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Family Convolvulaceae
Argyreia nervosa (Burm.f.) Bojer

Mei li yin bei teng

Scientific names  Common names
Argyreia nervosa (Burm. f.) Bojer Hojas de seda(Span.) 
Argyreia speciosa (L.f.) Sweet Sedang-dahon (Tag..) 
Convolvulus nervosus Burm. f. Elephant climber (Engl.)
Convolvulus speciosus Linn. f. Elephant creeper (Engl.)
Ipomoea speciosa (L.f) Pers. Hawaiian baby woodrose (Engl.)
Lettsomia nervosa (Burm.f.) Roxb. Monkey rose (Engl.)
Rivea nervosa (Burm.f.) Hallier f. Silver morning glory (Engl.)
  Snake vine (Engl.)
  Wood rose (Engl.)
  Wooly morning glory (Engl.)
Argyreia nervosa (Burm. f.) Bojer is an accepted name. The Plant List

Other vernacular names
BENGALI: Bichtarak, Goguli.
CHINESE: Mei li yin bei teng.
CUBAN: Hoha de plata, Campanola, Cordon de seda, Hoya de plata.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Basquiña, Hoja de seda.
HAITI: Coup d'air, Liane a minguet, Liane d'argent, Liane tonnelle.
HINDI: Ghav bel, Samundar-ka-pat, Samudra-sokh, Vidhara.
INDONESIAN: Areuy bohol keboh.
KANNADA: Samudra haale.
MALAYALAM: Samudrappacha.
MARATHI: Gugguli, Samudrasoka.
PAKISTAN: Samandar-ka-pat.
SANSKRIT: Vidhara.
SWEDEN: Elefantvinda.
TAMIL: Katar-palai.
THAI: Bai rabaat, Mueang mon, Phak rabaat.

Sedang-dahon is a pubescent or tomentose, coarse, twining, climbing perennial herb. Stems about 5 centimeters or more in diameter, reaching a length of 15 meters or more. Leaves are simple, alternate, broadly ovate or ovate-cordate,10 to 30 centimeters across, 12 to 25 centimeters long, prominently heart-shaped, green and smooth above and tomentose (with soft, silky white hairs) underneath. Peduncles are axillary, stout, up to 30 centimeters in length, with crowded flowers at the end. Calyx is ovoid, about 1.5 centimeters long. Corolla is 6 to 7 centimeters long; the tube is at first slender and then abruptly inflated, and 2 to 2.5 centimeters in diameter, while the limb is somewhat spreading, about 6 centimeters in diameter, externally hairy, and pale lilac in color except that internally it is a rather deep purple. Fruit is somewhat rounded, brown, smooth, and about 1.5 centimeters in diameter, fleshy, pulpy, and indehiscent.

- Widespread in the Philippines.
- Occasionally, ornamentally cultivated.
- Originated from India.
- Introduced from tropical Asia.
- Found in parts of Africa, Asia, Australia, and Hawaii.

