Arrow leaf

Family • Araceae - Syngonium podophyllum Schott - ARROWHEAD VINE

Scientific names

Syngonium podophyllum Schott

Common names

American evergreen (Engl.)
Arrow leaf (Engl.)
Arrowhead vine (Engl.)
Goosefoot plant (Engl.)
Nephthytis (Engl.)

arrow-leafGen info

Syngonium is a genus of about 36 species of flowering plants in the Araceae family.

The plant is a perennial vine growing to a height of 10-20 meters. Petioles are slender. Leaves are arrow-shaped, thin, green and undulating. Leaves change shape as they mature, becoming bigger and lobed.

Recently introduced to the Philippines.
Native to Mexico and Costa Rica.

Parts utilized
Bark, roots.

• No reported folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
• In Belize, roots and bark used in traditional medicine for treatment of superficial and deep wounds.
• In Central American, used for various skin disorders.
• Indoor Plant / Air Purifier: One of the plants studied and found effective in helping to remove indoor air pollutants.

Study Findings
• Antibacterial: A study was done on 21 extracts of seven plants used in wound healing, including Syngonium piodophyllum leaves and bark, to evaluate antibacterial properties against strains of E coli, P aeruginosa, S aureus and E faecalis. Almost all the extracts showed some growth inhibition of one or more bacterial strains. Antibacterial activity was reported for the first time for Syngonium podophyllum.
• Anti-Inflammatrory: Extracts of seven herbal drugs used in Central American folk medicined were evaluated for their topical antiinflammatory activity against Croton oil-induced ear edema in mice. All the extracts, including S podophyllum induced dose-dependent oedema reduction, presenting potential sources of principles with high anti-inflammatory activity.

• All parts of the plant are considered poisonous and causes severe mouth pain if eaten.
• Araceae contain calcium oxalate crystals, believed to cause intense local irritation on handling or consuming. Some attribute the reaction to other compounds present as the irritation is not seen in properly cooked plants, although the crystal persist after heating.