- Semecarpus anacardium
Semecarpus Anacardium (the Oriental
Anacardium) is a native of Indiaand is closely related to the cashew. [ [http://www.henriettesherbal.com/eclectic/kings/anacardium.html Henriette's Herbal Homepage] ] [ [http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/casnut29.html "A Modern Herbal" written with the conventional wisdom of the early 1900s] ]
It is known as "bhallatak" in India and was called "marking nuts" by Europeans, because it was used by washermen to mark the cloths before washing, as it imparted water insoluble mark to the cloth. It's also known as "Ker" in
It is a deciduous tree, found in the outer Himalayas. The nut is about 2.5 cm long, ovoid and smooth lustrous black. In Ayurveda, the fruit is considered a "rasayana" for longevity and rejuvenation,and is processed before use, as it is toxic in nature.
Recent studies have shown the fruit to be a good anti-inflammatory agent and effective in various types of cancers.
* [http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxon.pl?33598 Germplasm Resources Information Network taxonomy of plants]
*Puri, H. S. (2003) RASAYANA: Ayurvedic Herbs for Longevity and Rejuvenation. Taylor & Francis, London. pages 74-79.
*Wealth of India, Raw Materials. Vol IX, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi, 1972
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