ABUTA - Cissampelos pareira ABUTA - Cissampelos pareira

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(Cissampelos pareira)

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Abuta Cissampelos pareira

ABUTA - Cissampelos pareira


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  • Family: Menispermaceae
    Genus: Cissampelos
    Species: pareira
    Synonyms: Cissempelos acuminata, C. argenta, C. auriculata, C. australis, C. benthamiana, C. boivinii, C. bojeriana, C. caapeba, C. canescens, C. cocculus, C. consociata, C. convolvulacea, C. cordata, C. cordifolia, C. cumingiana, C. delicatula, C. diffusa, C. discolor, C. diversa, C. elata, C. ellenbeckii, C. ericarpa, C. glaucescens, C. gracilis, C. grallatoria, C. guayaquilensis, C. hederacea, C. hernandifolia, C. heterophylla, C. hirsuta, C. hirsutissima, C. kohautiana, C. limbata, C. littoralis, C. longipes, C. mauritiana, C. microcarpa, C. monoica, C. nephrophylla, C. obtecta, C. orbiculata, C. orbiculatum, C. orinocensis, C. pannosa, C. piolanei, C. smalzmanni, C. subpeltata, C. subreniformis, C. tamoides, C. testudinum, C. tetrandra, C. tomentocarpa, C. tomentosa, C. violaefolia, Cocculus orbiculatus, C. villosus, Dissopetalum mauritianum
    Common Names: abuta, abutua, barbasco, imchich masha, butua, false pareira, pareira, aristoloche lobee, bejuco de raton, feuille coeur, liane patte cheval, gasing-gasing
    Parts Used: whole vine, seed, bark, leaf, root

    Reprinted from The Healing Power of Rainforest Herbs:

    Main Actions Other Actions Standard Dosage
  • stops bleeding
  • kills bacteria
  • Vine Wood
  • balances menstruation
  • prevents convulsions
  • Decoction: 1 cup 2-3 times daily
  • relieves pain
  • fights free radicals
  • Tincture: 2-3 ml 2-3 times daily
  • reduces spasms
  • prevents ulcers
  • Capsules: 1-2 g 2-3 times daily
  • relaxes muscles
  • reduces mucus
  • stops inflammation
  • reduces fever
  • increases urination
  • protects liver
  • lowers blood pressure
  • balances hormones

    Abuta is a woody, climbing rainforest vine with leaves up to 30 cm long. It produces inedible, dark, grape-sized berries. It belongs to the genus Cissampelos, of which thirty to forty species are represented in the tropics. Abuta vine is blackish-brown and tough; when freshly cut it has a waxy luster. Abuta is found throughout the Amazon in Peru, Brazil, Ecuador, and Colombia, and it is cultivated by many to beautify their gardens.

    The common name of this plant has caused some confusion in herbal commerce today. In Brazil, this plant is well known as abutua, and in Peru it is known as abuta or barbasco. References to abuta in herbal commerce today may apply to either Cissampelos pariera or to a completely different plant, Abuta grandiflora. Another tropical vine, Abuta grandiflora, also has the common name of abuta in South America, but this is a very different plant with different chemicals and uses in herbal medicine. This plant is referred to in Peru as chiric sanago as well as abuta (hence the confusion).


    Abuta (Cissampelos pariera) is commonly referred to as the midwives' herb throughout South America because of its long history of use for all types of women's ailments. The vine or root of abuta is used in tropical countries to prevent a threatened miscarriage and to stop uterine hemorrhages after childbirth. Midwives in the Amazon still carry abuta with them for menstrual cramps and pre- and postnatal pain, excessive menstrual bleeding, and uterine hemorrhaging. Abuta is also believed to aid poor digestion, drowsiness after meals, and constipation.

    Virtually all parts of the plant have been used by indigenous peoples throughout the South American rainforest for thousands of years for other ailments and are still in use today. Members of the Palikur tribe in Guyana use a poultice of abuta leaves as a topical pain-reliever, and the Wayãpi Indians use a decoction of the leaf and stem as an oral analgesic. Ecuadorian Ketchwa tribes use the leaf decoction for eye infections and snakebite. The Créoles in Guyana soak the leaves, bark, and roots in rum and use it as an aphrodisiac. Indigenous tribes in Peru use the seeds of abuta for snakebite, fevers, venereal disease, and as a diuretic and expectorant. Amazonian herbal healers (called curanderos) toast the seeds of abuta and then brew them into a tea to treat internal hemorrhages and external bleeding. They also brew a leaf tea for rheumatism and a vine wood-and-bark tea to treat irregular heartbeat and excessive menstrual bleeding.

