This shrub is common throughout the hot zones

of India. The leaves are used in traditional

medicine to treat itchiness and as a wound plaster.

Neuropharmacological studies in animals (mice)

have demonstrated that the root extract induces

profound behavioral changes, particularly the

disappearance of aggressive behavior. The root extract appears to have strong narcotic effects

upon the central nervous system as well as

analgesic properties (Bhattacharya et al. 1988).

In the medicine of the Andean Callawaya, a

closely related species (Mikania scandens Willd.,

known as guaco) is used together with other plants

(see Erythroxylum coca, Cytisus spp.) to treat

rheumatism (Bastien 1987, 131 *).

Bhattacharya, Siddhartha, Siddhartha Pal, and A. K.

Nag Chaudhuri. 1988. Neuropharmacological

studies on Mikania cordata root extract. Planta

Medica 54:483-87.

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