• Name : Himsra
  • English Name :Ceper Plant
  • Scientific Name :Capparis spinosa


Himsra consists of root of Capparis spinosa Linn. (Fam. Capparidaceae), a thorny shrub distributed in the plains, lower Himalayas, and Western Ghats.1

Morphology Description:

Root pieces are upto 5.5 cm in thickness; bark rough to touch, thick showing longitudinal lenticels; freshly broken surface light yellowish; wood hard and compact; remnants of robust and slender rootlets present on the bark; colour varies from pale yellow to reddish-brown; no particular odour or taste.1

Parts Used:            Root, Fruit, Buds / Seed


The roots contain alkaloid stachydrine. Glucobrassicin, neoglucobrassicin and 4-methoxyglucobrassicin have also been identified in the roots.1

As per Ayurveda:

Rasa (Taste)                  Pungent, Bitter

Guna (Property)             Light, rough

Veerya (Potency)           Hot

Vipaka (End Result)      Pungent

Pharmacological Actions:

Himsra is Vatakaphahara; its primary pharmacological actions are summarized as under:

Digestive System: 

i. Exerts antihepatotoxic activity.2

ii. Caper contains volatile and non-volatile compounds which potentially can play an important role in colon cancer prevention.3

Endocrinal System: 

i. Caper fruit extract may be a safe anti-hyperglycemic and anti-hypertriglyceridemic agent for type 2 diabetic patients.4

Cardiovascular System: 

i. Exhibits lipid lowering activity.5

Musculoskeletal System: 

i. Possesses chondroprotective effect.6

Skin and Hair: 

i. The fruit extract exhibits a notable activity in protecting against oxidative stress and interrupting of ROS-ERK1/2-Ha-Ras signal loop in Systemic Sclerosis, suggesting its potential protective effects against skin sclerosis.7

ii. C. spinosa leaf extract can stimulate melanogenesis in a dose-dependent manner without cytotoxicity by increasing tyrosinase protein expression and has the potential to be used as a possible tanning agent or as a treatment for hair depigmentation.8


i. Possesses significant antibacterial activity against resistant strains as well.9

ii. Exhibits excellent antioxidant activity.

iii. The buds may contribute in improving immune surveillance of PBMCs (peripheral blood mononuclear cells) toward virus infection by up-regulating expression of peculiar proinflammatory cytokines; it should thus be successfully employed for treatment of HSV-2 infections in immunocompromised hosts.10

iv. Possesses anti-allergic and antihistaminic activities.11


 Liver Dysfunction

 Type 2 Diabetes mellitus

 General Debility


1. The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India, part-1, Vol-V.

2. Gadgoli C, Mishra SH. Antihepatotoxic activity of p-methoxy benzoic acid from Capparis spinosa. J Ethnopharmacol. 1999 Aug;66(2):187-92.

3. Tea Kulisic-Bilusic, Ingrid Schm?ller, Kerstin Schn?bele, et al. The anticarcinogenic potential of essential oil and aqueous infusion from caper (Capparis spinosa L.). Food Chemistry. 2012; 132(1): 261-267.

4. Huseini HF, Hasani-Rnjbar S, Nayebi N, et al. Capparis spinosa L. (Caper) fruit extract in treatment of type 2 diabetic patients: a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Complement Ther Med. 2013 Oct;21(5):447-52.

5. Eddouks M, Lemhadri A, Michel JB. Hypolipidemic activity of aqueous extract of Capparis spinosa L. in normal and diabetic rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 2005 Apr 26;98(3):345-50.

6. Panico AM, Cardile V, Garufi F, et al. Protective effect of Capparis spinosa on chondrocytes. Life Sci. 2005 Sep 30;77(20):2479-88.

7. Cao YL, Li X, Zheng M. Capparis spinosa protects against oxidative stress in systemic sclerosis dermal fibroblasts. Arch Dermatol Res. 2010 Jul;302(5):349-55.

8. Matsuyama K, Villareal MO, El Omri A, et al. Effect of Tunisian Capparis spinosa L. extract on melanogenesis in B16 murine melanoma cells. J Nat Med. 2009 Oct;63(4):468-72.

9. Issac Abraham SV, Palani A, Ramaswamy BR, et al. Antiquorum sensing and antibiofilm potential of Capparis spinosa. Arch Med Res. 2011 Nov;42(8):658-68.

10. 10. Arena A, Bisignano G, Pavone B, et al. Antiviral and immunomodulatory effect of a lyophilized extract of Capparis spinosa L. buds. Phytother Res. 2008 Mar;22(3):313-7.

11. Trombetta D, Occhiuto F, Perri D, et al. *Antiallergic and antihistaminic effect of two extracts of Capparis spinosa L. flowering buds. Phytother Res. 2005 Jan;19(1):29-33.

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