Cissampelos pareira

scientific name: 
Cissampelos pareira L.
Cissampelos cordata Ruiz
Botanical family: 

Botanical description

Climbing shrub up to 5 m long.  Leaf alternate, simple, entire, hairy, rounded, cordate or peltate, 2-12 cm x 2-10 cm, petioles 3-7 cm long; male inflorescence a panicle, female inflorescence a simple cyme; male flowers white tinged maroon female flowers clustered in axils of rounded bracts; fruit a red drupe 4-5 mm long.



stomach pain:

  leaf, decoction, orally1

For stomach pain:

Prepare decoction with 10 grams of fresh leaves in 750 mL (3 cups) of water; boil for at least 10 minutes in covered pot.  Leave to cool down and take one cup 3 times a day24.

According to published and other information:

Use for stomach pain is classified as REC, based on the significant traditional use documented in the TRAMIL surveys, toxicity studies, scientific validation and available published scientific information.

Not for use by women during pregnancy, during lactation or by children under 12 years old.

Should there be a notable worsening of the patient’s condition, or should stomach pain last more than 3 days, seek medical attention.

TRAMIL Research23

The aqueous decoction of the dried leaf administered orally to mice (1-5 g/kg) did not cause death.

The extract of the root’s total alkaloids by intravenous administration (1 mg/kg) to male rats reported a curare-type of effect (muscular weakness evolving into flaccid paralysis)24.

The minimum acute dose of the hydroalcoholic (95%) and aqueous extracts from the leaf and stem by intraperitoneal administration was 0.1 mL/animal in mouse18.

The extract of total alkaloids in the phrenic-diaphragm and rectoabdominal models in frog was reported to show curarizing activity25.

Three extracts of the entire plant were inactive in cytotoxicity tests in vitro26.

There is no available information documenting the safety of medicinal use in children or in women during pregnancy or when breast feeding.

The leaf contains isoquinoline alkaloids: (-)curine, cycleanine, hayatine, hayatinine and carbohydrates: d-quercitol2.

The entire plant contains isoquinoline alkaloids: pareirubrine3, cissampareine4.

The root contains isoquinoline alkaloids: berbeerine, cycleanine3, cyclanoline4, hayatine5, isochondodendrine6, cissamine, menismine, pareirine7, curine8-9, 4''-O-methylcurine10, dicentrine, dehydrodicentrine11, grandirubrine, merubrine, pareirubrine A and B12, nor-imeluteine, nor-ruffscine13, insularine11, dimethyltetrandrinium14; carbohydrates: d-quercitol2.

TRAMIL Research15

The aqueous extract from the leaf (1:1) p.v. (30 mg/mL) significantly diminished the contractions experimentally produced by acetylcholine on isolated ileum of rat.

The aqueous and chloroform extracts showed antimalarial activity in vitro on Plasmodium gallinaceum, and the chloroform extract, on Plasmodium cathemerium16.

The hydroalcoholic extract was reported to have antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus17.

The aqueous extract from the leaf and stem (0.1 mL/L) caused a spasmolytic response in guinea pig ileum; the hydroalcoholic extract (95%) (0.33 mL/L) induced a relaxant activity on the smooth muscle of isolated duodenum of rabbit and isolated ileum of guinea pig18.

The aqueous extract is claimed to act as a hypertensor, cardiotonic and depressor of the respiratory system19.

The hydroalcoholic extract (50%) from the dried root is claimed to have antihistaminic and antispasmodic effects in vitro (1 mg/mL) on guinea pig ileum, and hypotensive effects in variable doses by intravenous administration to dogs20.

The hydroalcoholic extract (70%) from the fresh root in variable doses by intraperitoneal administration to mice is claimed to act as an anticonvulsant and depressor of the central nervous system21.

The plant’s alkaloids caused bradycardia and uterus relaxation in in vitro models22.


1 WENIGER B, ROUZIER M, 1986 Enquête TRAMIL. Service Oecuménique d'Entraide SOE, Port au Prince, Haïti.

2 KUPCHAN SM, PATEL AC, FUJITA E, 1965 Tumor inhibitors VI. Cissampareine, new cytotoxic alkaloid from Cissampelos pareira, cytotoxicity of benzylisoquinoline alkaloids. J Pharm Sci 54:580.

3 BHATNAGAR AK, BHATTACHARJI S, POPLI SP, 1968 Nuclear magnetic resonance spectrum of cycleanine. Indian J Chem 6:125.

4 ANWER F, POPLI SB, SRIVASTAVA RM, KHARE MP, 1968 Studies in medicinal plants. Part III. Protoberberine alkaloids from the roots of Cissampelos pareira. Experientia 24:999.

5 BHATTACHARJI S, SHARMA VN, DHAR ML, 1955 Chemical constituents of the roots of Cissampelos pareira. Bull Natl Inst Sci India 1955:39.

