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Ipomoea pes-caprae


Convolvulus pes caprae, Ipoemea biloba, Ipomoea maritime [5]

Vernacular Names:

Malaysia: Tapak Kuda, Kangkong Laut
English:  Goat’s Foot Creeper, Beach Morning Glory, Horse’s Foot-print, Bay Hops.
China: Ma An Teng

Katang-katang, Daun Katang, Alere, Leleri, Dalere, Tapak kuda, Andal, Arana, Dolodoi, Mari-mari, Loloro, Bulalingo; Boboledan (Sunda), Korok (Jawa), Tang Katang (Madura), Batata Pantai (Manado), Wedule (Ambon)

India:  Adambu, Attukkal, Musattalai (Siddha/Tamil); Dopatilata (Hindi), Bangadivalli (Kan), Atampuvalli, Atampu (Mal), Maryadavalli, Sagaramekhala (San), Atampu, Atappan koti (Tam), Balabantatige (Tel), Chhagalaantri, Mar-yaada-valli
Thailand:  Phakbung-thale
Myanmar:  Pinlaikazum
Cambodia:  Trakuon Kantek, Pak bung Tale
Vietnam:  Rau mu[oos]ng bi[eer]n [2][5][6][7][10]

General Information


Ipomea pes-caprae is a seaside trailing herb. The stems are long sometimes twining reaching up to 30m long. The roots are thick taproot found at the nodes. The leaves are simple, ovate, quadrangular, rounded or sometimes reniform; measuring 2.5cm by 10cm, with slender petioles that could be as long as 17cm. There are two abaxial glands at base of the midrib, base broadly cuneate, truncate, or shallowly cordate, margins entire, apex emarginated or deeply 2-lobed, mucronulate. The inflorescence 1 to several flowered. The peduncle stout measures 3-16cm long. The bracts early caduceus, broadly triangular, measure 3-3.5mm long. The pedicel measures 1-7cm long. The 5 sepals are unequal, somewhat leathery, glabrous, apex obtuse, mucronulate, 2 outer ones nearly circular and concave, measure 7-13mm long. The corolla funnel-shaped measuring 3-6.5cm long, purple to reddish-purple in colour, with darker inside centre. The filaments measure 7-12mm long, hairy at base. The plant bears dehiscent capsules measuring 1.2cm containing hairy seeds that break up easily. Seeds contained 4 in numbers, trigonous-globose in shape, measure 6-10mm long, black, densely brownish tomentose. [1][11]

Plant Part Used

Whole plant; leaves; seeds; tubers. [1]

Chemical Constituents

β-damascenone; antistine; behenic acid; E-phytol; jalapinolic acid; melissic acid; murucoidin vi; myristic acid; pescaproside A & B , pescapreins I-XX; stoloniferin iii, ix, x

2-hydroxy-4,4,7-trimethyl-1(4H)-naphthalenone (1), (-)-mellein (2), eugenol (3), and 4-vinyl-guaiacol

glochidone, betulinic acid, alpha- and beta-amyrin acetate, isoquercitrin. [1][10][12][13][15][16]  

Traditional Used: 

I.pes-caprae is considered to be cooling, astringent and laxative. [1] 

Gastrointestinal Diseases

The seed of I.pes-caprae is a remedy for constipation; when chewed with areca nut, it is believe to ease abdominal pains and cramps. In the Solomon Islands a preparation of the leaves is ingested for digestive troubles. The whole plant is used to treat bleeding haemorrhoids, proctitis, proctoptosis. It is also of benefit for relieving vomiting, flatulence, dyspepsia and abdominal colic. 

Inflammatory Diseases

The astringent property of I.pes-caprae as recognized by traditional medicine practitioners has rendered it useful in the treatment of many inflammatory diseases. The Malays of the Malay Peninsula make use of this plant to treat fish poisoning and jelly fish sting. A decoction of the leaves is being given to treat rheumatic arthritis, and cleansing of infected wounds and ulcers. The Indonesians make use of the sap of young leaves boiled in coconut oil for sores and ulcers and a poultice of the leaves to hasten ripening of abscesses. 

Other uses

The whole plant is used in a medicinal bath to treat fatigue, strains, arthritis and rheumatism. In Myanmar, the people use an infusion of the plant with rusted iron as a cure for menorrhagia. The tuberous roots have diuretic properties and is used to treat bladder problems, strangury, dysuria and oedema. [1][2][4-10]

Pre-Clinical Data


Antispasmodic activity

Extract of I.pes-caprae has antispasmodic activity as evidenced by its ability to inhibit contractions induced by spasmogen – histamine, acetylcholine, bradykinin and barium chloride. It was postulated that this action is a direct one on the smooth mucles of the ileum. A subsequent study lead to the isolation of two compounds which showed antispasmodic activity i.e. beta-damascenone and E-phytol. [12][13] 

Antivenom activity

I.pes-caprae is often used by fishermen to treat jellyfish sting. An extract of Ipomoea pes-caprae was found to inhibit actions of all jelly fish venom. [14] 

Antiprostaglandin, anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive activity

In the crude extract of I.pes-caprae there were four compounds identified as having inhibitory effects on prostaglandin synthesis in vitro. These four compounds are 2-hydroxy-4,4,7-trimethyl-1(4H)-naphthalenone (1), (-)-mellein (2), eugenol (3), and 4-vinyl-guaiacol (4) and of these compound 3 and 4 seems to be the most active. This substantiate the anti-inflammatory activity of the plant. [15] 

It was found that the hydroalcoholic extract of I.pes-caprae has pronounced antinociceptive properties and the compounds responsible includes glochidone, betulinic acid, alpha- and beta-amyrin acetate, isoquercitrin. [16][17] 

Antiplatelet aggregation activity

A screening of 18 plants for their antiplatelet aggregation and [14C]5-hydroxytryptamine activity showed that extract of I.pes-caprae showed significant anti-platelet aggregation activity. [18] 

Anticancer activity

The hexane-soluble extract of aerial parts of I.pes-caprae yielded six lipophilic glycosides jalapinolic acid, pescaproside A (1) and pescapreins I-IV (2-5), as well as the known stoloniferin III (6). All six showed weak cytotoxic activity to a series of cancer cell lines. [19] 

Immunostimulatory activity

Three Brazilian medicinal plants methanol extracts were evaluated for in vitro proliferation of human mononuclear cells. It was found that the extract of I.pes-caprae showed immunostimulatory activity. [20]


No documentation.

