Parol-parolan is a slender, herbaceous, more
or less hairy vine, 1 to 3 meters in length.
Leaves are trifoliate, and 5 to 9 centimeters long. Leaflets are ovate
to lanceolate, and 1 to 5 centimeters long, with coarsely toothed or lobed margins. Flowers are small, white, and about 2.5 millimeters long. Sepals are 4, concave,
the outer ones small. Petals are 4, two larger ones usually adhering to the
sepals and with an emarginate scale above the base, the smaller 2 ones
distant from the stamens. Stamens are 8, eccentric, filaments free or connate
at the base. Ovary is 3-celled, style 3-fid, ovules solitary. Fruits are inflated, obovoid, 1.5 to 2.5 centimeters long, somewhat triangular
and 3-keeled. Seeds are round and black, with a prominent,
white, heart-shaped aril at the base.
- Throughout the Philippines
in thickets and waste places, etc., in the settled areas.
- Certainly introduced into the Archipelago.
- Now pantropic.
• Plant yields saponins, tannins, alkaloids, flavonoids, proanthocyanidin,
apigenin, phytosterols, glycosides and cardiac glycosides.
• Fruit of the seeds yielded an essential oil, bitter and stimulant.
• Analysis of seed oil yielded the main constituents as erucic acid 43%, oleic acid 30%, eicosanic acid 12%, octanoic acid 4.5%, and n-hexa decanoic acid 4.15%. (See studies) (11)
• An ethanol extract yielded seventeen compounds, quercetin-3-O-α-L-rhamnoside (1), kaempferol-3-O-α-L-rhamnoside (2), apigenin-7-O-β-D-glucuronide (3), apigenin 7- O-β-D-glucuronide methyl ester (4), apigenin 7-O-β-D-glucuronide ethyl ester (5), chrysoeriol (6), apigenin (7), kaempferol (8), luteolin (9), quercetin (10), methyl 3,4-dihydroxybenzoate (11), p-coumaric acid (12), 4-hydroxybenzoic acid (13), hydroquinone (14), protocathehuic acid (15), gallic acid (16), and indole-3-carboxylic acid (17). (18)
• Study of aerial parts and seeds, after partitioning with n-hexane, yielded apigenin, luteolin, and apigenin-7-O-glucoside as predominant constituents. Gas chromatography analysis yielded fatty acids, including eicosanoic acid, methyl 11-eicosenoate and oleic acid, as the major constituents. (see study below) (24)
• Study isolated eight compounds viz. pentadecanoie acid (1), apigenin (2), protocatechuic acid (3), protocatechualdehyde (4), hentriacontanol (5), calycosin (6), rutin (7), quercetin (8). (27)
• Powdered dried leaf yielded alkaloids, tannins, flavonoids, saponins, and steroids. Physiochemical parameters yielded a total ash of 7.26 ±0.53%, acid insoluble ash 1.11 ±0.17%, water soluble ash 4.08 ±0.04%, moisture content 4.08 ±0.34%. (32)
• Mild, bitter and pungent tasting,
cooling in effect.
• Considered antiphlogistic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, blood refrigerant, anti-infectious,
diuretic, emetic, emmenagogue, febrifuge, laxative, stomachic, sudorific.
• Studies suggest antimicrobial, antifungal, antiparasitic, antidiarrheal, anxiolytic, rubifacient, antipyretic properties.
Nutrition / Culinary
• Leaves are edible.
• Leaves and young shoots, cooked, used as spinach.
• In the Philippines, decoction of roots used as diaphoretic, and used for catarrh of the bladder.
• Leaves are used internally as a beverage as an anti-rheumatic; externally applied as oil embrocations.
fever, renal edema, urinary tract infections.
• Furuncle, carbuncle, eczema.
• Sprains and external wounds.
• Dosage: use 12 to 15 gms dried material or 15 to 30 gms fresh
material in decoction. Pounded fresh material may be used as poultice,
decoction of fresh material may be used as external wash.
• Elsewhere, poultice of leaves used for rheumatism, swellings, orchitis, and dropsy.
• Used as a hair wash.
• Leaf juice used for earaches or meatal discharges.
• Plant used as diuretic, stomachic, rubefacient, cholagogue, and pectoral.