- Roots yield an acid resin of an amber color, soluble in ether and benzole.
- Root also contains a tannin-like principle.
- Phytochemical studies have yielded triterpenoids, flavanoids, steroids and lipids.
- Studies have yielded various alkaloids, glycosides, flavonoid glycoside, and steroids.
- Contains many ergoline alkaloids.
- The major alkaloidal constituent in A nervosa seeds is ergine (780 mcg/g of fresh seed) and isoergine and penniclavine (555 mcg).
- A. nervosa grown in Hawaii reported to have higher concentrations of LSA, the main ingredient that causes intoxication.
- Study of aerial parts yielded secondary metabolites like carbohydrates, alkaloids, tannins, flavonoids, proteins, saponins, and glycosides. (see study below)
- Physio-chemical properties of seeds and seed oils showed oil 16.71%, protein 17.39%, moisture 3.87%. Fatty acid composition of seed oils showed linoleic 23.78%, oleic 33.03%, stearic 13.63%, palmitic 12.91%, myristic 3.42%, lauric 1.39%. (20)
- Phytochemical screening of various solvent extracts of A. nervosa yielded alkaloids, flavonoids, steroids, triterpenoids, and saponins, with absence of carbohydrate. Root extracts yielded secondary metabolites viz., tannins and phenolic acids, flavonoids, steroids and triterpenoids, and glycosides. (see study below) (21)
- 1973 chemical analysis of seeds yielded a total of 19 indole alkaloids viz., lysergene, festu‐clavine, setoclavine, isosetoclavine, agroclavine, elymoclavine, ergine, isoergine, penni‐clavine, chanoclavine‐I, chanoclavine‐II, ergometrine, ergometrinine, lysergic acid α‐hydroxyethylamide, isolysergol, racemic chanoclavine‐II, molliclavine, lysergol, and isolysergic acid α‐hydroxyethylamide. (24)
- Phytochemical screening of ethyl acetate extract yielded carbohydrates+, glycosides++, saponins++, alkaloids+, proteins and amino acids+, phytosterols and triterpenoids+++. phenolic compounds and tannins++. (25)

- Root is considered alterative, tonic, diuretic, aphrodisiac, anti-inflammatory.

- Leaves are antiphlogistic, maturative, absorptive, and a powerful vesicant.
- Considered tonic and aphrodisiac.
- Reported antidiarrheal, antimicrobial, hepatoprotective, nootropic, anticonvulsant, hypoglycemic, antioxidant, antiviral, nematicidal, immunomodulatory, analgesic, anti-inflammatory.
- Seeds considered hypotensive, spasmolytic and anti-inflammatory.

- A few of the alkaloids are hallucinogenic.

Parts utilized
Roots, leaves, seeds, flower.

- Roots used in rheumatism and nervous system problems.
- Hindus used the leaves as a local stimulant and rubefacient.
- Leaves used as emollient poultices for wounds and skin diseases.
- Used for bronchitis, cough, syphilis, diabetes, and tuberculosis.
- In India, used by Rajasthani tribes to prevent conception. Roots used in gonorrhea, rheumatism and nervous system diseases; also, used as tonic. Used for stomach complaints, small pox, dysentery, syphilis.
- Leaves used for gonorrhea and chronic ulcers.
- In Ayurveda, widely used for neurologic disorders, nervousness, bronchitis, tuberculosis, arthritis, and diabetes.
- In Thailand, used as anti-inflammatory and for skin infections.
- Spermatogenic: A herbal component in a concoction touted to increase sperm count.

- Hallucinogenic: Ingestion of seeds, although minor in effect, are similar to LSD. Ten seeds of A. nervosa have been reported to have hallucinogenic effects. (Al-Assmar, 1999) (26)

Phytochemical: Study of leaf powder yielded sterols, flavanoids, phenols, tannins and saponins in large amounts.
Aphrodisiac: Study of root, flower and leaf extract in mice showed aphr
odisiac activity as shown by an increase in mounting activity in mice and increase in mating performance. (•) Study in male mice showed the root, flower and leaf of AN to show aphrodisiac activity and potential source of safe and effective medicines for stimulating sexual activity. Investigations are ongoing to determine the mechanisms of actions. (2)
Hallucinogenic: Study has found LSA (lysergic acid amide), a relative and precursor to lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) in the seeds of AN (Hawaiian baby woodrose) and Ipomoea violacea (morning glory). Seeds of AN have been found to be a powerful natural hallucinogenic.
Nootropic: Study in mice assessed the nootropic and anti-cholinesterase potential of Argyreia speciosa. A speciosa significantly decreased AChE levels in the whole brain homogenate indicating its potential in the attenuation of learning and memory deficits especially in aged mice. Study warrants further study and confirmation of the nootropic potential of AS for dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
Anti-Inflammatory / Aerial Parts / Leaves: Study evaluated the anti-inflammatory activity of a water extract of A. nervosa in a carrageenan-induced paw edema method. Results showed significant anti-inflammatory activity. (6) Study of ethyl acetate extract and methanol extract of whole aerial part of Argyreia nervosa showed significant anti-inflammatory activity using carrageenan induced paw edema model. (see study above) (16)
Immunomodualatory: Administration of ethanolic extract of A. speciosa in mice showed dose-dependent potentiation of delayed-type hypersensitivity reaction induced by sheep red blood cells and oxazolone.
Hepatoprotective: Ethanol and ethyl acetate extract of A. speciosa roots decreased the enzyme elevation induced by carbon tetrachloride.
CNS Activity: Study of n-hexane, chloroform and ethyl acetate fractions of hydroalcoholic extracts showed CNS depressant activity as indicated by reduced spontaneous motor activity and potentiated pentobarbital induced hypnosis in mice.
Hypoglycemic: Study of an alcoholic extract of A. speciosa showed significant dose-dependent blood glucose reduction in normal and diabetic rats. Results were compared to standard drug tolbutamide.
Anticonvulsant: Study of a hydroalcoholic extract showed significant delay of latency to onset of seizure as well as onset of death in unprotected mice.

