Smilax cordifolia is a climbing shrub with prickly stems growing from a tuberous rootstock.
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and a medicine.
Southern N. America - central and southern Mexico; Caribbean - Leeward Islands
Smilax cordifolia is native to central and southernf Mexico, and so will experience climates ranging from subtropical to tropical,
Succeeds in most soils in sun or semi-shade[
A dioecious species - both male and female forms must be grown if fruit and seed are required.
Used for food[
]. No more details are given.
The consumption of Smilax cordifolia roots is widely recommended in Mexican traditional medicine due to their anti-obesogenic and antiinflammatory activities[
An aqueous extraction of the root has been shown to have a beneficial effect in the treatment of renal damage caused by obesity due to a decreased renal lipid accumulation, oxidative stress, and inflammation. This effect has been related to the high content in the roots of rosmarinic acid and hesperidin[
It has been suggested that aqueous extracts of the roots could be used in the production of functional beverages with hepatoprotective effects[
The plant is said to be used medicinally in the same ways as Smilax aristolochiifolia[
]. These are as follows:-
Smilax aristolochiifolia (the roots and rhizome) is a sweet, acrid, alterative herb that reduces inflammation, controls itching, improves digestion and elimination and is antiseptic[
This is one of three species (the others are Smilax febrifuga and Smilax regelii) that gained a high reputation in the 17th century as cure-alls[
]. They were widely imported into Europe until early in the 20th century, by which time their rather overrated reputation had waned somewhat. However, the plants do have a number of important medicinal benefits - in particular, their roots contain steroidal saponins which are an effective treatment for many cases of psoriasis; they also have hormonal effects, and may improve fertility in women with ovarian dysfunction[
The rhizomes are alterative, digestive, febrifuge[
]. A decoction is used in the treatment of fevers, digestive disorders, kidney troubles and gonorrhoea[
]. It is also used against scrophulus, skin diseases and rheumatism[
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