Family • Fabaceae / Leguminosae - Entada phaseoloides (Linn.) Merr. - ST. THOMAS BEAN

Scientific names

Entada phaseoloides (Linn.) Merr.
Entada formosana Kaneh.
Entada koshunensis Hayata & Kaneh.
Entada rumphii Scheff.
Entada scandens (L.) Benth.
Lens phaseoloides L.
Mimosa scandens L.

Common names

Balonos (Bis.)
Balugo (Tag., Pamp.)
Barugu (S.L. Bis.)
Barugo (S.L. Bis.)
Bayogo (C. Bis., Tag.)
Dipai (Ig.)
Gogo (Tag., Bis., Tagb., P. Bis.)
Gogong-bakai (Pamp.)
Gogong-bakay (Pamp.)
Gugo (Tag.)
Gugu (Pamp., Tag.)
Kessing (Ibn.)
kezzing (Ibn.)
Lipai (Ilk.)
Lipay (Ilk.)
Tamayan (Bag.)
Cali bean (Engl.)
Gila bean (Engl.)
Matchbox bean (Engl.)
Monkey ladder pod (Engl.)
St. Thomas bean (Engl.)
Water vine (Engl.)

Other vernacular names

ASSAMESE: Bor gilla, Ghila, Gila lewa, Gilar lot.
BENGALI: Gilagach, Gilla, Pangra.
BURMESE: Dobin, Nyin.
FRENCH: Entada de Formose, Coeur de la mer, Coeur de singe, Liane géante, Wawa (Antilles).
GERMAN: Pangraschote, Riesenhülse, Seeherzen, Seebohnen, Trockenblumen, Westindische Haselnuß, Westindische Haselstrauch.
HINDI: Barabi.
KANNADA: Doddakampi, Hallebilu, Hallekayiballi.
MALAY: Akar belu, Akar beluru, Akar belerang, Akar kupang, Bendoh, Gandu, Sentok, Sintok.
MALAYALAM: Paringakavalli, Perimkakuvalli, Vattavalli.
MARATHI: Garambi.
ORIYA: Giridi.
PORTUGUESE: Cipó-da-beira-mar.
RUSSIAN: Entada fasolevidnaia, Entada formozanskaia.
SANSKRIT: Prthvika.
SPANISH: Alampepe (Mexico), Bejuco parta (Colombia), Cobalonga, Habo, Ojo de buey, Parta.
TAMIL: Anaittellu, Camuttirappuliyan, Irikki, Kirancakamiram, Ottolakkoti, Yanaittellu.
TELUGU: Gila tiga, Gilatige, Peddamadupu, Tandramanu, Tikativva.

Gogo is a very large, woody climber (liana). Stems are thick as a man’s arm, angled, and much twisted. Bark is dark brown and rough. Leaves are tripinnate, the common petioles usually ending in a long, tough tendril. Pinnae are stalked, usually 4 in number. Leaflets are oblong or obovate, 2.5 to 5 centimeters long, rigidly leathery and smooth. Flowers are 2 to 3 millimeters long, yellowish white, either crowded in long slender spikes from the axils of the upper leaves or arranged in terminal panicles. Pods, few, pendant, 30 to 100 centimeters long and 7 to 10 centimeters wide, somewhat curved, slightly constricted between the seeds. Seeds are hard, and circular, with their sides flattened, about 5 centimeters across, and chocolate brown.


– In forests at low and medium altitudes, from Northern Luzon (Cagayan) to Mindanao and Palawan.
– Pantropic.


Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Synthesis of entadamide A and entadamide B isolated from Entada phaseoloides and their inhibitory effects on 5-lipoxygenase / Ikegami F. Sekine T, Aburada M et al / Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo). 1989 Jul;37(7):1932-3.

