Thorny bush growing to 30 ft (9 m), with spiny compound leaves, yellow flowers in dense clusters, and prickly pods containing yellow seeds (nuts).
Habitat & Cultivation
Nikkar nut is pantropical, common in both tropical Asia and Africa. Its seeds are gathered when ripe.
The seeds contain isoflavonoids, diterpenes, a bitter principle, and a fixed oil (20%) rich in linoleic acid (68%).
Medicinal Actions & Uses
Nikkar seeds are used to treat fevers and are taken as a tonic and aphrodisiac. In India, they are often mixed with black pepper (Piper nigrum) for medicinal use. The seeds are also taken for inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. Roasted nikkar seeds are used in the treatment of diabetes.
A decoction of the bark of the Caribbean C. bahamensis is used for liver and kidney infections, and a decoction of the wood is used for diabetes. An infusion of the leaves of C. pulcherrima (native to Asia and Africa) is taken for liver problems and mouth ulcers.