Family • Caesalpinaceae - Caesalpinia crista Linn. - FEVER NUT - Hua nan yun shi

Scientific names

Caesalpinia crista Linn.
Caesalpinia chinensis Linn.
Caesalpinia nuga Linn.
Caesalpinia laevigata Perr.
Caesalpinia paniculata Desf.
Caesalpinia paniculata (Lam.) Roxb.
Guilandina crista Small
Guilandina nuga Linn.
Guilandina paniculata Lam.

Other vernacular names

BENGALI: Lata Karancha.
GUJARATI: Kanchaki, Kankachia.
HINDI: Katuk ranja, Karanjava.
KANNADA: Gujugu, Gaduggu.
MARATHI: Segargoti, Gajra, Kanchak.
SANSKRIT: Putrakaranj.
TAMIL: Kalarkodi, Kalichikai.

Common names

Bakaig (Tag.)
Binit (Bik.)
Kalauinit (Tag.)
Kabit-kabag (Tag.)
Kamit-kabag (Tag.)
Sagmit (Tag.)
Sampinit (P. Bis.)
Sapanit (Sbl.)
Sapinit (Tag., S. L. Bis.)
Suba (Sul.)
Crested fever nut (Engl.)
Yellow niker (Engl.)
Nickernut (Engl.)
Seabean (Engl.)
Hua nan yun shi (Chin.)

Quisumbing’s compilation lists (1) Caesalpinia crista, Kalumbibit and (2) C. nuga, C. laevigata, Bakaig as separate species. Other compilations list C. crista Linn and C. nuga (Linn.) Ait as synonyms. For this compilation, Kalumbibit is listed as Caesalpinia boducella and Bakaig as Caesalpinia crista.

Bakaig is a smooth, climbing shrub reaching a length of 10 meters or more. Branches are armed with short, stout, hard, hooked prickles. Leaves are bipinnate, 20 to 30 centimeters long, and the rachis armed with recurved spines beneath. Pinnae are 6 to 8, and rather distant. Leaflets are 4 to 6 on each pinna, leathery, shining, ovate to elliptic-ovate, 2 to 5 centimeters long, and pointed at the tip. Flowers are yellow, borne in terminal and ample panicles, and about 1 centimeter in diameter. Pod is 4 to 5 centimeters long, 2.5 to 3 centimeters wide, beaked, hard, and indehiscent, and contains a single seed.


– Throughout the Philippines in tidal swamps, in thickets along the seashore, etc.
– Pantropic.

– Study yielded nine new cassane-type diterpenes, taepeenin A-I, and two new norcassane-type diterpenes, nortaepeenin A-B from the stems and roots, with three known diterpenes, vinhaticoic acid, methyl vinhaticfoate and taepeenin A.
– Leaf extracts yielded phenolic acids viz., gallic, protocatechuic, gentisic, chlorogenic, caffeic, p-coumaric and ferulic acids.
– Ethanolic seed extract yielded flavonoids, alkaloids, tannins, triterpenoids, coumarin glycosides, and proteins.
– Seed kernel extracts yielded five new cassane-type diterpenes, caesalpinins MA-ME (1-5), and three new norcassane-type diterpenes, norcaesalpinins MA-MC (6-8), together with 12 known cassane type diterpenes: 14(17)-dehydrocaesalmin F, caesaldekarin e, caesalmin B, caesalmin C, caesalmin E, 2-acetoxy-3-deacetoxycaesaldekarin e, 2-acetoxycaesaldekarin e, caesalpinin C, 7-acetoxybonducellpin C, caesalpinin E, norcaesalpinin B, and 6-acetoxy-3-deacetoxycaesaldekarin e.

Roots considered diuretic, tonic, anticalculous.
Seeds considered antiperiodic, tonic, febrifuge, antidiarrheal.
Bark considered antiperiodic, rubefacient.

Parts used
Seeds, leaves, fruit.

