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Family Vitaceae
Causonis trifolia (L.) Mabb. & J.Wen

San ye wu lian wei

Scientific names Common names
Causonis trifolia (L.) Mabb. & J.Wen Alañgiñgi (Tag.)
Cayratia carnosa (Lam.) Gagnep. Arinat (Tag.)
Cayratia trifolia (L.) Domin Barinatnat (Ilk.)
Cayratia trifolia var. cinerea (Lam.) Gagnep. Kagindi (Bis.)
Cissus carnosa Lam. Kalit-kalit (Tag.)
Cissus cinerea Lam. Lagili (Sul.)
Cissus psoraliifolia (F.Muell.)Planch. Lagini (Bik.)
Ciissus trifolia (L.) K.Schum. Lañgiñgi (Bik.)
Columella trifolia (L.) Merr. Lupo (Bik.)
Vitis carnosa (Lam.) Wall. Kabilan (Tag.)
Vitis crenata Wall. Kulutpamo (Pamp.)
Vitis psoraliifolia F.Muell. Nalalnat (Ig.)
Vitis scabicaulis Wall. Nagigni (Mbo.)
Vitis trifolia L. Pakopol (Tag.)
  Ragindi (Bik.)
  Ragining-ayam (Bik.)
  Bush grape (Engl.)
  Fox grape (Engl.)
  Three-leaf cayratia (Engl.)
  Three-leaved wild vine (Engl.)
Cayratia trifolia (L.) Domin is synonym of Causonis trifolia.
Causonis trifolia (L.) Mabb. & J.Wen is an accepted species. KEW: Plants of the World Online

Other vernacular names
BENGALI: Amal-lata
ASSAMESE: Sepeta lota.
CHINESE: Gou jiao ji, San zhao long, San ye wu lian mei.
HINDI: Amalbel, Gidardrak, Ramchana, Tamanya.
MALAYALAM: Amarcakkoti, Corivalli, Kattuperanta, Tsjori-valli, Vatakkoti.
SANSKRIT: Amlavetasah, Atyamlaparni, Gandirah.
TELUGU: Kanupu tige, Puli mada.

Gen info
- Etymology: The genus name Cayratia from the Annamese vernacular name "cay-rat" meaning "a vine". The specific epithet derives from Latin words tri- meaning "three" and folium meaning "leaf", referring to the leaves bearing three leaflets.

Kalit-kalit is a perennial vine, climbing by means of tendrils found opposite the leaves. Leaves are trifoliolate with petioles 2 to 3 centimeters long. Leaflets are ovate to oblong-ovate, 2 to 8 centimeters long, 1.5 to 5 centimeters wide, pointed at the tip, and coarsely toothed at the margins. Flowers are small, greenish white, borne on axillary and solitary cymes. Fruit is a berry, fleshy, juicy, dark purple or black, subglobose, and about 1 centimeter in diameter.

Causonis trifolia is a herbaceous climber which grows by twining around a source of support or by the use of tendrils to climb up taller objects. Leaves are spirally arranged, compound and stalked with three toothed-margined leaflets (3-foliolate). Terminal leaflet blade is drop-shaped, oblong to oval, and 5.5–7 by 3.5–4.5 cm. Lateral leaflet is oval and 3.5–5.5 by 3–4 cm. Leaf base cuneate to rounded, apex acute to acuminate. Petiole is 1- 6 cm long. Tendrils are slender and wiry. Stem is 1 - 4 mm in diameter, highly branched, hairy with pale hair. Flowering shoot is up to 2 cm across and found in the leaf axils. Fruits are smooth, disc-shaped berries, 0.5– 1.5 cm wide, and contain 2–4 triangular seeds each. Its seed is 5–6 x 4.5–5 mm. (21)

- Natuve to the Philippines.
- Throughout the Philippines, in thickets at low altitudes.

