Tinospora crispa (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

1, part of stem as found in the market; 2, part of stem with leafy shoot; 3, part of stem with male inflorescence; 4, male flower; 5, fruit; 6, endocarp in dorsal and ventral view (Iskak Syamsudin)

Tinospora crispa (L.) Hook.f. & Thomson

Protologue: Fl. ind. 1: 183 (1855).


  • Tinospora rumphii Boerl. (1901),
  • Tinospora tuberculata (Lamk) Beumée ex K. Heyne (1927).

Vernacular names

  • Indonesia: andawali (Sundanese), brotowali, putrowali (Javanese)
  • Malaysia: akar putarwali, petawali (Peninsular), daun akar wali (Sarawak)
  • Philippines: makabuhay, meliburigan (Mindanao), paliaban (Bisaya), panyawan vine (Visayas)
  • Cambodia: bandaul pech
  • Laos: khua kao ho
  • Thailand: boraphet (central)
  • Vietnam: dây thần thông, dây ký ninh, dây cóc.


India, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, southern China (Yunnan), Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia (Java, Sumbawa) and the Philippines (Luzon, Mindoro, Mindanao); cultivated as a medicinal plant, e.g. in Thailand, Sri Lanka and India.


An infusion of the stem is drunk in Malaysia and Indonesia as a vermifuge and of the whole plant to treat cholera; it is also used to treat diabetes mellitus. Externally it is applied against scabies and to heal wounds. In Brunei, the plant is used in the treatment of high blood pressure, diabetes and to relieve abdominal pains. In Indo-China, an infusion of the stem is drunk to treat fever (also when caused by malaria) and jaundice. Powdered stems are used to fatten horses and cattle by stimulating their appetite. T. crispa is a very commonly used medicinal plant in the Philippines. In Thailand, an infusion from the stem is used to treat jaundice, cholera, malaria, and against worms in children.


  • A woody climber up to 15 m long, older stems very prominently tuberculate and producing very long filiform aerial roots.
  • Leaves broadly ovate to orbicular, 7-14(-25) cm × 6-12(-24) cm, without domatia.
  • Inflorescences appearing when plant is leafless.
  • Flowers usually with 3 petals.
  • Fruit ellipsoidal, about 2 cm long, orange.

T. crispa occurs in primary rain forest and mixed deciduous forest, but can be very common in secondary vegetation after logging and in hedges, up to 1000 m altitude. The stem contains an exceedingly bitter milky sap.

