Velvetleaf is very similar to, and often confused with, the species Cissampelos mucronata and Cissampelos owariensis[
]. As they are also similarly used, it is often impossible to correlate uses unambiguously with a particular species[
Cissampelos acuminata Benth.
Cissampelos acuminata DC.
Cissampelos argentea Kunth
Cissampelos auriculata Miers
Cissampelos australis Saint-Hilaire
Cissampelos benthamiana Miers
Cissampelos boivinii Baill.
Cissampelos bojeriana Miers
Cissampelos caapeba L.
Cissampelos caapeba Roxb.
Cissampelos canescens Miq.
Cissampelos cocculus Poir.
Cissampelos consociata Miers
Cissampelos convolvulacea Willd.
Cissampelos cordata Ruiz ex J.F. Macbr.
Cissampelos cordifolia Bojer
Cissampelos cumingiana Turcz.
Cissampelos delicatula Miers
Cissampelos diffusa Miers
Cissampelos discolor DC.
Cissampelos discolor Miers
Cissampelos diversa Miers
Cissampelos elata Miers
Cissampelos ellenbeckii Diels
Cissampelos eriocarpa Triana & Planch.
Cissampelos glaucescens Triana & Planch.
Cissampelos gracilis Saint-Hilaire
Cissampelos grallatoria Miers
Cissampelos guayaquilensis Kunth
Cissampelos haenkeana C. Presl
Cissampelos hederacea Miers
Cissampelos hernandifolia Wall.
Cissampelos heterophylla DC.
Cissampelos hirsuta Buch.-Ham. ex DC.
Cissampelos hirsutissima C. Presl
Cissampelos kohautiana C. Presl
Cissampelos limbata Miers
Cissampelos littoralis Saint-Hilaire
Cissampelos longipes Miers
Cissampelos madagascariensis Miers.
Cissampelos mauritiana Thouars
Cissampelos microcarpa DC.
Cissampelos monoica A. St.-Hil.
Cissampelos nephrophylla Bojer
Cissampelos obtecta Wall.
Cissampelos orbiculata DC.
Cissampelos orinocensis Kunth
Cissampelos pannosa Turcz.
Cissampelos piolanei Gagnep.
Cissampelos salzmanni Turcz.
Cissampelos subpeltata Thwaites ex Miers
Cissampelos subreniformis Triana & Planch.
Cissampelos tamoides Willd. ex DC.
Cissampelos testudinaria Miers
Cissampelos testudinum Miers
Cissampelos tetrandra Roxb.
Cissampelos tomentosa DC.
Cissampelos tomentosa Velloso
Cissampelos violifolia Rusby
Cocculus orbiculatus (L.) DC.
Cocculus villosus Wall.
Dissopetalum mauritianum (Thouars) Miers
Common Name: Velvetleaf
Velvetleaf is a dioecious climbing plant or scandent shrub[
The plant is often used locally in traditional medicine, being mainly collected from the wild[
]. It is also occasionally cultivated for medicinal use, whilst it is commonly planted in orchards, parks and gardens for its ornamental value[
The plant is only occasionally traded internationally. In some countries it is a permitted substitute for Chondrodendron tomentosum from South America in the drug 'pareira brava'[
Rainforest, coastal evergreen bushland and deciduous bushland, at elevations up to 2,300 metres[
]. It often persists on cleared ground and in plantations, and can also be found in secondary vegetation and near rock outcrops[
|Other Uses Rating
|Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
A dioecious species, both male and female forms need to be grown if fruit and seed are required[
The leaves are occasionally eaten in Asia[
The leaves, crushed in water, give a jelly which is used as a refreshment[
Velvetleaf is used in traditional medicine throughout the tropics to treat a variety of complaints. Modern research has tended to support many of these traditional uses[
The plant contains a number of alkaloids with medicinal activity, some of which have shown potent antileukaemic activity. Several experiments on rhizome extracts have been carried out in recent years. A water-ethanol extract of the rhizomes reduced the growth and multiplication rate of stomach tumours in a dose-dependent manner[
In another series of tests for acute, subacute and chronic inflammation, a similar extract showed significant anti-inflammatory activity without carcinogenic effects or causing gastric lesions[
Ethanolic rhizome extracts have shown antihistaminic, hypotensive, antispasmodic and anticonvulsant properties[
Velvetleaf exhibits curare-like activity, depressing the central nervous system and relaxing smooth muscles, and has hypotensive and hypoglycaemic actions. The compound hayatinine is structurally similar to tubocurarine, the active compound in curare. It shows comparable neuro-muscular blocking activities. Cycleanine has shown significant inhibition of nitric oxide production in macrophages[
People take an infusion of the bitter rhizome, and sometimes of leaves and stems, to cure gastro-intestinal complaints such as diarrhoea, dysentery, ulcers, colic, intestinal worms and digestive complaints, and also urogenital problems such as menstrual problems, venereal diseases, infertility, uterine bleeding and threatening miscarriage[
A rhizome decoction or pounded leaves are also widely taken or externally applied as a febrifuge and stomachic, and is employed against cough, heart trouble, rheumatism, jaundice, snake bites and skin infections such as sores, boils, scabies and childhood eczema[
More specifically, the rhizome is used as a diuretic and against acute and chronic bladder inflammation, to dissolve urinary calcifications and as an emmenagogue[
]. Combined with a hot water extract of the roots and leaves of Launaea cornuta, it is given orally to treat epilepsy[
Juice form macerated leaves and stem is mixed with a little water and used as an anti-conjunctivitis or as a treatment for sore eyes[
]. Juice from macerated leaves and stem is used an as an anti-inflammatory[
]. Leaves and stem are macerated in water an used as an anti-infective agent[
Tribal people in India use the plant to prevent pregnancy[
A thin rope can be made from the rhizomes[
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