Darklight

Cissus antarctica medicinal use or constituents?

13 posts in this topic

Hey all

I'm doing some informal research for a mate ( ie for free ) on Cissus antarctica and it's possible medicinal uses

I've googled and done a publication search which has so far turned up nothing, though a related species Cissus quadrangularis, a succulent vine plant native to India, has a history of medicinal use

http://www.ehow.com/...is-extract.html

Family is Vitaceae, was wondering whether there are any potential nasties as constituents which I should avoid

Will share results if I have permission, there may be IP issues but I doubt it

DL

( Edited for stupid embarrassing spelling mistakes )

Edited by Darklight

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not medicinal, but I understand that the fruit of Cissus antarctica contains high concentrations of oxalic acid.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
the fruit of Cissus antarctica contains high concentrations of oxalic acid

Do you have a reference for that information tarenna?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Still looking for the Australian books where I have read it - but you could check out: Altschul, S. von R. (1973) Drugs and Foods from Little-Known Plants. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many thanks there, I'll keep looking. Seems to be a pretty useful plant

A tree-based book called Phantastica ( which I'll need to find ) reckons Tasmanian Aboriginals used the fruit to ferment a kind of alcohol. The book was printed in 1998 and is poorly referenced from the little I've seen, so I'd love to know where that information came from

Better still, from: http://www.google.co...hmaNeIwHWnYCd8Q

‘The ripe, sour fruits are picked from the vine and mixed with

water and nectar. The old fruits which fall to the ground later

become slightly sweeter.These are then gathered for food. The

unripe fruit is used for stomach complaints. The ripe fruit

season for this plant, indicates bandicoot, ground-feeding

birds, black snake and swamp wallaby can be caught in the

area feeding.’ (Mason 2001) Stems were used by the Bundjalung

as waist bands for climbing tall trees (DEC 2003). Cissus sp. is

possibly the vine mentioned as ‘supplejack’ by French-Angas

(1850) for climbing cabbage tree palms.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

maybe better search terms like native grape, or kangaroo vine on top of the latin name!

because the other cissus are such a popular houshold plant, your searches get badly influenced (a common google problem).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks pH, I did narrow my search terms by adding words like 'traditional use' and 'medicinal' and got more results, but information is still thin on the ground

There is a wonderful series of pamphlets on traditionally used food and medicine here:

Actually the whole site is really good: www.arrawarraculture.com.au

Facts sheets are here: http://www.arrawarra...eets/index.html

I spoke to the Elder who passed on her knowledge of the plant to me and she reckons it's fine to share ( The Gumbaynggir people are known as 'the sharing people' ) so I'm happy, even obliged, to share what I'm learning. Not a bad thing, thanks Aunty!

Cissus antarctica grows in proximity to Smilax glyciphylla: http://www.noosanati...lax-glyciphylla on the coastal range from the tip of FNQ down to as far south as southern NSW

Usually they grow within a few metres of each other, find one and the other isn't far off. So far I've only found one Smilax that doesn't have a Cissus near it, and that was on really disturbed ground with a domestic fence over it. There's heaps of them round here!

Apparently the story is that Smilax barbs once caught a man and he cursed it, saying the vine would be separated from Cissis forever. But that didn't work as they are such good friends and still grow together today. Hope I got that right

Cissus antarctica was described to me as a 'tonic', the parts I was told were most effective are the young leaves, especially the reddish ones. The term 'tonic' is a bit pharmacologically outdated ( I think in Western Medicine it means 'something we won't research cos we can't make any money on it' ). But it's used to promote health Apparently a young leaf or two a day is a good dose.

Other plants in this genus have traditional medicinal uses in other countries. From Wikipedia Cissus quadrangularis has been evaluated for potential medical uses

Pic here: http://en.wikipedia...._antarctica.jpg

The plant has lots of other uses, but I'm not personally familiar with the whole list. I hope to learn a lot more about both species tho as I've really bonded with this one

Have taken the young leaves twice, both after heavy nights, and have felt some relief from the usual headaches and blurriness and been able to focus better. This could, of course, be placebo, but if the First Peoples here have no troubles using leaves daily for long stretches I figure it's gotta be worth a go. So it's a couple of young leaves from different plants first thing before food every morning, I pick them when I walk the puppy. Feeling pretty good, energy and mood have both improved in the last week so I'll continue for as long as I can find good leaves without stressing local populations

First few times it tasted soapy, which was intriguing and a bit worrying. Now after lots of rain it tastes more ascorbic-y. Of course season and weather will affect constituents, but maybe I'm used to the taste now

Now I'm intrigued as to what's in it. Not that a reductionist approach will explain everything, but it's piqued my curiousity. Stay tuned :)

Us Europeans have destroyed so much on this continent, every time I get a cool piece of information like this I'm both happy and sad. Happy cos people are sharing good things, and sad, like for the Sibylline books and the human cost of what and who were lost

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone tried this yet?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Regarding the association of Smilax glychiphylla and Cissus antartica. I would have to disagree to a certain extent. Where I live there are many Smilax glychiphylla but Cissus antartica isn't something that you will see really at all. Maybe a couple of plants, and not growing with Smilax glychiphylla at all, though would be more common to see it growing with Smilax australis. More common association I would note would be the one of Smilax glychiphylla and Cissus hypoglauca, although this is just from my particular area. This has been a common observation of mine though, and not just my area. Saw a bunch of Cissus antartica a couple of weeks ago growing in sub tropical rainforest, didn't note any Smilax glychiphylla at all, but did note some Duibosia myoporoides, Eupomatia laurina, Citriobatus pauciflorus syn. Pittosporum and Diploglottis australis, amonst other plants of some interest (most if not all plants are of interest to me though).

Cissus antartica " The fruits are edible when mature, but rather acid, Aborigines used the stems as an aid for climbing trees by placing a long loop around both the trunk and the climber".

Edited by tonic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oops, you are spot on with the association thing, that was my error, not Auntie's. Thanks for bringing it to my attention

Cissus antarcticus and Smilax australis it is

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey thanks for the fact sheets, I really like the idea of fact sheets for indigenous knowledge.

As for eating the leaves, I've never done it but I've eaten plenty of fruits. The trick is find a vine with superior fruits because most are pretty damn ordinary.

I have C. antartica and C. hypoglaucain the garden, I just scattered a couple hundred fruits around one year and they started coming up EVERYWHERE! I'll have to try the young leaves and see what happens lol.

Just out of interest, we get these huge hawkmoth caterpillars on the C. antartica every year, but not on the C. hypoglauca. Each caterpillar being more spectacularly coloured than the last. The birds really love them so I don't think they have a lot of stored poisons inside, like many other large brightly coloured caterpillars often do. Here's the only photo I could find for now. It's a very pale one but I have a pic of a much better one somewhere.

post-8867-0-75347200-1334627663_thumb.jp

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now