Family • Rubiaceae - Paederia foetida Linn. - STINKVINE - Niu pi dong

Scientific names

Apocynum foetium Burm. f.
Paederia chinensis Hance
Paederia dunniana H. Lev.
Paederia esquirolii H. Lev.
Paederia foetida Linn.
Paederia tomentosa Blume
Paederia scandens Lour.
Ji shi teng (Chin.)

Other vernacular names

ASSAMESE: Bhedai lota, paduri lota
BENGALI: Gandhabhadule, gandal
CHINESE: Nu qing, Jie shu teng
HINDI: Ghandhaprasarini
MALAY: Akar sekentut
SANSKRIT: Prasarani

Common names

Alulut (Bon.)
Bañgogan (Bik.)
Dikutamabolok (Pamp.)
Gastaliñgan (Bon.)
Kantutan (Tag.)
Kantutai (Tag.)
Kantotai (Tag., Pamp.)
Kantutak (Tag.)
Mabutang-dikut (Pamp.)
Mabolok (Pamp.)
Lilitan (Bik.)
Taitai (Tag.)
Chinese fever vine (Engl.)
Chinese flower (Engl.)
Sewer vine (Engl.)
Stinkvine (Engl.)
Skunk vine (Engl.)
Niu pi dong (Chin.)


Kantutan is a climbing, herbaceous. hairy or smooth slender vine. Leaves are ovate to oblong-ovate, 6 to 10 centimeters long, 3.5 to 5 centimeters wide, pointed at the tip, rounded or slightly heart-shaped at the base, emitting a distinct foetid odor when crushed. Flowers are stalkless, borne in axillary, lax, peduncled inflorescences. Calyx is small and 5-toothed. Corolla is about 1 to 3 centimeters long, somewhat cylindrical, pale purple to nearly white outside, deep purple and villous inside; limb is spreading with 5 undulate lobes. Fruit is somewhat rounded, about 5 millimeters in diameter.


Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Antidiarrhoeal activity of the ethanol extract of Paederia foetida Linn. (Rubiaceae) / S. Afroz, M. Alamgir et al / Journal of Ethnopharmacology Volume 105, Issues 1-2, 21 April 2006, Pages 125-130 / doi:10.1016/j.jep.2005.10.004

(2) Investigation of the anti-inflammatory effects of Paederia foetida / Subrata De et al /
Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Vol 43, Issue 1, June 1994, Pages 31-38 / doi:10.1016/0378-8741(94)90113-9

(3) Antioxidant Activity and Phenolic Content of Paederia foetida and Syzygium aqueum / Hasnah Osman, Afidah A. Rahim et al / Molecules 2009, 14, 970-978; doi:10.3390/molecules14030970

(4) In vitro antibacterial activity of the ethanol extract of Paederia foetida L. (Rubiaceae) leaves / Borhan Uddin, Taslima Nahar, M. Ibrahim Khalil and Shahdat Hossain / Bangladesh J. Life Sci. 19(2): 141-143, 2007 (December)

(5) Evaluation of Anti-Ulcer Activity of P. foetida Root Extracts in Experimentally Induced Gastric Ulcer in Rats/ L Srinavas Reddy, A Sanjeeva Kumar, S Ganapaty / IJRAP 2011, 2(5) 1556-1559.

(6) Paederia foetida Linn. leaf extract: an antihyperlipidemic, antihyperglycaemic and antioxidant activity / Vikas Kumar*, Firoz Anwar, Danish Ahmed, Amita Verma, Aftab Ahmed, Zoheir A Damanhouri, Vatsala Mishra, Pramod W Ramteke, Prakash Chandra Bhatt and Mohd Mujeeb* / BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2014, 14:76 doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-76

(7) Thrombolytic, Cytotoxic and Antidiabetic Effects of Paederia foetida L. Leaf Extract / A. M. Abu Ahmed*, Md. Monirul Islam, Md. Atiar Rahman and Md. Anwar Hossain / British Journal of Medicine & Medical Research 4(5): 1244-1256, 2014

(8) EVALUATION OF ANTHELMINTIC ACTIVITY OF LEAVES OF PAEDERIA FOETIDA / Manas Kumar Pal / International Journal of Pharma and Bio Sciences, Vol 2, Issue 1, Jam-Mar 2011