    In Brazil, abuta is widely employed in herbal medicine today as a diuretic and as a tonic (a general overall balancer), as well as to reduce fever and relieve pain. It is often employed for menstrual cramps, difficult menstruation, excessive bleeding and uterine hemorrhages, fibroid tumors, pre- and postnatal pain, colic, constipation, poor digestion, and dyspepsia. In Mexico, abuta has a long history of use for muscle inflammation, snakebite, rheumatism, diarrhea, dysentery, and menstrual problems.

    In North American herbal medicine, abuta is used for many of the same conditions as in South America as well as for inflammation of the testicles and minor kidney problems.


    Cissampelos plants, including abuta, contain a group of plant chemicals called isoquinoline alkaloids. Since the late 1960s, these chemicals have received a great deal of attention and research. Out of thirty-eight alkaloids thus far discovered in abuta, one, called tetrandrine, is the most well documented. Clinical research over the years has found tetrandrine to have pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory, and fever-reducing properties. More than one hundred recent clinical studies also describe this chemical's promising actions against leukemia and some other cancer cells, and research is ongoing. However, the therapeutic dosages of tetrandrine used in these animal studies are much higher than one can reasonably obtain from natural abuta root or vine. (The average-weight person would need to take about 2 lbs of abuta root each day to obtain the therapeutic dosage of tetrandrine used in the animal studies.) Other recently published studies examined tetrandrine's possible cardioactive and blood pressure - reducing (hypotensive) effects through numerous pathways and mechanisms of action at much smaller dosages.

    Another well-known alkaloid chemical, berberine, has been documented to have hypotensive, antifungal, and antimicrobial actions. This chemical has been used for the treatment of irregular heartbeat, cancer, Candida, diarrhea, and irritable bowel syndrome. Another alkaloid called cissampeline is sold as a skeletal muscle relaxant drug in Ecuador.

    The main chemicals in abuta are alkaloids, arachidic acid, bebeerine, berberine, bulbocapnine, cissamine, cissampareine, corytuberine, curine, 4-methylcurine, cyclanoline, cycleanine, dicentrine, dehydrodicentrine, dimethyltetrandrinium, essential oil, grandirubrine, hayatine, hayatinine, insularine, isochondodendrine, isomerubrine, laudanosine, linoleic acid, magnoflorine, menismine, norimeluteine, nor-ruffscine, nuciferine, pareirine, pareirubrine alkaloids, pareitropone, quercitol, stearic acid, and tetrandrine.


    In 1962, researchers reported abuta demonstrated anti-inflammatory, smooth muscle relaxant, antispasmodic, and uterine relaxant actions in various laboratory animals. Subsequent studies with animals confirmed the plant's antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory actions. These documented effects are quite similar to abuta's traditional uses for menstrual disorders (including cramping and pain). In other animal studies, a root extract was reported to have a diuretic effect, a finding that confirms another of its traditional medicine uses.

    Other in vivo research on extracts of abuta indicated that the leaf has antiulcerous actions and that the root has a very mild hypoglycemic action (only at high dosages). Studies have also shown that the abuta root has other possible therapeutic uses: it demonstrated anticonvulsant actions in mice; and, in dogs, it was shown to significantly lower blood pressure. In addition, test-tube (in vitro) studies over the years has reported that abuta has antioxidant properties; antibacterial actions against Staphylococcus, Pseudomonas, Salmonella, and Klebsiella; and antimalarial effects. One of these in vitro studies also reported that a root extract demonstrated a toxic effect against colon cancer cells.

    Leslie Taylor's 2013 Update on Abuta

    Abuta is widely used in traditional medicine systems in India and most of the new research published on abuta has taken place in India at their National Botanical Research Institute. In 2008, researchers doing toxicity studies in animals reported that abuta was found completely safe in large and small dosages (but no long term studies were performed on chronic use). (Amresh, et al. 2008) This same researcher published two more animal studies in 2007 documenting that abuta demonstrated good pain relieving and anti-arthritic actions in the first study and anti-inflammatory actions in the second study. They observed that: "These data indicate that CPE [abuta root extract] possesses significant anti-inflammatory activity without ulcerogenic activity suggesting its potential as an anti-inflammatory agent for use in the treatment of various inflammatory diseases.

    Other Indian researchers (Singh, et al. 2012) reported that abuta improved heart function in rats that were given a drug to induce cardiac dysfunction and suggested this action was due to abuta's antioxidant abilities. Another Indian research group (Surendran, et al. 2011) reported that abuta protected rats from introduced chemicals causing liver toxicity and reported, "Results of this study strongly demonstrate Cissampelos pariera having good hepatoprotective potential." Other researchers extracted out only the alkaloids of abuta and reported that the alkaloid fraction had antioxidant and immunosuppressive actions. (Bafna, et al. 2009). Verifying local ethic uses in India, other researchers reported that a methanol extract of abuta leaves possessed anti-fertility actions in female mice. (Ganguly, et al. 2007).


