Family • Sapindaceae - Cardiospermum halicacabum Linn. - HEART PEA, BALLOON VINE - Tao ti ling

Scientific names

Cardiospermum halicacabum Linn.
Cardiospermum acuminatum Miq.
Cardiospermum corycodes Kuntze
Cardiospermum glabrum Schumach & Thonn..
Cardiospermum inflatum Salisb.
Cardiospermum truncatum A.Rich.
Corindum halicacabum (L.) Medik.

Other vernacular names

CHINESE: Dao di ling, Feng chuan ge, Jin si ku lian teng, Ye ku gua, Bao fu cao.
FRENCH: Coeur des Indes, Pois de coeur.
INDONESIAN: Ketipes, Pari gunung, Cenet.
MALASIAN: Peria buian, Uban kayu, Bintang berahi.
THAI: Kok kra om, Pho on, Luupleep khruea.
VIETNAMESE: T[aaf]m phong, Ch[uf]m phong.

Common names

Alalayon (C. Bis.)
Bangkolan (Tag.)
Kana (Bis.)
Layaw (Tag.)
Lobo-lobohan (Tag.)
Paltu-paltukan (Pamp.)
Paria-aso (Ilk.)
Parol-parolan (Tag.)
Paspalya (Ilk.)
Heart pea (Engl.)
Heart seed (Engl.)
Ballon vine (Engl.)
Love-in-a-puff vine (Engl.)
Showy baloon vine (Engl.)
Smooth leaved heart pea (Engl.)
Tao ti ling (Chin.)


Parol-parolan is a slender, herbaceous, more or less hairy vine, 1 to 3 meters in length.
Leaves are trifoliate, and 5 to 9 centimeters long. Leaflets are ovate to lanceolate, and 1 to 5 centimeters long, with coarsely toothed or lobed margins. Flowers are small, white, and about 2.5 millimeters long. Sepals are 4, concave, the outer ones small. Petals are 4, two larger ones usually adhering to the sepals and with an emarginate scale above the base, the smaller 2 ones distant from the stamens. Stamens are 8, eccentric, filaments free or connate at the base. Ovary is 3-celled, style 3-fid, ovules solitary. Fruits are inflated, obovoid, 1.5 to 2.5 centimeters long, somewhat triangular and 3-keeled. Seeds are round and black, with a prominent, white, heart-shaped aril at the base.


– Throughout the Philippines in thickets and waste places, etc., in the settled areas.
– Certainly introduced into the Archipelago.
– Now pantropic.


• Plant yields saponins, tannins, alkaloids, flavonoids, proanthocyanidin, apigenin, phytosterols, glycosides and cardiac glycosides.
• Fruit of the seeds yielded an essential oil, bitter and stimulant.
• Analysis of seed oil yielded the main constituents as erucic acid 43%, oleic acid 30%, eicosanic acid 12%, octanoic acid 4.5%, and n-hexa decanoic acid 4.15%.
• An ethanol extract yielded seventeen compounds, quercetin-3-O-α-L-rhamnoside, kaempferol-3-O-α-L-rhamnoside, apigenin-7-O-β-D-glucuronide, apigenin 7- O-β-D-glucuronide methyl ester, apigenin 7-O-β-D-glucuronide ethyl ester, chrysoeriol, apigenin, kaempferol, luteolin, quercetin, methyl 3,4-dihydroxybenzoate, p-coumaric acid, 4-hydroxybenzoic acid, hydroquinone, protocathehuic acid, gallic acid, and indole-3-carboxylic acid.
• Study of aerial parts and seeds, after partitioning with n-hexane, yielded apigenin, luteolin, and apigenin-7-O-glucoside as predominant constituents. Gas chromatography analysis yielded fatty acids, including eicosanoic acid, methyl 11-eicosenoate and oleic acid, as the major constituents.
• Study isolated eight compounds viz. pentadecanoie acid, apigenin, protocatechuic acid, protocatechualdehyde, hentriacontanol, calycosin, rutin, quercetin.
• Powdered dried leaf yielded alkaloids, tannins, flavonoids, saponins, and steroids. Physiochemical parameters yielded a total ash of 7.26 ±0.53%, acid insoluble ash 1.11 ±0.17%, water soluble ash 4.08 ±0.04%, moisture content 4.08 ±0.34%.


