Alcaparras, Cabra, Caper Bush, Capparis rupestris, Capparis spinosa, Cappero, Câprier, Câprier Épineux, Câpre, Câpres, Fabagelle, Flinders Rose, Himsra, Shafallah.


Overview Information

The caper bush is a plant. The fruit, unopened flower bud, other parts that grow above the ground, and the root are all used for medicine.

Capers are used for diabetes. They are also used for many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support the use of capers for any condition.

Capers are also eaten as a food and used as a flavoring.

How does it work?

Capers contain chemicals that might help control blood sugar. Capers might also have antioxidant activity.


Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Diabetes. Some early research shows that capers can lower blood sugar levels in some people with type 2 diabetes who are already taking diabetes medicines. But not all research agrees.
  • Fungal infections.
  • Chest congestion.
  • Intestinal worms.
  • A skin disease caused by parasites (leishmaniasis).
  • Skin disorders, when applied directly.
  • Improving blood flow near the skin's surface, when applied directly.
  • Dry skin, when applied directly.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of capers for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

When taken by mouth: Capers are LIKELY SAFE for most people when eaten as a food. Caper fruit extract is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth as a medicine, short-term.

When applied to the skin: There isn't enough reliable information to know if capers are safe. They might cause side effects such as skin rash and skin irritation in some people.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if capers are safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and stick with the amounts found in food.

Allergy to other plants in the same family as capers: Capers contain a chemical that is also found in mustard oil. If you are allergic to mustard oil, be cautious when trying capers.

Diabetes: Use caution while taking this supplement. Capers might lower blood sugar in people with diabetes. Watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and monitor your blood sugar carefully if you have diabetes and use capers in medicinal amounts.



Moderate Interaction

Be cautious with this combination

  • Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs) interacts with CAPERS

    Capers might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking capers along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.
    Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.



The appropriate dose of capers for use as treatment depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for capers. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

View References


  • Arena, A., Bisignano, G., Pavone, B., Tomaino, A., Bonina, F. P., Saija, A., Cristani, M., D'Arrigo, M., and Trombetta, D. Antiviral and immunomodulatory effect of a lyophilized extract of Capparis spinosa L. buds. Phytother.Res. 2008;22(3):313-317. View abstract.
  • Bonina, F., Puglia, C., Ventura, D., Aquino, R., Tortora, S., Sacchi, A., Saija, A., Tomaino, A., Pellegrino, M. L., and de Caprariis, P. In vitro antioxidant and in vivo photoprotective effects of a lyophilized extract of Capparis spinosa L buds. J.Cosmet.Sci. 2002;53(6):321-335. View abstract.
  • Huseini, H. F., Alavian, S. M., Heshmat, R., Heydari, M. R., and Abolmaali, K. The efficacy of Liv-52 on liver cirrhotic patients: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled first approach. Phytomedicine. 2005;12(9):619-624. View abstract.
  • Jiang, H. E., Li, X., Ferguson, D. K., Wang, Y. F., Liu, C. J., and Li, C. S. The discovery of Capparis spinosa L. (Capparidaceae) in the Yanghai Tombs (2800 years b.p.), NW China, and its medicinal implications. J Ethnopharmacol. 9-25-2007;113(3):409-420. View abstract.
  • Panico, A. M., Cardile, V., Garufi, F., Puglia, C., Bonina, F., and Ronsisvalle, G. Protective effect of Capparis spinosa on chondrocytes. Life Sci. 9-30-2005;77(20):2479-2488. View abstract.
  • Romeo V, Ziino M Giuffrida D Condurso C Verzera A. Flavour profile of capers (Capparis spinosa L.) from the Eolian Archipelago by HS-SPME/GC-MS. Food Chemistry 2007;3:1272-1278.
  • Tesoriere, L., Butera, D., Gentile, C., and Livrea, M. A. Bioactive components of caper (Capparis spinosa L.) from Sicily and antioxidant effects in a red meat simulated gastric digestion. J Agric.Food Chem. 10-17-2007;55(21):8465-8471. View abstract.
  • Yaniv, Z., Dafni, A., Friedman, J., and Palevitch, D. Plants used for the treatment of diabetes in Israel. J Ethnopharmacol 1987;19(2):145-151. View abstract.
  • Angelini G, Vena GA, Filotico R, et al. Allergic contact dermatitis from Capparis spinosa L. applied as wet compresses. Contact Dermatitis 1991;24:382-3. View abstract.
  • Eddouks M, Lemhardri A, Michel JB. Caraway and caper: potential anti-hyperglycaemic plants in diabetic rats. J Ethnopharmacol 2004;94:143-8. View abstract.
  • Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. Title 21. Part 182 -- Substances Generally Recognized As Safe. Available at:
  • Gadgoli C, Mishra SH. Antihepatotoxic activity of p-methoxy benzoic acid from Capparis spinosa. J Ethnopharmacol 1999;66:187-92. View abstract.
  • Germano MP, De Pasquale R, D'Angelo V, et al. Evaluation of extracts and isolated fraction from Capparis spinosa L. buds as an antioxidant source. J Agric Food Chem 2002;50:1168-71. View abstract.
  • Huseini HF, Hasani-Rnjbar S, Nayebi N, et al. Capparis spinosa L. (Caper) fruit extract in treatment of type 2 diabetic patients: a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Complement Ther Med. 2013;21(5):447-52. View abstract.
  • Mahasneh AM. Screening of some indigenous Qatari medicinal plants for antimicrobial activity. Phytother Res 2002;16:751-3. View abstract.
  • Sharaf M, el-Ansari MA, Saleh NA. Quercetin triglycoside from Capparis spinosa. Fitoterapia 2000;71:46-9. View abstract.
  • Srivastava Y, Venkatakrishna-Bhatt H, Verma Y, et al. Antidiabetic and adaptogenic properties of Momordica charantia extract: An experimental and clinical evaluation. Phytother Res 1993;7:285-9.
  • Vahid H, Bonakdaran S, Khorasani ZM, et al. Effect of Capparis spinosa extract on metabolic parameters in patients with type-2 diabetes: A randomized controlled trial. Endocr Metab Immune Disord Drug Targets. 2019;19(1):100-107. View abstract.
  • Wojdylo A, Nowicka P, Grimalt M, et al. Polyphenol compounds and biological activity of caper (Capparis spinosa L.) flowers buds. Plants (Basel). 2019;8(12). pii: E539. View abstract.

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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

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