Chinese Honeysuckle (Niyog-niyogan)

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The Rangoon creeper is a ligneous vine that can reach from 2.5 meters to up to 8 meters. The leaves are elliptical with an acuminate tip and a rounded base. They grow from 7 to 15 centimeters and their arrangement is opposite. The flowers are fragrant and tubular and their color varies from white to pink to red. The 30 to 35 mm long fruit is ellipsoidal and has five prominent wings. The fruit tastes like almonds when mature. The niyog-niyogan is usually dispersed by water.

Rangoon creeper is found in thickets or secondary forests of the Philippines, India and Malaysia. It has since been cultivated and naturalized in tropical areas.

source of article: wikipedia

Chinese Honeysuckle (Niyog-niyogan) - Quisqualis indica

Niog-niogan is a perennial climbing shrub growing to about 2.5-8 meters at maturity. It has egg-shaped leaves, aromatic flowers that may come in white to purple orange in color. The oval-shaped fruit can reach 30-35 mm long when ripe. For medicinal purposes leaves, seeds and roots are used.

Medicinal Uses:

  • Dried seeds, when eaten, act as deworming agents.
  • Roasted seeds help control diarrhea and fever.
  • Boiled leaves used to check difficulty in urinating
  • Fruit decoction of fruit, taken as mouthwash, is effective against nephritis.
  • Juice made from leaves are used in the treatment of ulcers, boils, and fever-induced headache.
  • Decoctions of roots aids in reducing pain due to rheumatism.
  • Pounded leaves are used externally for skin diseases.
Herbal remedies in zamboanga.PNG

News About Chinese Honeysuckle (Niyog-niyogan)

How much light do mandevilla and creeper vines need?

By Carol Cloud Bailey (Special to TCPalm)

Dear Carol,
Today's column was very interesting. I have a lot of morning sun and afternoon shade and have problems with vines I plant in those areas. Often the tag on the plant will say "full sun" but not always. The area in question is a brick planter in the front of my house.
Thank you,
Millicent, Via email

Thank you Millicent. The column she is referring to appeared July 2. Red flowers bring burst of bright color to Florida gardens, and several plants with pretty red flowers were mentioned. The vines with red flowers she asked about are Rangoon Creeper and Mandevilla.

Quisqualis indica AKA Rangoon Creeper is a large, woody, scrambling or climbing vine or liana. The stems have yellow pubescence (fine hairs), mostly on the small branchlets, and it may eventually form spines. It will climb with support or gracefully arch to form large mounds. The preferred growing conditions include full sun to partial shade, with preference for full sun.

Mandevilla is grown for its impressive blooms. It is a vine and a popular choice for warm gardens and containers. Most popular Mandevilla vines are hybrids. This vine thrives and blooms best in full sun.

The question about how much light is sun or shade is one often perplexing to gardeners; plants are variable. Sometimes plants make liars out of us and do well in conditions which are less than perfect or not usually preferred by the species or variety.

All plants need light, at least in some portion, to grow. Light is the energy that drives the plants “engines.” Photosynthesis is the process which uses light and other stuff to produce sugars used for plant growth. However, how much light is needed is dependent on the plant and local conditions including humidity, amount of rain, and soil.

Generally, those that prefer a full sun location should receive more than 6 hours of direct sun per day. Four (4) hours of sun per day is considered partial shade, and shifting shade is found under tall trees such as pines where the sun breaks through or is moderated throughout the day.

Shade for plants can be broken down more distinctly. Dense or deep shade is shade throughout the day such as found under the deck or stairs, on the north side of the house, or under dense, thick trees. Full shade is still defined as no sun, but is brighter than deep shade.

Still, the best advice is to choose plants that match the site conditions even if a little guesswork is required.

Exotic plant, attractive flowers


The "Rangoon Creeper" is a rapid growing delicious shrub known for its medicinal properties.

RANGOON CREEPER, as the name suggests, is an exotic plant, which is indigenous in Malaysia, South East Asia and West tropical Africa. Botanically known as Quisqualis indica, Rangoon Creeper belongs to the natural order combretaceae (terminalia family). It has become popular here as a cultivated plant and is now one of the commonest creepers found in Indian gardens. Quisqualis literally means "who" "what". Rumphius, a Dutch botanist, described Quisqualis as "the young plant that grows into an erect shrub with scattered leaves and irregular branches. After six months it sends out a runner that proceeds to climb up the neighbouring trees, not by twining around them, but by means of the petioles which become transformed into stout spines after the fall of the leaves".

