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Family Apocynaceae
Indian rubber vine
Cryptostegia grandiflora Roxb. ex R. Br.

Scientific names Common names
Cryptostegia grandiflora Roxb. ex R. Br. Indian rubber vine (Engl.)
C. grandiflora var. tulearensis Constantin & Gallaud Palay rubbervine (
  Purple allamanda (Engl.)
  Rubber vine (Engl.)
Cryptostegia grandiflora Roxb. ex R.Br. is an accepted name. The Plant List

Other vernacular names
INDIA: Dudhi bel, Kala rela, Bhulbhulaya bel, Vilayti vakundi.
FRENCH: Liane de gatope.
KANNADA: Hambu rubber gida.
MALAYALAM: Pala, Palay.
PORTUGUESE: Alamanda-roxa, Criptostégia
SPANISH: Caucho de la India.

Cryptostegia grandiflora is a stout, woody vine. Leaves are oblong-ovate to elliptic-ovate, 6 to 10 centimeters long, pointed at the tip, rounded at the base. Cymes are short. Sepals are green, about 8 millimeters long. Corolla is pale purple, about 4 centimeters long, and often wider than it is long. Woody follicles are 10 to 12 centimeters long.

- Recent introduction to the Philippines.
- Planted for ornamental purposes.
- Now, pantropic.

- Native of India.
- In some countries, it has escaped cultivation and has become invasive, capable of smothering trees and reducing biodiversity and degrading habitat. It can form dense, impenetrable thickets that can impede stock movements and access to water. (23)

- Phytochemical studies of flowers yielded two cardenolides, oleandrigenin and gitoxigenin, as well as, two flavonoid glycosides, hyperoside and astragalin, and their aglycones, quercetin and kaempferol. (6)
- Latex of fresh unripe fruits yielded b-amyrin, lupeol, a-amyrin, b-sitosterol and b-sitosterol–3-O-b-D-glucoside, in addition to a phenolic glucoside 2,4,6-trihydroxy benzophenone-2-O-b-D-glucopyranoside.
- Hexane and ethyl acetate extracts yielded a mixture of phytosterols and triterpenoids, lanosterol, B-sitosterol, stigmasterol, campesterol, friedelin, lupeol, ursolic acid, and B-amyrin.
- Oil fraction yields both saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, including palmitic acid (25.90%), linoleic acid (24.76%), arachidic acid (22.28%), myristic acid (15.24%), oleic acid (8.0%), stearic acid (3.8%), and traces of lauric acid. (see study below) (15)
- Preliminary phytochemical screening of various extracts yielded glycosides, flavonoids, fixed oils and fats, phenolic compounds, protein and amino acids, tannins, gum and mucilage and carbohydrates. Methanol extract of leaves yielded cardiac and saponin glycosides, tannins, flavonoids, proteins. (26)

- Plant considered an irritant and poisonous.
- Leaves have reported toxicity. (see study below) (12)
- In some countries, the plant has escaped cultivation and has become invasive, threatening biodiversity in some places. It is poisonous to stock, 10 gms of leaves can reportedly kill a 400 kg horse in six days. While unpalatable, animals eat it under drought conditions. (18)
- The vine exudes a milky latex which can be made into natural rubber. However, it is difficult to tap for commercial purposes. (18)
- Studies have suggested antimicrobial, antiviral, analgesic, molluscicidal, anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, proteolytic properties.

Parts used
Leaves, roots.