(2) Mutagenic and Antimutagenic Activities in Philippine Medicinal and Food Plants / Clara Y Lim-Sylianco and W Thomas Shier / Summary Toxin Reviews, 1985, Vol. 4, No. 1, Pages 71-105 / DOI 10.3109/15569548509014414

(3) Pursaethosides A−E, Triterpene Saponins from Entada pursaetha / Azefack Leon Tapondjou et al / J. Nat. Prod., 2005, 68 (8), pp 1185–1190 / DOI: 10.1021/np0580311

(4) Two new chalcone glycosides from the stems of Entada phaseoloides / Zhong-xiang Zhao, Jing Jin et al /
Fitoterapia / Article in Press, Corrected Proof – Note to users / doi:10.1016/j.fitote.2011.07.005

(5) Phenolic acid glucosides from the seeds of Entada phaseoloides Merill / Onkar Singh, Mohd Ali & Nida Akhtar / Journal of Asian Natural Products Research, Volume 13, Issue 8, 2011 / DOI:10.1080/10286020.2011.584444

(6) Preliminary study on mechanisms of total saponins from Entada phaseoloides against diabetes / Zheng T, Shu G, Yang Z, Mo S, Zhao Y, Mei Z. / Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2012 Mar;37(5):615-9.

(7) The effect of two formulations of Entada phaseoloides seeds after topical application in ‘monoiodoacetate-induced osteoarthritis’ in rats / Jayshree S. Dawane, Vijaya Pandit, Bhagyashree Rajopadhye, Manjiri Karandikar / Exp Integr Med. 2013; 3(1): 37-41 / doi: 10.5455/jeim.061012.or.048

(8) Sulfur-containing amides from Entada phaseoloides / XIONG Hui, XIAO Er, ZHAO Ying-hong, YANG Guang-zhong, MEI Zhi-nan* / Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica 2010, 45 (5): 624−626

(9) Antioxidant Phenolic Compounds from the Stems of Entada phaseoloides / Yuqiong Dong, Haiming Shi, Haisha Yang, Yunhua Peng, Mengyue Wang, Xiaobo Li* / Chemistry & Biodiversity, Volume 9, Issue 1, pages 68–79, January 2012 / DOI: 10.1002/cbdv.201100002

(10) Antidiabetic effect of total saponins from Entada phaseoloides (L.) Merr. in type 2 diabetic rats. / Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 2011 /

(11) Anti-nociceptive Effect of Entada Phaseoloides Seeds Formulation after Topical Application in Arthritic Wistar Rats / JayShree Shriram Dawane, ViJaya anil Pandit, BhagyaShree D. Rajopadhye / Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research. 2013 Dec, Vol-7(12): 2744-2746 / DOI: 10.7860/JCDR/2013/6268.3749

(12) Antioxidant, Cytotoxic, Membrane Stabilizing and Antimicrobial Activities of Bark and Seed of Entada phaseoloides (L.) Merr.: A Medicinal Plant from Chittagong Hill Tracts / Fahima Aktar, Md. Ruhul Kuddus, Sk. Omar Faruque, Farhana Rumi, Mohiuddin Abdul Quadir and Mohammad A. Rashid.* / Journal of Pharmacy and Nutrition Sciences, 2011, 1, 171-176

(13) Sorting Entada names / /Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1995 – 2020 / A Work in Progress. School of Agriculture and Food Systems. Faculty of Land & Food Resources. The University of Melbourne. Australia.


– Yields saponin; fixed oil, 18%; traces of an alkaloid; sapogenin, oleanolic acid.
– Study reported saponin to be abundant in the bark, less so in the wood, plentiful in the seeds, and absent from the leaves.
– Seeds yield a fatty oil, used as illuminant.
– Study of seeds yielded traced of an alkaloid and 18% of a yellow, tasteless oil.
– Study of stems yielded two new chalcone glycosides 4′-O-(6″-O-galloyl-β-d-glucopyranosyl)-2′,4-dihydroxychalcone (1) and 4′-O-(6″-O-galloyl-β-d-glucopyranosyl)-2′-hydroxy-4-methoxychalcone together with one known chalcone glycoside 4′-O-β-d-glucopyranosyl-2′-hydroxy-4-methoxychalcone.
– Study of seeds yielded four sulfur-containing amide compounds from the n-BuOH soluble fraction, viz., entadamide A-β-D-glucopyranosyl-(1→3)-β-D- glucopyranoside, entadamide A , entadamide A-β-D-glucopyranoside and clinacoside C.

