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Carissa carandas is a species of flowering shrub in the dogbane family Apocynaceae. It produces berry-sized fruits that are commonly used as a condiment in Indian pickles and spices. It is a hardy, drought-tolerant plant that thrives well in a wide range of soils. Common names in English include Bengal currant, Christ's thorn,[1] carandas plum and karanda.[2][3]

Carissa carandas
Carissa carandas flowers.JPG
Scientific classification
C. carandas
Binomial name
Carissa carandas
  • Arduina carandas (L.) Baill.
  • Arduina carandas (L.) K. Schum.
  • Capparis carandas (L.) Burm.f.
  • Carissa salicina Lam. Echites spinosus
  • Burm.f. Jasminonerium carandas
  • (L.) Kuntze Jasminonerium salicinum (Lam.) Kuntze

The supposed varieties congesta and paucinervia actually refer to the related conkerberry (C. spinarum).



Carissa carandas of Sankarapuram

It flourishes well in regions with high temperatures. It grows naturally in Western Ghats and in the Siwalik Hills of Himalayas in India and Nepal at elevations of 30 to 1,800 metres (98 to 5,906 ft). It also grows naturally in Afghanistan and Bangladesh. In rest of India, it is grown on a limited scale in Konkan area of Maharashtra, Goa, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Bihar, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh. It also grows in the Sri Lanka lowland rain forests.


The plant is grown from seed sown in August and September. Vegetative propagation also is practiced in the form of budding and inarching. Cuttings may also succeed. The first monsoon shower is planting time. Plants raised from seed start bearing two years after planting. Flowering starts in March and in Northern India the fruit ripens from July to September.


Isolation of many terpenoids has been reported.[4] In particular mixture of sesquiterpenes namely carissone [5] and carindone as a novel type of C31 terpenoid have been reported.[6] Other products include pentacyclic triterpenoid carissin.[7]


Fruits ready for consumption

Medicine and foodEdit

It is rich in iron,[8] vitamin C,[8] vitamins A,[9] calcium[9] and phosphorus.[9]

Its fruit is used in the ancient Indian herbal system of medicine, Ayurvedic, to treat acidity, indigestion, fresh and infected wounds, skin diseases, urinary disorders and diabetic ulcer,[8] as well as biliousness, stomach pain, constipation, anemia, skin conditions, anorexia and insanity.[9] Leaf decoction is used to treat fever, diarrhea, and earache.[9] The roots serve as a stomachic, an anthelmintic medicine for itches and also as insect repellents.[9]

In India, the mature fruit is harvested for Indian pickles. It contains pectin and accordingly is a useful ingredient in chutney. Ripe fruits exude a white latex when severed from the branch.

Colonial British in India also made jelly, jams and syrups from it.[10]

Other usesEdit

It was use in the Great Hedge of India (1803-1879 CE) because it is easy to grow, draught resistant and sturdy shrub that grows in a variety of soil, is also ideal for hedges as it growing rapidly, densely and needs little attention.[10]

The roots of the plant are heavily branched, making it valuable for stabilizing eroding slopes.

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit


  1. ^ <Khare CP. Indian Medicinal Plants: An Illustrated Dictionary Springer Berlin; 2007 pg. 123.
  2. ^ Lim TK. Edible Medicinal and Non-Medicinal Plants; Volume 1, Fruits Springer Berlin; 2012. p. 240–245
  3. ^ "Carissa carandas". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 27 May 2018.
  4. ^ V Devmurari, P Shivanand, MB Goyani, S Vaghani, NP Jivani. Carissa Congesta: Phytochemical constituents, traditional use and pharmacological properties 2009; 3: 375-377.
  5. ^ J. Reisch, R. Hussain, B. Krebs, M. Dartmann. The structure of carissone. Monatshefte fuer Chemie 121(11): 941-4 (1990).
  6. ^ B. Singh, R.P. Rastogi . The structure of carindone. Phytochemistry, 11(5):1797-801 (1972).
  7. ^ Siddiqui BS, Ghani U, Ali ST, Usmani SB, Begum S. Triterpenoidal constituents of the leaves of Carissa carandas. Natural Product Research. 2003; 17:153-8.
  8. ^ a b c benefits, research, side effects, Easy Ayurveda.
  9. ^ a b c d e f Benefits of Carvanda,
  10. ^ a b Summer brings astringently delicious karonda, a fruit that's ripe for pickling, Economic Times, June 2012.