Antifungal / Roots: Study of roots yielded hexadecanyl p-hydroxycinnamate and scopoletin. Both compounds caused 100% inhibition against A. alternate.
Cardiac Effects / Chronotropic / Ionotropic: Study in perfused frog heart assembly investigated the cardiotonic effect of an infusion of whole plant of A. nervosa. Preliminary studies confirmed better cardiotonic activity of A. nervosa than digoxin. A significant increase in force of cardiac contraction (positive ionotropic effect) and decrease in heart rate (negative chronotropic effect) was observed. (8)
Psychydelic Effects: Seeds of Argyreia nervosa are often considered a natural substitute of LSD. The seeds have been used as a source of psychoactive ergot alkaloid lysergic acid amide (LSA), considered the main active ingredient. Study evaluated LSA and LSD concerning their potential pharmacological profiles based on receptor binding activities. Results showed the psychedelic activity of LSA in the human study to be weak. LSA should not be considered as an LSD-like psychedelic drug. However, there are vegetative and psychotropic effects that may be triggered by serotonin or dopamine receptor subtypes. (11)
Wound Healing / Leaves: Study showed A. nervosa leaves extract applied locally promotes healing of wounds more significantly than oral application, in both normal and alloxan induced diabetic rats. (12)
Antifungal / Leaves: Study evaluated various extracts of leaves for in vitro antifungal activity against Candida albicans, A. niger, A. flavus, Trichoderma spp., Fusarium proliferatum, Microsporum spp, and Trichophyton spps. An ethyl acetate fraction showed significant antifungal activity compared to the other fractions. (13)
Antipyretic / Aerial Parts: Study of methanol and ethyl acetate extracts of whole aerial part of A. nervosa using brewer's yeast induced pyrexia showed significant antipyretic effects. (14)
Hypoglycemic / Roots: Study evaluated the hypoglycemic effect of alcoholic extract of A. nervosa roots in normal, glucose-loaded and STZ induced diabetic rats. In STZ diabetic rats, results showed significant antihyperglycemic effect and reversed changes in total hemoglobin and glycosylated hemoglobin content. (17)
Analgesic / Anti-Inflammatory / Leaves: Study of ethanolic leaf extract using carrageenan induced paw edema method and acetic acid-induced writhing and hot plate method showed significant anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity. (18)
Antioxidative / Anti-HIV / Leaves: Study showed A. nervosa contains ethyl caffeate (1), scopoletin (2) and 1-hexacosanol
(3). The ethyl caffeate, the major component in the extract, showed potent free radical scavenging activity with EC50 of 1.52 µg/ml in DPPH assay. The anti-HIV activity of syncytium reduction assay with EC50 of 11.87 µg/ml. 1-hexacosanol could inhibit HIV-1 protease enzyme with unknown mechanism. (19)
Antibacterial: Study of alcoholic extract of leaves showed antibacterial activity against S. aureus. Seed oil showed activity against Klebsiella sp., E. coli, P. aeruginosa and B. anthracis. (•) Study evaluated methanolic and aqueous solvent extracts for antibacterial activity against five bacterial strains viz., S. aureus, P. aeruginosa, E. coli, Aerobacter and K. pneumonia. Both extracts inhibited all tested bacterial strains. The methanolic extract showed most inhibitory effect, while E. coli was the most sensitive to the methanol and water extract. (see constituents above) (21)
• Cytotoxicity Against Colon Cancer Cells: Study evaluated the in vitro anticancer potential of Argyreia nervosa leaves (ANL) and seeds (ANS), leaves of Memecyclon malabaricum (MML), and leaves of Memecyclon umbelatum (MUL) in colon cancer cells. The extracts exhibited dose-dependent cytotoxicity to HCT-116 cells. MUL showed highest cytotoxicity followed by ANL, MML, and ANS. (22)
