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Cardiospermum halicacabum


Cardiospermum microcarpum [7]

Vernacular Names:


Peria Bulan, Uban Kayu[1]

English Ballon Vine, Heart Pea, Heart-leaved Pea, Heart Seed, Winter Cherry[2]

Patul parolan, Bangkolon[2]


Jia Hu Gua[2]; Dao-de-ling(China) , Doe-day-ling(Hong Kong)[10]


Papaia, Manjui[2]




Bodha, Indravalli, Laftaf, Malmai, Paravati padi, Uzina[2]; Kanphuti, Kanphata (Hindi), Nayaphataki, Lataphatkar (Bengla), karocho (Gujarati), Uhinja, Pallolavam (Himalayam), Valulavse, Mudakkitaam (Tamil), Buddakakara (Telegu), Punj-Habul-kalkal, Kanphuta, Kapalphodi, Kolicharmol, Muddakkathan[3] ; Kaakatiktaa, Kaakaadani, Karnsphotaa, Shatakratulataa Ayurvedic)[6]


Kesh lahara[5]


Pois de Coeur[2]


Ballonpflanze, Ballonrebe, Herzerbse, Herzsame[2]

General Information


Cardiospermum halicacabum is a member of the Sapindaceae. It is a herbaceous vine about 3m long, stem slender, grooved. The leaves are stalked, alternate, bipinnate, pinnae divided into three pinnules, pinnules lanceolate and long-pointed. The flowers are white in colour with a pair of tendrils at the base of the clusters, in axillary racemes. The fruit a capsule in shape, three-celled, winged at the angles. The seeds are globose, smooth and black in colour.[5]

Plant Part Used

Whole plant, young leaf, roots, leaves, seeds [2] [3]

Chemical Constituents

(+)-pinitol; β-Sitosterol; β-sitosterol-β-D-galactoside; apigenin-7-O-glucuronide; arachidic acid; chrysoeriol-7-O-glucuronide; lineleic acid; luteolin-7-O-glucuronide;stearic acid;[10]

Traditional Used:

Gastrointestinal Diseases

The leaves of C. halicacabum are useful in the treatment of biliousness and a decoction of the leaves can relieve diarrhea and dysentery. The juice of the whole plant had been taken to treat haemorrhoids. The roots are considered laxative.[4] [5]

Respiratory Diseases

For the treatment of respiratory conditions the whole plant had been advocated. A decoction of the whole plant is given to patients with chest cold and asthma. In Nepal the juice of the whole plant is used instead for asthma. In Hong Kong the whole plant is used to treat pertusis.[1] [3] [5] [8] [9] [10]

Urogental Diseases

The roots of C. halicacabum has diuretic properties and this is taken advantage of and used in the treatment of renal conditions. A decoction of the plant together with Vernonia cinera and Desmodium barbatum is recommended for kidney disorders in Guyana. In Hong Kong and Korea the whole plant is used to treat urinary tract infection, oedema, nephritis and oliguria.[3] [10]

Inflammatory Diseases

The whole plant has anti-inflammatory activity and is used to treat infective conditions like abscesses, pyodermas and carbuncles, earaches, ophthalmias and muscular pains, rheumatism and arthritis. It has been recommended for use in snake bites probably due to this activity.[1] [3] [5] [7] [10]

Other uses

The herb is used for various skin conditions including eczema, scabies, skin eruptions and itchiness of the skin. Here the leaves are rubbed over the lesions. The oil made from the whole plant is good for dandruff, alopecia and  darkening of the hair.[1] [3] [4] [6] [10]

Pre-Clinical Data


Anti-inflammatory activity

A study has been conducted [11] on the anti-inflammatory activity of the ethanol extract of the aerial parts of C. halicacabum. They identified the mechanism of action to be nu inhibition of phospholipase A2 which results in reduced availability of arachidonic acid and/or by stabilization of the lysosomal membrane system. A more detailed study [12] revealed that the extract inhibits mRNA expression of COX-2, TNF-alpha, iNOS can COX-2 protein expression and it further inhibited the TNF-alpha induced DNA binding activity of NF-kappaB. This was recently confirmed by another Huang et al. [13] with their ethanol extract of the plant showing better activity than the aqueous extract.

Antipyretic activity

Asha and Pushpangadan [14] used three extracts in their study of antipyretic activity of C. halicacabum. The study revealed that the ethanol and the n-hexane extracts showed promising antipyretic activity while the aqueous extract did not show any significant activity.

Antimicrobial activity

Amongst the traditional uses of C. halicacabum is to treat infective conditions and anthelmintic activity. Thus far there had not been any report on the antibacterial nor antiviral activity, however a number of workers had researched on the antiprotozoal and anthelmintic activities.

A study [15] has been done on the effects of their aqueous and ethanol extracts on Brugia pahangi. The aqueous extract at >500 microg/ml was able to reduced significantly the mobility of both adult female (within 24 hr) and male (after 3 days) worms while at the same time it reduces the microfilariae release from female worms (from day 2). However, it did not affect the motility of microfliariae except at much higher concentration. On the other hand the ethanol extract (2 mg/ml) inhibited the motility of adult worms and the release of microfilariae from females and at 500 microg/ml could rapidly reduce the motility of microfilariae on day 2.

Another study[16] screened that antimalarial activity of aqueous extract of C. halicacabum both in vitro and in vivo. They found that it has weak in vitro antiplasmodial activity with IC50 greater than 28.0 The in vivo studies did not correspond to the in vitro studies. Not only did it not show antiplasmodial activity against Plasmodium berghei in the mice, it proved to be toxic to mice with non surviving beyond day 4 of oral administration.