(9) Effect of ethanolic extract of leaves of Paederia foetida Linn. on acetic acid induced colitis in albino rats / Swarnamoni Das, Lalit Kanodia, Apurba Mukherjee, Abdul Hakim /Indian J Pharmacol 2013;45:453-7 / DOI: 10.4103/0253-7613.117728

(10) The analgesic and acute anti-inflammatory effect of the ethanolic extract of the leaves of Paederia foetida (EEPF) on experimental animal models / S Das, P K Bordoloi, P Saikia, L Kanodia / Bangladesh Journal of Medical Science, Vol 11, No 3 (2012)

(11) Effect of ethanolic extract of Paederia foetida Linn. leaves on sexual behavior and spermatogenesis in male rats / SoniDevendra K., SharmaVikas, ChauhanNagendra Singh, and DixitV.K.. Journal of Men’s Health. December 2012, 9(4): 268-276. / doi:10.1016/j.jomh.2011.12.003.

– Throughout the Philippines in thickets at low and medium altitudes, ascending to 1,500 meters.
– Also reported from India to Japan, China and Malaya.

– The name derives from the distinct stinky odor of carbon bisulphide when the leaves are crushed.
– In Ayurveda, considered alterative, antiarthritic, antispasmodic, cardiac, diaphoretic. expectorant and stomachic.
– Considered anodyne, aphrodisiac, emollient, carminative, diuretic, tonic, stomachic, vermifuge.
– Juice of leaves considered astringent.

– Upon distillation, a volatile oil is obtained with the offensive odor of the fresh crushed leaves.
– Two alkaloids are obtained: a- and b-Paederine.
– The leaves yield an indole.
– Yields iridoid monoterpenes, fatty acids, embelin, and friedelanol.
– Yields hentriacontane, hentriacontanol, ceryl alcohol, sitosterol, stigmasterol, campesterol, urosolic acid, and epifriedelinol.
– Leaves are rich in carotene and vitamin C.
– Plant yields friedelan-3-1, beta-sitosterol and epifriedelinol.
– Leaves yield iridoid glycosides, asperuloside, paederoside and scandoside; sitosterol, stigmasterol, campesterol, ursolic acid, palmitic acid and methyl mercaptan. The methyl mercaptan is responsible for the foetid odor of the plant.

Steve Hurst - USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database - Not copyrighted image


Parts utilized 
– Leaves and bark.

– In Malaya, leaves are eaten raw or steamed.
– Cooking significantly diminishes the odor, but a mild bitterness persists.

– Used for rheumatism.
– The leaves, boiled and mashed, applied to the abdomen for urinary retention.
– Decoction of leaves also used for urinary retention and for urinary bladder stones.
– Decoction-soaked cloths applied to the forehead for fevers and decoction taken internally at the same time.
– Bark decoction used as emetic.
– Decoction of leaves used for antirheumatic baths.
– Pounded leaves applied to the abdomen for flatulence.
– Decoction of roots for expelling gas.
– Leaves mixed in omelettes or “tortilla,” reported to be effective for intestinal catarrh.
– Hindus use the root as an emetic.
– Juice of leaves considered astringent; used for diarrhea in children.
– Hot aqueous extract of aerial parts used for treating liver diseases.
– Poultice of leaves used for herpes.
– Leaves and twigs used as diuretic for inflammation of the urethra.
– Lepchas and Pharias reported to use the fruit to blacken the teeth, and consider it specific for toothache.
– Roots also used as emollient and carminative; used for colic, spasms, rheumatism, and gout.
– Fruit used for toothaches and to blacken the teeth.
– Decoction of whole plant used for abdominal pain, abscesses, arthritis.
– In many Asia traditional therapies, used for diarrhea and dysentery.
– In Malaya, leaves used as emulsion for flatulence and rheumatism.
– In Bengal, decoction of leaves used as nutritive for the sick and convalescent.
– In Bangladesh, used for diarrhea. Poultice of leaves used to relieve distention and flatulence
– Roots and bark used as emetic, and in the treatment of piles and liver inflammation.
– Fruit used for toothache.
– In India used for rheumatism and stiffness of the joints. Poultice of leaves applied to abdomen to relieve distention and flatulence. Juice of the root is used for piles, liver and spleen ailments.
– In Ayurveda, used for asthma, bowel problems, diarrhea, diabetes, rheumatism and seminal weakness.


