Cardiospermum is a plant that helps skin in almost every way, from eczema to bacterial infections, and it may even help reduce swelling and pain from arthritis.
Cardiospermum is a vine that grows abundantly throughoutIndiaand has been used by traditional herbalists inIndiato treat a wide range of ailments of the skin.
However more recently Cardiospermum has been researched for use in more mainstream health treatments, namely for infections and conditions of the skin, including eczema and dermatitis.
The main medicinal properties of Cardiospermum lies in it’s leaves and stems. Recent studies have found that the medicinal strength of Cardiospermum leaves are more effective when the leaves are dried in the natural shade rather than by industrial drying processes.
Research shows that the main medicinal attribute of the Cardiospermum vine, clinically known as Cardiospermum halicacabum, is it’s anti-inflammatory action (1) (2) & (3).
Cardiospermum also goes under the names of Mudakkatran or Uzhinjha. In one study extacts of the cardiospermum plant were found to be more effective as as anti-inflammatory than paracetamol (4)
The anti-inflammatory actions of Cardiospermum make it a useful and effective treatment for all skin-related or surface inflammatory conditions. Research has shown Cardiospermum can help reduce swelling and itching for eczema and dermatitis when applied directly to the skin as an ointment (5). It can also help with ear ache if used as a tincture poured into the ear.
The latest research has found that not only does cardiospermum have effective anti-inflammatory actions on the skin it is also a potent anti-bacterial agent (6) (7) & (8).
This means that Cardiospermum is doubly helpful for treating inflammatory skin condition like eczema because not only does it help reduce skin inflammation and itching it can also help reduce the secondary bacterial infections that are common in open eczema lesions.
A third action of Cardiospermum that could explain why it’s so effective for combating eczema is that it also has an anti-fungal action (9). In traditionalIndiamedicine, Cardiospermum is used as a hair tonic as a cure for fungal dandruff.
Some recent research suggests that a certain strain of fungus may be responsible for triggering eczema, which means that Cardiospermum’s anti-fungal action would also be helpful in combating the causes of eczema.
Cardiospermum extract has also been researched for it’s use on inflammation and pain cause by arthritis (10).
Click here for our review of a Cardiospermum skin product for dry skin and eczema.
1. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 1976 Oct-Dec;20(4):203-8.
Studies on the pharmacological actions of Cardiospermum helicacabum.
Gopalakrishnan C, Dhananjayan R, Kameswaran L.
2. Journal of Ethnopharmacology
Volume 19, Issue 2, March–April 1987, Pages 201–212
Biochemical modes of action of Cassia occidentalis and Cardiospermum halicacabum in inflammation
J. Sadique, T. Chandra, V. Thenmozhi, V. Elango
Department of Siddha Medicine, Faculty of Sciences,TamilUniversity, Thanjavur 613 001India
3. Journal of Ethnopharmacology
Volume 133, Issue 2, 27 January 2011, Pages 743–750
Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of Cardiospermum halicacabum and its reference compounds ex vivo and in vivo
4. Analgesic anti-pyretic and anti-inflammatory activity of various extracts of stem of Cardiospermum halicacabum.
Authors Arjumand Ara; Reddy, K. S.; Reddy, C. S.
Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences 2009 Vol. 2 No. 1 pp. 20-25
5. Cardiospermum–a new phytogenic drug in dermatology?
Z Hautkr. 1989 Apr 15;64(4):274, 277-8.
Indian J Exp Biol. 1999 Apr;37(4):411-4.
6. Pharmacologyonline 2: 445-456 (2010) Viji et al.
445 PHYTOCHEMICAL ANALYSIS AND ANTIBACTERIAL ACTIVITY
OF MEDICINAL PLANT CARDIOSPERMUM HELICACABUM
7. Advances in Biological Research 6 (1): 14-18, 2012
ISSN 1992-0067 Corresponding Author: T. Deepan, Research Labortary,GIETSchoolof Pharmacy, Rajahmundry-533294,Andhra Pradesh,India.
8. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research Vol. 6(1), pp. 154–160, 9 January, 2012
ISSN 1996-0875 ©2012 Academic Journals
9. Indian J Exp Biol. 1999 Apr;37(4):411-4. Related Articles, Links
Antipyretic activity of Cardiospermum halicacabum.
Asha VV, Pushpangadan P.
Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology,Thiruvananthapuram,India.
10. Cardiospermum halicacabum suppresses the production of TNF-alpha and Nitric oxide by Human Peripheral Blood Mononuclear cells
Venkatesh Babu K.C. and Krishnakumari S
African Journal of Biomedical Research, Vol. 9 (2006); 95 – 99 ISSN 1119 – 5096