    Abuta is still used in the Amazon and outlying areas for the same purposes for which it has been used traditionally for centuries - as a childbirth aid and for general women's ailments. South and North American natural health practitioners commonly rely on abuta as an excellent natural remedy for menstrual difficulties, including cramping and pain, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), excessive bleeding, and fibroid tumors. Its ability to curb excessive menstrual bleeding very quickly can be quite remarkable. It is often employed in overall female balancing formulas, in kidney formulas (for its diuretic and smooth-muscle relaxant effects), and, in combination with other plants, in heart tonics and hypertension remedies.

    Toxicity studies with animals confirm the safety of the plant; rats given 10 g of abuta per kilogram of body weight evidenced no toxic effects.

    Main Actions (in order):
    antispasmodic, antihemorrhagic (reduces bleeding), muscle relaxant, uterine relaxant, hypotensive (lowers blood pressure)

    Main Uses:

    1. for menstrual problems (pain, cramps, excessive bleeding, fibroids, endometriosis)
    2. as a female tonic (hormonal balancing, menopausal libido loss, hormonal acne, premenstrual syndrome, childbirth)
    3. for heart problems (irregular heart beat, high blood pressure, heart tonic)
    4. as a general antispasmodic and muscle-relaxer (asthma, stomach cramps, muscle pain/strains, irritable bowel syndrome [IBS], diverticulitis)
    5. for kidney support (kidney stones, kidney/urinary infections and pain)
    Properties/Actions Documented by Research:
    analgesic (relieves pain), anti-arthritic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antihistamine, antioxidant, antispasmodic, cardio-tonic, diuretic, hepatoprotective (liver protector), hypotensive (lowers blood pressure), muscle relaxant, uterine relaxant

    Other Properties/Actions Documented by Traditional Use:
    analgesic (pain-reliever), antihemorrhagic (reduces bleeding), antiseptic, aphrodisiac, cardiotonic, diaphoretic (promotes sweating), expectorant, febrifuge (lowers fever), hepatoprotective (liver protector), stimulant, tonic (tones, balances, strengthens)

    Cautions: It relaxes the uterus and is contraindicated in pregnancy. It may also potentiate medications used to treat hypertension.

    Traditional Preparation: In South America, a standard decoction is generally prepared with the vine wood or root and taken two or three times daily in 1-cup doses. (It tastes quite horrible, however!) The natural remedy in North American herbal medicine systems for menstrual difficulties is generally 1-2 g of the powdered vine in tablets or capsules two or three times daily, or 2-3 ml of a standard tincture twice daily, or as needed.


    • Abuta has been documented to lower blood pressure in two animal studies; therefore, abuta is probably contraindicated for people with low blood pressure. An alkaloid in abuta, tetrandrine, has been documented to have various actions on heart function in animals and humans. Those with a heart condition or taking heart medications should consult with their doctor before using this plant.
    • Abuta has demonstrated to be a uterine relaxant and traditionally employed as a childbirth aid. A pregnant woman should use it only under the supervision of a qualified healthcare practitioner.

    Drug Interactions: Abuta may potentiate prescription heart medications.

    Amazonia for childbirth, colic, fever, muscle spasms and pain, nervous children, pinta, snakebite
    Argentina for diarrhea, menstrual disorders, respiratory tract infections, urinary tract infections
    Brazil for abortions, anemia, asthma, bladder problems, colic, congestion, constipation, contusions, cramps, cystitis, digestive problems, detoxification (by inducing sweating), dysentery, dyspepsia, drowsiness, edema, excessive phlegm and mucous, fever, gallbladder problems (to stimulate bile), hepatitis, inflammation, kidney stones, menstrual disorders, muscle aches, pains and spasms, testicular inflammation, threatened miscarriage, pre-and postnatal pain, rheumatism, snakebite, stomach problems, urinary tract disorders, uterine hemorrhages, water retention
    Guatemala for cramps, erysipelas, fever, menstrual disorders, rheumatism, snakebite, water retention, and to increase perspiration
    Mexico for bladder problems, dermatitis, diarrhea, dysentery, edema, excessive phlegm and mucous, fever, insect bites, jaundice, menstrual disorders, muscle inflammation, nephritis, pain, pimples, rheumatism, snakebite, urogenital problems, vaginal discharge, water retention, and as a female balancing aid
    Nicaragua for bites, fever, skin rash, sores, stings, venereal disease
    United States for hemorrhages and excessive bleeding, constipation, kidney stones, menstrual disorders, muscle spasms, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), testicular inflammation, urinary tract irritation, water retention
    Venzuela for bladder problems, kidney stones, snakebite; also used as a diuretic
    Elsewhere for abortions, anemia, arrow poisoning, asthma, boil, childbirth, constipation, cough, cystitis, diabetes, diarrhea, dyspepsia, excessive phlegm and mucous, edema, eye problems, fetal growth problems, fever, hemorrhages, hypertension, indigestion, itch, kidney stones, malaria, menstrual disorders, pain, post-menstrual hemorrhages, rheumatism, snakebite, sores, sterility, threatened miscarriage, urogenital inflammation, uterine hemorrhage, venereal disease, water retention, wounds and as a female balancing aid.

