Semicarpus anacardium

Family: Anacardiaceae


Family Synonyms

Common Names

Bhela, Bela, Beula, Bhelama, Beda (Mymensingh), Velama (garo), Marking Nut Tree (English), Oriental Cashew (English)

Local Availability

Forests of Chittagong, Chittagong Hill Tracts, Sylhet and Sal forests of Modhupur.

Worldwide Availability

Botanical Description 6

A small to meduum-sized, deciduous tree. Leaves 18-60cm long, obovate-oblong, rounded at the apex, coriaceous, Flowers small, greenish white, subsessile, fascicled in pubescent panicles which are equa

Common Ethnobotanical Use 7

Ripe fruits are regarded as carminative, tonic, aphrodisiac and stimulant; good for piles. Juice of the pericarp and the oil is power escharotics. Oil of the nut is a powerful antiseptic and anti-helmintic; used externally in acute rheumatism, sprains, leukoderma, leprosy and psoriasis. It is also useful in asthma. Paste of the bark is used as an embrocation for both articular and muscular rheumatism. Decoction of the bark is given in gonorrhea. A brown gum exudes from the bark, which is regarded as a valuable medicine in scrofulous, venereal and leprous affections. The root is considered useful in regulating menstruation.

Chemical Constituents

Compound Name Compound in Plant Parts Reference
beta-Caryophyllene Leaf1

Pharmacological Evidence

Plants Parts Extract Type Activity Reference
Methanol; Cholorform; Petroleum Ether Leukemia 3
Oil Antitumor 4
Milk Breast Cancer 3
Milk Liver Cancer 4
Petroleum ether; Chloroform; Ethanol; Water Antimicrobial 3
Milk; Ethanol Antidiabetic 4
Aqueous Analgesic 5
Milk CNS Depressant 5
Methanol Antibacterial 5
Stem Bark
Ethanol Antidiabetic 5
Methanol; Petroleum ether; Chloroform Analgesic 2


  • 1 Dr. Mohammed Yusuf, D.J.B., Muhammad Nuzmul Hoque, Jasim Uddin Chowdhury. (2009) Medicinal Plants of Bangladesh.
  • 2 Indap, M., Ambaye, R. and Gokhale, S. (1983) Antitumor and pharmacological effects of the oil from Semecarpus anacardium Linn. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol, 27, 91.
  • 3 Chakraborty, S., Roy, M., Taraphdar, A.K. and Bhattacharya, R. (2004) Cytotoxic effect of root extract of Tiliacora racemosa and oil of Semecarpus anacardium nut in human tumour cells. Phytotherapy Research: An International Journal Devoted to Pharmacological and Toxicological Evaluation of Natural Product Derivatives, 18, 595-600.
  • 4 Premalatha, B., Muthulakshmi, V. and Sachdanandam, P. (1999) Anticancer potency of the milk extract of Semecarpus anacardium Linn. nuts against aflatoxin B1 mediated hepatocellular carcinoma bearing Wistar rats with reference to tumour marker enzymes. Phytotherapy Research, 13, 183-187.
  • 5 Mathivadhani, P., Shanthi, P. and Sachdanandam, P. (2007) Apoptotic effect of Semecarpus anacardium nut extract on T47D breast cancer cell line. Cell biology international, 31, 1198-1206.
  • 6 Yusuf, M., Begum, J., Hoque, M. and Choudhury, J. (2009) Medicinal plants of Bangladesh-Revised and enlarged. Bangladesh Coun. Sci. Ind. Res. Lab. Chittagong, Bangladesh, 794.
  • 7 Ghani, A. (1998) Medicinal plants of Bangladesh: chemical constituents and uses. Asiatic society of Bangladesh.