- No reported folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
- In Madagascar, reportedly used for criminal purposes and against vermin.
- Powdered leaves, mixed with water, when swallowed can cause persistent vomiting after half an hour; death in 15 hours.
- In Madhya Pradesh, India, root paste is applied externally on chest to cure asthma. (10) In Andhra Pradesh, whole plant applied to wounds. (25)
- In Nigeria, leaves and latex used for fungal and heart problems. (21)

Antiviral / HSV1:
Study screened 18 plants with ethnomedical background from different families for antiviral activity against Herpes simplex virus-1 (HSC-1). The extract of Cryptostegia grandiflora showed partial activity at higher concentrations, with CPE (cytopathic effect) ++ at 2 and 10 TCID50, + at 100 TCID50. (1)
Cardiac glycosides: Study of the leaves of C. grandiflora yielded four news cardiac glycosides: crptostigmin I to IV together with two known cardenolides. (2)
Antibacterial: Study of the different extracts of Cryptostegia grandiflora was done for antibacterial potential against Pseudomonas cepacia, B megatorium, S aureus, E coli B subtilis. Almost all extracts produced significant antibacterial activity against all the microorganisms, comparable to standard antibiotic tetracycline hydrochloride. The petroleum ether extract showed maximum efficacy. (3)
Latex Pro-Inflammatory Activity: Study investigating the pro-inflammatory activity of the latex of C grandifolia was investigated. Results showed the soluble proteins of the latex induced strong inflammatory activity, enlarged vascular permeability and increased myeloperoxidase activity locally in rats. It concludes that the latex of CG is a potent inflammatory fluid and implicates lactifer proteins in that activity. (4)
Antimicrobial: Study isolated compounds from hexane and ethyl acetate extracts isolated a mixtures of phytosterols and triterpenoids. Lanosterol, a triterpenoid, was most active against E. coli and campesterol had greater activity against Candida albicans. (7)
Analgesic / Acute Toxicity Study / Leaves: Study in mice evaluated the analgesic property of a methanol leaf extract of Cryptostegia grandiflora. The extract did not show any toxicity up to 5000 mg/kbw. All three test doses showed significant analgesic activity, although less than standard acetylsalicylic acid in the writhing test. (8)
Molluscicidal / Latex: Study of latex aqueous solution of C. grandiflora showed a significant increase of snail amoebocytes, a component of the internal defense system, decreasing its compatibility to Schistosoma mansoni. Results suggest Cg may be useful for snail control. (9)
Toxicity Manifesting as Hyerpkalemia, Heart Block and Thrombocytopenia: Study reports a case of toxicity associated with consumption of extract of leaves of C. grandiflora which led to gastrointestinal, cardiac, electrolyte, and hematological disturbances. Serum potassium level was 9 mmol/L. Indian rubber vine contains cardiac glycosides responsible for the digitalis-like toxicity on consumption of leaves. (12)
• Electrocardigraphic Toxicity: Cryptostegia grandiflora poisoning results in bradycardia. Cardiac glycosides inhibit cellular Na+/K+-ATPase which enhances cardiac inotropy (contractility) and slows down the heart rate. (24)
Anti-Inflammatory / Leaves: Study evaluated the effect of total extract and primary fractions of CG leaves using in vivo and in vitro models of inflammation. Results showed anti-inflammatory activity contributed to by its antioxidant activity and inhibition of MPO (myeloperoxidase) activity, and PGE2 and NO production. (13)
Anti-Oxidative and Proteolytic Activities: Study evaluated the proteolytic, chitinolytic and anti-oxidative activities of proteins extracted from three plants. C. grandiflora latices showed strong anti-oxidative activity of superoxide dismutase and strong proteolytic activity. (14)
• Potential Multi-Use Crop: Study evaluated C. grandiflora for its potential as a multi-use crop. The plant yielded 14.0% protein, 6.5% oil, 6.9 polyphenol, and 2.13% hydrocarbon. Gross heat value was 3878.0 cal/g, while the oil fraction was 7350.1 cal/g and the hydrocarbon fraction 9300 cal/g. Oil fraction yields both saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, including palmitic acid (25.90%), linoleic acid (24.76%), arachidic acid (22.28%), myristic acid (15.24%), oleic acid (8.0%), stearic acid (3.8%), and traces of lauric acid. The high proportion of saturated FA and high oil content (<5.0%) suggest a potential source for industrial raw material and alternative for conventional oil. (15)
• Anti-Proliferative / Antioxidant / Leaves: Study evaluated the antiproliferative and antioxidant activity of C. grandiflora leaves. Results showed antioxidant activity which may be attributed to the significant amount of catecholamine like phenol molecules in the leaves extract. The extract also showed anti-proliferative activity against colorectal adenocarcinoma (Caco-2) cell line at a concentration of CTC50 750 µg/mL (75.7%). (17)
• Schistosomicidal Activity: A study evaluated 346 methanol extracts from 281 Egyptian plant species for in vitro schistosomicidal activity. Forty-two were confirmed to have in vitro antischistosomal activity, and of these 14 plant species, including Cryptostegia grandiflora, showed high antischistosomal activity with LC50 ≤ 15 µg/ml. (20)
• Antitumor / Cytotoxic Cardenolides: Study of an alcoholic extract of above ground parts of C. grandiflora and fractionation yielded five cardenolides:
oleandri­genin (1), 16-propionylgitoxigenin, a new natural product (2), 16-anhy­ drogitoxigenin (3), gitoxigenin (4), and rhodexin B (5). Results showed inhibitory activity against KB cell culture. Although all five cardenolides showed cytotoxic properties, only 1, 4, and 5, possibly 2, showed significant activity by CCNSC protocol. (22)


