Green wax flower

Family • Asclepiadaceae - Dregea volubilis (Linn. f.) Benth. - SNEEZING SILK - Nan shan teng

Scientific names

Dregea volubilis (Linn. f.) Benth.
Asclepias volubilis Linn. f.
Hoya viridiflora R. Br.
Drega viridiflora F.-Vill.
Wattakaka volubilis (Linn. f.) ?

Common names

Kratung-maba (Thailand)
Cotton milk plant (Engl.)een
Green wax flower (Engl.)
Sneezing silk (Engl.)
Nan shan teng (Chin.)

Dregea volubilis is a stout, smooth, hoary or mealy, woody vine. Leaves are ovate or somewhat rounded, 7.5 to 15 centimeters long, 5 to 10 centimeters wide, rather leathery, rounded or pointed at the base, and pointed at the tip. Cymes are axillary or interpetiolar, and umbel-like. Flowers are green, about 1 centimeters across. Follicles are usually double, broadly lanceolate, 7.5 to 10 centimeters long, turgid, longitudinally ribbed, and velvety until mature. Seeds are elliptic, concave, smooth, shining, sharp-edged, and crowned with very fine, white, silky hairs.

Green wax flower

– In the Babuyan Islands( Camiguin), Lubang, Luzon (Rizal, Bontoc and Batangas Provinces), and Panay, in thickets at low altitudes.
– Also occurs in India to Java.

Green wax flower2

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Anti-inflammatory, analgesic and anti-lipid peroxidative properties of Wattakaka volubilis (Linn.f.) Stapf. / TS Divya, PG Latha et al / Natural Product Radiance, Vol 8(2), 2009, pp 137-141

(2) Preliminary Phytochemical Evaluation of Certain Anticancer Crude Drugs Used by Adivasis of Rayalaseema Region, Andhra Pradesh, India / P Venkata Krishnaiah et al / Ethnobotanical Leaflets 12: 693-97. 2008.

(3) ACUTE AND SUB-CHRONIC TOXICITY STUDY OF DREGEA VOLUBILIS FRUIT IN MICE / Moulisha Biswas, Biswakanth Kar et al / Journal of Phytology 2010, 2(8): 06–10

(4) Antitumor Effect of Dregea volubilis Fruit in Ehrlich Ascites Carcinoma Bearing Mice / Moulisha Biswas, Samit Bera et al / Global Journal of Pharmacology 4 (3) 102-1-6, 2010

(5) Anti-inflammatory effect of a methanolic extract of leaves of Dregea volubilis / Hossain E, Sarkar D et al / J Ethnopharmacol. 2010 Nov 11;132(2):525-8. Epub 2010 Aug 26.

(6) Dregea volubilis Ameliorates Concanavalin A-Induced Liver Injury by Facilitating Apoptosis of Activated T Cells / Fangyuan Gong, Yan Shen et al / Exp Biol Med 233:1124–1132, 2008 / DOI: 10.3181/0801-RM-15

(7) Antioxidant and free-radical-scavenging effects of fruits of Dregea volubilis / Moulisha Biswas, Pallab Kanti Haldar, Ashoke Kumar Ghosh / Journal of Natural Science, Biology and Medicine, 2010, Vol 1, No 1, Pp 29-34.

(8) Dregea volubilis Ameliorates Concanavalin A-Induced Liver Injury by Facilitating Apoptosis of Activated T Cells / Fangyuan Gong, Yan Shen, Chaofeng Zhang, Jianliang Xu, Xuefeng Wu, Zichun Hua and Qiang Xu / Experimental Medicine and Biology

Green wax flower3
– The fresh pericarp freed from the seeds contain an active principle, called dregein.
– Phytochemical screening yielded alkaloids, anthocyanins, anthracene glycosides, catecholic compounds, coumarins, flavonoids, iridoids, saponins and volatile oils.
– Phytochemical analysis yielded triterpenoid glycosides and aglycones, called dregeosides and drevogenins.

– Emetic, expectorant, febrifuge.

Parts used
Leaves, roots, juice.

– In Thailand, occasionally grown as a vegetable. Young shoot and inflorescence used in a curry with dried, smoked fish.

Green wax flower4

– Leaves used as application to boils and abscesses.
– Roots and tender stalks used as emetic and expectorant.
– Juice exuding from cut roots are inserted into the nose to cause sneezing.
– In South East Asia, used as antifebrile and emetic.
– Used to treat hematemesis, sore throat, carbuncles, eczema, asthma and as antidote for poison.

Study Findings
• Anti-Inflammatory / Analgesic / Anti-Lipid Peroxidative: Considered by some authors as a synonym for D. volubilis. Phytochemical study yielded glucosides and alkaloids in the roots, considered to produce significant antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects.
• Possible Hepatotoxicity: Study of mature leaves of Dregea volubilis on male Sprague-Dawley rats showed degenerative changes in hepatocytes, with elevations in key hepatic enzyme concentrations.
• Polyoxypregnane glycoside / Chondroprotective: Study yielded polyoxypregnane glycoside which was shown to have a potent chondroprotective activity and presents a potential compound for a new pharmacologic agent for the management of degenerative joint diseases.
• Fruit Toxicity Studies: Acute and sub-chronic toxicity study of Dregea volubilis fruit in mice demonstrated no noticeable toxicity.
• Antitumor: Study concludes that Dregea volubilis fruit exhibited remarkable antitumor activity against Erhlich ascites carcinoma in Swiss mice.
• Anti-Inflammatory: Study showed the methanolic extract of leaves of Dregea volubilis in a carrageenan-induced model of acute inflammation exhibited significant anti-inflammatory activity.
• Immunomodulatory: Study of an ethanol extract from the stem parts of Dregea volubilis exhibited potential in treating T cell-mediated diseases through facilitation of apoptosis of activated T cells.
• Antioxidant / Free Radical Scavenging / Fruits: Study evaluated the antioxidant potential of various extracts of fruits of Dregea volubilis using different assays. Extracts exhibited potent total antioxidant activity increasing with concentration.
• Immunomodulatory / Apoptosis of Activated T Cells / Drevogenin-D: Study evaluated the immunomodulatory activity of DV extract. DVE tended to stimulate nonactivated lymph node cells while suppressing already activated T cells by selectively facilitating apoptosis through a capsase-dependent pathway. Drevogenin-D, an aglycone isolated, prevented selenite-induced oxidative stress and calpain activation in cultured rat lens.