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Anacardium occidentale - Vrikkaphala

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Vrikkaphala, Anacardium occidentale

Vrikkaphala or the Cashew nut tree is a moderate sized tree with sprawling branches that is cultivated in India for its nuts. The tree originates in South America.


Skin diseases, Dysentery, hemorrhoids, Anorexia, Hair fall, Worm infestation, General weakness [1]

Parts Used

Leaves, Roots, Fruits, Bark

Chemical Composition

The nut contains 45% fat and 20% protein. Leaves contain flavonoids, mainly glycosides of quercetin and kaempferol, and hydroxybenzoic acid. The bark contains a balsam-containing anacardic acid, anacardol, cardol and ginkgol. The caustic liquid in the shell contains about 39% anacardic acid, a mixture of alkyl salicylic acid derivatives. [2]

Common names

Language Common name
Kannada Gaeru, Gaeru beeja, Gaeru kaayi, Godambi mara
Hindi Kaju, Kaju-ki-gutli
Malayalam Kapa-mava, Kapamava, Kappa-mavakuru
Tamil Andima, Andimangottai, Munthri-kottei
Telugu Jaedima-midi, Jeedimaamidi, Jidi mamidi, Jidi-mamidi-vittu
Marathi NA
Gujarathi NA
Punjabi NA
Kashmiri NA
Sanskrit Agnikrita, Arushkara, Guchhapushpa, Kajutah, Kajutaka, Vrkkaphalah
English Cashew nut



Reference: Dravya - Substance, Rasa - Taste, Guna - Qualities, Veerya - Potency, Vipaka - Post-digesion effect, Karma - Pharmacological activity, Prabhava - Therepeutics.



Kashaya (Astringent), Amla (Sour), Madhura (Sweet)


Guru (Heavy)


Sheeta (Cold)



Kapha, Vata






Kind Shape Feature
Simple Alternate 6-15.5 x 3-8 cm, obovate; apex obtuse, round or retuse, base acute or cuneate, round, margin entire, glabrous, shiny above, coriaceous; petiole 7-15 mm, stout, swollen at base, glabrous; lateral nerves 10-15 pairs, parallel, prominent, intercostae reticulate, prominent; glands axillary on main nerves and its branches



Type Size Color and composition Stamen More information
Bisexual Yellow and pink 8-10 Terminal prominently bracteate panicles. Calyx 5-partite, lanceolate, imbricate, deciduous, with some pubescence on outside. Petals 5, linear-lanceolate, ligulate, recurved, imbricate; disc filling the base of the calyx, erect. Stamens 8-10, one usually longer than others; filaments connate at the base and adnate to the disc, glandular puberulus. Ovary superior, obovoid or obcordate, 1-celled, ovule 1, ascending from a lateral funicle; style filiform, excentric; stigma minute.


Type Size Mass Appearance Seeds More information
Nut 2-3 cm long Fruit a reniform nut, 2-3 cm, grey, seated on a large pyriform fleshy body formed of enlarged disc and top of the pedicel; pericarp gives acrid caustic oil Seed reniform, ascending {{{6}}}

Other features

List of Ayurvedic medicine in which the herb is used

Where to get the saplings

Mode of Propagation

Seeds, Cuttings, Layering

How to plant/cultivate

Seed - traditionally sown in situ, germination usually taking place in 8 - 10 days. Cuttings of ripe wood at the end of the growing season. Layering. [5]

Commonly seen growing in areas

Tropical area, Coastal area.

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