• Antihyperlipidemic / Leaves: Study evaluated the effect of ethanol leaf extract on serum lipid profile in Wistar male albino rats fed with high fat diet. Results showed 0.5 g/day of A. nervosa was effective in reducing chlesterol, LDL, VLDL, TG, and HDL in a dose dependent manner. (23)
• Ergoline Alkaloidal Constituents / Seeds: In a 1973 study, chemical analysis of seeds of A. nervosa showed a high percentage of indole alkaloid constituents (0.5-0.9%). Study yielded a total of 19 indole alkaloids. Of these, lysergene, setoclavine, isosetoclavine, chanoclavine‐II, racemic chano‐clavine‐II, isolysergol, and molliclavine were identified for the first time in species of the Convolvulaceae. Ergine (0.136%) and isoergine (0.188%) were found in the highest concentration. (see constituents above) (24)
• Wound Healing / Leaves: Study evaluated cold and hot water extracts of A. nervosa and Swellnil, an ayurvedic ointment for wound healing properties in an excisional wound model in 12 healthy male buffalo calves. Results suggest that the extract ointments of leaves, dry leaves husk, and Swellnil ointments have no deleterious effect on wound healing. They help in normalization of the healing process. The early angiogenic property of hot extract ointment suggested superiority over other ointments, and the dry husk of AN has intrinsic wound healing capabilities. (27)
• Psychoactive Plants Used in Designer Drugs: Study reports on the increased consumption of psychoactive substances and the concern in the use of plant psychoactive substances, especially among young people who experiment with new narcotics. In A. nervosa, LSA (lysergic acid amide) is the main ingredient that causes intoxication. Side effects can include euphoria, hallucinations, derealization, memory loss, anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, along with tachycardia, hypertension, pupillary dilatation, flushing, polyuria, nausea, vertigo. (28) Commonly ingested dose is 5-10 seeds, which may yield a dose of 2 to 5 mg of LSA, sufficient to cause hallucinogenic effects for four to six hours. (31)
• Radical Scavenging Activity / Roots: Study evaluated an aqueous extract of A. nervosa roots for in vitro radical scavenging activity using DPPH, ABTS, lipid peroxidation, iron chelating, superoxide scavenging and total antioxidant activity. Results showed IC50s of 88.86 µg/ml DPPH, 66.64 µg/ml for ABTS, 31.57 µg/ml for lipid peroxidation, 8.0 µg/ml for iron chelating, 113.20 µg/ml for NO scavenging, and 7.51 µg/ml for superoxide scavenging. Total antioxidant capacity was 22.0 µg/ml. In all methods, extract showed concentration dependent scavenging of free radicals. (29)
• Antitumor / Ehrlich Ascites Carcinoma / Leaves: Study evaluated a methanolic extract of A. nervosa leaves against Ehrlich ascites carcinoma (EAC) induced liquid and solid tumor in mice. Extract showed significant (p<0.001) decrease in body weight and percentage reduction in tumor volume. Results showed potent antitumor activity comparable to 5-fluorouracil. (30)
• Aphrodisiac / Spermatogenic: Study evaluated various fractions of plant extracts for spermatogenic and aphrodisiac activity in invitro and invivo rat experimental models. Animals in the test group exhibited pronounced aphrodisiac and spermatogenic effects comparable to the testosterone treated group. Results showed increased mounting and decreased latency periods in sexual behavior, along with marked improvement in testis histo-architecture of rats. Study showed the aphrodisiac potential of alkaloidal components and its positive effect on sperm generation. (32)