Updated March 2019 / October 2015

IMAGE SOURCE / File:Cryptostegia grandiflora.jpg / Photo by Forest & Kim Starr / # starr-980529-419 / United States Geological Survey / click on photo to go to source page / Public domain / s Commons
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: / Photos: Shrubby bush and milky latex / © Sheldon Navie / click on image to go to source page / Weeds of Australia / Biosecurity Queensland Edition

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Antiviral activity of medicinal plants of Nilgiris / P Vijayan, C Raghu, G Ashok, S A Dhanaraj and B Suresh / Indian J Med Res, July 2004; 120: pp 24-29
Cardiac glycosides from Cryptostegia grandiflora /
M S Kamel , M H Assaf et al / Phytochemistry 58 (2001) 537–542
Studies on the antibacterial potential of Cryptostegia grandiflora R. BR. (Asclepiadaceae) extract / Pulok K Mukherjee, R Gunasekhran et al / Phytotherapy Research, 1999; Volume 13, Issue 1: pp 70-72 / https://doi.org/10.1002/(SICI)1099-1573(199902)13:1<70::AID-PTR377>3.0.CO;2-V
Vascular permeability, neutrophil migration and edematogenic effects induced by the latex of Cryptostegia grandiflora / Tatiana M Albuquerque, Nylane M N Alencar et al / Toxicon, Volume 53, Issue 1, January 2009, Pages 15-23 / doi:10.1016/j.toxicon.2008.10.009 |
Coagulation Studies of the Latex of Cryptostegia G randiflora, R. Br. A Wartime Source of Vegetable Rubber. I / Rafat Husain Siddiqui, S. A. Warsi, and V. V. K. Sastri /
Rubber Chem. Technol. 18, 905 (1945); http://dx.doi.org/10.5254/1.3546791 (23 pages)
Estimation of phytoconstituents from Cryptostegia grandiflora (Roxb.) R. Br. in vivo and in vitro. II. Antimicrobial screening / Bharat Singh, Ram Avtar Sharma, Govind Kr. Vyas and Pallavi Sharma / Journal of Medicinal Plants Research, 4 May 2011; 5(9): pp 1598-1605
Analgesic activity of Cryptostegia grandiflora (Roxb.)R.br. leaves methanol extract using mice / Santhosh Kondajji Hanumanthappa, Manjunatha Hanumanthappa*, Krishna Venkatarangaiah, Pradeepa Krishnappa, Rajesh Kashi Prakash Gupta / Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Disease, 2012; Vol 2, Suppl 1: pp S494-S498 / https://doi.org/10.1016/S2222-1808(12)60209-6
Cryptostegia Grandiflora Affecting Compatibility of Biomphalaria Alexandrina and Biomphalaria Galabrata to Infection With Schistosoma Mansoni With Emphasis on Some Hematological Effects / Kamelia, A. El Sayed Momeana, B. Mahmoud Hanan, S. Mossalem / Australian Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences, 5(12): 3357-3365, 2011 ISSN 1991-8178
Ethnomedicinal plants used by tribals of East Nimar region, Madhya Pradesh / Sudip Ray*, M Sheikh1 & S Mishra / Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge Vol. 10 (2), April 2011, pp. 367-371
Cryptostegia grandiflora (India Rubber Vine) / Common names / ZipcodeZoo
