Family • Capparaceae - Capparis horrida Linn. - CAPER BERRY - Niu yan jing

Scientific names

Capparis horrida L. f.
Capparis aurantioides Presl
Capparis memorosa Blanco
Capparis micrantha Blanco
Capparis linearis Blanco
Capparis viminea F,-Vill.
Capparis brevispina DC. a
Capparis zeylanica L.

Common names

Baralauik (Ibn.)
Dauag (Tag.)
Dawag (Tag.)
Halubagat-baging (Tag.)
Laginau (Bis.)
Talaktak (Ilk.)
Tarabtab (Ilk.)
Ceylon Caper (Engl.)
Caper berry (Engl.)
Indian caper (Engl.)
Niu yan jing (Chin.)

Other vernacular names

CHINESE: Chui guo teng.
HINDI: Ardanda.
TAMIL: Adondai, Tondai.
TELUGU: Adonda.
SANSKRIT: Vyakhranakhi, Kinkani, Tapasapriya, Grant- hila, Karambha.

Halubagat-baging is a climbing and spiny shrub, growing to a height of 3 or more meters. Leaves and branches are hairy. Spines are short, sharp, recurved and subtending each leaf or branch. Leaves are oblong to oblong-ovate, 8 to 17 centimeters long, leathery, shiny, with a rounded base, pointed at the tip. Flowers are seriately arranged in vertical lines above the axils, usually 3 to each axil, pedicels 2 to 3 cm long. Sepals are pale green, 1 centimeter long. Petals are pink turning to purple, oblong to ovate, 1.5 centimeter long. Fruit is fleshy, ovoid or rounded, smooth, bright red when ripe, 4 to 5 centimeters in diameter, with a thin, somewhat stony rind. Pulp is whitish, transparent, sweet, with a fairly good flavor, and with numerous seeds.


– Common in thickets, secondary forests at low and medium altitudes from northern Luzon to Mindanao.
– Also occurs in Burma, Thailand, and Indo-China to the Malay Peninsula and Archipelago.


Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Antimicrobial activity of Capparis zeylanica Linn . roots.(Research Article) / V Chopade, A Tankar et al / International Journal of Green Pharmacy, January 1, 2008

(2) Free radical scavenging activity of Capparis zeylanica / Agrawal Surendra and Talele Gokul / International Journal of Phytomedicines and Related Industries, 2009, Volume : 1, Issue : 2

(3) Studies on Immunomodulatory Activity of Capparis zeylanica Leaf Extracts / Surendra S. Agrawal, Saurabh Khadase and Gokul Talele / International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Nanotechnology / Volume 3 • Issue 1 • April – June 2010

(4) Protective Effects of Capparis zeylanica Linn. Leaf Extract on Gastric Lesions in Experimental Animals / Karanayil R. Sini et al / Avicenna J Med Biotech 2011; 3(1): 31-35

(5) A Study On Antipyretic Activity Of Capparis zeylanica Linn. Plant Methanolic Extract / Amiya Ranjan Padhan et. al. / International Journal of Pharma Sciences and Research (IJPSR), Vol.1(3), 2010, 169-171

(6) 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.

(7) Evaluation of Antiaggressive Activity of Capparis zeylanica Root Extract in Experimental Animal Model / Sunil Kumar MISHRA*, Paras Nath SINGH, Satya Deo DUBEY / Not Sci Biol, 2013, 5(2):127-132

(8) Anticonvulsant Study of Capparis zeylanica Linn. Root in Wistar Rats / S.K. Mishra, P.N. Singh and S.D. Dubey / Research Journal of Medicinal Plant, 6: 416-424.

(9) Antidiarrheal activity of Capparis zeylanica leaf extracts / Karanayil R. Sini, Barij N. Sinha, and Aiyolu Rajasekaran / Journal of Advanced Pharmaceutical Technology & Research, 2011Jan-Mar; 2(1): 39-42

(10) Effect of leaf extract of Capparis zeylanica Linn. on spatial learning and memory in rats. / Ruchi Solanki, Amrendra Kumar Chaudhary, Ranjit Singh / J Nat Med 2012 Oct 20;66(4):600-7.


– Phytochemical screening of C. zeylanica yielded saponins, p-hydroxybenzoic, syringic, vanillic, ferrulic, and p-coumanic acids. Leaves and seeds have yielded b-carotene, thioglycoside, glycocapparin, n-tricortane, a-amyrin and fixed oil.
– Root bark yielded an alkaloid, a phytosterol, and a mucilaginous substance.