- Also native to Andaman Is., Assam, Australia, Bangladesh, Borneo, Cambodia, China, Himalaya, India, Jawa, Laos, Malaya, Maluku, Myanmar, Nepal, New Guinea, Northern Territory, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Sulawesi, Sumatera, Thailand, Vietnam, etc. (13)

- Plant yields a yellow waxy oil, carbohydrates, steroids, terpenoids, flavonoids and tannins.
- Yield kaempferol, myricetin, quercetin, triterpenes, and epifriedelanol.
- Plant leaf yields steroids, tannins, flavonoids, fatty acid, and terpenoids.
- Leaves yield stilbenes (piceid, resveratrol, viniferin, ampelopsin) and flavonoids (cyanidins).
- Stems, leaves, roots reported to yield hydrocyanic acid and delphinidin.
- Studies on bark extract have shown antiviral, antibacterial, antiprotozoal, anticancer, hypoglycemic and diuretic properties.
- Study of dichlormethane extract of air-dried leaves isolated β-sitosterol (1) and stigmasterol (2) in about 5:1 ratio, squalene (3) and lutein (4).
- Study of methanolic extract of C. trifolia shoots yielded good amounts of phenolics, flavonoids, tannins, and alkaloids. HPLC analysis identified 8 phenolic and flavonoid compounds viz. gallic acid, catechin hydrate, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, p-coumaric acid, sinapic acid, coumarin and kaempferol. (see study below) (20)

- In India, plant is considered astringent, antibacterial, antiscorbutic, antitumor, hypoglycemic, and rubefacient.
- Plant used as diuretic,
- Root considered astringent.
- Studies have suggest antioxidant, antitumor, antiimplantation, antidiabetic, anticancer, antibacterial, antinociceptive, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, mosquito larvicidal properties.

Parts used
Root, tubers, seeds, leaves.


- Young leaves eaten as vegetable.
- Leaves in decoction considered antiscorbutic.
- Sap of the leaves also antiscorbutic.
- Root, ground with black pepper, is applied to boils.
- Root also used as astringent medicine.
- In India, roots are grounded with black pepper and applied as poultice on boils. Also used as a tonic stimulant in debility. Plant used for eye diseases (conjunctivitis, cataracts and night blindness).
- Infusion of seeds with extract of tubers used for diabetes.
- Paste of tubers applied to snake bites.
- Whole plant used as diuretic; also for tumors, neuralgia and splenic afflictions.
- Plant used as poultice for nose ulcers or a rubefacient. Decoction used for fever. Juice used to treat itching on the scalp.
- Veterinary: In India, climbers are wrapped around the neck of frantic bullock. Poultice of leaves used for yoke sores of bullock.

