Apocynum foetidum Burm.f.
Gentiana scandens Lour.
Hondbesseion tomentosum (Blume) Kuntze
Paederia amboinensis Miq.
Paederia barbulata Miq.
Paederia chinensis Hance
Paederia corymbosa Noronha
Paederia dunniana H.Lév.
Paederia esquirolii H.Lév.
Paederia laxiflora Merr. ex H.L.Li
Paederia longituba Nakai
Paederia magnifolia Noronha
Paederia mairei H.Lév.
Paederia ovata Miq.
Paederia prainii Gand.
Paederia scaberula Miq.
Paederia scandens (Lour.) Merr.
Paederia sessiliflora Poir.
Paederia stenophylla Merr.
Paederia tomentosa Blume
Paederia uraiensis Hayata
Paederia villosa Hayata
Psychotria volubilis Roxb. ex Wight & Arn.
Reussia sarmentosa Dennst.
Common Name: Skunk Vine
Skunk vine is a fast-growing, slender, perennial, climbing plant producing stems 1.5 - 7 metres long that twine into other plants for support[
]. The whole plant has a foetid aroma when rubbed[
A popular medicinal plant in the Orient, where it is commonly gathered from the wild and is sold as a medicinal herb in local markets. It is also often grown as an ornamental[
E. Asia - China, Japan, Korea, Indian subcontinent, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines.
A ruderal in thickets and woodland, also along forest edges, in secondary evergreen to deciduous forest and clearings in primary forest[
]. Also grows in montane vegetation up to 3,000 m, on steep, forested slopes, or on sandy or rocky sea coasts[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Found in a range of environments from the warm temperate zone to the tropics. It is tolerant of at least some frost[
Succeeds in any fertile soil so long as it is well drained[
]. Plants have a wide ranging adaptability to different levels of light, types of soil, and salt conditions[
]. Requires a sunny sheltered position[
]. A very variable plant[
The plant has escaped from cultivation and become naturalised in many areas[
]. It has become a serious weed of young sugarcane[
]. The vines climb over shrubs and trees, weighing them down and impeding regeneration[
]. They also invade pastureland and are troublesome along roads and on power lines[
]. The seeds may be dispersed by birds and the plant is also spread by the transport of rooted fragments[
The plant can be found flowering and fruiting throughout the year in tropical and subtropical conditions; in other localities, it flowers during the rainy season, and fruits early in the dry season[
Individual flowers are short-lived, open early in the morning and fall off after 2 days; entire inflorescences, however, bear flowers for a long period of time[
Leaves - raw or cooked[
]. Although they have a strong flavour, the leaves are sometimes mixed with grated coconut and spices, and then eaten raw as a side-dish with rice[
]. The minced leaves are steamed and eaten; they can be added to soups; or are mixed with various vegetables and spices, then wrapped in a banana leaf and cooked over a fire[
]. Any offensive smell disappears as the leaves are cooked[
]. The leaves are valued more for their medicinal virtues than for their flavour![
The sweet stem juice is sucked in Taiwan[
The leaves are widely used in Asia and South-East Asia, where they are especially valued for treating digestive problems[
]. Considerable research has been carried out into the medicinal benefits of the plants, with several active compounds having been recorded[
Several iridoid glucosides such as asperuloside, scandoside and paederoside have been isolated from the aerial parts of the plant[
]. These glucosides have displayed antitumor activity with paederoside displaying the highest degree of antitumor-promoting activity[
]. Scandoside has been shown to promote the growth of lettuce seedlings. Paederoside showed a similar inhibitory activity to that of asperuloside and daecetyl-asperulosidic acid in a plant growth inhibition test and in an antimicroorganism activity test[
The bruised aerial parts of the plant have the fetid odour of indole (methyl-mercaptan). Damage to the tissue releases an enzyme which splits off this sulphur-containing group from paederoside, and is therefore responsible for the unpleasant odour. The most abundant sulphur-containing compound was dimethyl disulphide[
The presence of alkaloids and an essential oil have also been recorded[
]. Monoterpenes such as linalol constitute the major components in the oil[
In older investigations, decoctions of the plant showed significant anti-inflammatory action against arthritis[
]. The decoction also exhibited marked activity against degenerative osteo-arthritis[
The water soluble fraction of the aerial parts displayed anti-inflammatory activity in oedema[
]. It failed to exhibit any analgesic or antipyretic action and showed no ulcerogenic potential[
An ethanolic extract of the leaves has shown anticancer activity against human epidermoid carcinoma of the nasopharynx[
A methanol extract of the leaves has shown hepatoprotective potential, being effective in reversing 6 out of 12 common biochemical (enzymatic) parameters assessed[
Another study has shown that the plant has antidiarrhoeal activity, acting by inhibiting intestinal motility - thus supporting its use in traditional medicine[
The leaves are anodyne, antirheumatic, antivinous, astringent, carminative, depurative, diuretic, restorative and vermifuge[
]. They are commonly used for the treatment of intestinal complaints such as abdominal pain, colic, cramps, flatulence and dysentery; and are also used for treating rheumatism and gout[
]. The leaves are also used to treat infertility and paralysis[
]. The leaves and stems are also used as a diuretic for inflammation of the urethra[
]. For treating intestinal problems, the fresh leaves are pounded, water added, and the filtered infusion is drunk regularly till convalescence[
The plant is considered to have great restorative powers, and the leaves may thus be mixed with food, boiled and eaten - in India, they are often boiled in soup to lessen their smell[
Applied externally, the leaves are used to treat swellings and bruises in general, and are mashed then applied for earache, ulcerations of the nose and swollen eyes[
]. They are used as a poultice for treating a swollen belly, distension, herpes or ringworm; and are used in antirheumatic baths[
]. They are applied to the abdomen as a diuretic, and also as a solvent for vesical stones[
The juice of the leaves is considered astringent, and is used to treat diarrhoea in children[
The bark and the root are considered to be emetic[
]. The juice of the root is prescribed in cases of indigestion, piles, inflammation of the spleen, and pain in the chest and liver[
]. It may help to eliminate poisons collected in the system[
In some parts of India, the fruit is used to blacken teeth, and it is also considered a medicine to prevent and treat toothache[
The stem yields a strong and silky fibre, but it is not commercially exploited[
An ethanolic extract of the leaves and stem has been shown to be significantly toxic against the aphid Myzus persicae infesting cabbage in India[
Seed - despite its weediness, the plant germinates rather slowly, with tetraploids germinating quicker than hexaploids, in 5 - 22 days, or in 17 - 24 days, respectively[
Layering. Sometimes, shoots produce adventitious roots when they come in contact with the soil, and can thus be propagated[