Anacardium occidentale

Anacardium occidentale L. (Anacardiaceae)

(2n = 24, 40, 42)

English name: Cashew nut.

Vernacular names: Asm : Kaju badam; Ben: Hijli badam, Kaju badam; Guj, Hin, Mar and Pun: Kaju; Kan : Gerupappu; Godambi; Kon: Kaz; Mat: Kashumaru, Parankimara, Andiparuppau; Ori : Lanka badam; Tam: Mundiri, Munthirikai; Tel: Jidimamidi, Muntha mamidi.

Trade names: Cashew nut, Kaju.

Traditional use: Cashew nut shell-oil: mild purgative, used in folk medicine for treatment of hookworm, cracks on soles of feet, warts, corns, leporus sores.

Modern use: Cashew nut: used in mental derangement, sexual debility, nervous prostration following seminal emission, morning sickness in pregnancy, palpitation of heart, rheumatic percarditis, loss of memory as a sequel to small pox; Kernel: good for week

patients suffering from I incessant and chronic vomiting; Kernel-oil: antidote for irritant poisons; Liquor made from fruit: diuretic.

HOMOEOPATHY : for boils, warts, wounds and different types of cracks in legs; used sometimes in case of leprosy.

Phytography : Small tree with short, thick, crooked trunk; leaves simple, alternate, petiolate, entire, hard, 10­20 cm by 7.5-12.5 cm; panicles terminal, bracteate, pubescent; branches long, naked to the tips; flowers yellow with pink stripes, 0.8 cm in diameter; cashew apple red or yellow-is the swollen, enlarged pedicel which bears the nut.

Phenology: Flowering: March-April; Fruiting: April-May.

Distribution: Native to tropical America, naturalised in the hotter sea-shores of India; Pakistan, Bangladesh and Malaysia.

Ecology and cultivation: Introduced; grows in plains, especially towards the coast, very occasionally ascending up to 1200 m; being extensively planted by clearing scrub jungles in the plains.

Chemical contents: Bark: exudes gum; Flower: polyphenols; Cashew shell: yields gum, oil and liquid (CNSL); Liquid-free nutshell: syringic and gallic acids, galocatechin; Defatted nutshell: naringenin, prunin-6"-O-p-coumarate; Cashew apple liquor: vitamin C, vitamin E; Reddish brown testa: D-catechin, gallic acid, caffeic acid, quinic acid, polyphenols, bioflavone.