Tunkin is a smooth, climbing vine. Stems are rough, with small tuberculous outgrowths or prickles. Leaves are smooth, soft, heart-shaped, 5 to 10 centimeters long, and tapering abruptly into a narrow point at the tip. Flowers are large, 5 to 6 centimeters long, pale purple, and borne singly or in small-stalked clusters resembling the morning glory. Fruit is rounded, 10 to 15 millimeters in diameter. Seeds are polished, black, and smooth.
- Introduced from tropical America.
- Found in cultivation in Pampanga, Luzon.
- Seeds have yielded indolizidine alkaloids, two resin glycosides and muricatins VII and VIII.
- Seeds considered purgative, vulnerary and antidotal.
- Considered analgesic, antiseptic, antimicrobial and antifungal.
Seeds, plant juice.
- In the Philippines, seeds are used for wound healing.
- Used as efficacious antidotal remedy.
- Also used as purgative.
- Seeds used as substitute for Ipomoea hederacea, sharing the same medicinal properties.
- Juice of the plant used as insecticide and for destroying bedbugs.
- Rural people of Madhya Pradesh use the immature floral pedicels as appetizer and digestive capacity.
- Seeds, stems and leaves used for various skin ailments - gangrenous wounds,, cuts, and burn blisters.
- In Vedic myth and Hindu practice, used as aphrodisiac; mystically, used in tantric lovemaking, with the salve rubbed into the forehead 'third eye.'
• Glycoside Muricatin / Pharmacologic Activities: Seeds yielded a glycoside muricatin which showed to be a cardiac depressant, spasmolytic to the smooth musculature of the gut, and blood pressure lowering on the anesthetized dog.
• Seed Alkaloids: Study of seeds yielded five nitrogen indene alkaloids: ipalbidine, ipalbidinium, ipaldinium, isolpomine and ipomine.