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Scientific Name Tinospora crispa L. Miers. Ex Hook. F. Et. Thoms
Family Menispermaceae
Common Names Akar Seruntum, Akar patawali
Synonym Tinospora rumphii Boerl, Tinospora tubercolata (Lamk) Beumee ex K. Heyne

Peninsula Malaysia, India, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Southern China, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines. Distributed from the southwestern part of China to Souteast Asia, including Malaysia.

Habit: Woody climber to 15 m long, older stems very prominently tuberculate and producing very long filiform aerial roots. The stem contains an exceedingly bitter milky sap.

Leaves: leaves broadly ovate to orbicular, 7-14 cm x 6-12 cm, withour domatia.

Flowers: Inflorescence appearing when plant is leafless, flowers usually with 3 petals.

Fruits & Seeds: Fruit ellipsoidal, about 2 cm long, orange.

Apigenin and magnoflorine (Zulkifli HN et al 2013)

The whole plant contains a bitter principle, columbine, (2.22%) traces of an alkaloid and a glucoside. Three compounds, identified as N-cis-feruloyityramine, N-trans-feruloyltyramine and secoisolariciresinol, exhibiting antioxidant and radical scavenging properties toward carotene and 2,2-diphenyl-1-pierylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical, were isolated from the ch 2cl 2extract of stems of T. crispaTwo triterpenes are extracted from the stem of T. crispa namely cycloeucalenol and cycloeucalenone. T. crispa stem contains: flavones O-glycosides (apigenine), picroretoside, berberine, palmatine, picroretine and resin. Flavonoids are naturally occurring polyphenolic compounds ubiquitously found in plants (Kadir FS, 2011)

For high blood pressure :boil the dried stems in water and drink

Diabetes: Boil the dried stems in water and drink.

Decoctition to treat cholera, diabetes (Uni Kalsom et al 1995).  Hypertension (Nor aziyah et al 2001)

Pregnant women do not consume, and used for abortion.

Stem for treatment of fever, jaundice, hyperglycemia, hypertension, wounds, intestinal worms and skin infections. It is also used to treat tooth and stomach aches, cough, asthma and pleurisy.

Anti diabetic

a.The health benefits of flavonoids attributed to polyphenols is usually linked to two properties namely inhibition of certain enzymes such as xanthine oxidase and antioxidant activity. They have long been recognized to possess anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiallergic, hepatoprotective, antithrombotic, antiviral and anticarcinogenic activities. A study in rats, showed that 95% ethanol extract of T. crispa stem reduces blood sugar in alloxan-induced diabetic rats.

The effect of ethanolic extract prepared from the dried stems of T. crispa in a rat model of hepatic fibrosis caused by (TAA). TAA is a hepatotoxin frequently used to induce hepatocellular injury and hepatic fibrosis in rats, and its prolonged administration causes the development of cirrhosis associated with an increased extent of lipid peroxidation. These data were compared to identical data from rats, which were exposed to TAA only and a normal control group (Kadir FS 2011).

An aqueous extract of Tinospora crispa stems is taken orally to treat diabetes mellitus. In the present study, normal and alloxan-diabetic rats were used to evaluate the hypoglycaemic properties of the extract. A hypoglycaemic effect was observed in moderately diabetic rats with concomitant improvement in insulinaemia. After a 2-week treatment with the extract (4 g/l in the drinking water), these rats also showed improvement in glucose tolerance. Moreover, acute intravenous treatment with the extract (50 mg/kg) caused an increase in plasma insulin levels. The data support the traditional belief that T. crispa extract could improve diabetic conditions by virtue of its action on the endocrine pancreas.(Noor H. & Ashcroft S.J.H 1989).

b.Tinospora crispa (T. crispa, Menispermaceae), was able to cause a reduction in serum glucose level in diabetic rats, and the hypoglycemic effect was probably due to its insulinotropic activity. T. crispa also increased peripheral utilization of glucose and inhibited hepatic glucose release . Sangsuwan et al. showed that T. crispa had no efficacy for therapy in patients with type 2 DM who did not respond to an adequate dose of oral hypoglycemic drugs for at least 2 months and still had a glycosylated hemoglobin of greater than 8.5%. There were no significant changes in fasting serum glucose or glycosylated hemoglobin between those collected at baseline and during the study period in either group. In this study the author suggests that T. crispa did not stimulate insulin secretion in poor controlled diabetes because these patients might not the have ability to secrete insulin. Efficacy of T. crispa should be investigated in diabetic patient who responded to oral hypoglycemic drugs and did not use insulin therapy because pancreas in these patients might have ability of insulinotropic activity. The results suggest that Tinospora crispa ingestion cannot affect serum glucose and insulin levels in healthy subjects or patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.( Klangjareonchai T. & Roongpisuthipong C, 2011) 


 The stem extract of Tinospora crispa showed high antioxidant activity in the following order: DPPH radical scavenging, reducing power and metal chelating assay (98.8%, 0.957, 81.97%)( Zulkifli HN et al 2013.

Acute toxicity study of ethanolic extract of Tinospora crispa stem in mice showed that the extract at the highest oral dose of 4.0 g/kg of body weight (g/kg BW), which was equivalent to powdered crude drug 28, 95 g/kg BW, did not produce any signs of toxicity

The results of chronic toxicity study of ethanolic extract of Tinospora crispa suggest that, due to the hepatottoxic and renal toxic potential of the extract observed in rats, prolonged use of high doses of T. crispa in humans should be avoided or if signs of liver or renal toxicities occur while using T. crispa - containing herbal medicine, the drug should be discontinued immediately (Chavaliumrong P. et al, 1997)

Chavalittumrong P., A. Attawish, A. Chuthaputti, P. Chuntapet (1997). Toxicological Study of Crude extract of Tinospora crispa Mier ex Hook F. & Thoms  Thai Journal of Pharmaceutical Science, 21 (4), 199-210.http://webdb.dmsc.moph.go.th/ifc_nih/a_nih_5_001c.asp?info_id=154

Kadir FA, Othman F, Abdulla MA, Hussan F, Hassandarvish P. ( 2011). Effect of Tinospora crispa on thioacetamide-induced liver cirrhosis in rats Indian J Pharmacol.2011 Feb;43(1):64-8. doi: 10.4103/0253-7613.75673.

Klangjareonchai T. & Roongpisuthipong C (2012) The Effect of Tinospora crispa on SerumGlucose and Insulin Levels in Patients with Type 2 DiabetesMellitus Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology

, Article ID 808762, 4 pages.

Noor H. & Ashcroft S.J.H (1989) Antidiabetic effects of Tinospora crispa in rats. Journal of Ethnopharmacology Vol 27 (1-2) P 149-161.

Nor Aziyah, B., Amirin, S. & Zaimi Asmawi ( 2001). Effects of constituentsofTinospora crispa on cardiovascular activity. Proceeding of NSF Workshop, Kuala Lumpur.

Zulkifli H.N., J. Mohamad & Nurhayati Zainal Abidin (2013) Antioxidant Activity of Methanol Extract of Tinospora crispa and Tabernaemontana corymbosa. Sains Malaysiana 42 (6) 697-706.


Asean Tropical Plant Database