• Decoction of root and leaves used for rheumatism, nervous diseases, piles, chronic bronchitis, and phthisis; also used for amenorrhea.
• In Sindh, roots used as diaphoretic, diuretic, and aperient. Decoction of roots used for piles and amenorrhea.
• Roots used as emetic and laxative.
• Fried leaves are applied to the pubis to increase menstrual flow in amenorrhea.
• Leaves boiled in castor oil applied for rheumatism, pains, swellings, tumors of various kinds.
• In the Malabar coast, leaves are used for pulmonary complaints.
• In Martinique, leaves are used as diuretic and stimulant.
• In Ayurveda, used for rheumatism, fever and earache.
• In Sri Lanka, leaves used to treat male fertility.
• Repellent: Seed oil reported to be an effective
• Anthelmintic / Antifilarial:
Study of extracts of CH was done on adult worms and microfilariae of
Brugia pahangi. Results showed that the aqueous extracts had mild but
definite direct macrofilarial action on B pahangi. (2)
• Antiparasitic / Strongyloides stercoralis:
Extracts of Cardiospermum halicacabum tested in vitro against third-stage larvae of Strongyloides
stercoralis showed immobilization (nonmotility) rates better than ivermectin
and piperazine. (3)
Study showed the antidiarrheal activity of the extracts of C halicacabum,
probably due to the presence of phytochemicals–sterols, tannins,
flavonoids and triterpenes. (4)
Study showed inhibitory effects of CH leaf extract on the production
of pro-inflammatory mediators, nitric oxide (NO) and tumor necrosis
factor-alpha. CH exhibited antiinflammatory properties that justifies
its use in rheumatoid arthritis treatment.
• Anti-Inflammatory / Analgesic:
Study showed the ethanol extract dose-dependently inhibited mRNA expression of COX-2, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, iNOS, and COX-2 expression. (5)
Study in STZ diabetic rats show that CHE extract possesses a dose-dependent antihyperglycemic activity
- decreasing plasma glucose and HbA1c, increasing levels of insulin and Hb. and provides evidence for its traditional use in diabetes control.
Study of mice in various anxiety models showed the alcoholic and aqueous extract of C. halicacabum possess anti-anxiety activity.
The results explains the mechanisms behind the anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity of C. halicacabum. (8)
• Anti-Inflammatory / Analgesic:
Study evaluated an ethanolic extract of whole plant for anti-inflammatory activity in mouse macrophage cell line RAW264.7 cells. Results showed anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity with dose-dependent inhibition of mRNA expression of COX-2, TNF-alpha, iNOS, and COX-2 protein expression. (9)
• Antioxidant / Anti-Inflammatory:
An ethanolic extract of CH exhibited anti-inflammatory activity by suppressing TNF-a and NO. The mechanism might be related to the decrement of the level of MDA in the edema paw via increased activities of CAT, SOT, and GPx. Results showed a potential as natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent.
• Essential Oil / Seeds / Anti-Inflammatory:
Analysis of seed oil yielded the main constituents as erucic acid 43%, oleic acid 30%, eicosanic acid 12%, octanoic acid 4.5%, and n-hexa decanoic acid 4.15%. The constituents may be responsible for anti-inflammatory activity. (13)
• Antimicrobial / Leaves: Analysis of
leaves yielded alkaloids, carbohydrates, proteins and saponins. The extract exhibited marked concentration dependent antimicrobial activity. (14)
• Cortisone-like Effects / Dermatitis / Leaves: Collection of data suggests Cardiospermum halicacabum has a potential for use in many forms of skin inflammation, safe for in pediatric, adult, and elderly dermatitis conditions like atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, keratosis, lichenification, seborrheic dermatitis, cradle cap, and sun rashes, with activity that mimics cortisone without the phenomenon of photosensitization.
• Free Radical Scavenging / Seeds: Various extracts of seeds were evaluated for free radical scavenging activity. All extracts showed good dose-dependent activity on all models of test doses.
• Anticonvulsant / Root Extract: Study evaluated an alcoholic root extract on various murine models of epilepsy. Results showed significant anticonvulsant activity with a low motor toxicity profile. The activity was attributed to an increase in Gabardine activity.
