Adenocalymma alliaceum (Lam.) Miers
Adenocalymma sagotii Bureau & K.Schum.
Bignonia alliaceae Lam.
Pachyptera alliacea (Lam.) A.H.Gentry
Pseudocalymma alliaceum (Lam.) Sandwith
Pseudocalymma sagotii (Bureau & K.Schum.) Sandwith
Common Name: Bejuco de Ajo
Cultivated flowering plant
Photograph by: Tatters
Bejuco de Ajo is an ornamental evergreen climbing shrub that can reach a height of about 2.5 metres. Its foliage smells strongly of onions[
The plant has long been used in traditional medicine by local people and is also popularly grown as an ornamental and indoor pot plant[
S. America - Brazil and Peru, north to Costa Rica.
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
A plant of the tropical rainforests.
Prefers a moisture-retentive, humus-rich soil[
The leaves are used as a condiment or spice for their garlic flavour and odour[
The plant is anodyne, antibacterial, anticholesterolemic, antifungal, antiinflammatory, antioxidant, antirheumatic, antispasmodic, antitussive, antiviral and febrifuge[
]. The plant has been recommended as a vermifuge[
Bejuco de Ajo is widely used by many of the indigenous peoples of the Amazon, with almost all parts of the plant being used. Most consider the plant to be 'magical' or 'spiritual' and suspend bunches of the leaves around the home for good luck or in order to drive away evil spirits. The leaves are burned as smudge over people or in houses to 'cleanse the spirit' or to bring good luck[
The plant has also become a popular treatment in modern herbal medicine in S. America, where it is widely used for treating arthritis, rheumatism, body aches and pain, and muscle aches, injuries and pain[
The plant contains a number of medically active compounds. These include several of the main sulphur compounds that garlic contains, including aliin and allyl sulphides[
].. It is these compounds which are responsible for the garlic-like odour and taste. These compounds are known to lower blood-cholesterol levels and inhibit absorption of cholesterol in the intestines[
The wood of the vine is reported to contain two lapachone chemicals which are well known plant chemicals of the Bignoniaceae family and documented with anticancer and antimicrobial actions[
The leaves and/or flowers contain the known anti-inflammatory and antibacterial plant steroids beta sitosterol, stigmasterol, daucosterol, and fucosterol[
A water extract of the leaves has been shown to have an antioxidant effect which has been attributed to the anthocyanin compounds found in the plant[
Research has confirmed the plant’s long standing use for treating arthritis and rheumatism, reporting that the plant is capable of inhibiting COX (an enzyme required in the inflammatory process)[
The plant has also been reported with antimicrobial actions against fungi, plant viruses, and bacteria, which may help explain its long standing use for colds, flu, pneumonia and other upper respiratory infections[
Both the bark (in an infusion) or the leaves (in a decoction) are used as a treatment for rheumatism, arthritis, colds, uterine disorders, inflammation and epilepsy[
The root is prepared in a cane alcohol tincture as an overall regenerative whole body tonic[
The bark is used as a poultice on bumps, swellings and inflammatory conditions of the skin[
The leaves are used in the treatment of colds and as an aid to fertility[
They are commonly added to baths in order to treat feverish conditions, flu, body aches, cramps and fatigue[
Cuttings of ripe wood.
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