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Modern Science View By
Ph.D. (Biochemistry), M.Sc (Human Genomics)
Ayurvedic View By
BAMS
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MD (Pharmacology), MBBS
Last updated on:
10 Dec 2019 | 02:44 PM (IST)
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Himsra

Himsra
Himsra, also known as Caper bush, is a perennial shrub that grows in the Mediterranean countries. Capers, the unripened flower buds of this plant have a tangy, exotic taste and can be added to food as seasoning or for garnishing.
Himsra is beneficial in managing arthritis as it reduces pain and inflammation due to its antioxidant and antiinflammatory properties. As per Ayurveda, it has Vata balancing properties which helps to reduce the symptoms of arthritis. It also protects the liver because by reducing oxidative stress due to its antioxidant properties. All parts of the plant including roots, leaves, buds, flowers are helpful in managing diabetes due to its antidiabetic properties.
Himsra is good for skin as it prevents premature ageing as well as wrinkles. Applying a paste of Himsra roots helps manage skin irritations due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-ageing properties[1][15][18].

What are the synonyms of Himsra?

Capparis spinosa, Kanthari, Tiksna, Kantaka, Tiksnagandha, Ceper Plant, Kabaree, Kabara, Hainsaa, Kanthara, Kabar, Barar, Kaur, Jeevakamu, Kabar, Mullukattari, Kathari Mullina Gida, Kantharo, Kalo Kantharo, Kabri, Kokilakshamu, Common Caper, Caoer Berry, Hebbers, Ahimsra, Kebir[22][23].

What is the source of Himsra?

Plant Based

Benefits of Himsra

What are the benefits of Himsra for Diabetes mellitus (Type 1 & Type 2)?

scientific
Modern Science View
Himsra might be beneficial in diabetes as it inhibits the enzymes involved in carbohydrate breakdown and reduces blood glucose levels. It also reduces oxidative stress and prevents pancreatic cell damage due to its antioxidant properties. This helps in furthering lowering of blood sugar levels[1].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Diabetes also known as Madhumeha is due to an imbalance of Vata-Kapha dosha and impaired digestion. Impaired digestion leads to an accumulation of Ama (toxic remains in the body due to improper digestion) in the pancreatic cells and impairs the function of insulin. Himsra helps manage diabetes due to its Vata-Kapha balancing, Pachan (digestive) and Tikta (bitter) properties. It helps to improve digestion, maintains normal functions of insulin and reduce symptoms of diabetes.

What are the benefits of Himsra for Fungal infections?

scientific
Modern Science View
Himsra root extract might help in managing fungal infections. It might be due to the presence of certain constituents (flavonoids) that possess antifungal property. It inhibits the growth and multiplication of fungi responsible for fungal infections[2].

What are the benefits of Himsra for Worm infections?

scientific
Modern Science View
Himsra leaves and flower buds might be beneficial in managing intestinal worms. It contains certain constituents (flavonoids) which has an anthelmintic property. It helps to expel parasitic worms (helminths) and other internal parasites from the body[3].

What are the benefits of Himsra for Leishmaniasis.?

scientific
Modern Science View
Himsra might help manage the skin infections caused by the parasite leishmania. It contains certain constituents (alkaloids) that possess anti-parasitic properties. It inhibits the growth and multiplication of parasites and prevents infections[5].

How effective is Himsra?

Insufficient evidence
Diabetes mellitus (Type 1 & Type 2), Fungal infections, Leishmaniasis., Worm infections

Precautions when using Himsra

Allergy
scientific
Modern Science View
Himsra might cause allergic reactions in individuals sensitive to mustard oil or other members of its family. It might also induce allergic reaction in individuals sensitive to food allergies. So, it is advisable to consult a physician before using Himsra[11][12].
Breastfeeding
scientific
Modern Science View
Since enough scientific information is not available for the use of Himsra during breastfeeding. So, it is advisable to avoid or consult a physician before using Himsra during breastfeeding[24].
Other Interaction
scientific
Modern Science View
Himsra might lower blood glucose levels. So, it is advisable for patients taking antidiabetic drugs (or herbs) to avoid or take caution while using Himsra with such medications[10].
scientific
Modern Science View
Himsra might lower blood pressure. So, it is advisable for patients taking antihypertensive medications (or herbs) to avoid or take caution while using Himsra with such medications[10].
Pregnancy
scientific
Modern Science View
Since enough scientific information is not available for the use of Himsra during pregnancy. So, it is advisable to avoid or consult a physician before using Himsra in pregnancy[24].

