Herbaceous capers – prickly capers

A semi-shrub plant of the Caperaceae family. Stems are bare or sparsely pubescent, slender, up to 1.5 m long. The leaves are alternate, short-petioled, whole, elliptic or oval, pointed at the top, with stipules in the form of short straight or bent spines. The flowers are large (5-7 cm in diameter), white or pale pink, four-membered, with numerous stamens, axillary, single, on long (5-6 cm long) legs. The fruit is berry-like, fleshy. They bloom in May – October. The fruits ripen in June – October.

Spread. Herbaceous capers grow in the Crimea on dry rocky slopes and seaside pebbles.

Raw. Ripe fruits and root bark are used for medicinal purposes. The bark is peeled from the roots dug in autumn and dried. Buds of flowers, tops of shoots with buds, young fruits, marinated in vinegar, are used under the name “capers” as a food seasoning.

The plant is unofficial .

Chemical composition . Caper fruits contain thioglycosides, steroid saponins, rutin, ascorbic acid (23-57 mg%), sugars (up to 12%), enzyme myrosin, red dye, essential and fatty oil and iodine; the flowers and buds contain saponins, rutin (up to 0.32%), quercetin, ascorbic acid (up to 150 mg %) and dye. The roots contain the glycoside caparidin.

Pharmacological properties and use. In traditional medicine, capers are herbaceous (especially fresh parts of the plant) known for their astringent, diuretic, antiseptic and analgesic properties. Fresh root bark or fresh leaves are chewed for toothache, fresh crushed root bark is applied to purulent ulcers. Fruits are used for toothache, gum and thyroid diseases, and hemorrhoids. In clinical conditions, positive results were obtained in the treatment of thyroid gland diseases with canned juice from ripe caper fruits. A decoction of dried root bark is taken internally for hypochondria, hysterical fits, paralysis, cold and rheumatic aches, jaundice and diseases of the spleen. Experimental observations have established that the decoction and alcohol tincture of caper roots accelerate the blood clotting process.

Medicinal forms and applications. Internally – a decoction of dried root bark (2 teaspoons of raw material per 200 ml of boiling water) 1 tablespoon 3-4 times a day.

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