• Mild, bitter and pungent tasting, cooling in effect.
• Considered antiphlogistic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, blood refrigerant, anti-infectious, diuretic, emetic, emmenagogue, febrifuge, laxative, stomachic, sudorific.
• Studies suggest antimicrobial, antifungal, antiparasitic, antidiarrheal, anxiolytic, rubifacient, antipyretic properties.


Nutrition / Culinary
• Leaves are edible.
• Leaves and young shoots, cooked, used as spinach.

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) In vitro antifilarial activity of extracts of the medicinal plant Cardiospermum halicacabum against Brugia pahangi / Khunkitt W, Fujimaki Y, Aoki Y / Journal of Helminthology (2000), 74:241-246 Cambridge University Press

(2) n vitro antiparasitic activity of extracts of Cardiospermum halicacabum against third-stage larvae of Strongyloides stercoralis / T Boonmars, W Khunkitti et al / Parasitology Research / Volume 97, Number 5 / November, 2005

(3) Pharmacological investigation of Cardiospermum halicacabum (Linn) in different animal models of diarrhoea / N Venkat Rao, K Chandra Prakash, SM Shanta Kumar / RESEARCH PAPER Year : 2006 | Volume : 38 | Issue : 5 | Page : 346-349

(4) Cardiospermum halicacabum suppresses the production of TNF-alpha and Nitric oxide by Human Peripheral Blood Mononuclear cells / African Journal of Biomedical Research, Vol. 9 (2006); 95 – 99

(5) Antihyperglycemic effect of C halicacabum leaf extract on STZ-induced diabetic rats / Chinnadurai Veeramani, Ganesan Pushpavalli, Kodukkur Pugalendi / Journ of Appl Biomed. 6:19-26,2008


(6) Cardiospermum halicacabum ethanol extract inhibits LPS induced COX-2, TNF-alpha and iNOS expression, which is mediated by NF-kappaB regulation, in RAW264.7 cells / Sheeba MS, Asha VV / J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Jul 6;124(1):39-44. Epub 2009 Apr 23.

(7) Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of Cardiospermum halicacabum and its reference compounds ex vivo and in vivo. / Huang M H, Huang S S, Wang B S et al / J Ethnopharmacol. 2011 Jan 27;133(2):743-50. Epub 2010 Nov 10.

(8) Cardiospermum halicacabum / Vernacular names / GLOBinMED

(9) Essential oil from the seeds of Cardiospermum halicacabum L. var. microcarpum / G.Jayanthi, T. Sathishkumar, T. Senthilkumar, M. Jegadeesan / Asian J Phar Biol Res. 2012; 2(3): 177-179

(10) Phytochemical and Anti-Microbial Studies on the Leaves Extracts of Cardiospermum halicacabum Linn / T Deepan, V Alekhya, P Saravanakumar, M D Dhanaraju / Advances in Biological Research 01/2012; 6(1):14-18. DOI:10.5829/idosi.abr.2012.6.1.56393

(11) Cardiospermum halicacabum for the treatment of dermatitis / Cardiospermum halicacabum – Sapindaceae family: a plant with a cortison-like action as a valid alternative to traditional dermatological applications / DANILO CARLONI / H&PC Today (Household and Personal Care Today), Vol. 7(4) October/December 2012

(12) Free radical scavenging potential of Cardiospermum halicacabum L. var. microcarpum (Kunth) Blume seeds / G.Jayanthi, T.Sathishkumar, T.Senthilkumar and M.Jegadeesan / Int. Res J Pharm. App Sci., 2012; 2(4): 41-48

(13) Anticonvulsant activity of alcoholic root extract of Cardiospermum halicacabum / Daniel DhayabaranI; Jeyaseeli FloranceI; Nandakumar Krsihnadas*, II; IndumathiIII; MuralidharIII / Rev. bras. farmacogn. vol.22 no.3 Curitiba May/June 2012 Epub Jan 24, 2012 /

(14) Cardiospermum halicacabum Linn. / Synonyms/ The Plant List

(15) Review of beneficial and remedial aspects of Cardiospermum halicacabum L. / Syed Atif Raza, Shahzad Hussain, Humayun Riaz * and Sidra Mahmood / African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, Vol. 7(48), pp. 3026-3033, 29 December, 2013 DOI: 10.5897/AJPP2013.3719

(16) Phytochemical analysis and antibacterial potential of Cardiospermum halicacabum Linn. (Sapindaceae) / S. N. Suresh*, S. Rathishkumar, V. Rajeshwari, P. Sagadevan, S. Gayathri and D. Vithya Eswari / INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PHARMACY & LIFE SCIENCES, 3(12): Dec 2012

