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Cissampelos pareira Linn.


Cissampelos acuminate, Pericampylus glaucus Merr.

Vernacular Names:

Malaysia: Gasing-gasing, Gegasing, Mempenang
English: Abuta, Butua, False Pareira, Velvet Leaf
Hindi:  Padh

General Information


The herb is a member of family Menispermaceae, is a perennial, woody climbing shrub growing along hedges and waste places. It is indigenous to the Amazon rainforest but also grows abundantly in South-east Asia.

Plant Part Used

Whole vine, seed, bark, leaf, root

Chemical Constituents

The roots contain several bisbenzyl isoquinoline alkaloids, a volatile oil, a fixed oil and quercitol. The alkaloids consist of hayatine, hayatinine, hayatidine, l-bebeerine, isochodrodenderine, menismine, pareirine, cyclonoline, cyclearine, dehydrodicentrine, dicentrine and insularine. The leaves and stems contain laudanosine, nuciferine, bulbocarpine, corytuberine, magnoflorine, grandirubine, isomerubine, novel tropoloisoquinoline alkaloids pareirubrines A&B and azafluoranthene alkaloids norimelutein and norruffscine. The volatile oil was found to consist of mainly thymol.[1][2] 

A chalcone-flavone dimer, known as cissampeloflavone or 2-(4-hydroy-3-methoxyphenyl)-(4-methoxyphenyl)-6-(2-hydroxy-4,6-dimethoxybenzoyl)-furano[3,2-g]benzopyran-4-one has been isolated from the aerial parts of Cissampelos pareira.[3] 

An alkaloid, pareirubine, which has an antileukemic activity was reported to be present in Cissampelos pareira.[4] 

Other chemical components found in the plant are (+)-Curine, (++)-curine-4”-methyl-ether, 4”-O-methylcurine, cissamine, cissampareine, pelosine, tetrandrine and tetrandrine-N-oxide.[5]

Traditional Use:

The roots possess diuretic, antilithic, analgesic, antipyretic and emmanagogue properties and may prevent threatened miscarriage. They are used in dysentery, piles, dropsy and to stop uterine haemorrhages.[1] 

A decoction of the leaf and stem is used as an oral analgesic by the Amazon Indians. The toasted seeds are brewed into a tea for treatment of internal haemorrhages and external bleeding.[6]

Pre-Clinical Data


Antiparasitic activity

A compound, cissampeloflavone, isolated from the acetone extract of Cissampelos pareira exhibited good activity in the antiprotozoal assay against Trypanosoma cruzi and T. brucei rhodesiense, but poor activity against Plasmodium falciparum and Leishmania donovani.[3]

Cytotoxic and anti-cancer activity

Cytotoxic azafluoranthene alkaloids, norimelutein and norruffscine showed antileukemic activity during a survey of South American medicinal plants and after purification of the crude extract from Cissampelos pareira was carried out.[2] A novel tropoloisoquinoline alkaloid, pareirubrine, with antileukemic activity was isolated too.[7]

Antidiarrhoeal activity

The antidiarrhoeal activity of the ethanolic extract of the roots was assessed on experimental animals. 25-100 mg dry extract per kg body mass administered p.o. exhibited a dose dependent decrease in the total number of faecal droppings, and 29.2-60.0% inhibition in castor oil-induced diarrhoea.[10]

Antinociceptive and antiarthritic  activity

In a study, 50% ethanolic extract of Cissampelos pareira roots in acute, subacute and chronic models of inflammation was assessed in rats.[11]

Anti-inflammatory and analgesic:

Anti-inflammatory activity of 50% ethanoic extract Cissampelos pareira root (CPE) was evaluated in acute, subacute and chronic models of inflammation in rats. Oral treatment of CPE (200mg/kg, 400 mg/kg b.w) demonstrated significant anti-inflammatory activity and even at very high dose of 1000mg/kg did not produce any signs of toxicity and mortality in these rats.[8] This study concludes that CPE possesses significant anti-inflammatory activity suggesting its potential for use in the treatment of various inflammatory diseases.[11]


In a study, 50% aqueous ethanolic extract of the plant was evaluated for the acute and subacute toxicity. In the acute toxicity test, oral administration of 2g per kg body weight of the extract produced neither mortality nor changes in behaviour in mice. Whereas in subacute toxicity studies, no mortality was observed when two doses of 1 and 2g per kg body weight per day of the same extract were administered p.o. for a period of 28 days in rats. Thus in conclusion, Cissampelos pareira is safe in acute and subacute toxicities while chronic toxicity studies need further trials.[9]

Teratogenic effects

No documentation

Clinical Data

Clinical Trials

No documentation

Adverse Effects in Human:

No documentation

Use in Certain Conditions

Pregnancy / Breastfeeding

No documentation

Age Limitations

Neonates / Adolescents

No documentation


No documentation

Chronic Disease Conditions

No documentation


Interactions with drugs

The alkaloid tetrandrine has been documented to have various actions on heart function in animals and humans. Hence, those with a heart condition or taking heart medications should consult their doctor before using this herb.[6]

Interactions with Other Herbs / Herbal Constituents

No documentation



The herb has been tested to lower blood pressure in two animal studies and it should not be used by people with low blood pressure. Pregnant women should avoid using it except under close supervision.[6]

Case Reports

No documentation

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  1) Botanical Info


  1. Daniel, M. Medicinal Plants: Chemistry and Properties Science Publishers, New Hampshire, USA. 2006; pp 33.
  2. Morita, H. et al. Azafluoranthene Alkaloids from Cissampelos pareira. Chem. Pharm. Bull. 1993; 41(7):1307-1308
  3. Ramirez, I. et al. Cissampeloflavone, a chalcone-flavone dimer from Cissampelos pareira. Phytochem. 2003; 64:645-647
  4. Morita, H. et al. A Novel Antileukemic Tropoloisoquinoline Alkaloid, Pareirubrine, from Cissampelos pareira. Chem. Lett. 1993; 22 (2): 339
  5. Dr. Duke’s Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases
  6. Taylor, L.. The Healing Power of Rainforest Herbs. Square One Publishers, New York, USA. 2005; pp 152-155
  7. Morita, H. et al. A Novel Antileukemic Tropoloisoquinoline alkaloid, pareirubrine, from Cissampelos pareira. Chem. Letts. 1993; 22 (2): 339. Abstract.
  8. Amresh, G. et al. Prostaglandin mediated anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity of Cissampelos pareira. Acta Pharma. Sc. 2007; 49:153-160
  9. Amresh, G. et al. Toxicological screening of traditional medicine Laghuapatha (Cissampelos pareira) in experimental animals. J. Etnopharmacol. 2008; 116 (3):454-460.
  10. Amresh, et al. Ethnomedical value of Cissampelos pareira extract in experimentally induced diarrhoea. Acta Pharm. 2004; 54(1) :27-35.
  11. Amresh, G. et al. Evaluation of of anti-inflammatory activity of Cissampelos pareira roots in rats. J. E thnopharmacol. 2007; 110(3); 526-531.

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