Boonmars et al. [17] observed that both their ethanol and aqueous extracts of C. halicacabum were able to inhibit motility of Strongyloides stercolaris larvae within 48 and 72 hours respectively. The viability of the the larvae were also reduced by both extracts.

Antiulcerogenic activity

The ethanol extract of C. halicacabum could inhibit gastric ulcer formation induced by absolute alcohol in rats. Sheeba [18] also found that there was an increase in the levels of gastric glutathione nad a decrease alkalime phosphatase activity.

Antioxidant activity

The ethanol extract [12] [18] showed potent in vitro hydroxyl radical scavenging and inhibition of lipid peroxidation activities. Another study [13] showed that their ethanol extract had stronger anti-oxidant activity than their aqueous extract. A diabetic model [19] involving rats also attest to the fact that their ethanol extract had antioxidant activity which could help in reversing oxidative damage in diabetic rats.

Antianxiolytic activity

The roots of C. halicacabum had been reported to be used as treatment for epilepsy and anxiety disorders. Study[20] found their root extract to be an effective anxiolytic agent and identified cardiospermin, a cyanogenic glucoside to be the compound responsible for this activity.


No documentation

Clinical Data

Clinical Trials

No documentation

Adverse Effects in Human:

It had been reported that children would develop epileptiform convulsions after ingesting a significant amount of the seeds.[7]

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



No documentation

Case Reports

No documentation

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  1) Botanical Info


    1. Kamarudin Mat-Salleh, A. Latiff, Tumbuhan Ubatan Malaysia, Pusat Pengurusan Penyelidikan Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Selangor, 2002. Pg477-478
    2. Johannes Seidemann,  World spice plants, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, Berlin, 2005. pg85
    3. H. Panda, Medicinal Plants Cultivation & Their Uses, Asia Pacific Business Press Inc., India, 2000. pg512-513
    4. N. Jayabalan, Plant Biotechnology, APH Publishing Corporation, India, 2006. pg214
    5. N. P. Manandhar, Sanjay Manandhar, Plants and people of Nepal, Timber Press, Inc., Oregon, 2002. pg135
    6. C. P. Khare, Indian Medicinal Plants: An Illustrated Dictionary, Springer, New York, 2007.  pg121
    7. Bep Oliver-Bever, Medicinal plants in tropical West Africa, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge,1986.  pg122
    8. Deborah A. Lachman-White, Charles Dennis Adams, Ulric O'D Trotz, A guide to the medicinal plants of coastal Guyana, The Commonwealth Secretariat, London, 1992. pg50
    9. Robert Eglesfeld Griffith, Medical botany; or, Descriptions of the more important plants used in medicine, with their history, properties and mode of administration, Lea and Blanchard, Philadelphia, 1847. pg212
    10. Chung Ki Sung, Takeatsu Kimura, Paul P. H. But, Ji-Xian Guo, International Collation of Traditional and Folk Medicine: Northeast Asia, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., Singapore, 1998. pg83-84
    11. Sadique J, Chandra T, Thenmozhi V, Elango V. Biochemical modes of action of Cassia occidentalis and Cardiospermum halicacabum  in inflammation. J Ethnopharmacol. 1987 Mar-Apr;19(2):201-12.
    12. Sheeba MS, Asha VV. Cardiospermum halicacabum ethanol extract inhibits LPS induced COX-2, TNF-alpha and iNOS expression, which is mediated by NF-kappaB regulation, in RAW264.7 cells. J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Jul 6;124(1):39-44. Epub 2009 Apr 23.
    13. Huang MH, Huang SS, Wang BS, Wu CH, Sheu MJ, Hou WC, Lin SS, Huang GJ. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of Cardiospermum halicacabum and its reference compounds ex vivo and in vivo. J Ethnopharmacol. 2010 Nov 10. [Epub ahead of print]
    14. Asha VV, Pushpangadan P. Antipyretic activity of Cardiospermum halicacabum. Indian J Exp Biol. 1999 Apr;37(4):411-4.
    15. Khunkitti W, Fujimaki Y, Aoki Y. In vitro antifilarial activity of extracts of the medicinal plant Cardiospermum halicacabum against Brugia pahangi. J Helminthol. 2000 Sep;74(3):241-6.
    16. Waako PJ, Gumede B, Smith P, Folb PI. The in vitro and in vivo antimalarial activity of Cardiospermum halicacabum L. and Momordica foetida Schumch. Et Thonn. J Ethnopharmacol. 2005 May 13;99(1):137-43.
    17. Boonmars T, Khunkitti W, Sithithaworn P, Fujimaki Y. In vitro antiparasitic activity of extracts of Cardiospermum halicacabum against  third-stage larvae of Strongyloides stercoralis. Parasitol Res. 2005 Nov;97(5):417-9. Epub 2005 Sep 7.
    18. Sheeba MS, Asha VV. Effect of Cardiospermum halicacabum on ethanol-induced gastric ulcers in rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 2006 Jun 15;106(1):105-10. Epub 2006 Feb 15.
    19. Veeramani C, Pushpavalli G, Pugalendi KV. In vivo antioxidant and hypolipidemic effect OF Cardiospermum halicacabum leaf extract in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. J Basic Clin Physiol Pharmacol. 2010;21(2):107-25.
    20. Kumar R, Murugananthan G, Nandakumar K, Talwar S. Isolation of anxiolytic principle from ethanolic root extract of Cardiospermum halicacabum. Phytomedicine. 2010 Aug 22. [Epub ahead of print]

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