Compilation of herbal plants (description, geographical distribution, taxonomy, line drawings), biodiversity and herbarium.

Read More
Research & Publication

Description of herbal and T&CM research, searchable publication and process from medicinal plant discovery to clinical trial in producing a high-quality registered herbal drug.

Read More
Traditional & Complementary Medicine (T&CM)


Definition and description of therapies, policy, training and education, research in the practise of (T&CM) and integrated medicine system.           

Read More


News Update

Announcement & Advertisement

Forthcoming Events

Annual Congress on Traditional Medicine

From Wed, 12. May 2021 Until Thu, 13. May 2021

5th International Conference on Medical and Health Informatics (ICMHI 2021

From Fri, 14. May 2021 Until Sun, 16. May 2021

International Conference on Traditional Medicine and Phytochemistry 2021

From Mon, 12. July 2021 Until Wed, 14. July 2021

Asian Symposium on Medicinal Plants and Spices XVII (2020)

From Tue, 17. August 2021 Until Thu, 19. August 2021

Cassytha filiformis


Colodium cochinchinensis, Cassytha americana [1] [4]

Vernacular Names:


Chemara Puteri, Tali Puteri, Pangkal Mati Pucuk Hidup (Langkawi), Chemara Batu, Rambut Puteri, Chemara Hantu, Daun Tali-tali (Rumphius)

English Cascutta, Doder Laurel, Woe Vine, Love Vine, False Dodder

Akar penhalasan (Bangka); Rambut puteri/tali puteri (Melayu); Sangga langit (Sunda); Tali puteri (Java); Mas semasan (Madura); Gumi Guaruci (Ternate)


Kauad-kauad, Kauad-kawaran, Kauat-kauat (Tagalog); Kawat-kawat (Sulu); Malabohok (Bisayas); Uauaken-irang, Wawaken-irang

South Pacific

Boa Lawalawa (Fiji); Techellel achul (Palau); Lu’on Ravaka (Rotunda Islands); Taino’a (Marquisas Island); Kaonon (Marshal Islands); Fetai (Tokelau)


Suna-zuru, Niinashi-kanda (Okinawa)


Wu Ye Teng


Acatha valli (Malabar Coast); Akas-valli (Sanskrit); Akashvel (Bengali); Akashwel (Marathi); Achtsjabulli (Malayualam) Amar beli (Hindi); Akas bel (Gujerati)

Sri Lanka




Rodrigues Islands

Liane jaune, Liane sans fin


Kesatha, Kuskhut, Kuskhuta


Kauna’oa pehu, Kauna’oa, Kauna’oa malolo, Kauna’oa uka, Malolo, Dodder

Puerto Rico

Benjaro Dorado, Cabellos del-angel, Fideillo, Fideos, Live vine, Tante ai el aire

South America

Cipo-de chumbo (Brazil); Liane amitie (Hispaniola, Gaudelope, Martinique); Old man berry (Cayman Island); Alcanfora del Japon, Bejurco dorado, Corde a vialon, Duivelsnaaigaren, Liane ficell, Tante en aire, Vermicelli

Africa Nooienshaar, Vrouehaar, Luangaiala (Venda); Omoniginigin, Otetebilete (Nigeria)

General Information


Cassytha filiformis is a parasitic vine, a member of the Lauraceae family. The stems are yellowish or pale green, entwining, filiform, climbing and twisting around other plants and around itself. It seldom branches. The stems are glabrous and derive nourishment from other plants or on itself by sucker like attachment called haustoria. It has a spicy fragrance. The leaves are reduced to scales which are spirally arranged. It has perfect flowers, subtended by a minute bract and two bracteoles, two to several at irregular intervals in a slender spike. There are six sepals arranged in two series, topping the accrescent fruit. Several inner sepals are triangular ovate measuring about 1.5mm long. The fertile stamens are 9 in 3 rows, the innermost 3 with extrose anthers and basal glands, a fourth inner row reduced to 3 cordate staminodia; anthers 2-celled and 2-valved; drupe globose, blackish to about 7mm in diameter. [2][3]

Plant Part Used

Whole plant [9] [10] [12]

Chemical Constituents

(-)-O-methylflavinatine; (-)-salutarine; (+/-)nornuciferine; 1,2,-methylene dioxy-3,10,11-trimethoxyaporphine, actinodaphnine; boldine; bulbocapnine; cathafiline; cathaformine; cassythic acid; cassythine (cassyfiline); cassythidine; cassameridine; cassamedine; dicentrine; isoboldine; isofiliformine; launobine; lysicamine; N-methylactinodaphnine; neolitsine; ocoteine; O-methylcassifiline; predicentrine; iso-hamnetin-3-o-b-glucoside; iso-hamnetin-3-o-rutinoside; dulcitol; 4-O-methyl-balanophonin and cassyformin. [8] [11]

Traditional Used

All traditional systems consider this plant to be bitter, sweet in taste; cold in constituency and astringent. The Chinese considers this plant as having the ability to remove pathogenic heat from the blood, detoxifying and inducing diuresis.

