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Family Apocynaceae
Indian rubber vine
Cryptostegia grandiflora (Roxb.) R. Br.

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

Other vernacular names
INDIA: Dudhi bel, Kala rela, Bhulbhulaya bel.
FRENCH: Liane de gatope.
PORTUGUESE: Alamanda-roxa, Criptostégia

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.

- 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.

- Plant considered an irritant and poisonous.
- Leaves are toxic. (see study below) (12)

Parts used


- 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, root paste is applied externally on chest to cure asthma. (10)

In a study of medicinal plants for its antiviral activity, Cryptostegia grandiflora showed partial activity at higher concentrations. (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 megatorim, 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 / 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. Indian rubber vine contains cardiac glycosides responsible for the digitalis-like toxicity on consumption of leaves. (12)
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)


Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D.

Last Update 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 / Wikimedia Commons

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Antiviral activity of medicinal plants of Nilgiris / P Vijayan et al / Indian J Med Res 120, July 2004, 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, Volume 13 Issue 1, Pages 70 - 72 / Published Online: 15 Feb 1999
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 Vol. 5(9), pp. 1598-1605, 4 May, 2011
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)S494-S498
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, Vol. 63, May 2015
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, 47:32
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

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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