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Family Polygonaceae

Cadena de amor
Antigonon leptopus Hook. & Arn.

Scientific names Common names
Antigonon amabie K.Koch Cadena-de-amor (Span., Tag.)
Antigonon cinerascens M.Martens & Galeotti Bride's tears (Engl.)
Antigonon cordatum M.Martens & Galeotti Chain of love (Engl.)
Antigonon leptopus Hook. & Arn. Coral creeper (Engl.)
Antigonon platypus Hook. & Arn. Coral vine (Engl.)
Corculum leptopum Stuntz Chinese love vine (Engl.)
  Coralila, coralita (jamaica)
  Hearts on a chain (Engl.)
  Love vine (Engl.)
  Quuen's wreath (Engl.)
Antigonon leptopus Hook. & Arn. is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
BENGALI: Anantalata.
SPANISH: Bellisima.
TAMIL: Kodi rose.

Cadena-de-amor is a climbing, somewhat woody, perennial vine, with stems attaining a length of 10 meters. Leaves are alternate, ovate to oblong-ovate, with cordate base, serrate margins, up to 10 centimeters long. Flowers are borne in racemes at the upper axils of the terminal parts of the branches, the rachis of the racemes producing tendrils. Flowers are white or pale to deep pink, up to 2 centimeters long, with 5-parted and persistent perianth. Fruit is an ovoid achene, about 1 centimeters long, broad at the base, narrowing towards the tip, loosely surrounded by the persistent lobes of the flower.

- Widespread in the Philippines.
- Usually cultivated in gardens.
- Some have escaped cultivation to become noxious weeds.
Propagated by seeds or cuttings.

- Native to Mexico.
- Found in tropical Asia, Africa, Caribbean and the Americas.

- Phytochemical screening of plants flowers extracts yielded alkaloids, quinines, resins, tannins, fixed oils, flavonoids, fats, saponins phenolic compounds, proteins, and carboxylic acids.
- Screening of methanol extracts of flowers yielded phenol, saponins, amino acids, steroids, phytosterols, triterpenoidal sapogenins, tannins, xanthoproteins, carboxylic acid, and coumarins.
- A methanol extract of the aerial part of the flower yielded (1) n-hentriacontane (1), ferulic acid (2), 4-hydroxycinnamic acid (3), quercetin-3-rhamnoside (4), and kaempherol-3-glucoside (5) along with ß-sitosterol, ß-sitosterol-glucoside and d-mannitol. (see study below)
- An ethanol extract yielded a known compound, quercetin-3-O-α-rhamnopyranoside and four novel anthraquinones: 1,8-dihydroxy-6-(hydroxymethyl)-3-methoxy-2-pyrrolidinium anthraquinone, 1,8-dihydroxy-6-(methyl)-3-methoxy-2-pyrrolidinium anthraquinone, 1,8-dihydroxy-6-(hydroxymethyl)-3-methoxy-2-piperidinium anthraquinone, 1,8-dihydroxy-6-(methyl)-3-methoxy-2-piperidinium anthraquinone. (see study below) (14)
- Phytochemical screening of ethanol extract of leaves yielded alkaloids, saponins, tannins, unsaturated sterol and/or triterpenes, flavonoids, glycosides, an coumarins. (see study below) (19)

- Studies have shown anti-thrombin, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic and lipid peroxidation inhibitory properties.

Parts used
Bark, fruit, leaves and seeds.

- In
some parts of the world, the tubers and flowers are consumed as food.
- In Thailand, leaves and flowers, flour-coated and fried, are served with noodles.
- Flowers also used in omelets.


- In the Philippines, an isolated report of use by Ifugao-migrants in the foothills of the Sierra Madre for wound closure. (
- Leaves used reduc
e swelling; tea leaves used for diabetes; blossoms used for high blood pressure.
- In Trinidad and Tobago, used for diabetes, low blood pressure, and as a heart tonic.
- Aerial portion of the flowers used in decoctions as a cold remedy. (
- In other countries decoction of aerial parts used as a remedy for colds and pain relief.
- In Jamaica, decoction of aerial parts traditionally used for prevention of cough and flu-related pains.
- In
leaves used for cough and throat constriction.
Flower clusters popular for use in flower and foliage arrangements for social functions.