Recommended Dosage of Himsra

  • Himsra Powder - 1-1.5 gm twice a day or as directed by the physician.

How to use Himsra

Himsra Root Powder
a. Take a few dry Himsra roots.
b. Grind them to make powder.
c. Swallow 1-1.5gm (or as directed by the physician) of this powder twice a day to get rid of chest congestion.

Benefits of Himsra

What are the benefits of Himsra for Skin disorders?

scientific
Modern Science View
Himsra might be useful in skin disorders. Topical application of Himsra flower bud helps in managing skin disorders as it has certain constituents that possess antioxidant properties. These antioxidants protect the skin from damage caused by solar radiation and keep the skin healthy. It also prevents redness and inflammation on skin by inhibiting the histamine (mediator of allergy) release due to its anti-allergic properties[6][7].

What are the benefits of Himsra for Dry Skin?

scientific
Modern Science View
Himsra is beneficial for dry skin as it contains certain constituents (flavonoids, vitamins etc.) that have antioxidant, moisturizing and protecting properties. It protects the skin against damage caused by free radicals and moisturise the skin. Applying paste of Himsra root bark on skin is manages skin rashes and prevents dryness[8][9].

Tips for using Himsra on dry skin.
a. Take few dry Himsra roots.
b. Grind them to make powder.
c. Make a paste of this powder using water.
d. Apply this paste on the affected area once or twice a day to get rid of the dry skin.

How effective is Himsra?

Insufficient evidence
Dry Skin, Skin disorders

Precautions when using Himsra

Allergy
scientific
Modern Science View
Himsra might cause allergic reactions in individuals sensitive to mustard oil or other members of its family. It might also induce allergic reactions in individuals sensitive to food allergies. So, it is advisable to consult a physician before using Himsra[11] [12].
Breastfeeding
scientific
Modern Science View
Since enough scientific evidence is not available for the use of Himsra during pregnancy. So, it is advisable to avoid or consult a physician before using Himsra during pregnancy.
Pregnancy
scientific
Modern Science View
Since enough scientific evidence is not available for the use of Himsra during pregnancy. So, it is advisable to avoid or consult a physician before using Himsra during pregnancy.
Side Effects
Important
scientific
Modern Science View
1. Skin rash
2. Skin irritation.
3. Contact dermatitis[11][12].

How to use Himsra

Himsra Paste
a. Take a few dry Himsra roots.
b. Grind them to make powder.
c. Make a paste of this powder using water.
d. Apply this paste on the affected area once or twice a day to get rid of the symptoms of skin disease.

Frequently asked questions

Q. Is Himsra available in the market?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Himsra is available in different forms like raw herb and extract in the market. You can buy it either online or from market. Canned caper berries which are commonly used in kitchen are also easily available in the market.

Q. How should we store Himsra?

scientific
Modern Science View
Himsra fresh berries should be stored properly in the refrigerator for longer storage. Himsra powder should be stored in an airtight container away from moisture.

Q. Can we eat Himsra leaves?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, you can eat Himsra (capers) leaves in the salad or fish dishes.

Q. Does Himsra help in weight loss?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Himsra might help in weight loss. It reduces the body weight by slowing down the carbohydrate absorption and improving metabolism of the body due to its anti-obesity properties[13].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
According to Ayurvedic perspective, the cause of weight gain is improper diet and lifestyle that weaken the digestive fire. This increases accumulation of Ama, and leads to an imbalance in meda dhatu which results in obesity. Himsra helps manage normal weight by maintaining a proper digestion due to its Ushna (hot) and Deepan (appetizer) properties. This enhances Agni (digestive fire) and prevent the further accumulation of Ama in the body and reduces the weight.

