amily • Lauraceae - Cassytha filiformis Linn. - LOVE VINE

Scientific names

Cassytha capillaris F.-Vill.
Cassytha americana
Cassytha filiformis Linn.

Common names

Barutbarut (Ilk.) Malabohok (Bik., Bis., Tag.)
Kauad-kauad (Tag.) Uauaken-irang (Iv.)
Kauad-kauaran (Tag.) Wawaken-irang (Iv.)
Kauat-kauat )Tag.) Alambrillo (Span.)
Kawad-kawaran (Tag.) Wu-kentaso (Chin.)
Kawat-kawat (Sul.) Love vine (Engl.)


Kauad-kauaran is a parasitic vine, adhering to the host by suckers. Stems are very long, slender, brown, yellowish brown or greenish, twining and matted together, with numerous branches forming a web of leafless cords over grasses or bushes. Flowers, borne on short spikes, are small and stalkless. Perianth segments are unequal, the outer small and rounded, and the inner ones much longer, oblong or oval in shape. Stamens are 9, in 3 rows, anthers are all 2-celled, 2 outer rows introrse, the inner row extrorse. Ovary is superior, 1-celled. Fruits: nearly spherical, smooth, fleshy and about 7 mm in diameter.


Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Chemical Constituents from Cassytha filiformis II / Fang-Rong Chang, Ya-Chieh Chao et al / J. Nat. Prod., 1998, 61 (7), pp 863–866 / DOI: 10.1021/np970348g

(2) Alkaloids from Cassytha filiformis and related aporphines: Antitrypanosomal activity, cytotoxicity, and interaction with DNA and topoisomerases 

(3) Pharmacological Evaluation of Ocoteine, Isolated from Cassytha filiformis, as an B1-Adrenoceptor Antagonist in Rat Thoracic Aorta / Ching-Wei Chang et al / The Japanese Journal of PharmacologyVol.73 , No.3(1997)pp.207-214

(4) Vasorelaxing alkaloids and flavonoids from Cassytha filiformis / Tung-Hu Tsa et al / J. Nat. Prod., 2008, 71 (2), pp 289–291 / DOI: 10.1021/np070564h

(5) Studies on Cassytha filiformis from Benin: isolation, biological activities and quantification of aporphines / J Quetin-Leclercq et al / Proceedings of Bioresources Towards Drug Discovery and Development, 2004

(6) Effect of oral administration of aqueous whole extract of Cassytha filiformis on haematograms and plasma biochemical parameters in rats / Journal of Medical Toxicology, Vol 3, Number 4 / December, 2007 /
DOI 10.1007/BF03160930

(7) Comparative Study of Cuscuta reflexa and Cassytha filiformis for Diuretic Activity / Sakshy Sharma, K K Hullatti et al / RESEARCH ARTICLE, 2009 | Volume : 1 | Issue : 5 | Page : 327-330

– Grows in thickets, especially near the sea, in dry regions and sometimes inland up to an altitude of 500 meters, throughout the Philippines.
– Parasitic on various coarse grasses, shrubs, etc.
– Pantropic.

– Contains an alkaloid (0.1 %) identical to laurotetanine, described under Litsea sebifera.
– Three major aporphine alkaloids: actinodaphnine, cassythine, dicentrine)
– Study yielded three new compounds: two alkaloids, cassyformine and filiformine, and a lignan along with 14 known compounds.
– Yields an abundant mucilage.


– Sweet and mildly bitter tasting, astringent, diuretic, antiphlogistic , anticontusion, laxative, cooling, tonic, and alterative.
– Laurotetanine can cause cramps, and in sufficient doses, death.

· Entire plant.
· Collect from May to October.
· Rinse, cut into pieces, dry under the shade, compress before using.

· Used for constipation, dysentery, hemoptysis, epistaxis, acute conjunctivitis, furuncles, cold, fever, and headaches.
· Decoction of dried material used for nephritic-edema, urinary lithiasis and infections, hepatitis, hepatic fever among infants, cold-fever among infants, headaches, multiple furuncles.
· Poultice of pounded fresh material applied to furuncles; or, decoction applied as external wash to same.
· Decoction of fresh plant used to hasten parturition.
· In India, the powdered plant, mixed with sesame oil, used to strengthen the hair. Whole plant used as alterative in bilious disorders and piles.
· Used by Brahmins, in a mixture of butter and ginger, for cleansing of inveterate ulcers
· Sanskrit writers describe it as a tonic and alterative, and its power of increasing the secretion of semen.
· In Maritius, decoction used for rachitic infants.
· In African folk medicine, used to treat cancer and African trypanosomiasis.
· In southern Africa, used for washing the hair, destroying vermin, and promoting hair growth.
· In Senegambia, used for urethritis.
· In Cochin-China used as antisyphilitic.


Study Findings
• Chemical Constituents / Antiplatelet aggregation activity: Study yielded three new compounds, incuding cassyformine (an aporphine alkaloid), filiformine (an oxoaporphine alkaloid) and a lignan. Some isolates exhibited significant antiplatelet aggregation activity.
• Aporphines / Anti-cancer / Anti-trypanosome:  Alkaloids from Cassytha filiformis and related aporphines: Antitrypanosomal activity, cytotoxicity, and interaction with DNA and topoisomerases: Study showed isolated aporphines to possess in vitro cytotoxic properties and exhibited interactions with DNA which may partly explain the effect on cancer cells and on trypanosomes. Study isolated six aporphines, and analyzed the in vitro cytotoxic properties of four on different cancer and non-cancer cell lines. Major alkaloids – actinodaphnine, cassythine and dicentrine – showed antitrypanosomal properties in vitro.
• Ocoteine / Alpha1 Adrenoceptor Blocking Agent: Study isolated ocoteine and was found tob e an alpha-1 adrenoceptor blocking agent in rat thoracic aorta. At high concentrations, it also blocks 5-HT receptors.
• Vasorelaxant / Alkaloids / Flavonoids: Study yielded two aporphine alkaloids, isofiliformine and cassythic acid along with 22 known compounds from the whole herb of Cf. Cassythic acid, cassythine, neolitsine and dicentrine showed potent vasorelaxing effects on precontracted rat aortic preparations.
• Toxicity Studies: Study of aqueous extract of C. filiformis in normal therapeutic doses is not likely to produce severe toxic effects on some organs, hematologic and biochemical parameters in rats.
• Diuretic Activity: Study of the aqueous and alcoholic extracts of Cuscuta reflexa and Cassytha filiformis exhibited significant diuretic activity and marked increase in Na and K excretion. The diuretic effect was higher with the C filiformis extract.