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Family Polygonaceae
Cadena de amor
Antigonon leptopus

Scientific names Common names
Antigonon leptopus Hook. & Arn. Cadena-de-amor (Span., Tag.)
A. cinerascens M. Martens & Galleotti Bride's tears (Engl.)
A. cordatum M. Martens & Galleotti Coral creeper (Engl.)
A. platypus Hook. & Arn. Martens Coral vine (Engl.)
Corculum leptopum (H & A) Stuntz Chinese love vine (Engl.)
  Coralila, coralita (jamaica)
  Hearts on a chain (Engl.)
  Love vine (Engl.)
  Quuen's wreath (Engl.)

Cadena-de-amor is a climbinhg, somewhat woody, perennial vine, with stems attaining a length of 10 meters. Leaves are alternate, ovate to oblong-ovate, with cordate base, serrate margins, up to 10 centimeters long. Flowers are borne in racemes at the upper axils of the terminal parts of the branches, the rachis of the racemes producing tendrils. Flowers are white or pale to deep pink, up to 2 centimeters long, with 5-parted and persistent perianth. Fruit is an ovoid achene, about 1 centimeters long, broad at the base, narrowing towards the tip, loosely surrounded by the persistent lobes of the flower.

- Widespread in the Philippines.
- Usually cultivated in gardens.
- Some have escaped cultivation to become noxious weeds.
Propagated by seeds or cuttings.

- Native to Mexico.
- Found in tropical Asia, Africa, Caribbean and the Americas.

- Phytochemical screening of plants flowers extracts yielded alkaloids, quinines, resins, tannins, fixed oils, flavonoids, fats, saponins phenolic compounds, proteins, and carboxylic acids.
- Screening of methanol flower extracts yielded phenol, flavanoids, saponins, amino acids, triterpenoidal sapogenins, tannins, xanthoproteins, carboxylic acids, coumarins and carbohydrates.
- A methanol extract of the aerial part of the flower yielded (1) n-hentriacontane (1), ferulic acid (2), 4-hydroxycinnamic acid (3), quercetin-3-rhamnoside (4), and kaempherol-3-glucoside (5) along with ?-sitosterol, ?-sitosterol-glucoside and d-mannitol.
COX inhibitory properties and antithrombin activities.

- Studies have shown anti-thrombin, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic and lipid peroxidation inhibitiory properties.

Parts used
Bark, fruit, leaves and seeds.

- In
some parts of the world, the tubers and flowers are consumed as food.
- In Thailand, leaves and flowers, flour-coated and fried, are served with noodles.


- In the Philippines, an isolated report of use by Ifugao-migrants in the foothills of the Sierra Madre for wound closure. (Link)
- In Trinidad and Tobago, used for diabetes, low blood pressure, and as a heart tonic.
- Aerial portion of the flowers used in decoctions as a cold remedy.
- In other countries decoction of aerial parts used as a remedy for colds and pain relief.
- In Jamaica, decoction of aerial part
s traditionally used for prevention of cough and flu-related pains.
Flower clusters popular for use in flower and foliage arrangements for social functions.


Phytochemicals / Lipid peroxidation and Selective COX2 Enzyme Inhibition: Studies yielded n-hentriacontane (1), ferulic acid (2), 4-hydroxycinnamic acid (3), quercetin-3-rhamnoside (4), and kaempherol-3-glucoside (5) along with ß-sitosterol, ß-sitosterol-glucoside and d-mannitol. Results showed LPO and COX inhibitory activities.
Antithrombin activity:
A chromogenic bioassay was utilized to determine the antithrombin activity of methylene chloride and methanol extracts prepared from 30 plants of central Florida. Antigonon leptopus was one of seven extracts that demonstrated activity of 80% or higher in the bioassay system.
Analgesic / Antiinflammatory:
(1) A study showed the extract of A. leptopus possesses significant analgesic and anti-inflammatory effect. (2) Study reports isolation of a compound from A. leptopus tea with selective COX-2 enzyme and LPO inhibitory activities
Antifilarial: Extract study showed A leptopus possessed significant juvenile hormone analogue activity against Culex quinquefasciatus.
Anti-Diabetic: Study of the methanolic extract of aerial parts of Antigonon leptopus showed significant antidiabetic activity and supports its traditional claim of use in diabetes and its associated complications
Antibacterial: Study evaluated the antibacterial properties of flower extracts of Antigonon leptopus. The ethanol and chloroform extracts exhibited significant concentration-dependent inhibition against B. subtilis, Bacillus peritlis and Salmonella typhi.
Antimicrobial / Dental Pathogens: Study showed the flower extracts of Antigonon leptopus showed potent antimicrobial activity against common human dental pathogens - Staphylococcus aureus, Proteus vulgaris, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Micrococcus albus.

Seeds in the cybermarket.

Last Updated January 2012

Photos ©Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
IMAGE SOURCE: SEEDS / Antigonon leptopus Hook. & Arn. - coral vine / /Steve Hurst @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / USDA

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Functional food components of Antigonon leptopus tea / Mulabagal Vanisreea, Ruby L. Alexander-Lindob, David L. DeWittc and Muraleedharan G. Nair / Food Chemistry • Volume 106, Issue 2, 15 January 2008, Pages 487-492 / doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2007.06.013
Antithrombin activity of medicinal plants from central Florida / Natalya Chistokhodova et al / Journal of Ethnopharmacology • Vol 81, Issue 2, July 2002, Pages 277-280 / doi:10.1016/S0378-8741(02)00097-1
Ethnomedicines used in Trinidad and Tobago for urinary problems and diabetes mellitus

Preliminary Studies of Analgesic and Anti-inflammatory Properties of Antigonon leptopus Hook. et Arn Roots in Experimental Models/ William Carey Mamidipalli et al / Journal of Health Science, 54(3)281-286(2008)
Health-Beneficial Phenolic Aldehyde in Antigonon leptopus Tea / Vanisree Mulabagal et al / doi:10.1093/ecam/nep041 / eCAM Advance Access published online on May 19, 2009 /
eCAM, doi:10.1093/ecam/nep041
Juvenoid activity in plant extracts against filarial mosquito Culex quinquefasciatus / Journal of Medicinal and Aromatic Plant Sciences
/ Surendar Angothu et al. / International Journal of Phytopharmacology. 1, 2010, 28-34.
The use of medicinal plants by Ifugao-migrants in the foothills of the Sierra Madre mountain range / Jasper Wester /

Preliminary phytochemical screening and antibacterial studies of the flowers of Antigonon leptopus
/ Naga Deepthi. Bolla , Praveen kumar. Bhogavalli / Annals of Biological Research, 2010, 1(4); 229-233
Studies on anti-microbial activity of flower extracts of Antigonon leptopus against common dental pathogens
/ Gupta A.V.N, Rama Rao. Bandlamuri, Jyothirmai. Jagarlamu and Praveen Kumar Bhogavalli / Annals of Biological Research, 2011, 2 (2) : 99-103

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