Q. Is Himsra beneficial in lowering blood pressure?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Himsra might help in lowering blood pressure due to its diuretic properties. It increases the production of urine in the body and promotes elimination of extra salts from the body. This prevents build up of extra fluid in the body and lowers the pressure in the blood vessels [14].

Q. Is Himsra good for liver?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Himsra is good for the liver as it contains antioxidants which show hepatoprotective property. It reduces the oxidative stress and protects liver cells from damage by free radicals [15].

Q. Does Himsra help in brain disorders?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Himsra might help in managing brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. It reduces oxidative stress and inflammation in neuronal (nerve) cells due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The antioxidant present in Himsra also improves memory and learning functions and prevents the premature ageing of brain[16][17].

Q. Can Himsra be used in arthritis?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Himsra root extract might manage the symptoms like joint pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It contains certain constituents that possess anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These constituents inhibit the mediators of inflammation and reduce joint pain and inflammation[18].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Yes, Himsra can be beneficial in arthritis which occurs due to an imbalance of mainly Vata dosha. This imbalance leads to some symptoms like pain or inflammation. Himsra helps reduce the symptoms of arthritis due to its Vata balancing and Ushna (hot) properties.

Q. Does Himsra help in asthma?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Himsra fruit might help in asthma due to the presence of certain constituents (flavonoids, polyphenols) which has broncho relaxant properties. It relaxes the smooth muscles of respiratory passages and helps ease breathing. Thus managing the symptoms of asthma[4].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
The main Doshas involved in Asthma are Vata and Kapha. The vitiated ‘Vata’ combines with deranged ‘Kapha dosha’ in the lungs causing obstruction in the respiratory passage. This results in gasping and labored breathing. This condition is known as Swas Roga (Asthma). Himsra helps manage asthma due to its Vata-Kapha balancing and Ushna (hot) properties. It helps to clear the obstruction in the respiratory passages and leads to easy breathing.

Q. Does Himsra help in flatulence?

scientific
Modern Science View
Although enough scientific evidence is not available for the use of Himsra in flatulence. However It is used as a folk remedy to relieve flatulence[21].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Flatulence is caused due to an imbalance of Vata and Pitta Dosha. Low Pitta Dosha and aggravated Vata Dosha result in low digestive fire, thus impairing digestion. Impaired digestion leads to flatulence. Himsra helps manage flatulence due to its Vata balancing, Ushna (hot) and Deepan (appetizer) properties. It helps to improve digestion by enhancing Agni (digestive fire), and reduces flatulence.

Q. Is Himsra beneficial in burns?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, topical application of Himsra leaves extract might help in burn wound healing. It contains antioxidants which promotes wound contraction and increase the collagen production. It also reduces inflammation and accelerates the healing of wounds associated with burns[19].

Q. Is Himsra good for skin?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Himsra is good for the skin as it helps manage skin irritations and itching due to its anti-inflammatory properties. It also prevents wrinkles and premature aging of the skin due to its anti-aging properties[20].

Q. Can Himsra be used in eye infection?

scientific
Modern Science View
Although enough scientific evidence is not available for the use of Himsra in eye infection. However unopened buds of Himsra has been used traditionally to manage eye infections and prevention of cataracts[8].

