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Cardiospermum

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What is Cardiospermum and where does it come from?

BY Bruce Shane 6 July, 2007

Cardiospermum is short for Cardiospermum halicacabum. This is the official name for balloon wine which is a woody perennial climbing plant with large ornamental seed pods that resemble balloons. Cardiospermum is mainly found in tropical India, Africa and America.

The name Cardiospermum comes from the strange form of the seeds from the plant. The “cardio” is because the seeds have a distinct white heart shape on them.

Wild cardiospermum vine

The Cardiospermum plant is used in many topical applications and has been found to have a natural anti-inflammatory effect. There has been many research articles published about the extract from Cardiospermum.

Research carried out in India’s Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, published in the Indian Journal of Experimental Biology in 1999 discovered that Cardiospermum extract showed potent anti-inflammatory properties.

In a separate double blind study carried out on human subjects in Germany a Cardiospermum balm was tested on healthy skin and compared against a placebo balm. Once again the Cardiospermum showed an anti-inflammatory effect without any side effects at all.

For more information about Cardiospermum research see our review article on research and uses of the plant on skin.

A dried cardiospermum seed

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