    The above text has been quoted from The Healing Power of Rainforest Herbs by Leslie Taylor, copyrighted © 2005 All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage or retrieval system, including websites, without written permission.

    † The statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information contained in this plant database file is intended for education, entertainment and information purposes only. This information is not intended to be used to diagnose, prescribe or replace proper medical care. The plant described herein is not intended to treat, cure, diagnose, mitigate or prevent any disease. Please refer to our Conditions of Use for using this plant database file and web site.

    Published Third-Party Research on Abuta

    All available third-party research on abuta can be found at PubMed.
    A partial listing of the published research on abuta is shown below:

    Uterine & Reproductive Actions:
    Ganguly, M., et al. "Antifertility activity of the methanolic leaf extract of Cissampelos pareira in female albino mice." J. Ethnopharmacol. 2007 May; 111(3): 688-91.
    Bullough, C., et al. “Herbal medicines used by traditional birth attendants in Malawi.” Trop. Geograph. Med. 1982; 34: 81-85.
    Tiwari, K. C., et al. “Folklore information from Assam for family planning and birth control.” Int. J. Crude Drug Res. 1982 Nov; 20(3):133-7.
    Feng, P. C., et al. “Pharmacological screening of some West Indian medicinal plants.” J. Pharm. Pharmacol. 1962; 14: 556–61.
    Moreno, M. S. F., et al. “Action of several popular medicaments on the isolated uterus.“ C. R. Seances Soc. Biol. Ses. Fil. 1922; 87:563-564.

    Antispasmodic, Anti-inflammatory, & Muscle-Relaxant Actions:
    Chen, J., et al. "The relaxation mechanisms of tetrandrine on the rabbit corpus cavernosum tissue in vitro." Nat. Prod. Res. 2009; 23(2): 112-21.
    Yuan, J., et al. "Effects of extracts and active components of Rhizoma Coptidis on contraction of circular smooth muscle isolated from guinea pig gastric antrum." Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Xue Bao. 2009; 7(9): 831-5.
    Jeong, H., et al. "Berberine suppresses proinflammatory responses through AMPK activation in macrophages." Am. J. Physiol. Endocrinol. Metab. 2009 Apr; 296(4): E955-64.
    Zhang, D., et al. "Tetrandrine ameliorates dextran-sulfate-sodium-induced colitis in mice through inhibition of nuclear factor -kappaB activation." Int. J. Colorectal Dis. 2009; 24(1):5-12.
    Choi, B., et al. "The inhibition of inflammatory molecule expression on 3T3-L1 adipocytes by berberine is not mediated by leptin signaling." Nutr. Res. Pract. 2009 Summer; 3(2): 84-8.
    Amresh, G., et al. "Antinociceptive and antiarthritic activity of Cissampelos pareira roots." J. Ethnopharmacol. 2007 May; 111(3): 531-6.
    Wu, S. J.," Tetrandrine inhibits proinflammatory cytokines, iNOS and COX-2 expression in human monocytic cells." Biol. Pharm. Bull. 2007 Jan; 30(1): 59-62.
    Choi, B. H., et al. "Berberine reduces the expression of adipogenic enzymes and inflammatory molecules of 3T3-L1 adipocyte." Exp. Mol. Med. 2006 Dec; 38(6): 599-605.
    Amresh, G., et al. "Evaluation of anti-inflammatory activity of Cissampelos pareira root in rats." J. Ethnopharmacol. 2007 Apr; 110(3): 526-31.
    Adesina, S. K. “Studies on some plants used as anticonvulsants in Amerindian and African traditional medicine.” Fitoterapia.1982; 53: 147–62.
    Mokkhasmit, M., et al. “Pharmacological evaluation of Thai medicinal plants continued.” J. Med. Ass. Thailand 1971; 54(7): 490–504.
    Feng, P. C., et al. “Pharmacological screening of some West Indian medicinal plants.” J. Pharm. Pharmacol. 1962; 14: 556–61.
    Roy, P. K., et al. “A preliminary note on the pharmacological action of the total alkaloids isolated from Cissampelos pareira (false pareira brava).” Indian J. Med. Res. 1952; 40:95.