• Antibacterial / Stems and Leaves: Study evaluated a methanolic stem extract
for antibacterial properties against medically important bacteria viz. Staphylococcus aureus, B. subtilis, E. coli, K. pneumonia and Proteus vulgaris. Among these, S. aureus and Bacillus subtilis
showed high zone of inhibition activity. (21) Study of leaf extract with various solvents showed potential antibacterial activity against test pathogens. (29)
• Increased Fertility in Male Rats: Aqueous extract of leaves of Cardiospermum halicacabum increased fertility in male rats through a dose dependent increase in sperm motility and sperm count, possibly due to increased testosterone levels in the serum. There was also increase in number of females impregnated, number of implantations and number of viable fetuses.
• Synthesis of Nanoparticles / Leaves: Study reports the biogenesis of silver nanoparticles from the leaves of C. halicacabum through an eco-friendly and cost-effective way of synthesis.
• Potential for Neurodegenerative Disorders / Aerial Parts and Seeds: Study evaluating the chemical composition of extracts from aerial parts and seeds, the inhibitory properties against tyrosinase, acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) and antioxidant effects. PN total extract showed significant anti-tyrosinase activity. Results suggest the potential of both seeds and aerial parts in the treatment of neurological disorders. (see constituents above) (24)
• Protective Effect on Glycoprotein Metabolism: Study investigated the protective role of CH leaf extract on glycoprotein metabolism in STZ-induced diabetic rats.
Results showed significantly increased plasma and tissue levels of glycoproteins containing hexose hexosamine, and fructose. Results showed a protective effect on abnormal glycoprotein metabolism in addition to its antihyperglycemic activity. (25)
• Anticarcinogenic / Apoptotic / Stem: Study investigated the cytotoxic activity of a methanolic stem extract of CH against breast cancer cell line (MCF-7). Results showed significant activity against the tested cell line. The significant decrease in cell viability confirms the antiproliferative activity of the extracts. Neutral red assay and Lactose dehydrogenase assay showed significant apoptotic activity against the cancer cell line.
• Antiviral / Apoptotic / Stem: A methanol extract inhibited both HIV-RT (91$) and HBsAg (79%). Study yielded 11 compounds, among them Benzene dicarboxylic acid yielded a dock score −4.85 against HIV receptor and −4.71 against HBV receptor. Results suggested a potential source of bioactive principles for novel therapeutics in controlling HIV and HBV co-infection.
• Neuroprotective / Scopolamine Induced Neurotoxicity: Study evaluated the effect of a methanol extract on cognitive functions and anti-cholinesterase activity in albino mice. Results showed the MCH significantly improved learning and memory and reversed the amnesia induced by scopolamine, together with significant decrease on whole brain acetylcholinesterase activity.
• Antidiabetic / Leaves: Study evaluated the glucose uptake of crude n-hexane, methanol and aqueous leaf extracts of C. halicacabum. The methanol extract exhibited significant inhibitory effect on glucose diffusion in an in vitro model of glucose absorption. Results suggest a therapeutic potential in limiting postprandial glucose absorption. (31)
• Anti-Arthritic / Leaves: Study evaluated the combined bi-herbal ethanolic extract of leaves of Calotrpis gigantea and C. halicacabum for synergistic in vitro and in vivo anti-arthritic effects and compared it with individual extracts of both herbal plants. The combined extract showed significant reduction of paw volume and edema when compared to the individual extracts. Effect was attributed to either inhibition of protein denaturation by inhibiting the proteinase enzymes or by stabilizing the membranes from free radical attacks generated due to immunological or inflammatory reactions observed in arthritic conditions. (33)
• Antiplasmodial / Leaves: In a study of 17 medicinal plants for antiplasmodial activity, C. halicacabum showed moderate activity (Pf 3D7 IC50: 40-60 µg/mL). (34)
• Hepatoprotective: Study evaluated the hepatoprotective effect of P. alba and C. halicacabum against toxicity effects of herbicide atrazine on lipid peroxidation and some antioxidant enzyme system in freshwater fish Labeo rohita. Results showed significant hepatoprotection against atrazine induced toxicity on freshwater fish L. rohita. (35)
