Root, seeds, leaf.
Caesalpinia bonduc offers a number of therapeutic, culinary and various other uses. For instance, where ever this tree is found growing in the coastal tropical regions, especially in Africa, people use the plant's leaves, roots and bark for treating a number of health conditions including headaches, fever and chest pain. In fact, these parts of the bonduc nut tree are also used in the form of an anthelminthic. People in the western regions of Africa have been employing this tree in the form of a rubefacient as well as a tonic for treating conditions like diarrhea, jaundice and even to heal skin eruptions. People inhabiting the coastline of Kenya have been employing the leaves of Caesalpinia bonduc to prepare a decoction, while the seeds and roots are used internally for treating asthma as well as problems related to menstruation. These parts of the herb are also employed to avoid miscarriage. In some places, they are also used in the form of eye drops with a view to heal blood clots inside the eyes. Several inhabitants of Tanzania dry out the seeds' kernel and pulverize it into a powdered form, which is taken internally along with water for curing diabetes mellitus. On the other hand, people in Somalia use the oil extracted from the seeds for treating rheumatism. In addition, the seeds also yield that is considered to be quinine for the "poor man". This extract is used in various places of India to treat malaria. However, as of now, the use of this bitter seed extract for treating malaria in Africa has not yet been documented. In the tropical regions of Asia as well as the tropical islands of Pacific Ocean, Caesalpinia bonduc is a vital medicinal plant for the people. They use the herb for therapeutic purposes much in the same way as the inhabitants of Africa do it. In other West African nations like Ethiopia and Sierra Leone, people plant the Caesalpinia bonduc shrub in the form of a growing fence. On the other hand in Guinea, which lies in the equatorial region, they extract the oil from the seeds of the plant and use it for culinary purposes. In addition, the seeds of this tree are also used in the form of beads as well as weights and in the form of counters in various local board games. Often the seeds of Caesalpinia bonduc are seen washed up in several beaches across the world. These seeds are collected by people in various places for making necklaces. In India, children often use the seeds of this tree as marbles. On the other hand, bonduc nut seeds are also used to extract oil and this substance is often used in the form of a cosmetic, especially to get rid of freckles from the face. Moreover, this oil is also employed to prevent or stop ear discharges. In the traditional African medicine, bonduc nut or the seeds of the Caesalpinia bonduc are believed to be a crucial herb. This tree is also popular for its therapeutic properties in many regions in Asia and the tropical islands of the Pacific Ocean, where the different parts of the tree are used for similar purposes as in different African nations. Chemical analysis of the Caesalpinia bonduc seeds have revealed that they possess anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, febrifuge, anti-viral, tonic, stomachic, gently purgative, hypoglycaemic and hypocholesterolemic properties. In fact, it has been found that these seeds also possess anti-cancer properties. The seeds of the Caesalpinia bonduc also possess soothing properties and are, hence, employed for calming stomach problems. In addition, the larvae of the Speckled Line Butterfly also feed on the Caesalpinia bonduc plants.
Bonduc nuts are collected from Caesalpinia bonduc shrubs, which have their homes in the lowland tropical regions. These plants thrive well in reasonably fertile soil having a proper drainage system. This plant has a preference for full sunlight and flourishes when grown in such conditions. Usually, bonduc nuts trees are in bloom throughout the year and, as a result, they also bear fruits throughout the year. Since the seeds of bonduc nuts float on water for prolonged periods, they remain viable for a longer period. This is, perhaps, one reason why these nuts are widely used by people in the coastal areas of tropical regions across the globe. Plants belonging to this particular genus are remarkably resilient to honey fungus. It has been found that the Caesalpinia bonduc plants have a symbiotic relationship with specific types of bacteria that are present in the soil. In fact, these beneficial bacteria develop nodules on the plants' roots and fix nitrogen from the atmosphere. While a fraction of this nitrogen is utilized by the plants themselves for their overall growth, the additional amounts are used up by other plants growing in the vicinity of Caesalpinia bonduc.
Chemical analysis of Caesalpinia bonduc plant has revealed that this plant contains an isoflavonoid called bonducellin in addition to a number of cassane diterpenes, counting bonducellpins, bondenolide, caesalpins, caesaldekarin A and caesalpinin B. On the other hand the chemical compounds isolated from the roots of the herb include caesalpin F and caesaldekarin C. The seeds of Caesalpinia bonduc enclose a number of chemical compounds; most important among them are ?-caesalpin and bonducellin, both of which have been proven to possess anti-plasmodial activities. In addition, it has been found that bondenolide as well as many other extracts from these seeds possess anti-bacterial and anti-fungal activities. Moreover, bonduc seeds also enclose approximately 20 percent of oil, which is particularly high in linoleic acid, comprising nearly 68 percent of the oil. This particular oil possesses vesicant qualities.
Despite its several health benefits, Caesalpinia bonduc should be used with caution for using this herb in large doses may prove to be toxic.
Harvesting of Caesalpinia bonduc mature pods is done manually. These pods can be collected directly from the plants when the over mature pods drop on the ground. Alternatively, you can also harvest the pods when you need them for use. Seeds of this herb can be taken out from the pods and just dried out in the sun and stored for use when you need them. Aside from the seeds, you can use other parts of the plant, but they need to be collected and used fresh.