Any garden lover will be stunned by gorgeous look and attractive flowers. It is a rapid growing delicious trailing shrub requiring a strong trellis for support. In rich soil, its growth is rampant and unimaginable. Consequently it is necessary to cut it during the dry season. It is constantly in bloom throughout the year. The flowers are white, sweet scented, open at night but turn pink at daybreak. The mixture of pink and white gives the plant a unique and charming look when in bloom.

Rangoon Creeper does not require any chemical fertilizer. Normally, it is free from pests and diseases. A spray of neem oil can be given as a protective measure. It can be easily raised from layers, cuttings or divisions of the root.

The fruits are known for their anthelmintic (acting against parasitic intestinal worms) properties. Rangoon Creeper can be grown in gardens for covering rivetments and compound walls.

Treat Lice, Worms, and More With These DOH-Approved Herbal Plants

By Jillianne E. Castillo

With these plants, your garden becomes your child's first aid kit!

We can't even remember what we were looking for when we came upon this gem at the Department of Health's Philippine Institute of Traditional and Alternative Health Care website. It contains a list of medicinal plants and their different uses, and we found eight medicinal plants that can treat a variety of child ailments. It even had notes on which plants were easy to grow and pretty to have at home!

Look to this list (and your garden) for some of child's saches and pains.

1. Niyog-niyogan or Chinese honey suckle Other common names: bawe-bawe, piniones, tangelo, tartaraok

Treats: Bulate sa tiyan or intenstinal worms

It's the seeds you'll need from this plant. Kids need to chew them thoroughly and immediately follow with one glass of water.

• 4 to 5 seeds for children 4 to 6 years old
• 6 to 7 seeds for children 7 to 12 years old
• 8 to 10 seeds for children 13 years old and above

Harvest those from mature fruits or are golden brown in color. Don’t harvest from fruits that have been infested with worms. Plant it at home: The niyog-niyogan plant blooms colorful flowers and is best planted in the ground.

2. Makabuhay

Other common names: paliaban, taganagtagua

Treats: Kuto or head lice

1. Cut a portion of the main vine and ground to a pulp.
2. Rub all over the scalp and hair at night before bed. For bigger kids, leave it on hair overnight by wearing a shower cap to bed. Or you can leave the mixture in for an eight-hour period during the day.
3. Afterwards, comb through the hair with a lice comb and rinse thoroughly.
4. Repeat once a week for two weeks.

Plant it at home: Makabuhay is easy to plant and grow, but it’s best planted near something it can cling to, like a tree.

3. Akapulko or Candle bush

Other common names: Andadasi, bayabas-bayabasan, buni-buni, kasitas

Treats: An-an, buni, hadhad, alipunga and other skin fungal infections

1. Pluck fresh leaves from the akapulko plant.
2. Ground to a pulp and apply over the affected area.
3. Repeat twice a day for 3 weeks.

Plant it at home: The akapulko bears beautiful flowers and is best planted in the ground.

4. Bayabas or guava tree

Other common names: bagabas, bayauas

To clean wounds:

1. Boil one cup of fresh leaves in 3 to 4 cups of water in a small clay pot of water.
2. Let the water cool and pour over the wound.
3. Repeat twice.

To provide relief from a tooth ache:

1. Pluck two to three leaves from the bayabas plant.
2. Chew near the aching tooth.

5. Sabila or aloe vera

Other common names: aloe, acibar, dilang buwaya, dilang halo

Provides relief from insect bites

1. Cut away a small portion from the sabila plant.
2. Squeeze to extract the plant’s juices and apply the sap over the bite.

Plant it at home: Since aloe vera is a popular house plant, it’s easy find and purchase. It can also be planted outside in the ground.

6. Tanglad or lemon grass

Other common names: balioko, barani, salay, hierba gato

For fevers

1. Boil a handful of fresh leaves from the tanglad plant in a small clay pot.
2. Give the patient a sponge bath using the water once it has cooled.

Plant it at home: The fragrant leaves can be used for cooking.