Study of two weeds, Chenopodium album and Vitis trifolia, showed significant reducing power and free radical scavenging effect on DPPH, hydroxyl, superoxide, hydrogen peroxide radicals.   (1) Of various plant extracts of Cayratia trifolia evaluated for antioxidant activity using DPPH assay, a methanolic extract showed good antioxidant potential with IC50 of 43.396 ± 0.52 in vitro, 47.88 ± 0.04. (16)
Anti-Tumor / Epifriedelanol: Study isolated epifriedelanol from V. trifolia, which exhibited antitumor activity in a potato disc bioassay. (2)
Anti-Implantation Activity / Leaves: Study evaluated the antiimplantation properties of a petroleum ether extract of leaves in rats. Results showed potent dose-dependent antiimplantation activity. The exact mechanism of activity was not pinpointed by the study. (7)
Anti-Diabetic Activity / Leaves: Study evaluated the hypoglycemic activity of C. trifolia using glucose uptake by isolated rat hemidiaphragm in vitro model. The extract showed a direct peripheral action on glucose uptake and suggests a potential for the treatment of diabetes mellitus caused by resistance to the stimulatory effect of insulin on GLUT-4 protein. (8)
Anti-Diabetic Activity / Roots: Study evaluated the antidiabetic activity of roots in alloxan-induced diabetic rats. Phytochemical studies yielded steroids, flavonoids, and alkaloids. Results showed C. trifolia ethyl acetate extract of roots possessed potent antidiabetic activity. (9)
Novel PPARγ agonist / Possible Anticancer Option: Perixome Proliferator-Activated Receptor gamma (PPARγ) is a nuclear receptor family transcription factor expressed in several types of cancer. GC-MS analysis yielded 20 bioactive compounds of which cyclopentadecane, 9-Borabicyclo [3.3.1]nonane, 9-(2-propen-1-yloxy)-.1, 4,8,12,16-Tetramethylheptadecan-4- olide, Oxirane and Vitamin E showed the better glide score. The bioactive compounds may act as good agonist for PPARγ; and in the future, a potential anticancer therapeutic option. (10)
Antibacterial / Alternative Treatment for Boils: An alcoholic leaves extract of Cayratia trifolia showed antibacterial property to boils caused by Staphylococcus aureus. (11)
Larvicidal Against Culex quinquefasciatus: Study evaluated young and mature leaves of C. trifolia for larvicidal activity against 3rd instars larvae of Culex quinquefasciatus. The water extract of leaves yielded steroids, triterpene glycosides, essential oil, phenolics and diterpenes as secondary phytochemicals. Results showed C. trifolia leaf to have promise as a cost effective and potent larvicidal agent against C. quinquefasciatus. (12)
CXCR4 Inhibitory Activity / Against Culex quinquefasciatus: CXCR4 (Chemokine Receptor type 4) is a drug target involved in many disease states including 23 types of cancer and several immunodeficiency disorders. Study evaluated the inhibitory activity of linoleic acid isolated from an ethanolic extract of C. trifolia against CXCR4. Results suggest the isolated compound linoleic acid may act as a novel inhibitor against CSCR4, with potential as a therapeutic agent for various types of cancers. (15)
Antidiabetic / Antioxidant / Roots: Study evaluated the antidiabetic and antioxidant activities of C. trifolia root extract against STZ-induced diabetes in experimental rats. An ethanolic extract of root (500 mg/kg) showed significant (p<0.01) reduction in blood glucose (312-178 mg/dL), increase in body weight and serum insulin (1.28-2.26 IU/dL). GC-MS analysis showed relatively high concentration of ß-sitosterol. Oxidative stress induced decline in glutathione and catalase in liver and kidney tissues showed recovery to nearly normal. (17)
Antinociceptive / Aerial Parts: Study evaluated a crude methanolic extract of aerial parts of Vitis trifolia for possible antinociceptive activit using acetic acid induced writhing model in mice. Results showed significant (p<0.001) reduction of number of acetic acid-induced abdominal (writhing) in mice at 250 and 500 mg/kg body weight, comparable to standard drug, diclofenac sodium. (19)
Antioxidant / Anti-Inflammatory / Antidiabetic / Shoots: Study of optimized phenolic extract of C. trifolia shoots (PECTS) showed remarkable potential as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antidiabetic agent. Out of 19 phytocompounds identified by GC-MS analysis, one compound, ergosta-5,22-dien-3-ol, acetate (3ß,22E) exhibited best binding with target proteins invovled in anti-inflammatory (Tnf-α and COX-2), antioxidant (SOD), and antidiabetic (α-amylase and reductase) activities. Non-toxicity was evident during in vitro cell toxicity assay against Vero cell line and in vivo acute toxicity study on BALB/c mice. (see constituents above) (20)


Updated April 2023 / October 2016

IMAGE SOURCE: Illustration / Cayratia trifolia (L.) Domin [as Vitis carnosa (Lam.) Wall.] / Indian medicinal plants, vol. 2: t. 252 / Illustration contributed by the library of the Smithsonian Institute, Washington, U.S.A./ / Plant Illustrations
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: illutration / File:Vitaceae sp Blanco1.24.jpg / Francisco Manuel Blanco (O.S.A.) / Flora de Filipinas / 1880 - 1883 / Francisco Manuel Blanco (O.S.A) / Public Domain / Modifications by Carol Spears / Wikimedia Commons
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: / 2 Photos /Cayratia trifolia [Threeleaf Cayratia] / http://www.natureloveyou.sg / Non-Comercial Use / Click on image to go to source page / ©/ Nature Love You