– In the Philippines, decoction from crushed seeds used as emetic and for dysentery.
– In India, roots employed as diuretic and used for cases with stone or gravel in the bladder.
– Root juice used orally and externally as application for ophthalmia.
– Externally and internally the juice of the stem used for eye diseases. Roasted fruit also used for the same purpose.
– Finely powdered leaves used as uterine tonic for women immediately after delivery.
– In Ayurveda used for gynecologic diseases, piles, ulcers, worms and deranged kapha.
– In India, oil from the seed used to soften the skin and remove pimples. Bark used for toothaches. Used for colic, convulsions, malaria, tuberculosis, leprosy and palsy. Also used as uterine stimulant and for cleansing the uterus.

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Anti-amyloidogenic property of leaf aqueous extract of Caesalpinia crista / Ramesh BN, Indi SS, Rao KS / Neurosci Lett. 2010 May 14;475(2):110-4. Epub 2010 Mar 29.

(2) Nootropic Activity of dried Seed Kernels of Caesalpinia crista Linn against Scopolamine-induced Amnesia in Mice / Sunil N Kshirsagar / International Journal of PharmTech Research, Vol. 3, No.1, pp 104-109, Jan-Mar 2011

(3) New diterpenoids from stems and roots of Caesalpinia crista / Sarot Cheenpracha, Rattikan Srisuwan, Chatchanok Karalai et al / Tetrahedron 61 (2005) 8656–8662

(4) Assessment of the Antioxidant and Reactive Oxygen Species Scavenging Activity of Methanolic Extract of Caesalpinia crista Leaf / Sourav Mandal et al / Evidence-based Compl. and Alt. Medicine / eCAM, doi:10.1093/ecam/nep072

(5) Comparative study on anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory activities of Caesalpinia crista and Centella asiatica leaf extracts. / Ramesh BN, Girish TK, Raghavendra RH, Naidu KA, Rao UJ, Rao KS / J Pharm Bioallied Sci. 2014 Apr;6(2):86-91. / doi: 10.4103/0975-7406.129172.

(6) Hepatoprotective Potential of Caesalpinia crista against Iron-Overload-Induced Liver Toxicity in Mice / Rhitajit Sarkar, Bibhabasu Hazra, and Nripendranath Mandal / Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Volume 2012 (2012) /


(8) Antidiabetic activity of seed extracts of Caesalpinia crista Linn. in experimental animals / Nakul Gupta*, Ishan Sharma, Meetu Agarwal, Safhi M. Mohammed, Prerna Chauhan, Tarique Anwer, Gyas Khan / African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, Vol. 7(26), pp. 1808-1813, 15 July, 2013 / DOI 10.5897/AJPP2013.3422


(10) Phytochemical Investigation of Caesalpinia crista Seed Extract for their Therapeutic Potential / Naresh Singh Gill, Ramandeep Kaur, Rashmi Arora and Manoj Bali / Research Journal of Medicinal Plant, 6: 100-107. / DOI: 10.3923/rjmp.2012.100.107

(11) Antipyretic activity of Caesalpinia crista linn. seeds extract in experimantal animals / Sharma Ishan, Gupta Nakul, Mohammed M. Safhi, Meetu Agrawal and Chauhan Prerna / International Journal of Current Research

(12) Screening the Antibacterial and Antifungal Properties of Holarrhena antidysenterica (L.) and Caesalpinia crista (L.) / Joshi DM*, Verma R / International J ournal for P harmaceutical R esearch S cholars ( IJPRS )
V-3, I-2, 2014

(13) Cassane- and Norcassane-Type Diterpenes of Caesalpinia crista from Myanmar / Surya K. Kalauni , Suresh Awale , Yasuhiro Tezuka , Arjun H. Banskota , Thein Zaw Linn , and Shigetoshi Kadota * / J. Nat. Prod., 2004, 67 (11), pp 1859–1863 / DOI: 10.1021/np049742m

(14) Caesalpinia crista L. seed oil – a probable candidate for biodiesel. / Kulkarni, D. K.; Bhagat, R. B.; Joshi, V. N. / Indian Journal of Tropical Biodiversity 2008 Vol. 16 No. 1 pp. 93-96

