The generic name was given by Linnaeus and refers to the vaguely heart shaped look of its false fruit (Orwa et al.,2009).Anacardium occidentale is Spreading evergreen perennial tree to 12 m tall; leaves simple, alternate, obovate, glabrous, penninerved, to 20 cm long, 15 cm wide, apically rounded or notched,
entire, short petiolate; flowers numerous in terminal panicles, 10–20 cm long, male or female, green and reddish, radially symmetrical nearly; sepals 5; petals 5; stamens 10; ovary one-locular, one-ovulate, style simple; fruit a reniform achene, about 3 cm long, 2.5 cm wide, attached to the distal end of an enlarged pedicel and hypocarp, called the cashew-apple; this shiny, red or yellowish, pear-shaped, soft, juicy, 10–20 cm long, 4–8 cm broad; fruit reniform, edible, with two large white cotyledons and a small embryo, surrounded by a hard pericarp which is cellular and oily, oil is poisonous causing allergenic reactions in some humans. The nut, which is the true fruit, dries and does not split open.
Inside the poisonous shell is a large curved seed, nearly 2.5 cm long, and the edible cashew nut (Orwa et al.,2009). As the nut matures, the stalk (receptacle) at the base enlarges rapidly within a few days into the fleshy fruitlike structure, broadest at the apex, popularly known as the fruit (Dare et al., 2011).
ECOLOGY AND DISTRIBUTION
Anacardium occidentale requires high temperatures; frost is deleterious. Distribution of rainfall is more important than the amount of it. The tree fruits well if rains are not abundant during flowering and if nuts mature in a dry period; the latter ensures good keeping quality. The tree can adapt to very dry conditions as long as its extensive root system has access to soil moisture. In drier areas (800-1000 mm of rainfall), a deep and well-drained soil without impervious layers is essential. Native to tropical America, from Mexico and West Indies to Brazil and Peru (Orwa et al.,2009).
Altitude: 0-1000 m, Mean annual temperature: 17-38 deg. C, Mean annual rainfall: 500-3500 mm. Soil type: Prefers deep, fertile, sandy soils but will grow well on most soils except pure clays or soils that are otherwise impermeable, poorly drained or subject to periodic flooding (Orwa et al.,2009).
Specie: A. Occidentale
Binomial name: Anacardium Occidentale L.
ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE OF ANACARDIUM OCCIDENTALE
Anacardium occidentale have been used in herbal medicine , the bark juice and the nut oil are both said to be folk remedies for calluses, corns, and warts, cancerous ulcers, and even elephantiasis, Old leaves are applied to skin afflictions and burns (tannin applied to burns is liepatocarcinogenic). Ayurvedic medicin recommends the fruit for anthelmintic, aphrodisiac, ascites, dysentery, fever, inappetence, leucoderma, piles, tumors, and obstinate ulcers. In the Gold Coast, the bark and leaves are used for sore gums and toothache. Juice of the fruit is used for hemoptysis. Sap discutient, fungicidal, repellent. The plant exhibits hypoglycemic acitivity.
- Food: Anacardium occidentale is cultivated for its nuts. Botanically, the nut is the fruit; the cashew apple is the swollen, fleshy fruit stalk. The seeds kernels are extracted by shelling the roasted nuts. In production areas, cashew serves as food. The kernels are nutritious, containing fats, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Young shoots and leaves are eaten fresh or cooked (Orwa et al.,2009).
- Gum or resin: The bark contains an acrid sap of thick brown resin, which becomes black on exposure to air. This is used as indelible ink in marking and printing linens and cottons. The resin is also used as a varnish, a preservative for fishnets and a flux for solder metals. The stem also yields an amber-coloured gum, which is partly soluble in water, the main portion swelling into a jellylike mass. This gum is used as an adhesive (for woodwork panels, plywood, bookbinding), partly because it has insecticidal properties.
- Fodder: The cake remaining after oil has been extracted from the kernel serves as animal food. Seed coats are used as poultry feed (Orwa et al., 2009).
- Tannin or dyestuff: The acrid sap of the bark contains 3-5% tannin and is employed in the tanning industry.
- Fuel: The wood is popular for firewood and charcoal. The residue of the shell is often used as fuel in cashew nut shell liquid extraction plants (Orwa et al., 2009).
- Fibre: Pulp from the wood is used to fabricate corrugated and hardboard boxes.
- Timber: The wood of Anacardium occidentale (‘white mahogany’ in Latin America) is fairly hard with a density of 500 kg/cm. It finds useful applications in wheel hubs, yoke, fishing boats, furniture, false ceilings and interior decoration (Orwa et al., 2009)
Antiulcerogenic effect of a 70% ethanolic extract of cashew (Anacardium occidentale L.) leaves was investigated against HCl/ethanol induced ulcer and found that extract inhibit gastric lesions significantly in dose dependent manner (Chitta and Venkataramana, 2013).
Haemoglobin (Hb) is a tetrameric iron-containing protein that carries oxygen from the lungs to tissues and carbon dioxide from tissues back to the lungs. It has an α2β2 subunit structure, with a heme bound to each of the four subunits (Pandian et al., 2013).
STRUCTURE OF HEMOGLOBIN
The structure of Hb molecule has been extensively stidied. It can be discussed under teo headings:
- Structure of Heme the prosthectic group, and
- Structure of Globulin, the protein part-apoprotein.
Heme is an Iron (Fe) porphyrin compound. Four of the pyrroles are combined through –CH= bridges, called as methyne or methyliden bridges to form a porphyrin nucleus. Heme may be represented schematically, with its attachment to globulin (Chatterjea and Shinde, 2008).
Globin is the protein part of Hemoglobin. This is composed of four (4) polypeptide chains, two identical α-chains and two identical β-chains, in normal adult Hb. These chains are arrenged in the configuration of a ‘tetrahedron’. Thus there are six edges of contact. The polypeptide chains contains a ‘heme’, in the heme-pocket . thus, one Hb contains four (4) heme units (Chatterjea and Shinde, 2008).
The properties of individual hemoglobins are consequences of their quaternary as well as of their secondary and tertiary structures. The quaternary structure of hemoglobin confers striking additional properties, absent from monomeric myoglobin, which adapts it to its unique biologic roles. Hemoglobins are tetramers composed of pairs of two different polypeptide subunits. Greek letters are used to designate each subunit type. The subunit composition of the principal hemoglobins are α2 β2 (HbA; normal adult hemoglobin), α2 γ2 (HbF; fetal hemoglobin), α2 S2 (HbS; sickle cell hemoglobin), and α2 δ2(HbA2; a minor adult hemoglobin). The primary structures of the β, γ and δ chains of human hemoglobin are highly conserved (Robert et al., 2006).
The haemoglobin concentration is the measure used by blood banks to assess the level of iron in the donor's blood (Purves et.al., 2004).