7. Lagundi

Other common names: dangla, five-leaved chaste tree

Treats: cough

1. Crush enough leaves according to your child's age.
• 1 1/2 tablespoons of ground leaves for children ages 2 to 6 years old
• 3 tablespoons of ground leaves for children 7 to 12 years old
• 6 tablspoons of ground leaves for children 13 years old and above
2. Boil the crushed leaves in a small clay pot filled with two cups of water. Let it boil until only half of the amount of water is left in the pot.
3. Let it cool. Strain the water and discard the leaves.
4. Divide the water into three portions and drink throughout the day.

Plant it at home: The lagundi plant grows tall and is best planted in the ground.

8. Tsaang gubat*

Other common names: alibungog, kalabonog, maragaued

Treats: Stomach aches

1. Crush enough leaves according to your child's age. *Tsaang gubat is not recommended for children below 7 years old.
• 1 1/2 tablespoons of ground leaves for children ages 7 to 12 years old
• 3 tablespoons of ground leaves for children 13 years old and above.
2. Boil the crushed leaves in a small clay pot filled with one cup of water. Let it bubble until only half of the amount of water is left in the pot.
3. Let it cool. Strain the water and discard the leaves.
4. Drink.

Propagation by Stem Cuttings (Rangoon Creeper)

(Natale, The Shady Acre)

Rangoon Creeper is one of my favorite vines. It’s beautiful and tropical, and it is perfect for shade, privacy, and fragrant blooms on our back porch.

The flowers bloom in clusters. They start out white and then go to pale pink and progress to a deep pinkish-red.

The photo above isn’t great, but I wanted to show what the vine looks like–how huge it is. The top of our porch is about 15 feet tall, and the vine would grow higher if it could. This massive vine needs room and sturdy support. If you have a really strong arbor or brick fence/wall, that would be ideal.

Below is the homemade bamboo trellis that I started this vine on in 2008. It would have been a great idea for a lighter vine, but by the end of the 2009 growing season, the Rangoon Creeper had busted through the trellis like the Incredible Hulk shedding his little man clothes.

You can see more of what the flowerbed looked like then here on the old part of my blog. We had just added the back porch and the flowerbeds.

Now, the base of the plant is so big, I don’t even have it on a trellis. It just climbs up to the porch for support (the base of the porch is about 4.5 feet high). After last year’s harsh winter, the plant died back to the ground and took a long time to come back. Since this past winter was so mild, it hardly froze back at all, resulting in many more blooms.

This was the first time I’ve ever cut the flowers to take inside. I probably won’t do it again. They were beautiful for the pictures, but they all drooped by that evening. They are also very fragrant, which is great outside, but it was a little too much for me inside. I’ll just enjoy them on the back porch from now on!

Aren’t they pretty, though?

Propagation by Stem Cuttings (Rangoon Creeper)

(Practical Gardening)

In a previous article I described the propagation of the Rangoon Creeper vine by root division. I also mentioned in that article how difficult it is to propagate the Rangoon Creeper vine or Quisqualis indica by stem cuttings.

Well, I no longer think it's difficult. Apparently, you just need to know the right time and the correct techniques to successfully propagate it by cuttings.

Plant the Cuttings in the Rainy Season

No matter how I tried, I was not successful getting cuttings to root in the dry season which is around March to May. I even tried misting the leaves every fifteen minutes - a rather ardous task if you do it manually. All the stem cuttings I had would drop their leaves from three days up to one week. This, by the way, is a sure sign that the stem cutting failed.

I was, however, successful in getting the Rangoon Creeper cuttings to root in the rainy or wet season. Maybe it's because of the higher humidity in the rainy season. The first chart below shows the "rainiest" months showing the months with the number of rainy days.

The second chart below shows the average humidty for the year. You will notice that the humidity is near the peak at the months July and August which happen to be the rainiest months.

The Rangoon Creeper cutting was planted during the last week of July. After successfully rooting and growing new leaves, it was repotted in the last week of August.

How to Plant Rangoon Creeper Cuttings

1. Select a mature yet still greenish branch. The cutting's stem should be around 2 to 3 inches long. The top part should have a node and a pair of leaves like the one below.

2. Bury roughly 1 inch of the stem cutting in moist (not soggy) soil. The Rangoon Creeper has large leaves and so you may want to allot space for it. Cut the leaves in half to save space and avoid excessive water transpiration. I use seedling trays for cuttings.

3. Position the stem cutting in partial shade or filtered light. I have my stem cuttings in seedling trays placed in the wall-mounted nursery racks I built.