(17) Evaluation of Aqueous Leaf Extract of Cardiospermum halicacabum (L.) on Fertility of Male Rats L.Dinithi. C. Peiris, M. A. T. Dhanushka,  and T. A. H. D. G. Jayathilake / BioMed Research International Volume 2015 /

(18) Synthesis of silver nanoparticles using Cardiospermum halicacabum L. leaf extract and their characterization / Mahipal S. Shekhawat*, M. Manokari, N. Kannan, J. Revathi, R. Latha / The Journal of Phytopharmacology 2013; 2(5): 15-20

(19) Chemical profiling and in vitro biological effects of Cardiospermum halicacabum L. (Sapindaceae) aerial parts and seeds for applications in neurodegenerative disorders / Francesco Menichini, Luigi Losi, Marco Bonesi, Alessandro Pugliese, Monica R. Loizzo, and Rosa Tundis / Journal of Enzyme Inhibition and Medicinal Chemistry, October 2014, Vol. 29, No. 5 , Pages 677-685 / (doi:10.3109/14756366.2013.840614)

(20) Protective effect of Cardiospermum halicacabum leaf extract on glycoprotein components on STZ-induced hyperglycemic rats / Chinnadurai Veeramani, Khalid S Al-Numair,, Mohammed A Alsaif , Govindasamy Chandramohan, Nouf S Al-Numair, Kodukkur Viswanathan Pugalendi* / Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine (2012)939-944

(21) Study on anticarcinogenic and apotoptic properties of methanolic stem extract of Cardiospremum halicacabum in MCF 7 cell line / Bindu Jacob, Suresh Natarajan*, Sagadevan.Pattiyappan, Rathish Kumar sivarman, Syama. M. Suresh / Journal of Scientific and Innovative Research 2015; 4(1): 43-48

(22) Study on chemical constituents of Cardiospermum halicacabum / Chen J, Wei JH, Cai SF, Miao WS, Pan LW / Zhong yao cai -Journal of Chinese medicinal materials 36:2 2013 Feb pg 228-30

(23) Antiviral Activity of Cardiospermum Halicacabum L. Extract against Coinfecting Agents HIV and HBV / Kasi Murugana*, Rengasami Venkatesh Prabu, Shanmugasamy Sangeetha & Saleh Al-Sohaibani / Journal of Herbs, Spices & Medicinal Herbs, Vol 17, Issue 4, 2011 / DOI: 10.1080/10496475.2011.605515

(24) Phytochemical and antibacterial activities of Cardiospermum halicacabum leaf extract / R M Gopal et al / Arch. Appl. Sci. Res., 2014, 6 (4):74-77

 / MONA R KUKKAR*, AJAY K SALUJA, PUNAM D SACHDEVA, RAJIV R KUKKAR/ Int J Pharm Pharm Sci, Vol 6, Issue 4, 64-66, 2014

(26) In Vitro Antidiabetic Activity of Cardiospermum Halicacabum leaves Extracts / Stalin.C, Vivekanandan.K & Bhavya.E / Global Journal of Medical research Pharma, Drug Discovery, Toxicology and Medicine Volume 13 Issue 7 Version 1.0 Year 2013

(27) Pharmacological evaluation of dried leaf powder of Cardiospermum halicacabum Linn. and dried seed hull powder of Hydnocarpus pentandra (Buch.-Ham) Oken / Shambhu Neeta Suhas et al / Int. J. Res. Ayurveda Pharm. 5(4), Jul-Aug 2014

(28) Evaluation of antiplasmodial activity of medicinal plants from North Indian Buchpora and South Indian Eastern Ghats / Naveen K Kaushik, Asokan Bagavan, Abdul A Rahuman*, Abdul A Zahir, Chinnaperumal Kamaraj, Gandhi Elango, Chidambaram Jayaseelan, Arivarasan V Kirthi, Thirunavukkarasu Santhoshkumar, Sampath Marimuthu, Govindasamy Rajakumar, Santosh K Tiwari and Dinkar Sahal* / Malaria Journal 2015, 14:65 doi:10.1186/s12936-015-0564-z