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
/ Kumar S and D Kumar / AJFAND, Volume 9 No. 5 2009, August 2009
Antitumor activity of epifriedelanol from Vitis trifolia
J.K. Kundu, A.S.S. Rouf, Md. Nazmul Hossain, C.M. Hasan, M.A. Rashid / Fitoterapia, Vol 71, No 5, 1 Sept 2000, Pages 577-579 / doi:10.1016/S0367-326X(00)00191-X
Pharmacognostic Evaluation of Cayratia trifolia (Linn.) Leaf
/ Dinesh Kumar, Jyoti Gupta, Sunil Kumar et al / Asian Pacific Journal of Tropivcal Biomedicine, 2012, 1-4
Cayratia trifolia (L.) Domin (accepted name) / Chinese names / Catalogue of Life, China
Bush grape / Common names / Flowers of India
A review on chemical and biological properties of Cayratia trifolia Linn. (Vitaceae)
/ Dinesh Kumar, Sunil Kumar, and Ankit Gupta / Pharmacognosy Reviews
Antiimplantation activity of petroleum ether extract of leaves of Cayratia trifolia Linn. on female Albino rat /
Ankit gupta, Abhishek Bhardwaj, Jyoti gupta*, Anindya Bagchi / Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine (2012)S197-S199
In vitro study of Cayratia trifolia (L.) Domin on isolated rat hemi-diaphragm by glucose uptake method / Batra Shikha*, Batra Nikhil, Pareek Anil, Nagori Badri Prakash / Research Journal of Pharmacy and Technology, 2012, Volume : 5, Issue : 5
Preliminary Phytochemical Studies and Evaluation of Antidiabetic Activity of Roots of Cayratia trifolia (L.) Domin in Alloxan Induced Diabetic Albino Rats / Shikha Batra*, Nikhil Batra, and Badri Prakash Nagori / Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science Vol. 3 (03), pp. 097-100, March, 2013 / DOI: 10.7324/JAPS.2013.30319
Identification of novel PPARγ agonist from GC-MS analysis of ethanolic extract of Cayratia trifolia (L.): a computational molecular simulation studies / Palanisamy CHELLA PERUMAL, Sundaram SOWMYA, Prabhakaran PRATIBHA, Balasubramanian VIDYA, Palanirajan ANUSOORIYA, Thangarajan STARLIN, Ramasamy VASANTH, D. JEYA SUNDRA SHARMILA, Velliyur Kanniappan GOPALAKRISHNAN / J App Pharm Sci. 2014; 4(9): 006-011 / doi: 10.7324/JAPS.2014.40902
Antibacterial Property of Cayratia trifolia L. as an Alternative Treatment for Boils / Charlie Cruz, Jerold Alcantara, Jonas Cruz / International Journal of Science & IT Management, Vol 3, No 12, 2014
Control of human filarial vector, Culex quinquefasciatus Say 1823 (Diptera: Culicidae) through bioactive fraction of Cayratia trifolia leaf. / Chakraborty S, Singha S, Bhattacharya K, Chandra G / Asian Pacific journal of tropical biomedicine. 3(12): 980-4 / DOI: S2221-1691(13)60189-6
Cayratia trifolia / KEW: Plants of the World Online
Chemical Constituents of Cayratia trifolia / Consolacion Ragasa, Adiel Inah Buluran, Emelina Mandia, Chien-chang Shen / Der Pharma Chemica 6(6):418-422 · December 2014
CXCR4 inhibitory activity analysis of linoleic acid isolated from ethanolic extract of Cayratia trifolia (L.): A molecular docking simulation / Palanisamy Chella Perumal, C. Pradeep Kumar Reddy, Pratibha Prabhakaran, Velliyur Kanniappan Gopalakri / Article in International Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemical Research 7(4):781-784 · August 2015
Direct Nanodrop Spectrophotometric Quantification of DNA and Evaluation of Antioxidant Activity of Cayratia trifolia / Kavi Gour* and Vidya Patni / International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Phytopharmacological Research (eIJPPR)
Experimental Validation of Antidiabetic Potential of Cayratia trifolia (L.) Domin: An Indigenous Medicinal Plant / Shahid Iqbal Mohammed, Narendra Subhash Salunkhe, Kishor Sukhlal Vishwakarma, Vijay Laxminarayan Maheshwari / Indian Journal of Clinical Biochemistry, 2016 / DOI: 10.1007/s12291-016-0598-1
In vitro Antioxidant Activity, In vivo Skin Irritation Studies and HPTLC Analysis of Cayratia trifolia (l.) Domin
/ Sowmya S, Chella Perumal P, Anusooriya P, Vidya B, Pratibha P, Gopalakrishnan, V.K. / Toxicological and Pharmacological Research
Antinociceptive Activity of Vitis trifolia / Firoj Ahmed, K M Rahman, S.M.M. Alam, Mohammad Mehedi Masud / Dhaka University Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences 6(2):129 · December 2007
DOI: 10.3329/dujps.v6i2.689
Phytochemical Profiling, Biological Activities, and In Silico Molecular Docking Studies of Causonis trifolia (L.) Mabb. & J.Wen Shoot / Samik Hazra, Anindya Sundar Ray, Chowhury Habibur Rahaman et al / Plants, 2023; 12(7) / DOI: 10.3390/plants12071495
Causonis trifolia / National Parks: FLORA & FAUNA WEB


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