Gastrointestinal diseases

Fijians use the whole plant fresh which is pounded and a little water is added to it. The mixture is given to relieve stomachache. In South America the dried and powdered plant is mixed with nutmeg and used to relieve stomachache and dyspepsia.The Ayurvedic treatment for biliousness includes the use of this plant. In the Indonesia it is used to treat hepatitis. Due to its worm-like appearance there are communities that use the plant to treat worm manifestations. In Jamaica and Guyana they crushed the plant and consume it as a deworming medicine.

Obstetrics and Gynaecology

To ease childbirth the people of Marshall Island take a length of the plant prepared in a special manner using the green coconut water and this is given to the mother when labour pains begin. In Hawaii the plant is pounded and water is added to it and given to the mother during labour to help remove blood from the uterus. The South Americans use the plant in post partum treatment either by itself or in combination with Pluchea carolinensis as a drink or bath for the first 9 days. The Malays use this plant in cases of difficult labour. In Ayurvedic practices the plant is used to suppress lactation. In Langkawi, it forms part of a concoction used in treatment of male impotency. The people of Marshall Islands use the plant as a simple in the treatment of male impotency and sexual asthenia.

Dermatological Diseases

Decoction of the whole plant has been used to treat head lice as recommended by the Vaidyas of India. In Malaysia and Indonesia, to treat the same juice of the plant is applied instead. A decoction of the stem is universally used to promote hair growth. In India the plant is dried, pulverized and mixed with sesame oil instead and applied on the head to strengthen the hair.

Other uses

The plant with its diuretic effects had been recommended by the Vaidyas for the treatment of oedema. As haemostatics, the Indians use it to treat haemoptysis, the Malays use it treat haematemesis and haematuria too. The Brazilians use small bundles of it as tea to help purify blood and treat external or internal bleeding. It anti-inflammatory effects is taken advantage of in Jabalpur to treat severe pain due to arthritis. The natives of New Zealand made use of the fruits to treat various eye ailments including conjunctivitis. [9] [10] [12]

Pre-Clinical Data


Vaso-relaxing activity

Aporphine alkaloids were isolated from C. filiformis by a number of researchers. Of these ocoteine, actinodaphnine and N-methylactinodaphnine, Cassythic acid, cassythine, neolitsine, and dicentrine showed potent vasorelaxing effects on precontracted rat aortic preparation. [14] [15] [16]

Anti platelet-activating factor (PAF) activity

The methanol extract of the fresh C. filiformis contains aporphinoid alkaloids which showed potent inhibitory activity of rabbit platelet aggregation induced by adenosine diphosphate (ADP), arachidonic acid, collagen and platelet-activating factor. These alkaloids were identified as actinodaphnine, N-methylactinodaphnine, cathafiline, cathaformine, predicentrine and ocoteine. [15]

Antitrypanosomal activity

Three aporphine alkaloids (actinodaphnine, cassythine and dicentrine) isolated from C. filiformis proved to be active against the  trypanosomes Trypanosoma brucei. They seem to act by binding to DNA and behaving like intercalating agents. They were found to also interfere with the catalytic activity of the topoisomerases. [17]

Cytotoxic activity

The ability of aporphine alkaloids isolated from C. filiformis to inhibit cellular growth was demonstrated in a study using HeLa cells. The mechanism of action of these compounds on cellular activity were cited above. [17] Stevigny et al did further studies and found that Neolitsine to be most active against HeLa and 3T3 cells and cassythine and actinodaphnine showed highest activity against Mel-5 and HL-60 cells. [18]


A sub-chronic toxicity study of the aqueous extract of C. filiformis was done and it was found that the oral LD50 value was greater than 500mg/kg body weight of Wistar Albino rats. When administered at normal therapeutic doses it is not likely to produce severe toxic effects on the liver nor the haematological and biochemical indices in rats. [13]

Clinical Data

Clinical Trials

No documentation

Adverse Effects in Human:

No documentation

Used in Certain Conditions

Pregnancy / Breastfeeding

No documentation

Age Limitations

Neonates / Adolescents

No documentation


No documentation

Chronic Disease Conditions

No documentation


Interactions with drugs

No documentation

Interactions with Other Herbs / Herbal Constituents

No documentation



This herb should not be used with heparin or wafarin because of its potent anti-platelet activating factor property. It is also contraindicated in patients already on a1-adrenoceptor antagonists. [15]

