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Family Apocynaceae
Telosma procumbens (Blanco) Merr.
Wo jing ye lai xiang

Scientific names Common names
Pergularia filipes Blanco Dugep (Ilk.)
Pergularia procumbens Blanco Dukep (Ilk.)
Telosma cathayensis Merr. Kapuk-kapuk (Sul.)
Telosma procumbens (Blanco) Merr. Laknit (Bag.)
  Latok (Tag.)
Puso-puso is a common name shared by Telosma procumbens (latok) and Litsea glutinosa (Indian laurel).
Telosma procumbens (Blanco) Merr. is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Wo jing ye lai xiang.

Latok is a woody vine with slender, smooth or slightly hairy branchlets. Leaves are thin, ovate to oblong-ovate, 8 to 13 centimeters long, 3 to 8 centimeters wide, pointed at the tip and slightly heart-shaped at the base. Cymes are axillary and umbelliform. Flowers are numerous, greenish-yellow, odorless, about 1.5 centimeters long, and hairy at the throat. Fruit is lanceolate, about 15 centimeters long. Seeds are flattened and crowned with silky hairs.

- In thickets and secondary forests at low altitudes in Ilocos Norte to Sorsogon Provinces in Luzon; and in Mindoro, Cuyo, Biliran, Leyte, Negros, Mindanao and Basilan.
- Also occurs in China and Vietnam.

- Study yielded an intensely sweet polyoxypregnance glycoside, telosmoside A, together with 17 other new glycosides. (See study below) (1)

- Considered anti-tussive, expectorant, hypoglycemic.

Parts used


- Pericarp is cooked and eaten as vegetable, with the consistency and taste of string beans.
- In Albay, fresh leaves and stems have been reported to be poisonous to pigs.
- Clustered inflorescence eaten as vegetable, sautéed and eaten with rice.
- In everyday vegetable in Thailand, steamed or boiled and served with spicy Nam Pric, friend with eggs as omelet, sautéed with meat or added to hot and sour soup. (2)
- Decoction or infusion of leaves used for cleansing wounds, scabies and ulcers.
- Leaves, as cataplasm, applied to the forehead for headaches.

- In Vietnamese folk medicine, whole plant is used as a substitute for licorice, due to its sweet taste. Also used as expectorant and antitussive. (1)

Pregnane Glycosides / Intensely Sweet:
An intensely sweet polyoxypregnane glycoside, telomoside A, was isolated from Asian Telosma procumbens. The sweetness has an intensity 1000 times greater than that of sucrose. The plant also yielded 17 other new glycosides, telosmosides A1-A14, and A16-A18. (1)
Anti-Diabetic / Leaves:
Study evaluated an ethanolic leaf extract of Telosma procumbens for hypoglycemic activity in alloxan-induced diabetic mice. Results showed a dose-dependent blood glucose reducing effect. (3)


Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D.

Last Update February 2016

IMAGE SOURCE: / Photo / Apocynaceae : Telosma procumbens / Twig with young inflorescence Copyright © 2011 by Leonardo L. Co / (contact: benctan@berkeley.edu) [ref. DOL30462]/ Non-Commercial Use / click on image to go to source page / Phytoimages.siu.edu
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: / Line drawing of the leaves and flowers / Photograph by: filibot.web / Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) / click on image to go to source page / Useful Tropical Plants

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Sweet Pregnane Glycosides from Telosma procumbens / Vo Duy HUAN, Kazuhiro OHTANI, Ryoji KASAI, Kazuo YAMASAKI,*and Nguyen Viet TUU / Chem. Pharm. Bull. 49(4) 453—460 (2001) 453
Native wild edible : Telosma procumbens / Balinghasai Farms

Hypoglycemic property of Telosma procumbens (Blanco) Merr. (Apocynaceae) in normal and alloxan-induced diabetic juvenile mice (Mus musculus) / Lilibeth A. Cajuday*, Edna A. Amparado / The Journal of Phytopharmacology 2014; 3(2): 113-117
Telosma procumbens / Synonyms / The Plant List

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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