Phytochemicals / Lipid peroxidation and Selective COX2 Enzyme Inhibition: Stud
y of methanolic extract of aerial parts yielded n-hentriacontane (1) ferulic acid (2) 4-hydroxycinnamic acid (3) quercetin-3-rhamnoside (4) and kaempherol-3-glucoside (5) along with ß-sitosterol, ß-sitosterol-glucoside and d-mannitol. Results showed LPO (lipid peroxidation) and COX (cyclooxygenase) inhibitory activities. (1)
Antithrombin activity:
A chromogenic bioassay was utilized to determine the antithrombin activity of methylene chloride and methanol extracts prepared from 30 plants of central Florida. Antigonon leptopus was one of seven extracts that demonstrated activity of 80% or higher in the bioassay system. (
Analgesic / Antiinflammatory / Roots:
A study investigated a methanolic extract of roots of Antigonon leptopus for anti-inflammatory activity in mice and rats. Results showed promising anti-inflammatory activity against acute and sub-acute inflammation, which may be due to prostaglandin inhibition and reduction of oxidative stress. (
4) (12)
COX-2 and LPO Inhibitory Activity / Aerial Parts: Study evaluated A. leptopus tea from dried aerial parts for lipid peroxidation (LPO) and cyclooxygenase (COX1 and COX2) enzyme inhibitory activities. Study yielded a selective COX-2 enzyme inhibitory phenolic aldehyde, 2,3,4-trihydroxy benzaldehyde. The isolated compound 1 from A. leptopus tea showed selective COX-2 enzyme and LPO inhibitory activities. (5)
Antifilarial: Extract study showed A leptopus possessed significant juvenile hormone analogue activity against Culex quinquefasciatus.
Anti-Diabetic: Study of the methanolic extract of aerial parts of Antigonon leptopus showed significant antidiabetic activity and supports its traditional claim of use in diabetes and its associated complications
Antibacterial / Flowers: Study evaluated the antibacterial properties of flower extracts of Antigonon leptopus. The ethanol and chloroform extracts exhibited significant concentration-dependent inhibition against B. subtilis, Bacillus peritlis and Salmonella typhi. (
Antimicrobial / Dental Pathogens: Study showed the flower extracts of Antigonon leptopus showed potent antimicrobial activity against common human dental pathogens - Staphylococcus aureus, Proteus vulgaris, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Micrococcus albus. (10)
Anthelmintic / Roots and Rhizomes: Extracts of Antigonon leptopus roots and rhizomes was tested for in vitro anthelmintic activity against earthworms Pheretima posthuma. The ethyl acetate and methanol extracts of A. leptopus significant exhibited paralysis and caused death of worms. (13)
Novel Anthraquinone Derivatives / Antibacterial / Aerial Parts: An ethanol extract yielded a known compound, quercetin-3-O-α-rhamnopyranoside and four novel anthraquinones. Two of the new compounds showed antibacterial activity against Bacillus subtilis and Staphylococcus aureus. (14)
Anthelmintic / Leaves: Study of a chloroform fraction of methanolic extract of leaves of A. leptopus against Pheretima posthuma showed significant in-vitro anthelmintic activity. Phytochemical screening yielded many compounds including phenols, hydrocarbons, quinazolines, coumarins, steroids, and terpenes like cadinene, juniper camphor, among others. (15)
Antioxidant / Cytotoxicity / Leaves:
Study of an ethanol extract of leaves showed free radical scavenging activity using DPPH assay and cytotoxicity effects on MTT-assay of Vero cell line. (see constituents above) (19)

New Saponin / Xanthine Oxidase Inhibitor: Study isolated a compound determined to be a noncompetitive inhibitor of xanthine with an IC50 of 1.79 µg/ml. The IC50 was comparable to allopurinol and may represent a new class of XO inhibitors. (
Cytotoxic / Antimitotic / Flowers: Study evaluated the cytotoxic and antimitotic activity of A. leptopus flower extract.
All three concentrations of AL flower extract (10, 100, 1000 ppm) exhibited cytotoxic activity against A. salina larvae. A. leptopus crude extract exhibited an inhibition of the growth of onion roots. (21)
Corrosion Inhibition: Study evaluated the inhibitive action of A. leptopus acid extract on corrosion of mild steel in 1M H2SO4. Results demonstrated effective corrosion inhibition in the acid medium, with the inhibition efficiency increasing with increase in temperature and concentration. (22)

Seeds in the cybermarket.

Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D.

