Kantutan is a climbing, herbaceous.
hairy or smooth slender vine. Leaves are ovate to
oblong-ovate, 6 to 10 centimeters long, 3.5 to 5 centimeters wide, pointed at the tip, rounded
or slightly heart-shaped at the base, emitting a distinct foetid odor when crushed. Flowers are stalkless, borne in axillary,
lax, peduncled inflorescences. Calyx is small and 5-toothed. Corolla is about 1 to 3 centimeters long, somewhat cylindrical,
pale purple to nearly white outside, deep purple and villous inside; limb is
spreading with 5 undulate lobes. Fruit is somewhat rounded, about 5 millimeters in diameter.
- Throughout the Philippines
in thickets at low and medium
altitudes, ascending to 1,500 meters.
- Also reported from India to Japan, China and Malaya.
- The name derives from the distinct stinky odor
of carbon bisulphide when the leaves are crushed.
In Ayurveda, considered alterative, antiarthritic, antispasmodic, cardiac, diaphoretic. expectorant and stomachic.
- Considered anodyne, aphrodisiac, emollient, carminative, diuretic, tonic, stomachic, vermifuge.
- Juice of leaves considered astringent.
- Phytochemical analysis yielded alkaloids, flavonoids, phenols, physterols and terpenoids, sugar.
Upon distillation, a
volatile oil is obtained with the offensive odor of the fresh crushed
- Two alkaloids are obtained: a- and b-Paederine.
- The leaves yield an indole.
- Yields iridoid monoterpenes, fatty acids, embelin, and friedelanol.
- Yields hentriacontane, hentriacontanol, ceryl alcohol, sitosterol, stigmasterol, campesterol, urosolic acid, and epifriedelinol.
- Leaves are rich in carotene and vitamin C.
- Plant yields friedelan-3-1, beta-sitosterol and epifriedelinol.
- Leaves yield iridoid glycosides, asperuloside, paederoside and scandoside;
sitosterol, stigmasterol, campesterol, ursolic acid, palmitic acid and
methyl mercaptan. The methyl mercaptan is responsible for the foetid odor
of the plant.
- Study on fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) composition of seed oil yielded 15.35 wt.% of methyl palmitate (C16:0), 47.70 wt.% of methyl linoleate (C18:2), 30.54 wt.% of methyl oleate (18:1) and 6.40 wt.% of methyl stearate (C18:0).
- Study on nutritional components yielded proximate composition (g/100 g): moisture 82.55±0.12, ash 4.68±0.13, crude protein 2.57±0.07, crude fat 0.60±0.09, carbohydrate 9.60±0.10; dietary fiber:
TDF 8.47 ±0.00, SDF 1.01±0.69, IDF 7.46±0.34; mineral (mg/100g) calcium 200.40±5.63, natrium 27.431±0.50, potassium 844.39±17.62, iron 4.67±0.0g; vitamin C 271.40±42.65 mg/100g; and total phenol 3.15±0.23 mgGAE/g. (see study below) (24)
- Study on volatile oils isolated by steam distillation from leaves, stems, and flowers of P. foetida
yielded oxygen-containing monoterpenes as the main constituent in the three oils, all containing linalol as major component. Dominant components were sulphur-containing compounds, especially in the leaf oil, most abundant of which was dimethly disulphite. (25)
- Leaves, bark, roots.
- In Malaya, leaves are eaten raw or steamed.
- Cooking significantly diminishes the odor, but a mild bitterness persists.
- Used for rheumatism.
- The leaves, boiled and mashed, applied to the abdomen for urinary retention.
- Decoction of leaves also used for urinary retention and for urinary bladder
- Decoction-soaked cloths applied to the forehead for fevers and decoction taken internally
at the same time.
- Bark decoction used as emetic.
- Decoction of leaves used for antirheumatic baths.
- Pounded leaves applied to the abdomen for flatulence.
- Decoction of roots for expelling gas.
- Leaves mixed in omelettes or "tortilla," reported to be effective for intestinal catarrh.
- Hindus use the root as an emetic.
- Juice of leaves considered astringent; used for diarrhea in children.
- Hot aqueous extract of aerial parts used for treating liver diseases.
- Poultice of leaves used for herpes.
- Leaves and twigs used as diuretic for inflammation of the urethra.
- Lepchas and Pharias reported to use the fruit to blacken the teeth, and consider it specific for toothache.
- Roots also used as emollient and carminative; used for colic, spasms, rheumatism, and gout.
- Fruit used for toothaches and to blacken the teeth.
- Decoction of whole plant used for abdominal pain, abscesses, arthritis.
- In many Asia traditional
therapies, used for diarrhea and dysentery.
- In Malaya, leaves used as emulsion for flatulence and rheumatism.
- In Bengal, decoction of leaves used as nutritive for the sick and convalescent.
- In Bangladesh, used for
diarrhea. Poultice of leaves used to relieve distention and flatulence
- Roots and bark used as emetic, and in the treatment of piles and liver
- Fruit used for toothache.
- In India used for rheumatism
and stiffness of the joints. Poultice of leaves applied to abdomen to
relieve distention and flatulence. Juice of the root is used for piles,
liver and spleen ailments.
- In Ayurveda, used for asthma, bowel problems, diarrhea, diabetes, rheumatism and seminal weakness.
