The genus Caesalpinia has been undergoing considerable revision, and proposals have been made to split it into several smaller genera. These proposals have already been accepted by some botanists, but have not universally been accepted as yet(2012). If the proposals are accepted, then this species will become Guilandina bonduc L.[
This species is often confused with Caesalpinia major[
Caesalpinia bonducella (L.) Fleming.
Guilandina bonduc L.
Common Name: Bonduc Nut
Bonduc nut is a climbing plant with stems up to 15 metres long that are usually armed with robust prickles[
The plant is commonly used as a medicinal herb in the areas where it grows, being mainly harvested from the wild[
]. The seeds are often sold in local markets[
]. The plant is occasionally cultivated for its seed oil[
The plant is believed to be poisonous in large doses[
Thickets, roadsides, near seashores from near sea level to 200 metres in southern China[
]. Found in a variety of coastal habitats, including back mangal, but especially in disturbed sites, also inland chiefly in secondary forest up to 800 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
A plant of lowland tropical areas.
Succeeds in any moderately fertile, well-drained soil[
]. Requires a position in full sun[
Bonduc nut can be found flowering and fruiting throughout the year[
The seeds float and retain their viability in water for extended periods, which explains its presence in coastal areas throughout the tropics[
In tropical Africa the plant has become naturalized around inland villages, probably as a result of the seeds being transported for medicinal use and for use in popular board games[
Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[
The oil from the seeds is used for cooking[
Bonduc nut is considered to be an important herb in traditional medicine in Africa, Asia and the Pacific Islands, with broadly similar uses in each area[
]. Little research has been carried out into any active medical constituents, apart from the seed and roots, where several compounds have been identified[
]. The plant contains the febrifuge bonducine[
The seeds are antibacterial, anticancer, antifungal, antiviral, febrifuge, hypocholesterolemic, hypoglycaemic, mildly purgative, stomachic and tonic[
]. A bitter extract from the seeds is known as ‘poor man’s quinine’ and is used against malaria[
]. The powdered kernel of the seed is taken with water to treat diabetes mellitus[
]. The seeds are used to soothe stomach disorders[
The seed contains about 20% oil that is especially rich in linoleic acid (68%) and has vesicant properties. The oil is used to treat rheumatism[
The leaves are an ingredient of a famous cough formula[
Throughout the distribution area of Caesalpinia bonduc in Africa its leaves, bark and roots are used to cure fever, headache and chest pain and as an anthelmintic. In West Africa the plant is used as a rubefacient and as a tonic in the treatment of jaundice, diarrhoea and skin eruptions. At the Kenyan coast the seed and decoctions of the leaves and roots are taken to treat asthma and complications during menstruation, to avoid miscarriage, and as eye-drops to treat internal blood clots in the eye[
In Sierra Leone and Ethiopia bonduc nut is planted as a live fence[
The seeds are widely used as beads for necklaces, bracelets, rosaries etc, and are also used as weights and as counters in board games[
Seed - pre-soak for 12 - 24 hours in warm water prior to sowing. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on until large enough to plant out.
Softwood cuttings in sand in a frame[
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