- Wildcrafted.

- Seeds in the cybermarket.

Updated September 2018 / September 2016

IMAGE SOURCE: / Photo: File:Argyreia nervosa .JPG / Patrice78500 / 2010 / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Digitally modified / PD / File:Ipomoea sp SmSo.png /Icones pictae plantarum rariorum descriptionibus et observationibus illustratae / James Edward Smith and James Sowerby / 1790-1793 / Wikimedia Commons
Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Pharmacognostical and Preliminary Phytochemical Studies of Argyreia nervosa Burm. / Krishnaveni A et al / Ethnobotanical Leaflets 13: 293-300. 2009.
Aphrodisiac property of the elephant creeper Argyreia nervosa / A Subramoniam et al / J Endocrinol Reprod, 2007; 11(2): pp 82-85
LSA (Lysergic Acid Amide) For treating Cluster Headaches
Evaluation of Nootropic Effect of Argyreia speciosa in Mice / Joshi Hanumanthachar et al / Journal of Health Science, 2007; 53(4): pp 382-388
Argyreia nervosa / Herbal Monograph / Himalaya Herbal Healthcare

Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Leaves of Argyreia Nervosa in Carrageenan-Induced Paw Edema in Rats / Modi AJ, Khadabadi SS, Farooqui A, Bhutada VS / Pharmacognosy Journal, Vol 2, No 8, 2010
Argyreia speciosa Linn. f. : Phytochemistry, pharmacognosy and pharmacological studies / Ashish J. Modi, S. S. Khadabadi, U. A. Deokate, I. A. Farooqui, S. L. Deore and M. R. Gangwani / Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy Vol. 2(3) pp. 34-42, April 2010
Study on Chronotropic and Ionotropic Effect of Argyreia nervosa on Hypodynamic Heart / JS GY Dama, SR Deore, JS Bidkar, MP Jori, PP Joshi / Ethnopharmacology , Vol. 2010
Argyreia nervosa / Catalogue of Life, China, 2010
Elephant creeper / Common names / Flowers of India
Argyreia nervosa (Burm. f.): receptor profiling of lysergic acid amide and other potential psychedelic LSD-like compounds by computational and binding assay approaches. / Paulke A, Kremer C, Wunder C, Achenbach J, Djahanschiri B, Elias A, Schwed JS, Hübner H, Gmeiner P, Proschak E, Toennes SW, Stark H. / J Ethnopharmacol. 2013 Jul 9;148(2):492-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2013.04.044. Epub 2013 May 7.

Wound healing activity of Argyreia nervosa leaves extract
/ AK Singhal, H Gupta, and VS Bhati / Int J Appl Basic Med Res. 2011 Jan-Jun; 1(1): 36–39. / doi: 10.4103/2229-516X.81978
In vitro antifungal activity of ethanol fractions of Argyreia nervosa (Burm. f.) Boj. leaves
/ Ajay Mahule et al / Indian Journal of Natural Products and Resources, Vol 3(1), March 2012, pp 48-54
ANTIPYRETIC ACTIVITY OF WHOLE AERIAL PART FROM ARGYREIA NERVOSA / KAMAL JEET*, SUNIL TOMAR, NARENDER THAKUR / International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Vol 4, Suppl 4, 76-7, 2012

