Cardiospermum halicacabum

Linn.

Family ► Sapindaceae.

Habitat ► Throughout the plains of India, as a wild climber.

English ► Ballon Vine, Winter Cherry, Heartseed.

Ayurvedic ► Kaakatiktaa, Kaakaadani, Karnsphotaa, Shatakratulataa.

Siddha/Tamil ► Mudukottan, Kottavan.

Folk ► Kanphotaa, Kanphuti, Lataaphatakari. Used as Jyotishmati in Bengal.

Action ► Used in rheumatism, lumbago, skeletal fractures, nervous diseases, amenorrhoea, haemorrhoids, erysipelas. The herb is used in hairoils for treating dandruff, alopecia and for darkening hair.

The plant extract showed significant analgesic and anti-inflammatory activity and sedative effect on CNS. The drug also showed (transient) vasode-pressant activity.

The leaves contain beta-sitosterol and its D-glucoside, an alkaloid, oxalic acid and amino acids. The presence of a saponin and quebrachitol is reported in the plant.

The leaves and stem are used in preparations used against common cold. Alcoholic extract of the plant exhibits antisickling and antiarthritic activity. Seeds have positive anabolic activity and increase body weight by inducing a positive nitrogen balance.

The alkaloid fraction from the seeds showed hypotensive activities and cardiac inhibition in anaesthetized dogs; blocked spasmogenic effects of acetyl-choline, histamine and 5-HT on guinea pig ileum, biphasic effort on frog rec-tus abdominis muscle. The seeds also showed antibacterial activity.

Dosage ► Whole plant—50-100 ml decoction. (CCRAS.)

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