    Diuretic & Anti-Diarrhea Actions:
    Cheng, Z., et al. "Berberine against gastrointestinal peptides elevation and mucous secretion in hyperthyroid diarrheic rats." Regul. Pept. 2009 Jun 5; 155(1-3): 145-9.
    Gu, L., et al. "The effect of berberine in vitro on tight junctions in human Caco-2 intestinal epithelial cells." Fitoterapia. 2009 Jun; 80(4): 241-8.
    Zhang, D., et al. "Tetrandrine ameliorates dextran-sulfate-sodium-induced colitis in mice through inhibition of nuclear factor -kappaB activation." Int. J. Colorectal Dis. 2009; 24(1):5-12.
    Watanabe-Fukuda, Y., et al. "Orengedokuto and berberine improve indomethacin-induced small intestinal injury via adenosine." J. Gastroenterol. 2009; 44(5): 380-9.
    Amresh, A., et al. “Ethnomedical value of Cissampelos pareira extract in experimentally induced diarrhoea.” Acta Pharm. 2004 Mar; 54(1): 27-35.
    Caceres, A., et al. “Diuretic activity of plants used for the treatment of urinary ailments in Guatemala.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 1987; 19(3): 233-45.
    Kupchan, S. M., et al. “Menispermaceae alkaloids. I. The alkaloids of Cissampelos pareira and the origin of Radix Pareirae Bravae.” J. Amer. Pharm. Ass. 1960; 49: 727.

    Cardiotonic & Hypotensive Actions:
    de Lima Assis, A., et al. "Warifteine, a bisbenzylisoquinoline alkaloid, induces relaxation by activating potassium channels in vascular myocytes." Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 2012 Nov 12. doi: 10.1111/1440-1681.12029.
    Singh, B., et al. "Effect of Cissampelos pareira root extract on isoproterenol-induced cardiac dysfunction. J Nat Med. 2012 Mar 14.
    Chen, L., et al. "Inhibitory effects of tetrandrine on the Na(+) channel of human atrial fibrillation myocardium." Acta Pharmacol. Sin. 2009; 30(2): 166-74.
    Wang, Y., et al. "Berberine prevents hyperglycemia-induced endothelial injury and enhances vasodilatation via adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase and endothelial nitric oxide synthase." Cardiovasc. Res. 2009 Jun; 82(3): 484-92.
    Holy, E., et al. "Berberine, a natural lipid-lowering drug, exerts prothrombotic effects on vascular cells." J. Mol. Cell. Cardiol. 2009; 46(2): 234-40.
    Wu, M. et al. "Advance on study in anti-atherosclerosis mechanism of berberine." Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2008 Sep; 33(18): 2013-6.
    Zhou, D., et al. "Effects of tetrandrine on Ang II-induced cardiomyocyte hypertrophy and p-ERK1/2 expression." Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2007 Sep; 32(18): 1921-4.
    Yao, W. X., et al. “Effects of tetrandrine on cardiovascular electrophysiologic properties.” Act. Pharmacol. Sin. 2002; 23(12): 1069-74.
    Mokkhasmit, M., et al. “Study on toxicity of Thai medicinal plants.” Dept. Med. Sci. 1971; 12(2/4): 36–65.
    Feng, P. C., et al. “Pharmacological screening of some West Indian medicinal plants.” J. Pharm. Pharmacol. 1962; 14: 556–61.
    Mokkhasmit, M., et al. “Pharmacological evaluation of Thai medicinal plants continued.” J. Med. Ass. Thailand 1971; 54(7): 490–504.
    Floriani, J. “Pharmacology of Cissampelos pareira var Gardneri.” Rev. Farm. 1936; 78: 49.

