Unani Kaaju

Siddha/Tamil ► Mindiri.

Action ► Leaves and bark—fungi-cidal, vermicidal, protozoicidal, antimicrobial (used for toothache, sore gums). Karnel—eaten for its high protein content. Cashew apple—antiscorbutic. Resinous juice contained in the seeds—used in cases of mental derangement, memory disturbances, palpitation of heart, rheumatic pericarditis, sexual debility.

The nut contains 45% fat and 20% protein. Leaves contain flavonoids, mainly glycosides of quercetin and kaempferol, and hydroxybenzoic acid. The bark contains a balsam-containing anacardic acid, anacardol, cardol and ginkgol. The caustic liquid in the shell contains about 39% anacardic acid, a mixture of alkyl salicylic acid derivatives. The leaves are febrifuge. Anacardic acid is bactericidal, fungici-dal, vermicidal and protozoicidal. The leaves and bark exhibited hypotensive activity in rats.

The phenolics of the cashew-nut shell oil have inhibited the enzymic activity of alpha-glucosidase, invertase and aldose reductase (anacardic acids being the most potent). Cardols have also shown antifilarial activity in vitro. Anacardic acids, cardols and methyl cardols have been found to exhibit moderate cytotoxic activity.

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