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Pankaj Oudhia’s Notes on Anacardium occidentale L. [Kirtikar, Kanhoba Ranchoddas, and Baman Das Basu. "Indian Medicinal Plants." Indian Medicinal Plants. (1918)].

Pankaj Oudhia’s Notes on Anacardium occidentale L. [Kirtikar, Kanhoba Ranchoddas, and Baman Das Basu. "Indian Medicinal Plants." Indian Medicinal Plants. (1918)].


Pankaj Oudhia




Based on Ethnobotanical surveys since year 1990 in different parts of India Pankaj Oudhia has documented vital information about Medicinal Plants mentioned in the famous publication by Kirtikar and Basu (1918). Through this research document Pankaj Oudhia has tried to present original document with additional notes. For complete paper with pictures, Interactive Tables, Video and Audio clips please visit



For original publication by Kirtikar and Basu (1918) please visit



327. — Anacardium occidentale, Linn., h.f.b.i.,

ii. 20, Roxb., 342.


Vern. : — Kajii (H.) ; Hijli-badam (B.) ; Kottaimundi, Rolla

mavu (Tarn.) ; Kajucba-bi, kaju (Mali.); gidi-mamedi, munda-




n. o. anacardiacej:. 377


mamddichettu (Tel.) ; Jidi-vate, kempu gern bija, geru-poppu,

geru-vate, gerabija godamby (Kan.) ; Parahki-mava kuru,

Parangi-tnavu, kappal-clierunkuru, kappa-mavakuru (Mai.) The

hon. Inayet (Burm)..


Eng. : — The Cashew Nut.


Habitat: — Hotter parts of India, especially near the sea.

Naturalised from America.


An evergreen, 10-20ft. high. Bark considerably rough.

In old trees it is deeply cracked. The juice from the stem is

thickish and resinous, slightly brownish, blackening on

exposure. From the bark comes a yellowish hard resin having

mostly the appearance of yellow amber — the Cashew gum —

soluble and used for nearly the same purpose as gum-arabic."

Wood dark brown. Charcoal of the wood used by the iron-

smiths of Tavoy as the best for their trade. Leaves simple,

smooth, alternate, ex-stipulate, quite entire, ovate or obovate,

with a slightly rounded emarginate apex, smooth on both sides,

of a hard texture ; narrower, but obtuse at base ; 4-8in. by 3-5in.

Venation well-marked, whitish and permanent on the under

surface. Nerves 10 pair, otten less, nearly horizontal, some-

times bifurcating faintly. The bark and leaves contain much

tannin. Petiole £-|in., slightly grooved on ventral side ; at

times cylindric. Panicles corymbose, branched and spread-

ing. Bracts leafy, numerous, lanceolate, hairy. Bracteoles at

base of pedicels, broadly ovate, generally lanceolate, acuminate.

Flowers small pentamerous, polygamous, Jin. diam ; yellow,

with pink, longitudinal stripes, often deep-crimson ; odour of

mixed cloves and cinnamon. Calyx inferior, cleft nearly to

base. Sepals erect, deciduous ; the base of sepals a crescent,

forming an erect disk. Corolla alternate, linear-lanceolate,

twice as long as the sepals. Stamens usually 9, all fertile ; one

of these is nearly twice as long as the rest. Stamens often

vary alternately. Filaments connate at base, free upwards.

Anthers 2-celled, introse. Pistil in the male flower minute,

with a very short style ; both well-devloped in the hermaph-

rodite flower. Ovary in the hermaphrodite flower free,


campylotropous, superior, one-celled, ovoid or obcordate. Bail-







Ion describes it as compresso-obovate or obcordate, hence

gibbous. This is a more accurate description, I think. Style

simple, solitary, filiform, eccentric, becoming convolute, as if to

bring the stigma into contact with the large anther of the long

filament (Roxb). Stigma minute, often tinged crimson. Ovule

solitary, long, conical ; inserted at the summit of a suberect,

ascending panicle. Chalaza superior ; micropyle introse, inferior,

near funicle. Fruit an ash-coloured nut, kidney-shaped, dry,

shining, indchiscent. lin. long, ^in. broad at hilum ; some-

what compressed. Mesocarp soft, corky, lacunose, oleo-resinous.

