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Capparis spinosa Linn.

Family : Capparaceae


Caper (Capparis spinosa) is a small, prostrate shrub found on rocky and hilly localities in the Deccan peninsula, Rajputana and north-western India.


The flower buds and fruits are the useful parts. The buds are pickled in Europe. They have an acrid, burning taste. It contains a glycoside, rutin, which on acid hydrolysis gives rhamnose, dextrose and quercetin.

Aroma and Flavour

Flower buds also contain pentosans, rutic acid, pectic acid and saponin. The root bark contains rutic acid and a volatile substance of garlic odour.

Medicinal and other use

The bark is bitter, aperient, diuretic, expectorant, emmenagogue and tonic. It is used to treat rheumatism, paralysis, tooth ache etc. The bruised leaves are used as a poultice in gout.

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