Selected sources

  • [6] Acevedo, R.A., Santos, A.C. & Pabatao, P., 1970. A diterpene from Tinospora rumphii Boerl. Philippine Journal of Science 97(3): 269-275.
  • [75] Areekul, S. & Sinchaisri, P., 1988. Effects of Thai plant extracts on the oriental fruit fly (Darcus dorsalis) II. Repellency test. Witthayasan Kasetsart Sakha Witthayasat 22(1): 56-61. (in Thai)
  • [123] Bänziger, H., 1982. Fruit-piercing moths (Lep., Noctuidae) in Thailand: a general survey and some new perspectives. Mitteilungen der Schweizerischen Entomologischen Gesellschaft 55(3-4): 213-240.
  • [202] Burkill, I.H., 1966. A dictionary of the economic products of the Malay Peninsula. Revised reprint. 2 volumes. Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Vol. 1 (A-H) pp. 1-1240. Vol. 2 (I-Z) pp. 1241-2444.
  • [213] Cardenas, L.B. & Quimado, M.O., 1986. Tissue culture of medicinal plants: an investment for the future. Research at Los Baños (Philippines) 5(2): 14-15.
  • [331] de Leon, M.R. & Ocampo, V.R., 1989. Acute toxicity of makabuhai (Tinospora rumphii Boerlage) in laboratory rats. Pest Control Council of the Philippines, Baguio City, the Philippines. 1 p.
  • [332] de Padua, L.S., Lugod, G.C. & Pancho, J.V., 1977-1983. Handbook on Philippine medicinal plants. 4 volumes. Documentation and Information Section, Office of the Director of Research, University of the Philippines at Los Baños, the Philippines.
  • [339] del Fierro, R.S., 1983. Studies on the mutagenicity, clastogenicity and antimutagenicity potential of Tinospora rumphii Boerlage (Family Menispermaceae). Philippine Scientist 20: 1-10.
  • [350] Dharma, A.P., 1981. Indonesische geneeskrachtige planten [Indonesian medicinal plants]. De Driehoek, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. 168 pp.
  • [421] Forman, L.L. 1986. Menispermaceae. In: van Steenis, C.G.G.J. & de Wilde, W.J.J.O. (General editors): Flora Malesiana. Series 1, Vol. 10. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, the Netherlands. pp. 157-253.
  • [423] Forman, L.L., 1991. Menispermaceae. In: Smitinand, T. & Larsen, K. (Editors): Flora of Thailand. Vol. 5(3). The Forest Herbarium, Royal Forest Department, Bangkok, Thailand. pp. 325-331.
  • [444] Fukuda, N., Nakamura, M., Yonemitsu, M., Kimura, T., Isobe, R. & Komori, T., 1993. Studies on the constituents of the stems of Tinospora tuberculata 1. Isolation and structure elucidation of two new furanoid diterpenes tinotufolin A and B. Liebigs Annalen der Chemie 10(3): 325-327.
  • [445] Fukuda, N., Yonemitsu, M. & Kimura, T., 1983. The constituents of the stems of Tinospora tuberculata 1. N-trans feruloyl tyramine and N-cis feruloyl tyramine and a new phenolic glucoside tinotuberide. Chemical and Pharmaceutical Bulletin 31(1): 156-161.
  • [446] Fukuda, N., Yonemitsu, M. & Kimura, T., 1986. Studies on the constituents of the stems of Tinospora tuberculata 3. New diterpenoids borapetoside B and borapetol B. Chemical and Pharmaceutical Bulletin 34(7): 2868-2872.
  • [447] Fukuda, N., Yonemitsu, M. & Kimura, T., 1993. Studies on the constituents of the stems of Tinospora tuberculata 4. Isolation and structure elucidation of the five new furanoid diterpene glycosides borapetoside C-G. Liebigs Annalen der Chemie 0(5): 491-495.
  • [448] Fukuda, N., Yonemitsu, M., Kimura, T., Hachiyama, S., Miyahara, K. & Kawasaki, T., 1985. Studies on the constituents of the stems of Tinospora tuberculata 2. New diterpenoids borapetoside A and borapetol A. Chemical and Pharmaceutical Bulletin 33(10): 4438-4444.
  • [580] Heyne, K., 1950. De nuttige planten van Indonesië [The useful plants of Indonesia]. 3rd Edition. 2 volumes. W. van Hoeve, 's-Gravenhage, the Netherlands/Bandung, Indonesia. 1660 + CCXLI pp.
  • [908] Martin, T.S., Ohtani, K., Kasai, R. & Yamasaki, K., 1995. Clerodane diterpene glucosides from Tinospora rumphii. Phytochemistry 40(6): 1729-1736.
  • [965] Mohiddin, M.Y., Wong Chin & Holdsworth, D.K., 1992. Traditional medicinal plants of Brunei Darussalam. Part III. Sengkurong. International Journal of Pharmacognosy 30(2): 105-108.
  • [975] Morallo-Rejesus, B., 1987. Botanical pest control research in the Philippines. Philippine Entomologist 7(1): 1-30.
  • [1035] Nguyen Van Duong, 1993. Medicinal plants of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Mekong Printing, Santa Ana, California, United States. 528 pp.
  • [1049] Noor, H. & Ashcroft, S.J.H., 1989. Antidiabetic effects of Tinospora crispa in rats. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 27(1-2): 149-161.
  • [1050] Noor, H., Hammonds, P. & Ashcroft, S.J.H., 1988. An aqueous extract from Tinospora crispa lowers blood glucose levels in alloxan-diabetic rats and stimulates insulin release in rat islets and man. Diabetologia 31(7): 526A-527A.
  • [1051] Noor, H., Hammonds, P., Sutton, R. & Ashcroft, S.J.H., 1989. The hypoglycemic and insulinotropic activity of Tinospora crispa studies with human and rat islets and HIT-T15 B cells. Diabetologia 32(6): 354-359.
  • [1100] Pachaly, P. & Adnan, A.Z., 1989. The structure of tinocrisposide, a bitter furanoditerpene glucoside from Tinospora crispa. Planta Medica 55(7): 632.
  • [1101] Pachaly, P. & Adnan, A.Z., 1992. Tinocrisposide, a new bitter furanoditerpene glycoside from Tinospora crispa Miers. Archiv der Pharmazie (Weinheim) 325(11): 705-708.
  • [1102] Pachaly, P., Adnan, A.Z. & Will, G., 1989. N-formyl and N-acetylaporphine alkaloids of Tinospora crispa. Planta Medica 55(1): 115-116.
  • [1103] Pachaly, P., Adnan, A.Z. & Will, G., 1992. NMR assignments of N-acetylaporphine alkaloids from Tinospora crispa. Planta Medica 58(2): 184-187.
  • [1178] Quisumbing, E., 1978. Medicinal plants of the Philippines. Katha Publishing Co., Quezon City, the Philippines. 1262 pp.
  • [1190] Rahmani, M., Yin, L.T. & Lajis, N.H., 1989. Toxicity studies of plant extracts on two species of fish. Pertanika 12(2): 189-192.
  • [1388] Solsoloy, A.D., Cacayorin, N.D. & Cano, L.C., 1991. Insecticidal and fungicidal action of some indigenous plant extracts against cotton pests. Cotton Research Journal 4(1-2): 1-11.
  • [1486] Umi Kalsom, Y. & Noor, H., 1995. Flavone-O-glycosides from Tinospora crispa. Fitoterapia 66(3): 280.
  • [1572] Wijayakusuma, H.M.H., Wirian, S.W., Yaputra, T., Dalimartha, S. & Wibowo, B., 1992. Tanaman berkhasiat obat di Indonesia *[Plants yielding medicine in Indonesia]. Vol. 1. Pustaka Kartini, Jakarta, Indonesia. 122 pp.

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