4. Mist the leaves of the Rangoon Creeper stem cutting around 2 to 3 times a day. Misting is spaced 4 to 6 hours apart. You could use a garden sprayer for misting. Sometimes, I just use my hand to sprinkle water around the leaves.

5. It may take a while for the Rangoon Creeper stem cutting to root. If both leaves drop, then discard the stem cutting and plant another. There's virtually no chance for a leafless stem to root.

6. A successful cutting may root in a month or so. A new shoot would grow from the node and new leaves will sprout from the shoot.

7. After a month or so, you'll notice roots at the base of the stem cutting. After picking the seedling plug from the garden tray, you'll see a network of tiny roots.

8. Repot the seedling plug from the garden tray into a seedling bag or pot.

Notice the two new pair of leaves on the rooted stem cutting.

Which Trees Should We Plant in the City?

By George Gamayo (Panahon TV)

Not all trees are created equal. Find out what types of trees we should plant in order to make Manila safe during the typhoon season.

In a typhoon-prone country as ours, it is common to see roads, backyards and streets dotted with fallen trees after a severe storm. The sight is heart-wrenching: massive, sometimes centuries-old giants knocked down, their complex system of roots wrenched free from the soil. It becomes even more distressing when these trees cause damage to property, or even worse, fatalities.

Lately, there has been an increased public awareness on the importance of planting native trees. The logic is that since these trees are indigenous, they are made to withstand local weather, even extreme conditions such as droughts and typhoons. Check out some of the locally bred trees recommended by the Haribon Foundation for urban greening:

• Narra (critically endangered)

With a potential height of over 130 feet, this sturdy tree provides ample shade in open areas. It also boasts of a deeply penetrating and spreading root system, making it harder for typhoons to uproot. The good news is that it can be cultivated from the cuttings of its mature branches.

• Niyog-niyogan (not yet been assessed)

Don’t be deceived by the Niyog-Niyogan’s size. This shrub or small tree packs a punch! Growing up to a height of 22 feet, it’s not just a pretty ornamental plant, it also has deep, penetrating roots that make it resilient against strong winds. Here’s a bit of trivia: It’s even more typhoon-resilient than the much bigger Balete tree!

• Molave (endangered)

It’s fast-growing, requires only partial sunlight, and drought-resistant. What more can you ask for? The sturdiness of the Molave tree has been part of local knowledge for centuries. In fact, it was even mentioned in President Manuel L. Quezon’s speech: “I want our people to grow and be like the molave, strong and resilient, rising on the hillside, unafraid of the raging flood, the lightning or the storm, confident of its own strength.”

• Talisay (not threatened)

Forget the fire trees. Their red-orange leaves may look nice, but these exotic trees have softer frames. Why not plant more Talisay trees, whose leaves turn from yellow to red before they are shed off? Furthermore, they’re indigenous and sturdy.

• Pili (vulnerable)

Commonly cultivated in Bicol, this versatile tree can be used for a variety of products, from fragrance to baked delicacies. With a maximum height capacity of over 90 feet, this tree has been proven to survive the elements in typhoon-prone Bicol.

Check out the other trees that have made the typhoon-resilient shortlist. Which of these are familiar to you?

• Katmon (vulnerable)
• Kamagong (critically endangered)
• Bitaog (least concern)
• Tindalo (endangered)
• Lumbang (not threatened)
• Agoho (not threatened)
• Alim (not yet threatened)
• Banaba (not threatened)
• Antipolo (vulnerable)
• Tuai (not threatened)
• Tangisang Bayawak (not threatened)
• Kupang (not threatened)
• Lipote (not yet been assessed)
• Toog (not yet been assessed)
• Anonang (not threatened)
• Balitbitan (not yet been assessed)
• Binayuyu (not yet been assessed)
• Botong (not threatened)
• Takip Asin (not vulnerable)

Popular Herbal Medicines in Philippines

(Herbal Plants Medicines)

Niyog-niyogan or Rangoon Creeper is an excellent vine for outdoor gardens. This ligneous plant, scientifically called Quisqualis indica L. It is also known as Burma or Rangoon Creeper, Liane Vermifuge and Chinese honeysuckle. Niyog-niyogan is perfect for covered walkways as it grows at least 2.5m long and reaches up to 8m long when it matures. This active climber, which belongs to the combretaceae family grows best in tropical areas and demands constant sunlight. Perhaps due to its tropical characterization that it is found in primary and secondary forests of countries like Africa, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea and other Asian regions.

