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) (1)
- 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)
Studies have shown anti-thrombin,
analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic and lipid peroxidation inhibitory
Bark, fruit, leaves and
- 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. (8)
- Leaves used reduce 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. (1)
- 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.
Flower clusters popular for use in flower
and foliage arrangements for social functions.
• Phytochemicals / Lipid peroxidation and Selective COX2 Enzyme Inhibition: Studies 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. (2)
• 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. (6)
• 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. (9)
• 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)
Seeds in the cybermarket.