References

  1. Vahid H, Rakhshandeh H, Ghorbani A.Antidiabetic properties of Capparis spinosa L. and its components.Biomed Pharmacother.2017;92:293-302.External Link
  2. Mahboubi M, Mahboubi A.Antimicrobial activity of Capparis spinosa as its usages in traditional medicine.Herba Polonica.2014;60(1).External Link
  3. Akkari H, chir F, Hajjaji S, et.al.Potential anthelmintic effect of Capparis spinosa (Capparidaceae) as related to its polyphenolic content and antioxidant activity.Veterinární Medicína.2016;61:308-316.External Link
  4. Benzidane N, Noureddine C, Krache I, et.al.In vitro bronchorelaxant effects of Capparis spinosa aqueous extracts on rat trachea.J appl pharm sci.2013;3:85-88.External Link
  5. Upadhyay RK.Kareel plant: A natural source of medicines and nutrients.Int J Green Pharm.2011;5:255-265.External Link
  6. Bonina F, Puglia C, Ventura D, et.al.In vitro antioxidant and in vivo photoprotective effects of a lyophilized extract of Capparis spinosa L buds.J Cosmet Sci.2002;53(6):321-335.External Link
  7. Trombetta D, Occhiuto F, Perri D, et.al.Antiallergic and antihistaminic effect of two extracts of Capparis spinosa L. flowering buds.Phytother Res.2005;19(1):29-33.External Link
  8. Chedraoui S, Abi-Rizk A, Marc El-Beyrouthy, et.al.Capparis spinosa L. in A Systematic Review: A Xerophilous Species of Multi Values and Promising Potentialities for Agrosystems under the Threat of Global Warming.Front Plant Sci.2017;8:1845.External Link
  9. Peter KV.Handbook of Herbs and Spices.Elsevier.2012.External Link
  10. Ulbrich CE.Natural Standard Herb & Supplement Guide- An Evidence-Based Reference.2010.
  11. Angelini G, Vena GA, Filotico R, et.al.Allergic contact dermatitis from Capparis spinosa L. applied as wet compresses.Contact Dermatitis.1991;24(5):382-383.External Link
  12. Alcántara M, MoralesM, Carnés J.Food Allergy to Caper (Capparis spinosa).J Investig Allergol C lin Immunol.2013;23(1):50-73.External Link
  13. Lemhadri A, Eddouks M, Sulpice T, et.al.Anti-hyperglycaemic and Anti-obesity Effects of Capparis spinosa and Chamaemelum nobile Aqueous Extracts in HFD Mice Am.JPharm & Toxicol.2007;2(3):106-110.External Link
  14. Zeggwagh A, Eddouks M, Michel J, et.al.Cardiovascular Effect of Capparis spinosa Aqueous Extract. Part III: Antihypertensive Effect in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats.American Journal of Pharmacology and Toxicology.2007;2(3).111-115.External Link
  15. Kalantari H, Foruozandeh H, Khodayar MJ, et.al.Antioxidant and hepatoprotective effects of Capparis spinosa L. fractions and Quercetin on tert-butyl hydroperoxide- induced acute liver damage in mice.J Tradit Complement Med.2017;8(1):120-127.External Link
  16. Mohebali N, Shahzadeh Fazeli SA, Ghafoori H, et.al.Effect of flavonoids rich extract of Capparis spinosa on inflammatory involved genes in amyloid-beta peptide injected rat model of Alzheimer's disease.Nutr Neurosci.2018;21(2):143-150.External Link
  17. Turgut N, Kara H, Arslanbas E, et.al.Effect of Capparis spinosa L.On cognitive impairment induced by D-galactose in mice via inhibition of oxidative stress.Turk J Med Sci.2015;45.1127-1136.External Link
  18. Maresca M, Micheli L, Di Cesare Mannelli L, et.al.Acute effect of Capparis spinosa root extracts on rat articular pain.J Ethnopharmacol.2016;193:456-465.External Link
  19. Kalantar M, Goudarzi M, Foruozandeh H, et.al.The Topical Effect of Cappariss spinosa Extract on Burn Wound Healing.Jundishapur J Nat Pharm Prod.2018;13(1):e35690.External Link
  20. Miras-Avalos JM, Philippe C.Agroecosystems Facing Global Climate Change:The Search for Sustainability.2017.External Link
  21. Mehrabani LV. In vito micro propagation of two native Capparis spinosa L. cultivars from Iran. Research Trend.2016;8(2):144-149.External Link
  22. The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia Of India.Part 1 Volume 1.
  23. Balkrishnan A.Ahimsa.Ayurved Jadi Buti Rehsya.Divya Prakashan.2017.
  24. WebMD.Capers: Uses, Side effects, Doses, Interactions [Internet].Atlanta [last updated in 2016].External Link
Disclaimer
The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

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