Kantutan is a climbing, herbaceous.
hairy or smooth slender vine. Leaves are ovate to
oblong-ovate, 6 to 10 centimeters long, 3.5 to 5 centimeters wide, pointed at the tip, rounded
or slightly heart-shaped at the base, emitting a distinct foetid odor when crushed. Flowers are stalkless, borne in axillary,
lax, peduncled inflorescences. Calyx is small and 5-toothed. Corolla is about 1 to 3 centimeters long, somewhat cylindrical,
pale purple to nearly white outside, deep purple and villous inside; limb is
spreading with 5 undulate lobes. Fruit is somewhat rounded, about 5 millimeters in diameter.
- Throughout the Philippines
in thickets at low and medium
altitudes, ascending to 1,500 meters.
- Also reported from India to Japan, China and Malaya.
- The name derives from the distinct odor
of carbon bisulphide when the leaves are crushed.
In Ayurveda, considered alterative, antiarthritic, antispasmodic, cardiac, diaphoretic. expectorant and stomachic.
- Considered anodyne, aphrodisiac, emollient, carminative, diuretic, tonic, stomachic, vermifuge.
- Juice of leaves considered astringent.
- Upon distillation, a
volatile oil is obtained with the offensive odor of the fresh crushed
- Two alkaloids are obtained: a- and b-Paederine.
- The leaves yield an indole.
- Yields iridoid monoterpenes, fatty acids, embelin, and friedelanol.
- Yields hentriacontane, hentriacontanol, ceryl alcohol, sitosterol, stigmasterol, campesterol, urosolic acid, and epifriedelinol.
- Leaves are rich in carotene and vitamin C.
- Plant yields friedelan-3-1, beta-sitosterol and epifriedelinol.
- Leaves yield iridoid glycosides, asperuloside, paederoside and scandoside;
sitosterol, stigmasterol, campesterol, ursolic acid, palmitic acid and
methyl mercaptan. The methyl mercaptan is responsible for the foetid odor
of the plant.
- Leaves and bark.
- Used for rheumatism.
- The leaves, boiled and mashed, applied to the abdomen for urinary retention.
- Decoction of leaves also used for urinary retention and for urinary bladder
- Decoction-soaked cloths applied to the forehead for fevers and decoction taken internally
at the same time.
- Bark decoction used as emetic.
- Decoction of leaves used for antirheumatic baths.
- Pounded leaves applied to the abdomen for flatulence.
- Decoction of roots for expelling gas.
- Leaves mixed in omelettes or "tortilla," reported to be effective for intestinal catarrh.
- Hindus use the root as an emetic.
- Juice of leaves considered astringent; used for diarrhea in children.
- Hot aqueous extract of aerial parts used for treating liver diseases.
- Poultice of leaves used for herpes.
- Leaves and twigs used as diuretic for inflammation of the urethra.
- Lepchas and Pharias reported to use the fruit to blacken the teeth, and consider it specific for toothache.
- Roots also used as emollient and carminative; used for colic, spasms, rheumatism, and gout.
- Fruit used for toothaches and to blacken the teeth.
- Decoction of whole plant used for abdominal pain, abscesses, arthritis.
- In many Asia traditional
therapies, used for diarrhea and dysentery.
- In Malaya, leaves used as emulsion for flatulence and rheumatism.
- In Bengal, decoction of leaves used as nutritive for the sick and convalescent.
- In Bangladesh, used for
diarrhea. Poultice of leaves used to relieve distention and flatulence
- Roots and bark used as emetic, and in the treatment of piles and liver
- Fruit used for toothache.
- In India used for rheumatism
and stiffness of the joints. Poultice of leaves applied to abdomen to
relieve distention and flatulence. Juice of the root is used for piles,
liver and spleen ailments.
- In Ayurveda, used for asthma, bowel problems, diarrhea, diabetes, rheumatism and seminal weakness.
Study showed P. foetida reduced the purging index in a dose-dependent manner in magnesium sulfate-induced diarrhea, reducing gastrointestinal motility and enhanced morphine-induced reduction of motility. Results showed PF has antidiarrheal activity by inhibiting intestinal
motility supporting its use in traditional medicine.
Study of the butanol fraction of a methanol extract of the defatted leaves of P. foetida showed significant inhibition of granulation tissue formation in cotton-pellet implanted rats, decreased liver aspartate transaminase activity and presence of disease-modifying antirheumatic activity. Results showed some rationale for its ethnomedical anti-inflammatory use.
• Antispasmodic: Ethanolic
extract exhibited antispasmodic activity on isolated guinea-pig ileum.
Juice of leaves showed potent anthelmintic effect against bovine
helminths–Strongyloides spp, Trichostrongylus and Haemonchus spp.
Activity : Study showed the ethanolic extract of P foetida
had a cough suppressant effect, with decrease in cough intensity and frequency.
The effect was less than codeine but similar to non-narcotic dropropizine.
The effect could be related to its demonstrated antiinflammatory activity.
Activity : Study showed that P. foetida had high antioxidant
activity, with fresh samples having higher phenolic contents and better
antioxidant activity than the dried samples. It suggests PF could be a
significant source of natural antioxidant compounds.
Activity : Study showed the methanol extract to have
moderate hepatoprotective activity.
Activity: Study showed the 50% ethanolic extract to
have anticancer activity against human nasopharyngeal epidermoid carcinoma
in tissue culture.
• Antithrombolytic /
Antidiabetic : Study of methanolic extracts of whole plant of P. foetida in alloxan-induced male sprague Dawley rats showed moderate antidiabetic activity. An extract also exhibited thrombolytic activity.
• Antibacterial: Study showed antibacterial activity. Extract showed significant activity against S. flexneri, S. aureus, E coli, and E. faecalis.
• Antiulcer: Study of the roots of P. foetida showed anti-ulcer activity possibly through the inhibition of H2 receptors resulting in inhibition of gastric acid secretion elicited by histamine and gastrin.