• In the Philippines, decoction of roots used as diaphoretic, and used for catarrh of the bladder.
• Leaves are used internally as a beverage as an anti-rheumatic; externally applied as oil embrocations.
• Cold, fever, renal edema, urinary tract infections.
• Furuncle, carbuncle, eczema.
• Sprains and external wounds.
• Dosage: use 12 to 15 gms dried material or 15 to 30 gms fresh material in decoction. Pounded fresh material may be used as poultice, decoction of fresh material may be used as external wash.
• Elsewhere, poultice of leaves used for rheumatism, swellings, orchitis, and dropsy.
• Used as a hair wash.
• Leaf juice used for earaches or meatal discharges.
• Plant used as diuretic, stomachic, rubefacient, cholagogue, and pectoral.
• Decoction of root and leaves used for rheumatism, nervous diseases, piles, chronic bronchitis, and phthisis; also used for amenorrhea.
• In Sindh, roots used as diaphoretic, diuretic, and aperient. Decoction of roots used for piles and amenorrhea.
• Roots used as emetic and laxative.
• Fried leaves are applied to the pubis to increase menstrual flow in amenorrhea.
• Leaves boiled in castor oil applied for rheumatism, pains, swellings, tumors of various kinds.
• In the Malabar coast, leaves are used for pulmonary complaints.
• In Martinique, leaves are used as diuretic and stimulant.
• In Ayurveda, used for rheumatism, fever and earache.
• In Sri Lanka, leaves used to treat male fertility.

• Seed oil reported to be an effective insect repellent.


