Semecarpus anacardium

Semecarpus anacardium

Semecarpus Anacardium (the Oriental Anacardium) is a native of India and is closely related to the cashew. [ [ Henriette's Herbal Homepage] ] [ [ "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 Kannada.

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.


* [ Germplasm Resources Information Network taxonomy of plants]

Further reading

*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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