- Teeth blackening: Tribal use of every part of the plant, from root to fruit, for teeth blackening. (26)
Study showed P. foetida reduced the purging index in a dose-dependent manner in magnesium sulfate-induced diarrhea, reducing gastrointestinal motility and enhanced morphine-induced reduction of motility. Results showed PF has antidiarrheal activity by inhibiting intestinal
motility supporting its use in traditional medicine. (1)
Study of the butanol fraction of a methanol extract of the defatted leaves of P. foetida showed significant inhibition of granulation tissue formation in cotton-pellet implanted rats, decreased liver aspartate transaminase activity and presence of disease-modifying antirheumatic activity. Results showed some rationale for its ethnomedical anti-inflammatory use.(2)
• Antispasmodic: Ethanolic
extract exhibited antispasmodic activity on isolated guinea-pig ileum.
Juice of leaves showed potent anthelmintic effect against bovine
helminths–Strongyloides spp, Trichostrongylus and Haemonchus spp.
Activity : Study showed the ethanolic extract of P foetida
had a cough suppressant effect, with decrease in cough intensity and frequency.
The effect was less than codeine but similar to non-narcotic dropropizine.
The effect could be related to its demonstrated antiinflammatory activity. (3)
Activity : Study showed that P. foetida had high antioxidant
activity, with fresh samples having higher phenolic contents and better
antioxidant activity than the dried samples. It suggests PF could be a
significant source of natural antioxidant compounds. (4)
Activity: Study showed the 50% ethanolic extract to
have anticancer activity against human nasopharyngeal epidermoid carcinoma
in tissue culture.
• Antithrombolytic /
Antidiabetic : Study of methanolic extracts of whole plant of P. foetida in alloxan-induced male Sprague Dawley rats showed moderate antidiabetic activity. An extract also exhibited thrombolytic activity. (8)
• Antibacterial: Study showed antibacterial activity. Extract showed significant activity against S. flexneri, S. aureus, E coli, and E. faecalis. (9)
• Antiulcer: Study of the roots of P. foetida showed anti-ulcer activity possibly through the inhibition of H2 receptors resulting in inhibition of gastric acid secretion elicited by histamine and gastrin. (10)
• Antihyperlipidemic / Antidiabetic / Antioxidant / Toxicity Study / Leaves: Study evaluated the antidiabetic, antioxidant, and antihyperlipidemic activity of a methanolic extract of P. foetida leaves in STZ-induced diabetic rats. Results showed remarkable antihyperglycemic activity possibly through both pancreatic and extra-pancreatic mechanisms. Study also showed antihyperlipidemic activity and antioxidant activity attributed to inhibition of lipid peroxidation and increased SOD, GPx, and CAT. Oral toxicity studies showed no toxic effect until a dose of 2000 mg/kg. (11)
• Thrombolytic / Cytotoxic / Antidiabetic / Leaves: Study of methanol leaf extract in alloxan induced diabetic rats exhibited moderate thrombolytic, cytotoxic, and dose-dependent antidiabetic effect comparable to metformin. (12)
• Free Radical Scavenging / Membrane Stabilizing Activities: Study evaluated P. foetida using various antioxidant assay systems. Results showed dose dependent scavenging of DPPH radical and moderate reducing power and potent membrane stabilizing activity of RBC membrane in hypotonic medium. Results suggest a potential natural healing source for oxidative stress and inflammatory diseases. (13)
• Anthelmintic: Methanolic extract of leaves showed significant anthelmintic activity against Pheretima posthuma and Tubifex tubifex, with piperazine titrate as reference. (14)
• Vitamin C Content of Leaves: Study showed leaves contained considerably high amounts of vitamin C, higher in mature leaves (66 ppm) than young leaves (64 ppm). (15)
• Anti-Inflammatory in Experimentally Induced Colitis: Study evaluated ethanolic extract of leaves of P. foetida on acetic acid induced colitis in albino rats. Results showed amelioration of experimentally induced colitis, which was attributed to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant property. (16)
• Analgesic / Acute Anti-Inflammatory Effect: Study of ethanolic extract of leaves on experimental animal models showed significant anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity. (17)
• Increased Testosterone Level / Aphrodisiac Effect: Study evaluated the effects of an ethanolic extract on sexual behavior and testosterone level in male rats. Results showed a dose-dependent influence on serum testosterone level, with pronounced anabolic and spermatogenic effects. Results support use as aphrodisiac in traditional medicine. (18)
• Comparative Cytotoxicity: In a study on comparative cytotoxic potential using Brine Shrimp lethality assay, Paederia foetida leaves showed an LC50 of 42.57µg/ml compared to Citrus limetta (74.18 µg/ml) and Cuscuta reflexa (24.013 µg/ml). (20)
and Antioxidative Activity : Study of an ethanol extract of P. foetida showed significant dose dependent protective and antioxidant effect in CCl4-induced hepatic damage in rats. (21)
• Antipyretic / Neuropharmacologic / Antimotility / Leaves: Study of leaf extract in animal models showed remarkable gut antimotiity effect. Methanol and chloroform extract showed significant antipyretic effect in Brewer's yeast induced fever, attributed to a possible inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis. Study also showed CNS depressant effects in the Open Field Test and Forced Swimming Test. (23)
• Nutritional Composition / Radical Scavenging: In a study of nutritional composition and radical scavenging, wild Paederia foetida showed higher capacity to scavenge DPPH radicals than Erechtites hieracifolia. (see constituents above) (24)