Study Findings
• Antidiarrheal: Study showed P. foetida reduced the purging index in a dose-dependent manner in magnesium sulfate-induced diarrhea, reducing gastrointestinal motility and enhanced morphine-induced reduction of motility. Results showed PF has antidiarrheal activity by inhibiting intestinal motility supporting its use in traditional medicine.
• Antiinflammatory: Study of the butanol fraction of a methanol extract of the defatted leaves of P. foetida showed significant inhibition of granulation tissue formation in cotton-pellet implanted rats, decreased liver aspartate transaminase activity and presence of disease-modifying antirheumatic activity. Results showed some rationale for its ethnomedical anti-inflammatory use.
• Antispasmodic: Ethanolic extract exhibited antispasmodic activity on isolated guinea-pig ileum.
• Anthelmintic: Juice of leaves showed potent anthelmintic effect against bovine helminths–Strongyloides spp, Trichostrongylus and Haemonchus spp.
• Antitussive Activity : Study showed the ethanolic extract of P foetida had a cough suppressant effect, with decrease in cough intensity and frequency. The effect was less than codeine but similar to non-narcotic dropropizine. The effect could be related to its demonstrated antiinflammatory activity.
• Antioxidant Activity : Study showed that P. foetida had high antioxidant activity, with fresh samples having higher phenolic contents and better antioxidant activity than the dried samples. It suggests PF could be a significant source of natural antioxidant compounds.
• Hepatoprotective Activity : Study showed the methanol extract to have moderate hepatoprotective activity.
• Anticancer Activity: Study showed the 50% ethanolic extract to have anticancer activity against human nasopharyngeal epidermoid carcinoma in tissue culture.
• Antithrombolytic / Antidiabetic : Study of methanolic extracts of whole plant of P. foetida in alloxan-induced male sprague Dawley rats showed moderate antidiabetic activity. An extract also exhibited thrombolytic activity.
• Antibacterial: Study showed antibacterial activity. Extract showed significant activity against S. flexneri, S. aureus, E coli, and E. faecalis.
• Antiulcer: Study of the roots of P. foetida showed anti-ulcer activity possibly through the inhibition of H2 receptors resulting in inhibition of gastric acid secretion elicited by histamine and gastrin.
• Antihyperlipidemic / Antidiabetic / Antioxidant / Toxicity Study / Leaves: Study evaluated the antidiabetic, antioxidant, and antihyperlipidemic activity of a methanolic extract of P. foetida leaves in STZ-induced diabetic rats. Results showed remarkable antihyperglycemic activity possibly through both pancreatic and extra-pancreatic mechanisms. Study also showed antihyperlipidemic activity and antioxidant activity attributed to inhibition of lipid peroxidation and increased SOD, GPx, and CAT. Oral toxicity studies showed no toxic effect until a dose of 2000 mg/kg.
• Thrombolytic / Cytotoxic / Antidiabetic / Leaves: Study of methanol leaf extract in alloxan induced diabetic rats exhibted moderate thrombolytic, cytotoxic, and dose-dependent antidiabetic effect comparable to metformin.
• Free Radical Scavenging / Membrane Stabilizing Activities: Study evaluated P. foetida using various antioxidant assay systems. Results showed dose dependent scavenging of DPPH radical and moderate reducing power and potent membrane stabilizing activity of RBC membrane in hypotonic medium. Results suggest a potential natural healing source for oxidative stress and inflammatory diseases.
• Anthelmintic: Methanolic extract of leaves showed significant anthelmintic activity against Pheretima posthuma and Tubifex tubifex, with piperazine titrate as reference.
• Vitamin C Content of Leaves: Study showed leaves contained considerably high amounts of vitamin C, higher in mature leaves (66 ppm) than young leaves (64 ppm).
• Anti-Inflammatory in Experimentally Induced Colitis: Study evaluated ethanolic extract of leaves of P. foetida on acetic acid induced colitis in albino rats. Results showed amelioration of experimentally induced colitis, which was attributed to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant property.
• Analgesic / Acute Anti-Inflammatory Effect: Study of ethanolic extract of leaves on experimental animal models showed significant anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity.
• Increased Testosterone Level / Aphrodisiac Effect: Study evaluated the effects of an ethanolic extract on sexual behavior and testosterone level in male rats. Results showed a dose-dependent influence on serum testosterone level, with pronounced anabolic and spermatogenic effects. Results support use as aphrodisiac in traditional medicine.