Last Updated October 2015

Photos ©Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
IMAGE SOURCE: SEEDS / Antigonon leptopus Hook. & Arn. - coral vine / Steve Hurst @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / USDA

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Functional food components of Antigonon leptopus tea / Mulabagal Vanisreea, Ruby L. Alexander-Lindob, David L. DeWittc and Muraleedharan G. Nair / Food Chemistry • Volume 106, Issue 2, 15 January 2008, Pages 487-492 / doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2007.06.013
Antithrombin activity of medicinal plants from central Florida / Natalya Chistokhodova et al / Journal of Ethnopharmacology • Vol 81, Issue 2, July 2002, Pages 277-280 / doi:10.1016/S0378-8741(02)00097-1
Ethnomedicines used in Trinidad and Tobago for urinary problems and diabetes mellitus

Preliminary Studies of Analgesic and Anti-inflammatory Properties of Antigonon leptopus Hook. et Arn Roots in Experimental Models/ William Carey Mamidipalli et al / Journal of Health Science, 54(3)281-286(2008)
Health-Beneficial Phenolic Aldehyde in Antigonon leptopus Tea / Vanisree Mulabagal et al / doi:10.1093/ecam/nep041 / eCAM Advance Access published online on May 19, 2009 /
eCAM, doi:10.1093/ecam/nep041
Juvenoid activity in plant extracts against filarial mosquito Culex quinquefasciatus / Journal of Medicinal and Aromatic Plant Sciences
/ Surendar Angothu et al. / International Journal of Phytopharmacology. 1, 2010, 28-34.
The use of medicinal plants by Ifugao-migrants in the foothills of the Sierra Madre mountain range / Jasper Wester /
Preliminary phytochemical screening and antibacterial studies of the flowers of Antigonon leptopus
/ Naga Deepthi. Bolla , Praveen kumar. Bhogavalli / Annals of Biological Research, 2010, 1(4); 229-233
Studies on anti-microbial activity of flower extracts of Antigonon leptopus against common dental pathogens
/ Gupta A.V.N, Rama Rao. Bandlamuri, Jyothirmai. Jagarlamu and Praveen Kumar Bhogavalli / Annals of Biological Research, 2011, 2 (2) : 99-103
Coral vine / Common names / Flowers of India

Study of anti-inflammatory activity of Antigonon leptopus Hook. et Arn roots / WILLIAM M CAREY*, JEEVAN MANI BABU. D, VENKAT RAO. N, KRISHNA MOHAN. G / Journal of Pharmacy and Chemistry • Vol.2 • Issue 3, July - September 2008
Novel anthraquinone derivatives from the aerial parts of Antigonon leptopus Hook & Arn / Olaoluwa O. Olaoluwa, Olapeju O. Aiyelaagbe, Dianne Irwin, Matthew Reid / Tetrahedron, Volume 69, Issue 33, 19 August 2013, Pages 6906–6910
GC-MS PROFILING AND ANTHELMINTIC ACTIVITY OF ANTIGONON LEPTOPUS LEAVES / K. Sony Priya, K. Satyavathi, P. Bhojaraju, Y. Ratna Kumari, D. Venkatesh Prasad, M. Sesha Sai Durga, P. Mercy Preeti, K. Pardhava Lovaraju and Lakshmi Kanta Kanthal* / IJPSR (2014), Vol. 5, Issue 5
Preliminary phytochemical studies on the methanolic flower extracts of some selected medicinal plants from India / Johnson Marimuthu @ Antonisamy*, Jalaja Sreekumar Aparna, Solomon Jeeva, Selvamony Sukumaran, Babu Anantham / Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine (2012)S79-S82
Antigonon leptopus: a potent biological source for extermination of fish bacterial pathogens Providencia and Aeromonas. / Balasubramani Govindasamy, Deepak Paramasivam, Sowmiya Rajamani, Ramkumar Rajendiran, Perumal Pachiappan
Antipogon leptopus / Synonyms / The Plant List
Antioxidant activity, phytochemical screening and cytotoxicity of ethanolic leaves extract of Antigonon leptopus

/ Abdelrhman M. Elhaj*, El-badri E. Osman, Waleed S. Koko, Mohammed I. Garbi, and Ahmed S. Kabbashi / Research Journal of Agriculture and Environmental Management. Vol. 4(4), pp. 202-207, April, 2015
New steroidal saponin from Antigonon leptopus Hook. and Arn. / Maria Karmella L Apaya, Christine L Chichioco-Hernandez / Pharmacognosy Magazine, 2014, Volume 10, Issue 39, Pp 501-505
Determination of the cytotic and the preliminary assessment of the antimitotic activity of the crude extract of Antigonon leptopus (Cadena de amor) flower. / Kristine N. Concepcion, Robelyn B. Lorca, Joana Nica D. Nadurarta, Rezyl P. Tuba-on, Angelita A. Rodriguez / Thesis-Dissertations: March 2014
Inhibition Effect of Antigonon Leptopus Extract on Mild Steel in Sulphuric Acid Medium / S. Aejitha, P.K. Kasthuri, Geethamani

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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