Study Findings
• Anthelmintic: Anthelmintic activity of Chenopodium album (L.) and Caesalpinia crista (L.) against trichostrongylid nematodes of sheep: Study showed both C. crista and C. ablum possess anthelmintic activity in vitro and in vivo, supporting its traditional use in Pakistan.
• Anti-Amyloidogenic / Alzheimer’s Disease: Abeta (amyloid beta) is a major etiological factor in Alzheimer’s disease. Study showed C. crista aqueous extract could inhibit the Abeta aggregation from monomers and oligomers and able to disintegrate the preformed fibrils.
• Nootropic / Memory Enhancer / Seeds: Study evaluated the potential of dried seed kernels of C. crista extract as a learning and memory enhancer. Results suggest CC can be beneficial in improving cognition in disorders like demential and other neurodegenerative disorders.
• Antioxidant: A 70% methanol extract of C. crista leaves showed antioxidant and ROS scavenging, attributed to phenolic and flavonoid compounds.
• Antioxidant / Anti-Inflammatory / Leaves: Study evaluated the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory potential of C. asiatica and C. crista leaf extracts. Both exhibited antioxidant properties and inhibited 5-lipoxygenase (anti-inflammatory) in a dose dependent manner, with C. crista showing better activities than C. asiatica, attributed to the higher gallic acid and ferulic acid content.
• Hepatoprotective / Iron-Overload Liver Toxicity: Study evaluated the ameliorating effect of C. crista extract on iron-overload-induced liver injury in mice. Treatment showed attenuation of percentage increase in liver iron and serum ferritin levels. CCME also showed a dose-dependent inhibition of lipid peroxidation, protein oxidation and liver fibrosis. The hepatoprotective effect against the iron overload was attributed to its potent antioxidant and iron-chelating property.
• Antidiabetic / Seeds: Study evaluated the antidiabetic activity of ethanolic and aqueous seed extracts of Caesalpinia crista in STZ-induced diabetic 2-day old pups model. Results showed antidiabetic effects, with the aqueous extract showing more significant effect than the ethanolic extract. Histopath studies showed regeneration of ß-cells of the pancreas.
• Anticancer / Root Bark: Study evaluated the possible anticancer activity of an alcoholic root bark of Caesalpinia crista against Ehrlich Ascites Carcinoma (EAC) Tumor model. Results showed increased survival time and life span, together with significant reduction of solid tumor mass.
• Analgesic / Antioxidant / Anti-Inflammatory / Seeds: Study of an ethanolic seed extract of C. crista showed potent antioxidant activity by DPPH assay, significant anti-inflammatory activity by Carrageenan induced paw edema with diclofenac as standard, and potent analgesic activity by writhing reflexes and tail withdrawal latency in mice.
• Antipyretic / Seeds: Study evaluated the antipyretic activity of ethanolic and aqueous extracts of seeds using Brewer’s yeast induced pyrexia in various experimental animal models. Results showed antipyretic action attributed to the inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis. The ethanolic extract showed more significant activity than the aqueous extract.
• Antimicrobial / Seeds: Study showed seed extracts of Caesalpinia crista to have antimicrobial activity against seven of eight selected strains of bacteria and fungi, showing maximum inhibitory effect on P. aeruginosa and F. oxysporum.
• Antimalarial / Seeds: Study evaluated 44 cassane- and norcassane-type diterpenes isolated from C. crista of Mayanmar and Indonesia for antimalarial activity against Plasmodium falcifarum clone in vitro. Most of the tested diterpenes displayed antimalarial activity, with norcaesalpinin E showing the most potent activity with an IC50 of 0.090 µM, more potent than the drug chloroquine.
• Seed Oil / Potential: Study of shade dried oil yielded total 19.66% saturated fatty acids and 80.33% unsaturated fatty acids. Physiochemical analysis revealed a non-drying oil. Results suggest a potential for use in preparation of liquid soap, hair shampoos, and value added products.