Niyog-niyogan is cultivated in greenhouses and can be naturalized in tropical areas. This vine starts as a shrub about 3-feet tall with branches growing from all directions. The mother shrub seizes to grow and dies after six months allowing the creeper to rapidly climb walls, trees, and the like. The branches of niyog-niyogan are filled with oblong-shaped leaves growing on opposite sides attached to 6mm to 10mm long petioles. The leaves of niyog-niyogan can grow up to 15cm long and more than 5cm wide with a pointed tip. Its flowers grow in clusters and it blossoms year-round. Its flowers open at night with five bright red petals and gives out a distinct perfume. The young flowers of niyog-niyogan start with white-colored petals that turn pink then red as it matures. It also bears fruits, which can grow up to 3cm long with five angles on its sides.

The niyog-niyogan plant grows in haste during the rainy season, hence constant pruning is especially recommended during this time. It is advised to place this plant in spacious areas to avoid crowding with a temperature of at least 60°F with evenly moistened soil to produce flowers. Niyog-niyogan can thrive in almost all kinds of soil and can even tolerate moderate amount of drought in cold seasons.

Benefits & Treatment of Niyog-Niyogan:

Almost all of its parts are used individually, or mixed with other ingredients, as remedy to different ailments. In the Philippines, these are taken to rid people of parasitic worms. Some also use these to help alleviate coughs and diarrhea. Medical experts, advice patients to consult their doctors as improper dosing may cause hiccups. Niyog-niyogan’s leaves are used to cure body pains by placing them on specific problematic areas of the body. Compound decoctions of the leaves of niyog-niyogan are used in India to alleviate flatulence.

Preparation & Use:

Seeds of niyog-niyogan can be taken as an anthelmintic. These are eaten raw two hours before the patient’s last meal of the day. Adults may take 10 seeds while children 4 to 7 years of age may eat up to four seeds only. Children from ages 8 to 9 may take six seeds and seven seeds may be eaten by children 10 to 12 years old. Decoctions of its roots are also sometimes used as a remedy for rheumatism while its fruits are used as an effective way to relieve toothaches.

Traditional Herbal Medicinal Plants

(Nerdy Gaga)

Herbalism or Botanical medicine or herbology, is the traditional old folks practice of treating ailments. In Asia it is the most common and cheapest way to treat infectious diseases, though most modern day people in Asia or any part of the world would prefer to see their doctors and buy the prescribed medicines. The herbal medicine comes from the herbal medicinal plant’s extract from the roots, flowers and buds, bark and leaves. Sometimes the range of perceptions on herbal medicines include the yeast(fungal), molds or group of eukaryotic organisms and bee products as well as mineral shells and some animal parts.

However, adding improper or inappropriate mixtures, lack of understanding of the herbal plant used for drug formula could be lethal or life threatening. There are various kind of medicinal herbal plants in many parts of the world. Here are some that I have gathered.

1) Aframorum Melegueta

This aromatic bushy plant is a specie of the ginger family also called grains of paradise, melegueta pepper, alligator pepper and Guinea pepper grains which of course has a peppery and pungent flavor. This plant is native to West Africa, but are considered as very important crops in Southern Ethiopia. They are use not only for cooking purposes but for treatment of digestive system, warming, used for divination and determining of guilt among Efik people of Nigeria. In the Carribean, it is used for medicinal purposes and voodoo rituals. In Europe, the grains of paradise are used to add flavor to beer production, Ginger Ale gins. Oftentimes, Norwegian akvavito and famous chefs use this for cuisine.

2) Yellow Monkhood or Aconitum Anthora

The aconite roots or wolfsbane are used as medicine and was named the king of 100 Herbs, but contains toxic substance thus it is also called the Queen of Poisons. There are high contents of Neurotoxinaconitine, and no antidotes found in this roots. The root contents has a big amount of evaporating salt and essential oil, while the plant leaves and stems have diterpenoid alkaloids substance. These herbal plant is often used for external purposes treating rheumatism and muscle aches, but it can cause skin irritation. If taken internally, it is used to treat weak pulse, poison from vegetable shoots, fever and colds, pneumonia, respiratory viral infection (Croup) and heart condition.

