Caper: medicinal properties, method of use and benefits
The caper, scientific name Capparis spinosa L., belongs to the family of Brassicaceae and it is a typical plant of the Mediterranean areas and is found spontaneously, always leaning against the walls and along the escarpments.
It is a shrubby annual plant with a creeping habit. It has a very branched stem which is lignified in the basal part. The leaves are lanceolate, fleshy, petiole and slightly hairy. The flowers are solitary, axillary and carried by a long peduncle and of incredible beauty.
The fruit is an ovoid capsule commonly called cucuncio.
The properties of the caper are: antispasmodic, aperitif, cleansing, diuretic, tonic.
Fresh capers, not preserved in vinegar, contain a flavone restorer of the capillary walls.
USED PARTS OF THE PLANT
In herbal medicine of the caper plant, the bark of the roots is used.
For culinary uses the flower buds (the classic capers) and fruits.
The flowers and roots of the caper are harvested in early spring, the fruits a little later.
The collected parts must be dried in ventilated and dark places.
HOW TO USE IT
Essential oils are used for massages.
The decoction of the caper root was used to wash sores and ulcers.
Doctors once used the root peel as a diuteric, astringent and antispasmodic.
Its use in the kitchen is well known. Since ancient times this plant has been known for its flower buds which, when put in vinegar or salt, give the delicious capers we all know and appreciate.
The caper is also known as: zucchetta, sunflowers, tapania, chiapparelle.
There are no reports or contraindications in the use of caper.