• Anticancer Screening / MCF-7 Breast Cancer Cell Lines / Seed Oil: Study evaluated the cytotoxic effect of Cardiospermum halicacabum seeds on HT-29, HCT-15 colon carcinoma, SK-MEL-2 skin carcinoma, and MCF-7 breast carcinoma, with Doxorbicin as standard drug. Results showed potent cytotoxic activity of n-hexane extract of seeds of CH against MCF-7 breast cancer cell line with 50% growth inhibition value (G150) of 12.8 µg/ml. Other extracts showed poor activity in other tested cell lines. (36)
• Flavonoid Fraction of Leaves / Hypolipidemic / Antidiabetic: Study analyzed the hypolipidemic effect of a leaf flavonoid treatment on streptozotocin induced diabetic rats. After induction of diabetes, the flavonoid fraction of CH normalized glucose level and lipid profile. (37)
• Hepatoprotective / Carbon Tetrachloride Toxicity / Stems: Study investigated the hepatoprotective effect of various extracts of C. halicacabum stems on CCl4 induced hepatic damage model in male wistar rats. An ethyl acetate extract (400 mg/kg) exhibited significant protection against CCl4-induced hepatocellular injury compared to all extracts. There was decrease in elevated serum levels of markers and a significant increase in total protein, indicating recovery of hepatic cells. (38)
• Cyanogenic / Toxicity Concern: Committee for Veterinary Medicinal Products reports that Cardiospermum halicacabum is cyanogenic due to the presence of hydrocyanic acid releasing cyano lipids. A 95& ethanolic extract of leaves has been reported to produce CNS depression mice at high, near lethal doses (approximately 1000 mg/kg intraperitoneally). On the cardiovascular system, the extract caused bradycardia and a fall in blood pressure. The maximum permitted levels for hydrocyanic acid in EU foodstuffs, either naturally or through addition of flavourings, is 1 mg/kg (except nougat and marzipan that allows 50 mg/kg). Residues of hydrocyanic acid which may be theoretically released from cyano lipids present in the plant were considered below maximum limits established for plant derived foodstuffs in the EU. (39)
• Antiarthritic / Synergistic Effect of C. halicacabum and Cissus vitiginea: Study evaluated the anti-arthritic potential of Cardiospermum halicacabum, Cissus vitiginea and combined extracts of both in a complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) induced model. Results showed the combined extracts significantly (p<0.01) decreased paw edema on the 21st day, and showed more effect than either extracts alone in terms of % inhibition. (40)
• Enhancement of Glucose Uptake / Leaves: Study of a hydroalcoholic extract of leaves isolated eleven compounds and tested for cytotoxicity by MTT assay. Phytochemical screening yielded alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, and terpenoids. Results showed hypoglycemic activity and stimulation of glucose uptake in L-6 skeletal muscle cells. Compound 1 (kaempferol-3-o-a-l-rhamnoside) showed increase in glucose uptake by 11.38 ± 2.04 and compound 8 (apigenin-7-0-ß-d-glucuronide) by 15.97 ± 2.16% over control. (41)
• Acute and Sub-Chronic Toxicity / Leaves: Study evaluated acute and sub-chronic toxicity of methanol leaf extracts of C. halicacabum and methanol leaf extract of Vitex negungo in mice and rats, respectively. In acute toxicity testing, no sign of toxicity viz. lethargy, jerking, convulsions and mortality was observed up to 2000 mg/kg for both MLECH and MLEVN. In sub-chronic testing, there were also no signs of toxicity or mortality at a dose of 400 mg/kg in rats. (42)
• Anti-Cancer / Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cell Line: Study evaluated the anti-cancer potential of three leaf extracts against Hep-Ge cell line. Results showed the methanol extract had profound effect in controlling Hep-G2 proliferation. Study confirmed the cytotoxic effect involved apoptotic changes. (43)
• Anti-Ulcer: Study evaluated the antiulcer activity of ethanol extract of C. halicacabum against gastric ulcers induced by indomethacin, pyloric ligation and Helicobacter pylori infection in Wistar rats. In the three models of ulcer induction, the alcohol extract showed better antiulcer activity against ulcers induced by indomethacin and pylorus ligation dose dependently. The same extract failed to show anti-H. pylori activity. (44)
- Seeds, extracts in the cybermarket.