Caper Bush (Himsra)- Benefits & Side effects
Caper bush, also known as Himsra is a perennial plant that is mainly found in the Mediterranean countries, in a humid climate. The caper bush is a plant-based herb that is very beneficial for health purposes due to its medicinal properties and for this very reason, it is considered an important traditional medicine in Ayurveda as it has vata balancing properties that are used to treat arthritis.
Himsra is such a useful herb as all its parts including roots, leaves, buds, and flowers are useful in the treatment of diabetes. The unripened flower buds have a pungent, exotic taste and can be added to food as a seasoning. We will know the further benefits of this herb through this article.
Importance of Himsra
In Ayurveda, Himsra has great importance as it has Vata and Kapha balancing properties and is hot in potency.
Himsra is rich in flavonoids, glycosides, has sugar reducing properties, saponins, starch and terpenoids. It also contains important elements like alkaloid stachydrine, 3-hydroxystachydrine, Glucobrassicin, neoglucobrassicin, 4-methoxyglucobrassicin, glucosinolates, glucoiberin, glucoraphanin, sinigrin, glucocleomin and glucocapangatin. The herb also contains rutin. It also contains antioxidants, antiviral, immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory properties.
Benefits of Caper Bush (Himsra)
Himsra is useful for the treatment of various health conditions. These are-
The root of the caper bush contains various constituents that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help to reduce joint pain and inflammation caused by osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Diabetes mellitus is believed to be caused due to an imbalance of Vata-Kapha dosha and improper digestion that leads to the accumulation of toxins in the body in the pancreatic cells and disturbs the function of insulin. Since, Caper bush has Vata-Kapha balancing, digestive, and bitter properties, it helps to manage diabetes. Apart from this, Himsra also helps to improve digestion, maintain normal function of insulin and relieve symptoms of diabetes.
For Fungal Infections-
Himsra root extract contains flavonoids that have antifungal properties which prevent the growth and spread of fungi. This helps in the management of fungal infections.
For Alzheimer’s disease-
Himsra help in managing Alzheimer’s disease as it helps to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in nerve cells. This helps due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Himsra also improves and boosts memory and prevents the premature ageing of the brain due to its neuroprotective properties.
Himsra helps to prevent premature ageing and wrinkles. For this, apply a mixture of the roots of Himsra. These have anti-inflammatory and anti-ageing properties that help to manage skin irritation and inflammation.
For Intestinal Worms-
The leaves and flower buds of Himsra are useful in managing intestinal worms. These contain flavonoids that have anthelmintic properties which help to get rid of parasites (helminths) and other internal parasites from the body.
The flavonoids and polyphenols in Himsra fruit have broncho relaxant properties that help in asthma. It helps to provide relaxation to the muscles of respiratory passages and facilitate breathing.
For Weight loss-
Himsra helps to reduce body weight by slowing down the absorption of carbohydrates and improving metabolism due to its anti-obesity properties.
Himsra has Ushna (hot) and Deepan (appetizer) properties that help manage weight by maintaining proper digestion. This further enhances the digestive fire and prevent the further accumulation of toxins in the body.
For blood pressure-
Himsra might help lower blood pressure due to its diuretic properties. It increases urine production in the body and promotes the elimination of excess sodium from the body. This prevents extra fluid build-up in the body and lowers the pressure in the blood vessels thereby stabilizing blood pressure.
For wound healing-
Applying Himsra leaves extract on the burns might help in healing wounds due to its antioxidant properties that promote wound contraction and increase collagen production. It also reduces inflammation and speeds up the process of healing burns.
Precautions & Side effects of Caper Bush (Himsra)
- Himsra might cause allergies to those who are sensitive to mustard oil or other members of its family or people with food sensitivities. Such people should always consult a physician before using Himsra.
- Its excessive use may cause skin rash, irritation or contact dermatitis.
- Himsra should be avoided during pregnancy and breastfeeding as there is no sufficient evidence of its effect on pregnant and breastfeeding women. Therefore, always consult a physician before using it.
- Himsra helps in lowering blood pressure therefore, patients taking antihypertensive medications (or herbs) should avoid using Himsra.
- Himsra might lower blood glucose levels. So, people with low blood sugar should avoid it or use it with caution.
Where is it found?
Caper bush grows extensively in Afghanistan, West Asia, Europe, North Africa and Australia. In India, it is found in Punjab to Rajasthan and extends to the Deccan Peninsula. It is also distributed in the plains, lower Himalayas, and the Western Ghats.