Case Reports

No documentation


  1. Merrill: Louriero Flora Cochinchinensis Transactions, Americal Philosophical Society (Vol. 24, Part 2, 1935) American Philosophical Society Philadelphia 1935 pg. 168
  2. Sir William Jackson Hooker Exotic Flora:  containing figures and descriptions of new, rare or otherwise interesting Exotic Plants Volume 2 William Blackwood Edinburgh 1827 pg. 167
  3. Donovan Stewart Correl, Helen B. Correl Aquatic and wetland plants of South-western United States, Volume 1 Stanford University Press pg 962
  4. Alian H. Liogier Descriptive Flora of Puerto Rico and Adjacent Islands: Volume 1 Universidad de Puerto Rico San Juan 2000pg. 252-253
  5. Christopher Reynolds A Maldivian Dictionary Routledge Curzon London 2003 pg. 352
  6. A.A.J. Jansen, Susan Parkinson, A.F.S. Robertson Food and Nutrition in Fiji: Food Production, Composition and Intake Volume 1 University of South Pacific Suva 1990 pg 648
  7. Elizabeth Kafonika Makarita Inia, Clerk Maxwell Churchward A New Rotuman Dictionary: An English-Rotuman Wordlist University of South Pacific, Suva 1998 pg. 20
  8. Tadeusz Aniszewski Alkaloids – Secrets of Life: Alkaloid Chemistry, Biological Significance Elservier Amsterdam 2007 pg. 151
  9. Francois Couplan, James Duke The Encyclopedia of Edible Plants of North America Keats Publishing Inc. New Canaan 1998 pg. 40
  10. Irene J. Taafaki, Maria Kabua Fowler, Randolp R. Thaman Traditional Medicine of the Marshall Islands University of South Pacific, Suva 2007 pg. 78
  11. Rosa Martha Perez Gutierrez Handbook of Compounds with Cytotoxic Activity Isolated from Plants Nova Science Publishers New York 2007 pg. 90
  12. A A J Jansen, S Parkinson, A F S Robertson Food and Nutrition in Fiji University of South Pacific 1991 pg. 648
  13. Babayi HM, Udeme JJ, Abalaka JA, Okogun JI, Salawu OA, Akumka DD, Adamu, Zarma SS, Adzu BB, Abdulmumuni SS, Ibrahime K, Elisha BB, Zakariys SS, Inyang US. Effect of oral administration of aqueous whole extract of cassytha filiformis on haematograms and plasma biochemical parameters in rats. J Med Toxicol. 2007 Dec;3(4):146-51.
  14. Ching-Wei Chang, Feng-Nien Ko, Ming-Jai Su, Yang-Chang Wu, Che-Ming Teng  Pharmacological Evaluation of Ocoteine, Isolated from Cassytha filiformis, as an α1-Adrenoceptor Antagonist in Rat Thoracic Jpn. J. Pharmacol. 1997 73:207-214
  15. Yang-Chang Wu,  Fang-Rong Chang, Ya-Chieh Chao, Che-Ming Teng  Antiplatelet and vasorelaxing actions of aporphinoids from Cassytha filiformis Phytotherapy Research Volume 1998 12(S1):S39 – S41
  16. Tsai TH, Wang GJ, Lin LC. Vasorelaxing alkaloids and flavonoids from Cassytha filiformis. J Nat Prod. 2008 Feb;71(2):289-91. Epub 2008 Jan 25.
  17. Hoet S, Stévigny C, Block S, Opperdoes F, Colson P, Baldeyrou B, Lansiaux A, Bailly C, Quetin-Leclercq J. Alkaloids from Cassytha filiformis and related aporphines: antitrypanosomal activity, cytotoxicity, and interaction with DNA and topoisomerases. Planta Med. 2004 May;70(5):407-13.
  18. Stévigny C, Block S, De Pauw-Gillet MC, de Hoffmann E, Llabrès G, Adjakidjé V, Quetin-Leclercq J. Cytotoxic aporphine alkaloids from Cassytha filiformis. Planta Med. 2002 Nov;68(11):1042-4.

Explore Further

Consumer Data

Consumer data including medicinal herbs, dietary supplement monographs, health condition monographs and interactions and depletions.                                    

Read More
Professional Data

Professional data organized into medicinal herbs, dietary supplement monographs, health condition monographs, T&CM herbs, formulas, health conditions, interactions and depletions.

Read More
International Data

We offer International linkages to provide extensive content pertaining to many facets of T&CM as well as Integrated Medicine. Please register for access.    

Read More