– Slightly bitter-acrid tasting, mildly cooling natured.
– Antirheumatic, relieves gastrointestinal disorders, aids circulation.
– Juice from the bark reportedly irritating to the eyes, causing conjunctivitis.
– Note: The infusion of the cortex (bark) of the gogo vines in water contains saponin which has an emetic effect and also a strongly stimulant effect. Accidental contact with the eye may cause conjunctivitis.


Parts utilized
– Bark, seeds and vines.
– Vines and seeds. The vines may be collected during any time of the year, rinse, section into slices, steam, and sundry.
– The seeds may be collected from January to April. Remove seed coat, roast in a frying pan, sun-dry and pulverize.
– Cultivation: Use seeds and layering for propagation.

– In the Dutch Indies, young leaves are eaten, raw or cooked.
– In Bali and Sumatra, the seeds after certain treatment, are eaten.
– In South Africa, pod and seeds are used as coffee substitute.

– In the Philippines, juice proper of the bark used for conjunctivitis. For skin itches, the affected part is washed with a decoction of the bark. Stem, macerated in cold water, makes a cleansing soap; also, used as an emetic. Seed kernels are mashed and used as poultice for abdominal complaints, colic, etc.
– For rheumatic lumbar and leg pains, sprains, contusions: use dried vine materials, 15 to 30 grams in decoction.
– For jaundice, edema due to malnutrition: use powdered seeds, 3 to 9 grams taken orally with water.
– Abdominal pains and colic: Pound the kernels of the seeds, mix with oil and apply as poultice onto affected area.
– Counterirritant: Make a paste of the seeds and apply to glandular swellings in the axilla, loins and joints, and swollen hands and feet.
– Used as hair growth stimulant.
– Seeds used as emetic. Also, used as febrifuge.
– Paste of seeds applied to inflammatory glandular swellings in the axilla, pains of the loins and joints, swelling of the hands and feet when caused by general debility.
– Seeds used as hair wash.
– In South Africa, seeds used by infants to bite on during their teething period. Also, used as remedy for cerebral hemorrhage.

– Hair: Used extensively in the Philippines and other oriental countries for washing the hair. Also, an ingredient of hair tonics. The bark is soaked in water until soft; the fibers are then spread, the juice is then expressed by rubbing the fibers against each other until it lathers, which is then used to cleanse the scalp. Prepared liquid from gogo is very painful and irritating to the eyes. Seeds also used as hair wash.
– Poison: Used as a fish poison.
– Wood: Bark is used as cordage. In Europe, used for tinder and for making match boxes.
– Plaything / Crafts: Large pods and seeds used by children as playthings. Also used for making necklaces.
– Illuminant: In the Sunda Islands, a fatty oil extracted from the seeds used as illuminant.
– Snuff: In Europe, seeds reportedly used for snuff.