6 YOKOYAMA N, KUPCHAN SM, 1963 Studies in the chemistry of pharmacologically active alkaloids. Diss Abstr Int Bull 24:1412.

7 SRIVASTAVA RM, KHARE MP, 1964 Water soluble alkaloids from the root bark of Cissampelos pareira. Chem Ber 97:2732-2741.

8 BHATTACHARJI S, SHARMA VN, DHAR ML, 1956 Chemical examination of the roots of Cissampelos pareira. J Sci Ind Res B 15:363.

9 SRIVASTAVA RM, KHARE MP, 1963 Water-soluble alkaloids of the root bark of Cissampelos pareira. Curr Sci 32:114.

10 HAYNES LJ, HERBERT EJ, PLIMMER JR, 1966 (++)-4"-O-methylcurine from Cissampelos pareira. J Chem Soc C 1966:615.

11 DWUMA-BADU D, AYIM JSK, MINGLE CA, TACKIE AN, SLATKIN DJ, KNAPP JE, SCHIFF JR PL, 1975 Constituents of West African. Medicinal plants. Part 10. Alkaloids of Cissampelos pareira. Phytochemistry 14:2520-2521.

12 MORITA H, MATSUMOTO K, TAKEYA K, ITOKAWA H, IITAKA Y, 1993 Structures and solid state tautomeric forms of two novel antileukemic tropoloisoquinoline alkaloids, pareirubrines a and b, from Cissampelos pareira. Chem Pharm Bull 41(8):1418-1422.

13 MORITA H, MATSUMOTO K, TAKEYA K, ITOKAWA H, 1993 Azafluoranthene alkaloids from Cissampelos pareira.Chem Pharm Bull 41(7):1307-1308.

14 HOFFSTADT B, MOECKE D, PACHALY P, ZYMALKOWSKI P, 1974 Alkaloids from Thai Menispermaceae drug krung kha mao. 2. Isolation and structure of a new berbamine alkaloid. Tetrahedron 30:307.

15 HERRERA J, 1994 Determinación de actividades biológicas de vegetales utilizados en medicina tradicional. Informe TRAMIL. Laboratorio de Fitofarmacología, Departamento de Farmacología, Facultad de Salud, Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia.

16 SPENCER CF, KONIUSZY FR, ROGERS EF, SHAVEL J, EASTON NR, KACZKA EA, KUEHL FA, PHILLIPS RF, WALTI A, FOLKERS K, MALANGA C, SEELER AO, 1947 Survey of plants for antimalarial activity. Lloydia 10:145-174.

17 GEORGE M, PETALAI K, 1949 Investigations on plant antibiotics. Part IV. Further search for antibiotic substances in Indian medicinal plants. Indian J Med Res 37:169-181.

18 FENG PC, HAYNES LJ, MAGNUS KE, PLIMMER JR, SHERRAT HSA, 1962 Phamacological screening of some West Indian medicinal plants. J Pharm Pharmacol 14:556-561.

19 FLORIANI L, 1936 Pharmacology ofCissampelos pareira var. gardneri. Rev Pharm 78:49.

20 MOKKHASMIT M, NGARNWATHANA W, SAWASDIMONGKOL K, PERMPHIPHAT U, 1971 Pharmacological evaluation of Thai medicinal plants (continued). J Med Assoc Thailand 54(7):490-504.

21 ADESINA SK, 1982 Studies on some plants used as anticonvulsants in Amerindian and African traditional medicine. Fitoterapia 53:147-162.

22 ROY P, 1952 A preliminary note on the pharmacological action of the total alkaloids isolated from Cissampelos pareira. Indian J Med Res 40:95.

23 SARAVIA A, 1992 Toxicidad deCissampelos pareira. Informe TRAMIL. Universidad de San Carlos, Guatemala, Guatemala. TRAMIL VI, Basse Terre, Guadeloupe, UAG/enda-caribe.

24 BOISSIER J, 1965 Contribution to the study of alkaloids of some Menispermaceae of Madagascar. Lloydia 28:191.

25 CORREIA DA SILVA A, QUITERIA PAIVA M, 1964 Curarizing activity ofCissampelos mucronata alkaloids. Rev Port Farm 14:143.

26 CHAPUIS J, SORDAT B, HOSTETTMANN K, 1988 Screening for cytotoxic activity of plants used in traditional medicine. J Ethnopharmacol 23(2/3):273-284.


The information provided is for educational purposes only for the benefit of the general public and health professionals. It is not intended to take the place of either the written law or regulations. Since some parts of plants could be toxic, might induce side effects, or might have interactions with certain drugs, anyone intending to use them or their products must first consult with a physician or another qualified health care professional. TRAMIL has no responsibility whatsoever towards the user for any decision, action or omission made in relation to the information contained in this Pharmacopoeia.