Leaves of C. decidua are burned, ash is mixed with butter to make paste and applied for the treatment of wounds in District Kashmore (Sindh).


Leaves of Azadirachtaindica A. Juss. (Neem), Acacianilotica (Gum arabica) and C. decidua are ground and mixed with fuller’s earth to make paste, and applied on affected area for the treatment of pyoderma in District Kashmore (Sindh).

Chemical Constituents

C. decidua include flavonoids, glycosides, alkaloids (14-N-acetylisocodonocarpine and15-N-acetylcapparisine)4, fatty acid methyl ester5,sterols,flavones (luteolin-8-O-β-D-glucopyranoside)6, terpenoids,oxygenated heterocyclic, isothiocyanateglucoside, and β-sitosteroltriacontenate, capparadisine, spermidine, cadabicine and stachydrine7,8,9.

Chemical Structure:

Capparis decidua (Forsk.)Edgew st.

Medicinal Uses and Pharmacology/Scientific Studies

C. deciduais used traditionally against different diseases such as arthritis, cough, malaria, asthma, rheumatism, inflammation, toothache,fever, and swelling. It acts asvermifuge, laxative, and astringent8,9.Processed seed oil is used to treat skin diseases11. Roots are used for recovering from fevers. Buds are applied for curing boils. Fruit is used in biliousness. Shoot of this plant is mixed with Peganumharmala L. (Harmal) and acts as antifertility agent. Wood is burnt and coal is used in injuries of muscles. Ground stems and leaves are used in pyorrhea9.

Alcoholic extract of fruit pulp and root bark is found to have anthelmintic effect. Fruit possessed anti diabetic and hypotensive properties10,11.β-Sitosteroltriacontenate, one of the constituents of C. decidua, possessed anti metastatic activity10. Fruit possess antiartherosclerosis, antiplaque and anti diabetic activities. Roots exhibited purgative and antihelmentic effects while root bark showed antibacterial antifungal effects. Aerial part showed anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties9.


  1. Meghwal, P. R., andTewari, J. C. (2002). Kair (Capparisdecidua (forsk.) Edgew.)-A multipurpose woody species for arid regions. Forests, Trees and Livelihoods12(4), 313-319.
  3. Singh, D., andSingh, R. K. (2011). Kair (Capparis decidua): A potential ethnobotanical weather predictor and livelihood security shrub of the arid zone of Rajasthan and Gujarat. Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge10(1), 146-165.
  4. Ahmad, V. U., Ismail, N., Arif, S., and Amber, A. U. R. (1992). Two new N-acetylated spermidine alkaloids from Capparis deciduaJournal of Natural Products55(10), 1509-1512.
  5. Sangamner, A. (2008). Synthesis and characterization of fatty acid methyl ester by in-situ transesterification in CapparisdeciduasLeonardo Electronic Journal of Practices and Technologies, 12-18.
  6. Saxena, V. K., andGoutam, A. (2008). Isolation and study of the flavone glycoside; luteolin-7-O-β-D-glucopyranoside from the seeds of the Capparis decidua (Forsk.). International Journal of Chemical Sciences6(1), 7-10.
  7. Zia-Ul-Haq, M., Ćavar, S., Qayum, M., Imran, I., andFeo, V. D. (2011). Compositional studies: antioxidant and antidiabetic activities of Capparis decidua (Forsk.) Edgew. International journal of molecular sciences12(12), 8846-8861.
  8. Rathee, P., Rathee, D., Rathee, D., andRathee, S. (2012). In-vitro cytotoxic activity of β-Sitosteroltriacontenate isolated from Capparis decidua (Forsk.) Edgew. Asian Pacific journal of tropical medicine5(3), 225-230.
  9. Joseph, B., andJini, D. (2011). A medicinal potency of Capparis decidua-A harsh terrain plant. Research Journal of Phytochemistry5, 1-13.
  10. Sharma, B., Salunke, R., Balomajumder, C., Daniel, S., and Roy, P. (2010). Anti-diabetic potential of alkaloid rich fraction from Capparis decidua on diabetic mice. Journal of ethnopharmacology127(2), 457-462.
  11. Singh, P., Mishra, G., Sangeet, S., Srivastava, K. K., Jha, K., andKhosa, R. L. (2011). Traditional uses, phytochemistry and pharmacological properties of Capparis decidua: An overview. Der Pharmacia Lettre3, 71-82.