Study Findings
• Anthelmintic / Antifilarial: Study of extracts of CH was done on adult worms and microfilariae of Brugia pahangi. Results showed that the aqueous extracts had mild but definite direct macrofilarial action on B pahangi.
• Antiparasitic: Extracts of CH tested in vitro against third-stage larvae of Strongyloides stercoralis showed immobilization (nonmotility) rates better than ivermectin and piperazine.
• Antidiarrheal: Study showed the antidiarrheal activity of the extracts of C halicacabum, probably due to the presence of phytochemicals–sterols, tannins, flavonoids and triterpenes.
• Antiinflammatory: Study showed inhibitory effects of CH leaf extract on the production of pro-inflammatory mediators, nitric oxide (NO) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha. CH exhibited antiinflammatory properties that justifies its use in rheumatoid arthritis treatment.
• Anti-Inflammatory / Analgesic: Study showed the ethanol extract dose-dependently inhibited mRNA expression of COX-2, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, iNOS, and COX-2 expression.
• Antihyperglycemic: Study in STZ diabetic rats show that CHE extract possesses a dose-dependent antihyperglycemic activity – decreasing plasma glucose and HbA1c, increasing levels of insulin and Hb. and provides evidence for its traditional use in diabetes control.
• Anxiolytic: Study of mice in various anxiety models showed the alcoholic and aqueous extract of C. helicacabum possess anti-anxiety activity. The results explains the mechanisms behind the anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity of C. halicacabum.
• Anti-Inflammatory / Analgesic: Study evaluated an ethanolic extract of whole plant for anti-inflammatory activity in mouse macrophage cell line RAW264.7 cells. Results showed anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity with dose-dependent inhibition of mRNA expression of COX-2, TNF-alpha, iNOS, and COX-2 protein expression.
• Antioxidant / Anti-Inflammatory: An ethanolic extract of CH exhibited anti-inflammatory activity by suppressing TNF-a and NO. The mechanism might be related to the decrement of the level of MDA in the edema paw via increased activities of CAT, SOT, and GPx. Results showed a potential as natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent.
• Essential Oil / Seeds / Anti-Inflammatory: Analysis of seed oil yielded the main constituents as erucic acid 43%, oleic acid 30%, eicosanic acid 12%, octanoic acid 4.5%, and n-hexa decanoic acid 4.15%. The constituents may be responsible for anti-inflammatory activity.
• Antimicrobial / Leaves: Analysis of leaves yielded alkaloids, carbohydrates, proteins and saponins. The extract exhibited marked concentration dependent antimicrobial activity.
• Cortisone-like Effects / Leaves: Collection of data suggests Cardiospermum halicacabum has a potential for use in many forms of skin inflammation, safe for in pediatric, adult, and elderly dermatitis conditions like atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, keratosis, lichenification, seborrheic dermatitis, cradle cap, and sun rashes, with activity that mimics cortisone without the phenomenon of photosensitization.
• Free Radical Scavenging / Seeds: Various extracts of seeds were evaluated for free radical scavenging activity. All extracts showed good dose-dependent activity on all models of test doses.
• Anticonvulsant / Root Extract: Study evaluated an alcoholic root extract on various murine models of epilepsy. Results showed significant anticonvulsant activity with a low motor toxicity profile. The activity was attributed to an increase in Gabardine activity.
• Antibacterial / Stems: Study evaluated a methanolic stem extract for antibacterial properties against medically important bacteria viz. Staphylococcus aureus, B. subtilis, E. coli, K. pneumonia and Proteus vulgaris. Among these, S. aureus and Bacillus subtilis showed high zone of inhibition activity. Study of leaf extract with various solvents showed potential antibacterial activity against test pathogens.
• Increased Fertility in Male Rats: Aqueous extract of leaves of Cardiospermum halicacabum increased fertility in male rats through a dose dependent increase in sperm motility and sperm count, possibly due to increased testosterone levels in the serum. There was also increase in number of females impregnated, number of implantations and number of viable fetuses.
• Synthesis of Nanoparticles / Leaves: Study reports the biogenesis of silver nanoparticles from the leaves of C. halicacabum through an eco-friendly and cost-effective way of synthesis.
• Potential for Neurodegenerative Disorders / Aerial Parts and Seeds: Study evaluating the chemical composition of extracts from aerial parts and seeds, the inhibitory properties against tyrosinase, acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) and antioxidant effects. PN total extract showed significant anti-tyrosinase activity. Results suggest the potential of both seeds and aerial parts in the treatment of neurological disorders.
• Protective Effect on Glycoprotein Metabolism: Study investigated the protective role of CH leaf extract on glycoprotein metabolism in STZ-induced diabetic rats. Results showed significantly increased plasma and tissue levels of glycoproteins containing hexose hexosamine, and fucose. Results showed a protective effect on abnormal glycoprotein metabolism in addition to its antihyperglycemic activity.
• Anticarcinogenic / Apoptotic / Stem: Study investigated the cytotoxic activity of a methanolic stem extract of CH against breast cancer cell line (MCF-7). Results showed significant activity against the tested cell line. The significant decrease in cell viability confirms the antiproliferative activity of the extracts. Neutral red assay and Lactose dehydrogenase assay showed significant apoptotic activity against the cancer cell line.
• Antiviral / Apoptotic / Stem: A methanol extract inhibited both HIV-RT (91$) and HBsAg (79%). Study yielded 11 compounds, among them Benzene dicarboxylic acid yielded a dock score −4.85 against HIV receptor and −4.71 against HBV receptor. Results suggested a potential source of bioactive principles for novel therapeutics in controlling HIV and HBV co-infection.
• Neuroprotective / Scopolamine Induced Neurotoxicity: Study evaluated the effect of a methanol extract on cognitive functions and anti-cholinesterase activity in albino mice. Results showed the MCH significantly improved learning and memory and reversed the amnesia induced by scopolamine, together with significant decrease on whole brain acetylcholinesterase activity.
• Antidiabetic / Leaves: Study evaluated the glucose uptake of crude n-hexane, methanol and aqueous leaf extracts of C. halicacabum. The methanol extract exhibited significant inhibitory effect on glucose diffusion in an in vitro model of glucose absorption. Results suggest a therapeutic potential in limiting postprandial glucose absorption.
• Anti-Arthritic / Leaves: Study evaluated the combined bi-herbal ethanolic extract of leaves of Calotrpis gigantea and C. halicacabum for synergistic in vitro and in vivo anti-arthritic effects and compared it with individual extracts of both herbal plants. The combined extract showed significant reduction of paw volume and edema when compared to the individual extracts. Effect was attributed toeither inhibition of protein denaturation by inhibiting the proteinase enzymes or by stabilizing the membranes from free radical attacks generated due to immunological or inflammatory reactions observed in arthritic conditions.
• Antiplasmodial / Leaves: In a study of 17 medicinal plants for antiplasmodial activity, C. halicacabum showed moderate activity (Pf 3D7 IC50: 40-60 µg/mL).
• Hepatoprotective: Study evaluated the hepatoprotective effect of P. alba and C. halicacabum against toxicity effects of herbicide atrazine on lipid peroxidation and some antioxidant enzyme system in freshwater fish Labeo rohita. Results showed significant hepatoprotection against atrazine induced toxicity on freshwater fish L. rohita.

Seeds in the cybermarket.