    Cytotoxic & Anticancerous Actions:
    Chen, L., et al. "Reversal of P-gp-mediated multidrug resistance by Bromotetrandrine in vivo is associated with enhanced accumulation of chemotherapeutical drug in tumor tissue." Anticancer Res. 2009; 29(11): 4597-604.
    Chen, Y., et al. "Tetrandrine suppresses tumor growth and angiogenesis of gliomas in rats." Int. J. Cancer. 2009 May; 124(10): 2260-9.
    Sun, Y., et al., "A systematic review of the anticancer properties of berberine, a natural product from Chinese herbs." Anticancer Drugs. 2009 Oct; 20(9): 757-69.
    Wu, J., et al. "Tetrandrine induces apoptosis and growth suppression of colon cancer cells in mice." Cancer Lett. 2009 Jul 6.
    Cho, H., et al. "Synergistic effect of ERK inhibition on tetrandrine-induced apoptosis in A549 human lung carcinoma cells." J. Vet. Sci. 2009 Mar; 10(1): 23-8.
    Qian, X., et al. "Inhibitory effect of tetrandrine on angiogenesis." Ai. Zheng. 2008; 27(10): 1050-5.
    Liu, B., et al. "Anticancer effect of tetrandrine on primary cancer cells isolated from ascites and pleural fluids." Cancer Lett. 2008 Sep 8; 268(1): 166-75.
    Issat, T., et al. "Berberine, a natural cholesterol reducing product, exerts antitumor cytostatic/cytotoxic effects independently from the mevalonate pathway." Oncol. Rep. 2006 Dec; 16(6): 1273-6.
    Jantova, S., et al. "Berberine induces apoptosis through a mitochondrial/caspase pathway in human promonocytic U937 cells." Toxicol. In Vitro. 2007 Feb;21(1): 25-31.
    Bork, P. M., et al. “Sesquiterpene lactone containing Mexican Indian medicinal plants and pure sesquiterpene lactones as potent inhibitors of transcription factor NF-KB.” Febs. Lett. 1997; 402(1): 85–90.
    Gessler, M. C., et al. “Tanzanian medicinal plants used traditionally for the treatment of malaria: in vivo antimalarial and in vitro cytotoxic activities.” Phytother. Res. 1995; 9(7): 504–8.
    Morita, H., et al. “A novel antileukemic tropoloisoquinoline alkaloid, pareirubrine, from Cissampelos pareira.” Chem. Lett. 1993; 2: 339-342.
    Morita, H., et al. “Conformation of tropolone ring in antileukemic tropoloisoquinoline alkaloids.” Pharm. Bull. 1993: 41(8): 1478-80.
    Chapuis, J. C., et al. “Screening for cytotoxic activity of plants used in traditional medicine.” Ethnopharmacol. 1988; 23(2/3): 273-284.

    Antimicrobial, Antiparasitic, & Antimalarial Actions:
    Zhang, H., et al. "Synergistic anti-candidal activity of tetrandrine on ketoconazole: an experimental study." Planta Med. 2010; 76(1): 53-61.
    Iwazaki, R., et al. "In vitro antifungal activity of the berberine and its synergism with fluconazole." Antonie. Van. Leeuwenhoek. 2009 Nov 2.
    Zhang, H., et al. "Mechanism of action of tetrandrine, a natural inhibitor of Candida albicans drug efflux pumps." Yakugaku Zasshi. 2009; 129(5): 623-30.
    Rukunga, G. M., et al. "Anti-plasmodial activity of the extracts of some Kenyan medicinal plants." J. Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Jan; 121(2): 282-5.
    Ramirez, I, et al. “Cissampeloflavone, a chalcone-flavone dimer from Cissampelos pareira.” Phytochemistry. 2003 Sep; 64(2): 645-7.
    Sanchez Medina, A., et al. “Evaluation of biological activity of crude extracts from plants used in Yucatecan traditional medicine part l. Antioxidant, antimicrobial and beta-glucosidase inhibition activities.” Phytomedicine 2001; 8(2):144-51
    Gessler, M. C., et al. “Screening of Tanzanian medicinal plants for antimalarial activity.” Acta. Tropica. 1994; 56(1): 65–77.
    Anwer, F., et al. “Studies in medicinal plants 3. Protoberberine alkaloids from the roots of Cissampelos pareira Linn.” Experientia. 1968; 15.
    Bhatnagar, A. K., et al. “Chemical examination of the roots of Cissampelos pareira Linn. V. Structure and stereochemistry of hayatidin.” Experientia. 1967; 15.
    George, M. and K. M. Pandalai “Investigations on plant antibiotics. Part IV. Further search for antibiotic substances in Indian medicinal plants.” Indian J. Med. Res. 1949; 37: 169–81.