The epicarp and pericarp coriaceous, not woody, as Baillon says.

The most noteworthy part of the plant is the succulent, fleshy,

enlarged peduncle, soft and juicy, obovoid, slightly sweet, at

times very acrid and irritating to the throat and tongue ; popu-

larly sold as the Kaju fruit in the bazaar, and of which much

liquor is manufactured in Goa. Seed kidney-shaped which is the

real fruit, corresponding to the pericarp. Testa crisp, mem-

branous, and easily removable, mottled reddish-brown outside,

deep crimson inside, of an astringent aromatic taste, separable

from the kernel or milkwhite cotyledons by a resinous

fracture ; albumen absent.


Parts used : — The fruit, seeds and spirit. [Pankaj Oudhia’s Comment: All parts are used as medicine.]


Uses : — The bark is said to have alterative properties. The

tar, which contains about 90 p. c. of anacardic acid and 10 p. c.

of cardol, has recently been recommended as an external appli-

cation in leprosy, ringworm, corns and obstinate ulcers ; it is

powerfully rubefacient and vesicant, and requires to be used

with caution. In Native practice, it is sometimes used as a

counter-irritant. In Europe, a tincture of the pericarp (1 to 10

of rectified spirit) has been used in doses of 2 to 10 minims as

a vermifuge. According to Basiner, the subcutaneous injection

of small doses of cardol produces on cold-blooded animals

paresis, increasing to paralysis of the extremities, stupor, para-

lysis of respiration and tetanic spasms. In warm-blooded

animals large doses are not lethal, but stupor, paralysis of the

extremities and diarrhoea occur, and, after death, congestion of






the intestinal lining is found. Gardol seems to be excreted

chiefly with the urine, but partially also with faeces. Applied

on a small piece of lint to the skin of the breast, it raised

a watery blister in 1A hours (Am. Journ. Pharm., 1882,



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Between the laminae of the shell of the kernel there is a

black caustic fluid, which contains an acrid, oily principle,

cardol and a peculiar acid, anacardie acid.


The spirit distilled from the expressed juice of the fruit

may be used as a stimulant (Watt.)


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The kernel is nutritive, demulcent and emollient ; and the

oil emollient. In the form of mixture, the kernel is useful for all

the purposes for which the Mistura Amygdalae is employed, and

also as a food in very weak patients suffering from incessant

and chronic vomiting, with two or three minims of acid hydro-

cyanic dil. in each dose. The oil is a mechanical as well as a

chemical antidote for irritant poisons. It not only protects, to

some extent, the lining membrane of the stomach and bowels

from the irritation of the poison, and prevents both the solution

and absorption of it, but also neutralizes it by forming a soap

with it, if it happens to be an alkaline. It is also a good

vehicle for liniments and other external applications (Mooden



[Pankaj Oudhia’s Comment: It is really surprising that ancient as well as modern literature mention very little about medicinal properties and uses of Anacardium roots, leaves and bark. In Indian Traditional Healing these parts are used as medicine both internally as well as externally. In areas where large scale plantations exist the young Traditional Healers are developing new Herbal Formulations based on roots, bark and leaves and using it in their daily practice. I have documented information about thousands of Herbal Formulations in which these parts are used as individual ingredient and also in form of combinations. Please see Tables Cashew-1 to Cashew-50 for details.]    


The kernels yield a light, yellow, bland oil. Niederstadt (1902) found the

saponification value to be 179*84, and the iodine value, 60*6.


The pericarp or shell yields a black, acrid and powerfully vesicating oil.

Crossley and Le Sueur determined the following constants : Specific gravity,

0*9594 ; saponification value, 45*1 ; iodine value, 294*2 ; Reichert-Meissl value,

1*26. Though it possessed an abnormally high iodine value, practical

experiments showed it to be a non-drying oil.


E-documents on Anacardium




Oudhia, Pankaj (2013). Pankaj Oudhia’s Notes on Anacardium occidentale L. [Kirtikar, Kanhoba Ranchoddas, and Baman Das Basu. "Indian Medicinal Plants." Indian Medicinal Plants. (1918)].

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