Kauad-kauaran is a parasitic vine,
adhering to the host by suckers. Stems are very long, slender, brown,
yellowish brown or greenish, twining and matted together, with
numerous branches forming a web of leafless cords over grasses
or bushes. Flowers, borne on short spikes, are small and stalkless. Perianth segments are unequal, the outer small
and rounded, and the inner ones much longer, oblong or oval in
shape. Stamens are 9, in 3 rows, anthers are all 2-celled, 2 outer rows
introrse, the inner row extrorse. Ovary is superior, 1-celled. Fruits: nearly spherical, smooth, fleshy and about 7
mm in diameter.
- Grows in thickets, especially
near the sea, in dry regions and sometimes inland up to an altitude
of 500 meters, throughout the Philippines.
- Parasitic on various coarse grasses, shrubs, etc.
- Contains an alkaloid (0.1 %) identical
to laurotetanine, described under Litsea sebifera.
- Three major aporphine alkaloids: actinodaphnine, cassythine, dicentrine)
- Study yielded three new compounds: two alkaloids, cassyformine and filiformine,
and a lignan along with 14 known compounds.
- Yields an abundant mucilage.
- Sweet and mildly bitter tasting, astringent, diuretic, antiphlogistic , anticontusion, laxative, cooling, tonic, and alterative.
- Laurotetanine can cause cramps, and in sufficient
· Entire plant.
· Collect from May to October.
· Rinse, cut into pieces, dry under the shade, compress
· Used for constipation, dysentery, hemoptysis, epistaxis, acute conjunctivitis, furuncles, cold, fever, and headaches.
· Decoction of dried material used for nephritic-edema,
urinary lithiasis and infections, hepatitis, hepatic fever among infants,
cold-fever among infants, headaches, multiple furuncles.
· Poultice of pounded fresh material applied to furuncles;
or, decoction applied as external wash to same.
· Decoction of fresh plant used to hasten parturition.
· In India, the
powdered plant, mixed with sesame oil, used to strengthen the hair. Whole plant used as alterative in bilious disorders and piles.
· Used by Brahmins, in a mixture of butter and ginger, for cleansing of inveterate ulcers
· Sanskrit writers describe it as a tonic and alterative, and its power of increasing the secretion of semen.
· In Maritius, decoction used for rachitic infants.
· In African folk
medicine, used to treat cancer and African trypanosomiasis.
· In southern Africa, used for washing the hair, destroying vermin, and promoting hair growth.
· In Senegambia, used for urethritis.
· In Cochin-China used as antisyphilitic.
• Chemical Constituents / Antiplatelet aggregation activity: Study
yielded three new compounds, incuding cassyformine (an aporphine alkaloid),
filiformine (an oxoaporphine alkaloid) and a lignan. Some isolates exhibited
significant antiplatelet aggregation activity.
• Aporphines / Anti-cancer / Anti-trypanosome: (1) Alkaloids from Cassytha filiformis
and related aporphines: Antitrypanosomal activity, cytotoxicity, and
interaction with DNA and topoisomerases: Study showed isolated
aporphines to possess in vitro cytotoxic properties and exhibited interactions
with DNA which may partly explain the effect on cancer cells and on
trypanosomes. (2) Study isolated six aporphines, and analyzed the in vitro cytotoxic properties of four on different cancer and non-cancer cell lines. Major alkaloids - actinodaphnine, cassythine and dicentrine – showed antitrypanosomal properties in vitro.
• Ocoteine / Alpha1 Adrenoceptor Blocking Agent: Study isolated ocoteine and was found tob e an alpha-1 adrenoceptor blocking agent in rat thoracic aorta. At high concentrations, it also blocks 5-HT receptors.
• Vasorelaxant / Alkaloids / Flavonoids: Study yielded two aporphine alkaloids, isofiliformine and cassythic acid along with 22 known compounds from the whole herb of Cf. Cassythic acid, cassythine, neolitsine and dicentrine showed potent vasorelaxing effects on precontracted rat aortic preparations.
• Toxicity Studies: Study of aqueous extract of C. filiformis in normal therapeutic doses is not likely to produce severe toxic effects on some organs, hematologic and biochemical parameters in rats.
• Diuretic Activity: Study of the aqueous and alcoholic extracts of Cuscuta reflexa and Cassytha filiformis exhibited significant diuretic activity and marked increase in Na and K excretion. The diuretic effect was higher with the C filiformis extract.