– Leaves are counterirritant and slightly stomachic.
– Root-bark is considered analgesic, anthelmintic, aperient, depurative, diuretic, sedative, stomachic, antihidrotic.
– Plant is used as stimulant and antiscorbutic.
– Fruit considered rubifacient.

Parts utilized
Leaves, root and bark.

– Pulp is edible.
– Fruit and immature flower buds are pickled.
– Tender young shots and immature leaves eaten as vegetable.



– In the Philippines’ Rizal Province, decoction of roots used in gastralgia and as uterine tonic after childbirth.
– Decoction of root-bark used for vomiting, abdominal pain, gastric irritation, and for improving the appetite.
– Used for treatment of asthma and breast pains.
– Also used for excessive perspiration.
– Leaves also used to improve the appetite.
– Leaves used as cataplasm for boils, swelling and hemorrhoids.
– In Cambodia, roots and bark considered diuretic.
– Wood used for bronchitis and ulceration of the mucous membranes of the nose.
– In India, traditionally used as antidote for snake bites, for testicular swellings, small pox, boils, cholera, colic, neuralgia, sores, pneumonia, and pleurisy.
– In Madras, decoction of leaves used for syphilis.
– Root-bark used as sedative, stomachic, and antihidrotic; leaves are slightly stomachic.
– In Nagpur, bark mixed with native spirits used for cholera.
– Plant decoction used for vaginal thrush.
– Poultice of leaves used externally for gout.
– In India, leaves are used as counter-irritant, febrifuge, and as cataplasm in swellings, boils, and piles.

Study Findings
• Immunomodulatory Effects: A study to investigate the immunomodulatory activity of ethanolic and water extracts of C zeylanica showed a significant increase in neutrophil adhesion to nylon fibres and an augmentation of humoral immune response to sheep RBC evidenced by a dose-related increase in both primary and secondary antibody titers in mice. Extracts also prevented myelosuppression in mice treated with with cyclophosphamide.
• Immunomodulatory Effects: Oral administration of an ethyl acetate fraction and n-butanol fraction of Capparis zeylanica showed an ability to modulate both cell mediated and humoral components of the immune system.
• Analgesic / Antipyretic / Phytochemicals: A study showed dose-dependent and significant increases in pain threshold in the tail-immersion test. Both extracts showed a dose-dependent inhibition of writhing and a significant inhibition of both phases of the formalin pain test. Phytochemical testing yielded alkaloids, flavonoids, saponin glycosides, terpenoids, tannins, proteins and carbohydrates.
• Antimicrobial / Roots: Study of various extracts of roots showed antimicrobial activity against B subtilis, S aureus, B pumilus, E coli, P vulgaris. None of the extracts showed antifungal activity.
• Free Radical Scavenging / Antioxidant Potential: Study of in vitro antioxidant potential of fractions of the methanolic extract of aerial parts of C zeylanica showed the butanol fraction with more scavenging activity than other fractions, comparable to ascorbic acid. • Gastroprotective / Anti-Ulcer: Study of the anti-ulcer activity of methanolic extract of leaves of C. zeylanica on aspirin- plus pylorus ligation-induced gastric ulcer in rats, HCl-ethanol induced ulcer in mice and indomethacin-induced ulcer in rats showed a significant anti-ulcer activity in all models.
• Antipyretic: Methanolic extract of C. zeylanica showed significant dose-dependent antipyretic activity in rats.
• Anti-Aggressive Activity: Study evaluated an ethanolic extract of root for circumvention of aggression in an animal model. Aggression can occur when a disturbance occurs in the fine balance of neurotransmitters such as 5-HT, GABA, dopamine,, and receptor subtypes. Results showed the extract minimized aggression dose-dependently in validated models of aggression. There was promising anti-aggressive activity qualitatively comparable to that of diazepam.
• Anticonvulsant Activity / Toxicity Study: Study evaluated ethanol extracts of root in animal models of epilepsy. The extract was found to be non-toxic up to the recommended dose of 2000 mg KBW. In various induced-seizure models the extract exhibited anticonvulsant effect comparable to antiepileptic drugs Diazepam and Phenytoin.
• Antidiarrheal: Study evaluated the methanolic extract of leaves for antidiarrheal activity against castor oil-induced diarrhea and small intestine transit method on mice. Results showed a significant dose dependent decrease in severity of diarrhea. Loperamide was used as standard.
• Nootropic / Effect on Spatial Learning and Memory: Study evaluated petroleum ether and methanol extract of leaves for effect on spatial learning and memory in rats. Results showed nootropic activity. The antioxidant property may contribute to the memory enhancement effect.
• Antihelmintic / Roots: Study evaluated the me