Latakaranja, Caesalpinia Crista

Description of Plant

Lata karanja is a prickly shrub or woody vine having a length of 10 meter. Leaves are alternate, bi-pinnate, often nearly 1 m long, with the rachis armed with stout, sharp, recurved spines. The leaflets also 4-6 in number, 2 to 5 cm long, oblong, and hairy. The Flowers are yellow in color, 1 c.m. long, borne in axillary, simple or panicled raceme. The fruits are pods, 5 to 7 cm in length, oblong, inflated and covered with slender spines and bear one or two seeds. The seeds are large, rounded or ovoid, hairy, grey and shiny.

Lata karanja has the two varieties which are listed below:-

  1. Caesalpinia Crista
  2. Caesalpinia bonduc

General Information

Latakaranja is one of important Ayurvedic herb. Seeds of this herb have peculiar property as when it rubbed over a rough surface, instantly becomes hot. Use of this herb is quite good in the treatment of malaria. It is considered as very good anti spasmodic herb. Use of this herb is quite good in treatment of various fevers. All the plant parts like leaves, seed, root and bark are packed with the therapeutic properties. This herb is used in the treatment of various health complication like Colic fever, intermittent fever, malaria, menstrual complaints, pneumonia, skin diseases, swelling, pulmonary tuberculosis and also acts as a uterine stimulant, to clean the uterus. caesalpins, caesalpin – f baunducellineetc, bonbucin, sitosterol, phytosterol and heptocosanc are the phytochemical compounds present in this herb which offers various health benefits.


  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Phylum: Magnoliophyta
  • Class: Angiospermae
  • Order: Fabales
  • Family: Fabaceae
  • Genus: Caesalpinia
  • Species: Crista


It is found in India and Sri Lanka through most of Southeast Asia to the Ryukyu Islands, Queensland, and New Caledonia. In India it is grown in South and eastern parts especially in sea coast, many forest and hills. It is found throughout moderate to high temperature zones of India.


  • Latin name: Caesalpinia Crista
  • English name: Bonduct nut, Fever nut, Nicker tree.
  • Hindi name: Kantakareja
  • Malayalam name: Kalanchikkru
  • Tamil name: Kazhar Shikkay
  • Bengali name: Natakani
  • Telgu name: Gachchakaya

Ayurvedic Properties

Hindi / Sanskrit English
Rasa Tikta, Kashaya Taste Bitter, Astringent
Guna Laghu, Ruksha Physical Property Light, Dry
Virya Ushna Potency Hot
Vipaka Katu Metabolic Property (After Digestion) Pungent

Effects on Doshas

It balances all the tridoshas- vata, pitta and kapha doshas.

Classical Categorization

Charak Samhita Vagbhata Sushrut Samhita





The Bhavprakash nighantu with elaborated Hindi commentary by Padmashri prof. K.C. Chunekar, edited by Dr. G.S. Pandey: edition of 1998: page no- 352-353.

Practical Uses of Caesalpinia Crista

  • Antimalarial activity - This is known to be an effective herb in the treatment of malaria. It helps to manage the symptoms like moderate to severe chills, high fever, sweating, headache, vomiting and diarrhea which are associated with malaria.
  • Anthelmintic – Anti parasitic properties of this herb are quite effective to extrude out the helminthes and other internal parasites from body. Use if this herb is quite effective against roundworms, tapeworms and flukes in body. Moreover this is very useful to manage the symptoms like diarrhea, anemia, disorders of the lungs and liver which are associated with the worms infestation.
  • Anti-spasmodic property - This herb suppresses spasms, and reduces muscular tension. Smooth muscles like those that line the stomach contract without conscious control, and cause spasms, cramps and abdominal pain. This herb manages cramps throughout the body that are specific to specific organs and muscle types. Many of these herbs also act on the central nervous system as well and can help relax psychological tension.
  • Anti-oxidants – Anti-oxidant properties of the herb help to neutralize the effects of free radicals in body and reduces the oxidative stress in body. Hence this herb helps to boost up the immune system and also protects the body from several ailments.
  • Anti-diabetic - This herb is packed with the Anti-diabetic properties which help to maintain the healthy blood sugar levels in the body. Moreover use of this herb is also very effective to manage the symptoms of diabetes like increased urination, fatigue, weight loss, excessive thirst, blurred vision and slow healing of the wounds.
  • Immunostimulant – This herb also has the properties of immunostimulant and helps in stimulation of different components of immune system like T cell, B cell, monocytes, and macrophages.
  • Antipyretic - Being an antipyretic herb in nature, its use is very effective in the treatment of fever.
  • Anti-inflammatory activity – this herb is loaded with anti-inflammatory properties which help to provide relief in the body pains.
  • Memory Enhancer - This herb also acts as the memory enhancer and quite good to manage the mental disorders. In short supports the good brain health. This herb is used to manage the various neurodegenerative disorders like dementia, Alzheimer's diseases, Parkinson etc.
  • Anxiolytic Activity – Anxiolytic activity of this herb is quite good to reduce the anxiety, stress, tension and depression.
  • Respiratory complications - Use of this herb is also good to manage respiratory complications like cough, dyspnea, pneumonia and tuberculosis. It helps in the clearance of mucous from air channels.
  • Menstrual problems - This herb also helps to resolve the menstrual problem like irregularities of menstrual cycles, heavy or low blood flow, abdominal pain and vomiting etc.
  • Skin diseases - This herb is very beneficial in the treatment of skin diseases like eczema, scabies, psoriasis and leprosy. It helps in healing of skin. It also provides relief in itching, redness and burning sensation.

Parts Used

Root bark, Leaf, Seeds


Juice of leaves 5-10 ml.

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