    Neuroprotective Actions:
    Kulkarni, S., et al. "Berberine: a plant alkaloid with therapeutic potential for central nervous system disorders." Phytother. Res. 2009 Dec 8.
    Ye, M., et al. "Neuropharmacological and pharmacokinetic properties of berberine: a review of recent research." J. Pharm Pharmacol. 2009; 61(7): 831-7.
    Zhang, J., et al. "Berberine and total base from rhizoma coptis chinensis attenuate brain injury in an aluminum-induced rat model of neurodegenerative disease." Saudi Med. J. 2009; 30(6): 760-6.
    Benaissa, F., et al. "Berberine reduces the hypoxic-ischemic insult in rat pup brain." Acta Physiol. Hung. 2009 Jun; 96(2): 213-20.
    Cui, H., et al. "Berberine exerts neuroprotective actions against in vitro ischemia-induced neuronal cell damage in organotypic hippocampal slice cultures: involvement of B-cell lymphoma 2 phosphorylation suppression." Biol. Pharm. Bull. 2009; 32(1): 79-85.
    Zhou, X., et al. "Neuroprotective effects of berberine on stroke models in vitro and in vivo." Neurosci. Lett. 2008 Dec 5; 447(1): 31-6.
    Asai, M.,"Berberine alters the processing of Alzheimer's amyloid precursor protein to decrease Abeta secretion." Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 2007 Jan; 352(2): 498-502.
    Zhu, F., et al. "Berberine chloride can ameliorate the spatial memory impairment and increase the expression of interleukin-1beta and inducible nitric oxide synthase in the rat model of Alzheimer's disease." BMC Neurosci. 2006 Dec 1; 7:78.

    Liver Protective Actions:
    Surendran, S., et al. "In vitro and in vivo hepatoprotective activity of Cissampelos pareira against carbon-tetrachloride induced hepatic damage." Indian J Exp Biol. 2011 Dec;49(12):939-45.
    Gong, X., et al. "Tetrandrine attenuates lipopolysaccharide-induced fulminant hepatic failure in d-galactosamine-sensitized mice." Int. Immunopharmacol. 2009 Dec 28.
    Sun, X., et al. "Berberine inhibits hepatic stellate cell proliferation and prevents experimental liver fibrosis." Biol. Pharm. Bull. 2009; 32(9): 1533-7.
    Feng, D. et al. "Tetrandrine protects mice from concanavalin A-induced hepatitis through inhibiting NF-kappaB activation." Immunol. Lett. 2008 Dec 22; 121(2): 127-33.
    Ghen, F., et al. "Effects of tetrandrine on ischemia/reperfusion injury in mouse liver." Transplant Proc. 2008 Sep; 40(7): 2163-6.
    Hsu, Y. C., et al. "Antifibrotic effects of tetrandrine on hepatic stellate cells and rats with liver fibrosis." J. Gastroenterol. Hepatol. 2007 Jan; 22(1): 99-111.

    Anti-Diabetic Actions:
    Liu, L., et al. "Berberine modulates insulin signaling transduction in insulin-resistant cells." Mol. Cell Endocrinol. 2009 Dec 30.
    Yu, Y., et al. "Modulation of glucagon-like peptide-1 release by berberine: In vivo and in vitro studies." Biochem. Pharmacol. 2009 Nov 27.
    Gao, L., "Of berberine and puerarin on dexamethesone-induced insulin resistance in porcine ovarian thecal cells." Zhongguo Zhong. Xi. Yi. Jie. He. Za. Zhi. 2009; 29(7): 623-7.
    Zhang, H., et al. "Berberine lowers blood glucose in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients through increasing insulin receptor expression." Metabolism. 2009 Sep 30.
    Prabhakar, P., et al. "Synergistic effect of phytochemicals in combination with hypoglycemic drugs on glucose uptake in myotubes." Phytomedicine. 2009; 16(12): 1119-26.
    Zhou, J., et al. "Protective effect of berberine on beta cells in streptozotocin- and high-carbohydrate/high-fat diet-induced diabetic rats." Eur. J. Pharmacol. 2009 Mar 15; 606(1-3): 262-8.
    Zhang, W., et al. "Anti-diabetic effects of cinnamaldehyde and berberine and their impacts on retinol-binding protein 4 expression in rats with type 2 diabetes mellitus." Chin. Med. J. 2008 Nov 5; 121(21): 2124-8.

    Anti-Obesity Actions:
    Hu, Y., et al. "Berberine inhibits adipogenesis in high-fat diet-induced obesity mice." Fitoterapia. 2009 Oct 25.
    Hwang, J., et al. "AMP-activated protein kinase: a potential target for the diseases prevention by natural occurring polyphenols." N. Biotechnol. 2009 Oct 1; 26(1-2): 17-22.
    Hu, Y., et al. "Inhibitory effect and transcriptional impact of berberine and evodiamine on human white preadipocyte differentiation." Fitoterapia. 2009 Sep 30.
    Kim, W., et al. "Berberine improves lipid dysregulation in obesity by controlling central and peripheral AMPK activity."Am. J. Physiol. Endocrinol. Metab. 2009; 296(4): E812-9.
    Choi, B. H., et al. "Berberine reduces the expression of adipogenic enzymes and inflammatory molecules of 3T3-L1 adipocyte." Exp. Mol. Med. 2006 Dec; 38(6): 599-605.

