Summary Points

• Since time immemorial, nuts and seeds have been playing an important role in health care and the prevention of disease.

• Marking nut (Semecarpus anacardium, SA) preparations have found widespread use in alternative medicine, particularly in the case of diseases not amenable to treatment by modern methods. Different parts of SA have been used classically in the Ayurveda, Siddha, and Unani systems of medicine.

• S. anacardium nut has good antioxidant properties, and a variety of nut-extract preparations have many significant therapeutic activities, including anticancer, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, anti-atherogenic, hypoglycemic and antiglycemic, antibacterial and fungistatic, and anthelmintic effects. Nuts are bruised and applied to the os uteri to procure abortion, and also given as a vermifuge.

• The detailed chemical nature of the active principle(s) responsible for such activities of SA is not known. Chemical and phytochemical analyses of SA reveal the presence of biflavonoids, phenolic compounds, bhilawanols, anacardoside, minerals, vitamins, and amino acids.

• The medicinal potentiality of SA needs to be established and verified by the controlled clinical studies.

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Health And Fitness 101

Health And Fitness 101

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