Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Semecarpus anacardium: Marking nut controls white patches

Syed Akbar
Leucoderma or white patches is a skin condition whose occurrence is shrouded in mystery. 
Despite the advancement in medical sciences it’s not still clear what exactly triggers 
leucoderma. Research has been going on the world over to understand the medical mechanism 
that triggers this skin problem, and find a permanent cure through medication.

Ancient Indian medical texts have described the problem of leucoderma in detail and have 
suggested that Semecarpus anacardium is a natural remedy. Though the skin problem does go 
completely through Semecarpus, it helps in keeping it under check. Semecarpus anacardium 
is known as bhilavan in Hindu and Urdu and as marking nut in English.

A number of health benefits have been attributed to this herb by Ayurveda and Unani 
doctors. It is also practiced by tribals and those following the forest medicine. The 
health benefits include control of white patches on the skin, piles, cough, nervous 
problems, infertility in men, healing of wounds, and relief from joint pains, baldness 
and enlargement of spleen.

As is the case with many herbs, Semecarpus should be used with caution, particularly when 
it is consumed internally. It may create health issues in young children, pregnant and 
lactating women and the elderly.

Home remedies

Those suffering from piles may take Semecarpus tonic readily available in herbal stores. 
Alternatively, one can prepare extract from the Semecarpus fruit at home. Take the fruit, 
wash it properly and boil it in a little quantity of water. A tablespoon of this 
decoction can be taken. In case of juice obtained from Semecarpus fruit, a few drops are 

The oil obtained from Semecarpus fruit can be mixed with coconut oil and applied on white 
patches, wounds, and skin portions affected by acne, ringworm and eczema. The oil can be 
applied on the scalp for treatment of alopecia or baldness.

The oil of Semecarpus can be applied on swollen and painful joints for relief from 

The juice obtained from Semecarpus can be applied on cracked heels for relief from pain.
A little quantity of Semecarpus tonic is used internally every day for treatment of 

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