Cryptostegia grandiflora Toxicity Manifesting as Hyperkalemia, Complete Heart Block and Thrombocytopenia / Shashikala A Sangle, Sonali Inamdar, Vikrant Deshmukh / Journal of The Association of Physicians of India, May 2015; Vol 63
In vivo and in vitro anti-inflammatory activity of Cryptostegia grandiflora Roxb. ex R. Br. leaves
/ Jenny P Castro, Yanet C Ocampo, Luis A Franco / Biological Research, December 2014; 47(1):32 / doi: 10.1186/0717-6287-47-32 /
PMCID: PMC4117969 / PMID: 25204016
Anti-oxidative and proteolytic activities and protein profile of laticifer cells of Cryptostegia grandiflora, Plumeria rubra and Euphorbia tirucalli / Cleverson D. T. de Freitas*, Diego P. de Souza, Eliane S. Araújo, Mariana G. Cavalheiro, Luciana S. Oliveira, Márcio V. Ramos* / Braz. J. Plant Physiol. vol.22 no.1 Campo dos Goytacazes 2010 / http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1677-04202010000100002
Cryptostegia grandiflora - A potential multi-use crop / G D P S Augustus, M Jayabalan, G J Seller / Industrial Crops and Products, January 2000; 11(1): pp 59-62 / DOI: 10.1016/S0926-6690(99)00036-9
PHYTOCHEMICAL EVALUATION OF CRYPTOSTEGIA GRANDIFLORA LINN ROXB. EXTRACT / Nitin Mali, Akshay Javalgikar, Sagar Kale / DOI: https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1254251
Beware of the Madagascar Rubber vine (Cryptostegia grandiflora) / Luise Hoffmann / Namibian: Weekender Youth Papaer / Environment, 29 June 2017
SR: Integrating local pastoral knowledge, participatory mapping, and species distribution modeling for risk assessment of invasive rubber vine (Cryptostegia grandiflora) in Ethiopia’s Afar region / Luizza, M. W., T. Wakie, P. H. Evangelista, and C. S. Jarnevich /  Ecology and Societ, 2016; 21(1) /
Contribution to in vitro screening of Egyptian plants for schistosomicidal activity / Fouad Yousif, Gamila Wassel, outfy Boulos,, Therese Labib et al / Pharmaceutical Biology, 2012; 50(6) / https://doi.org/10.3109/13880209.2011.625952
Traditional medicinal plants of Nigeria: an overview / Monier M. Abd El-Ghani / AGRICULTURE AND BIOLOGY JOURNAL OF NORTH AMERICA / doi:10.5251/abjna.2016.
Antitumor Agents V: Cytotoxic Cardenolides from Cryptostegia grandifiora (Roxb.) R. Br. / RAYMOND W. DOSKOTCH, M. YOUNAS MALIK, CHARLES D. HUFFORD, SHAH N. MALIK, JOHN E. TRENT, and WOLFGANG KUBELKA / Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 1972; 61(4)
Rubber vine: Cryptostegia grandiflora / Atlasing in Namibia: Biodiversity Monitoring in Namibia
Electrocardiographic Profile of Cardiotoxic Plants and Animals / Suraj Sundaragiri and Srikanth Tandur / International Journal of Medical Research & Health Sciences, 2016; 5(1): pp 719-725
Ethno-Medico-Botanical Studies From Rayalaseema Region Of Southern Eastern Ghats, Andhra Pradesh, India / Dowlathabad Muralidhara Rao, U.V.U.Bhaskara Rao, and G.Sudharshanam / Ethnobotanical Leaflets, 2006; 10: pp 198-207

It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page.

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