    Antioxidant & Immunomodulatory Actions:
    Bafna, A., et al. "Antioxidant and immunomodulatory activity of the alkaloidal fraction of Cissampelos pareira linn." Sci Pharm. 2010;78(1):21-31. Epub 2009 Dec 19.

    Non-Toxic Effect:
    Amresh, G., et al. "Toxicological screening of traditional medicine Laghupatha (Cissampelos pareira) in experimental animals." J. Ethnopharmacol. 2008; 116(3): 454-60.


    1. "Abuta has been traditionally used by women who have problems with their menses. Midwives in the Amazon carry Abuta with them for menstrual cramps and pre- and postnatal pain. They report that it prevents threatened miscarriages. In Ecuador, it has been known to stop uterine hemorrhages during childbirth and it is used by men for inflammation of the testicles. Abuta is helpful for kidney stones, other minor kidney problems, and acts as a diuretic."
    2. "South American Indian women have used abuta for centuries to relieve symptoms associated with menstruation and to balance female hormones. It is commonly referred to as the "midwives' herb" and has been believed to help prevent miscarriage and stop uterine hemorrhaging."
    3. "Brazilian Indian women have used Abuta for centuries to ease the symptoms associated with menses. Commonly referred to as the "midwives herb", believed to aid in preventing miscarriage and to stop uterine hemorrhages."
    4. "Medicinal Action and Uses: Tonic, diuretic, aperient; acts as an antiseptic to the bladder, chiefly employed for the relief of chronic inflammation of the urinary passages, also recommended for calculus affections, leucorrhoea, rheumatism, jaundice, dropsy, and gonorrhea."

    8. "Brazilian uses and Folklore: Abuta is a very useful herb for women's affections. It's antispasmodic action makes it influential in treating cramps, painful menstruation and pre and post-natal pain. Brazilian Indian women have for centuries valued its analgesic powers, and satchels of almost all midwives contain the root of this plant. In their book, "Medical Botany" (John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 1977) Walter H. Lewis and Memory Lewis state, "Cissampelos Pareira roots are used in tropical countries to prevent a threatened miscarriage. The herb is also used to stop uterine hermorrhages" (p. 324) Uses: Helpful for menstrual cramps and difficult menstruation, pre and post-natal pain. Aids poor digestion, drowsiness after meals and constipation. Also used in homeopathy, in the form of a mother tincture."

    9. "Cissampelos pareira L. Menispermaceae. "Imchich masha", "Barbasco". "Palikur" use the leaf poultice as an analgesic (GMJ). Seeds used for snakebite; diuretic, expectorant, febrifuge, piscicide, POISON, for venereal disease (RAR). Contains tetrandrine, which is analgesic, antiinflammatory, and febrifuge."

    10. "Cissampelos pareira L. Menispermaceae. "Imchich masha", "Barbasco", "Palikur" use the leaf poultice as an analgesic (GMJ). Seeds used for snakebite; diuretic, expectorant, febrifuge, piscicide, POISON, for venereal disease (RAR). Contains tetrandrine, which is analgesic, antiinflammatory, and febrifuge."

    11."Abuta is used by men in the Amazon for inflammation of the testicles. It is also helpful for kidney stones and other minor kidney problems. Other herbs from the Amazon which help establish balance during the menstrual cycle or during menopause include Abuta, Maracuja, Marapuama, Star anise and Una de gato. Many of these herbs do this indirectly by regulating the nervous system. Abuta is always carried by midwives in the Amazon for menstrual cramps and pain before and after childbirth. They report that it prevents miscarriages. In Ecuador, it has also been known to stop uterine hemorrhages"

    21. "Cissampelos pareira Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. (1753) 1031.
    Garcia-Barriga (1974)
    This woody climber, according to Garcia-Barriga, is "one of the principal components of curare." It occurs widely in Colombia, including the Amazon region. The Ketchwas of Ecuador use it as an arrow poison."

    * The statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information contained in this plant database file is intended for education, entertainment and information purposes only. This information is not intended to be used to diagnose, prescribe or replace proper medical care. The plant described herein is not intended to treat, cure, diagnose, mitigate or prevent any disease. Please refer to our Conditions of Use for using this plant database file and web site.

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    Last updated 2-11-2013