Clinical Data

Clinical Trials

No documentation.

Adverse Effects in Human:

No documentation.

Used in Certain Conditions

Pregnancy / Breastfeeding

Pregnant women are advised against the use of this plant. [2]

Age Limitations

Neonates / Adolescents

No documentation.


No documentation.

Chronic Disease Conditions

No documentation.


Interactions with drugs

The antiplatelet aggregation activity would contraindicate its use together with anti-coagulant therapy. [18]

Interactions with Other Herbs / Herbal Constituents

No documentation.



No documentation.

Case Reports

No documentation.

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  1)  Botanical Info


  1. Hwee Ling Koh, Chua Tung Kian, Chay Hoon Tan, A guide to medicinal plants: an illustrated, scientific and medicinal approach, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., Singapore, 2009. pg77-78.
  2. H. Arief Hariana, Tumbuhan Obat & Khasiatnya 3, Penebar Swadaya, Indonesia, 2008. pg112-114.
  3. J. T. Arnason, Rachel Mata, John T. Romeo, Phytochemical Society of North America. Meeting, Phytochemistry of medicinal plants, Plenum Press, New York, 1995. pg98.
  4. Bep Oliver-Bever, Medicinal plants in tropical West Africa, Cambridge University Press, New York, 1986. pg209-210.
  5. C. P. Khare, Indian Medicinal Plants: An Illustrated Dictionary, Springer, New York, 2007. pg333.
  6. Kamarudin Mat-Salleh, A. Latiff, Tumbuhan Ubatan Malaysia, Pusat Pengurusan Penyelidikan Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Selangor, 2002. Pg582-583.
  7. P. K. Warrier, V. P. K. Nambiar, C. Ramankutty, Indian medicinal plants: a compendium of 500 species, Volume 3, Orient Longman Private Limited, India, 2004. pg233.
  8. Eckart Eich, Solanaceae and convolvulaceae - secondary metabolites: biosynthesis, chemotaxonomy, biological and economic significance : a handbook, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, Berlin, 2008. pg566.
  9. Francis E. Putz, Harold A. Mooney, The Biology of vines, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1991. pg442.
  10. Prof. H. M. Hembing Wijayakusuma, Atasi ASAM URAT & REMATIK ala Hembing, Puspa Swara, Indonesia, 2007. pg46-47.
  11. Faridah Hanum and L.J.G Van der Maesen PROSEA: Plant Resources of South-East Asia 11, Auxiliary Plants PROSEA Foundation Bogor 1997 pg 163 – 166.
  12. Pongprayoon U, Bohlin L, Sandberg F, Wasuwat S. Inhibitory effect of extract of Ipomoea pes-caprae on guinea-pig ileal smooth muscle. Acta Pharm Nord. 1989;1(1):41-4.
  13. Pongprayoon U, Baeckström P, Jacobsson U, Lindström M, Bohlin L. Antispasmodic activity of beta-damascenone and E-phytol isolated from Ipomoea pes-caprae. Planta Med. 1992 Feb;58(1):19-21.
  14. Pongprayoon U, Bohlin L, Wasuwat S. Neutralization of toxic effects of different crude jellyfish venoms by an extract of Ipomoea pes-caprae (L.) R. Br. J Ethnopharmacol. 1991 Oct;35(1):65-9.
  15. Pongprayoon U, Baeckström P, Jacobsson U, Lindström M, Bohlin L. Compounds inhibiting prostaglandin synthesis isolated from Ipomoea pes-caprae. Planta Med. 1991 Dec;57(6):515-8.
  16. Krogh R, Kroth R, Berti C, Madeira AO, Souza MM, Cechinel-Filho V, Delle-Monache F, Yunes RA. Isolation and identification of compounds with antinociceptive action from Ipomoea pes-caprae (L.) R. Br. Pharmazie. 1999 Jun;54(6):464-6.
  17. de Souza MM, Madeira A, Berti C, Krogh R, Yunes RA, Cechinel-Filho V. Antinociceptive properties of the methanolic extract obtained from Ipomoea pes-caprae (L.) R. Br. J Ethnopharmacol. 2000 Jan;69(1):85-90.
  18. Rogers KL, Grice ID, Griffiths LR. Inhibition of platelet aggregation and 5-HT release by extracts of Australian plants used traditionally as headache treatments. Eur J Pharm Sci. 2000 Feb;9(4):355-63.
  19. Pereda-Miranda R, Escalante-Sánchez E, Escobedo-Martínez C. Characterization of lipophilic pentasaccharides from beach morning glory (Ipomoea pes-caprae). J Nat Prod. 2005 Feb;68(2):226-30.
  20. Philippi ME, Duarte BM, Da Silva CV, De Souza MT, Niero R, Cechinel Filho V, Bueno EC. Immunostimulatory acivity of Calophyllum brasiliense, Ipomoea pes-caprae and Matayba elaeagnoides demonstrated by human peripheral blood mononuclear cells proliferation. Acta Pol Pharm. 2010 Jan-Feb;67(1):69-73.

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