Study Findings 
• Anti-Inflammatory / Entadamides: Synthesis of entadamide A and entadamide B isolated from Entada phaseoloides and their inhibitory effects on 5-lipoxygenase: Two sulfur-containing amides, entadamide A and entadamide B, were isolated from the seeds of e. phaseoloides. The study suggests that the entadamides may be a new type of antiinflammatory drug.
• Entadamides C: A study isolated entadamie C, a third new sulphur-containing amide, from the leaves of Entada phaseoloides, together with entadamide A.
• Antiulcer / Seeds: The study indicates that Entada phaseoloides possess antiulcer activity. It is possible that entadamide A, B and C, and phaseoloides may be responsible for the effect.
• Genotoxicity: In a study of 138 medicinal plant preparations examined for genotoxicity, Entada phaseoloides was one of 12 that exhibited detectable genotoxicity in any system.
• Chemical and Nutritional Evaluation of Raw Seeds: Study of raw seeds of Parkia roxburghii and Entada phaseoloides showed crude proteins and crude lipid (more in P roxburghii). Both seeds were rich in potassium and iron. E phaseoloides seeds were rich a source of minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and manganese. Fatty acids such as oleic and linoleic acids were relatively high in both.
• Saponins / Pursaethosides A-E: Study isolated five new triterpenoid saponins, pursaethosides A-E from the extract of seed kernels, along with the known phaseoloidin.
• Phenolic Acid Glucosides: Study of seeds of EP yielded three new phenolic acid glucosides: p-cresotyl glucoside, p-cresotyl triglucoside, and salicylic acid tetraglucoside, along with sucrose and triglucoside.
• Saponins / Anti-Diabetic: Study evaluated the effect of total saponins on islet morphology and skeletal muscle P13K pathway-related protein expression of T2 diabetic rats. Results showed TSEP had an effect on protecting pancreatic tissue of type 2 diabetic rats and intervening in the abnormal expression of proteins in skeletal muscle tissue.
• Seeds / Topical Formulations / Anti-Arthritis: Study investigated the effect of topical application of two formulations (paste and ointment) of Entada phaseoloides (EP) seeds in the ‘monoiodoacetate (MIA)-induced osteoarthritis’ model in rats. Results showed both formulations to be effective in preventing damage to the joint, with decreased swelling and redness within 24 hours and significantly less changes histopathologically. in the drug-treated group.
• Antioxidant / Stems: Study of an EtOH extract of stems exhibited potent antioxidant activity on DPPH, ABTS radical scavenging, reducing power, ß-carotene bleaching, and superoxide radical scavenging analyses. The AcOEt fraction was the most active.
• Hypoglycemic / Hypolipidemic: Study evaluated the potential therapeutic effects of total saponins from E. phaseoloides in experimental type 2 diabetic rats. Total saponins dramatically reduced fasting blood glucose and serum insulin levels and alleviated hyperglycemic associated oxidative stress. Moreover, a significant hypolipidemic effect and improvement in tissue steatosis were observed. Reference drug used was metformin.
• Anticomplement / Antimicrobial / Flavonoids: Study evaluated seventeen flavonoids isolated from the stem extracts of Entada phaseoloides for anticomplement and antimicrobial activities. Results showed dose-dependent anticomplement activity among the isolated flavonoids.. Antimicrobial results indicated quercetin, 5,7,4′-trihydroxy-3′-methoxyflavonol and galangin exhibited inhibitory activities against MRSA, MSSA, and standard enterococcus, while luteolin and rhamnocitrin showed inhibitory activity against only MRSA and MSSA.
• Antinociceptive / Antimicrobial / Flavonoids: Study evaluated the topical application of different seed formulations of E. phaseoloides for analgesic activity in arthritic wistar rats. Results showed analgesic activity comparable to Diclofenac sodium.
• Antidiabetic / Antimicrobial / Flavonoids: Study evaluated methanolic extracts and fractions of seeds of E. phaseoloides in alloxan induced diabetic mice. The most significant reduction of FBG was observed with the Et-Ac fraction. The hypoglycemic activity was comparable to metformin. The antidiabetic principles could be saponins, flavonoids, and glycosides.
• Antioxidant / Antimicrobial / Cytotoxic / Membrane Stabilizing: Crude extract of bark showed strong antioxidant property in a DPPH assay. A petroleum ether soluble fraction showed significant cytotoxicity. The carbon tetrachloride soluble fraction of bark showed significant antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus. A crude extract of seed and petroleum ether ether soluble fraction of bark showed inhibition of hemolysis of rat RBC.