Cissampelos hernandiifolia Willd.
Clypea discolor Blume
Cocculus forsteri DC.
Menispermum japonicum Thunb.
Stephania forsteri (DC.) A.Gray
Stephania hernandiifolia (Willd.) Walp.
Stephania japonica is a climbing plant producing slender stems, that can become slightly woody when old, from a woody rootstock[
The leaves are sometimes harvested from the wild for medicinal purposes and to make a jelly.
The bitter-tasting root is very poisonous due to its picrotoxin content[
E. Asia - southern China, Japan, Korea, Indian subcontinent, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, New Guinea, Australia, Pacific
Village margins, shrublands, open forests, forest margins, limestone mountains in southern China[
]. Secondary forest, regrowths, hedges, thickets and on river banks, also in Nypa swamp, at elevations up to 2,000 metres[
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A kind of jelly is prepared from the squeezed leaves[
The tuberous root is astringent, bitter[
]. It is used in the treatment of diarrhoea and dysentery; fevers; stomach ache and dyspepsia; hepatitis; and urinary diseases[
The root is said to be of value in the cure of itches[
The tuberous root of var. discolor is bitter and very poisonous due to its picrotoxin content. It is used medicinally for the treatment of fevers, diarrhoea, urinary diseases and stomach-ache[
The crushed leaves in water form a slightly gelatinous mass which is applied to breast infections[
The plant contains a large number of alkaloids. Of those that have been tested for activity, insularine is reported to have a curare-like activity; whilst (+)-epistephanine possesses significant adrenergic neurone blocking activity. This latter compound acts like guanethidine, by selectively blocking the responses to sympathic nerve stimulation without affecting the responses to the receptor agonist adrenaline, though it is approximately one tenth as potent as guanethidine, and the onset of action is slower and duration shorter than that of the latter[
Extracts from the leaves have shown mild insecticidal properties against fruit flies in Thailand[
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