Argyreia nervosa / Synonyms / The Plant List
Hypoglycemic effect of Argyreia nervosa root extract in normal and streptozotocin-diabetic rats / Shiv Kumar*and K. R. Alagawadi / Der Pharmacia Lettre, 2010, 2(2): 333-337
/ Mathew George, Lincy Joseph, Hemendra Gupta and Priya G. Udayan /
World Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Volume 5, Issue 6, 2119-2127
In vitro Testing of Anti-HIV and Antioxidative Activities of Argyreia nervosa (Burm.f) Bojor Leaves / V. Sareedenchai, C. Wiwat, P. Wongsinkongman and N. Soonthornchareonnon* / Mahidol University Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences 2014; 41 (4), 47-53

/ Mohammed Taufeeque*, Seema Parveen, Abdul Malik, M.R.K. Sherwani / INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF FOOD AND NUTRITIONAL SCIENCES, Vol 4, Issue 4, Jul-Sep 2015

Antibacterial Activity of Argyreia Nervosa Burn.f. Against Different Strains of Bacteria / Priyanka Yadav, Anupam Yadav, Ankur Gupta, Surabhi Mahajan, R K Agnihotri, Rajendra Sharma / Indian Journal of Applied Research, July 2014; Vol 4, Issue 7

Screening of anticancer activity of selected medicinal plants indigenous to Western Ghats: Argyreia nervosa, Memecylon malabaricum and Memecylon umbellatum / Shilpee Chaudhary, Kodangala Subraya Chandrashekar, Karkala Sreedhara Ranganath Pai, M M Setty, Raviraj Anand Devkar, Neetinkumar Dnyanoba Reddy, Subhankar Biswas / Advanced Science Letters, 2017; 23(1): pp 1781-1784 / DOI: 10.1166/asl.2017.8510
Evaluation of Antihyperlipidemic Activity of Medicinal Plant, Argyreia nervosa Burm.f. in Hyperlipidemic Rats / Ananda Kumar Chettupalli, Vasudha B Krishna Sanka / Journal of Global Trends in Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2017; 8(1): pp 3577-3583
Ipomoea violacea / Argyreia nervosa / Plants by Iceers
Preliminary phytochemical screening and antioxidant activity of selected four plants / V. Satyanarayana, S. Jaya Kumari / International Journal of Green Pharmacy, Jan-Mar 2017; 11(1)
GC/MS analysis of morning glory seeds freely in commerce: can they be considered “herbal highs”? /  and  / Egyptian Journal of Forensic Sciences,2017; 7:16 / https://doi.org/10.1186/s41935-017-0016-8
Psychoactive plants used in designer drugs as a threat to public health / AGNIESZKA RONDZISTY, KAROLINA DZIEKAN, ALEKSANDRA KOWALSKA / Herba Polonica, 2915; 61(2): pp 73-86 / DOI: 10.1515/hepo-2015-0017
Free Radical Scavenging Activity of Aqueous Root Extract of Argyreia nervosa (Burm.f.) Boj. (Convolvulaceae) / C S Shreedhara, H N Aswatha Ram, Sachhin B Zanwar, Gajera P Flaguni / Journal of Natural Remedies, June 2009; 9(2)
In vitro and in vivo evaluation of antitumor activity of methanolic extract of Argyreia nervosaleaves on Ehrlich ascites carcinoma / Bhawna Sharma, Isha Dhamija, Sandeep Kumar,  and Hema Chaudhary / Bangladesh J Pharmacol., 2015; 10: pp 399-408 / DOI: 10.3329/bjp.v10i2.22334
Hawaiian Baby Woodrose (Argyreia nervosa) / Daniel Lugassy / Clinical Toxicology, An Issue of Emergency Medicine Clinics of North America / GoogleBook
Aphrodisiac & Spermatogenic Potential of Alkaloidal fraction of Argyreia speciosa Linn. in Rats / Niraj Vyas, Manan Raval / Poster: RAPCOPINC 2014 Ramanbhai Patel College of Pharmacy International Conference

It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page.

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