3) Camellia Sinensis

Camellia Sinensis are herbal plants used as tea in India, Sri Lanka, Java Indonesia and Japan. Camellia is also a herbal medicinal plants used for digestions, depressions, detoxification, body aches and pains and energizer and long life.

• Gleditsia Sinensis

The Gleditsia sinensis is a flowering plant that commonly grow in Asia. It is also known as Zaojia in Chinese and in English it is called honey locust or Chinese honey locust, soap bean, and soap pod. Additionally, gleditsia has been used as detergent in China for 2000 years. Extraction from the leaves is used to dressed and clean skon sores, infected skin diseases, while the stem and bark is used for reducing fever (antipyretic) and anthelmintic. The fruits is used as antibacterial, antifungal, antitussive, astringent, expectorant, stimulant and haemostatic treatment. It can treat bronchial asthma, epilepsy and sudden impairment of neurological function from a stroke and cerebral hemorrhage. It is also used in treatment of rectum cancer, but overdose can cause body poisoning.

4) Chinese Cucumber (Trichosanthes Kirilowii)

The Trichosanthes Kirlowii fresh root tubers, when purified and processed, used for Anti-HIV activity.

• Rehmannia or Chinese Foxglove

The Rehmannia or Foxglove or in Chinese it is called dihuang or Gandihuang, are Chinese medicinal herbal plants used to treat anemia, dizziness and constipation.

• Peony Medicinal Plant

Paeonia Caucasica herb plants or in Chinese, Bai Shao (Radix Paeonae Lactiflorae) roots are used as traditional Chinese medicine not only in China but commonly used in Korea, Japan and some parts of Asia. The Antioxidant, Antitumor, Antipathogenic, Immune-system-Modulation, Cardiovascular-system-protective Activities and Central-Nervous-system activities.

• Korean Mint or Agastache Rugosa

Korean Mint or scientific name, Agastache Rugosa also called in Chinese huo xiang, have antibacterial and anti-atherogenic properties used for infections treatment.

• Cannabis Sativa

Cannabis sativa was cultivated by growers in Asia as an industrial fiber source, seed oil, food, drugs and medicine. The cannabis are harvested in different usage and depends on what purposes like the cannabis seeds, some used them for bird’s feed, because of its rich protein. The flowers, leaves, and seeds contain psychoactive chemical compound called cannabinoids that are used for medicinal and spiritual purposes and recreational drinks. Cannabis is much popular by its name marijuana, and extraction preparations obtained from resin, the hashish are used for consumption by smoking, and vaporized by ingesting orally. Also used as tinctures and ointments and teas. Cannabis are used for for medicinal purposes for the treatment of nausea, vomiting, stimulation of hunger during chemotherapy process, AIDS patient, pain reliever, inflammatory disease affecting the rain and spinal cords to depressions, and glaucoma treatment.

5) Rauwolfia Serpentina or Snakeroot

The Rauwolfia serpentina, also known as snakeroot or sapagandha, a specie of Apocynaceae, used in traditional Chinese medicine and named it shegen mu or yindu shemu in Chinese. It contains bioactive substances like yohimbine, reserpine, ajmaline, deserpidine, rescinnamine and the plant extract has been used in India for many years. Mahatma Gandhi took this herbal plants as tranquilizer during his time. The reserpine compound is used for the treatment of high blood pressure and schizophrenia (mental disorder).

6) Kudzu

Kudzu contains useful substances known as isoflavones, daidzein(anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial agent) and a cancer preventive and an antileukemic agent called genistein. The kudzu is used for the treatment of migraine and suicidal headaches (or cluster headache). It is also best for allergies and diarrhea, post-menopausal symptoms, hypertensions, and diabetes type ll, vertigo, tinnituslear disorder (hearing loud ringing sound), wei syndrome (superficial heat), Alzheimer’s disease, Alcoholics and hangovers.

7) Noni Fruit

Noni fruit or Morinda Citrifolia, also called great morinda, Indian mulberry, nunaakai (Tamil Nadu, India), dog dumping (in Barbados), Mengkudu (in Malaysia and Indonesia), Kumudu in Balinese, pace in Javanese (Java,Indonesia), beach mulberry, cheese fruit and noni in Hawaiian. This plant belong in the coffee family (Rubiaceae). The green fruit, leaves, roots and shoots are used in Polynesia traditional medicine treating menstrual cramps, constipation or irregular bowel movements, diabetes, liver diseases and urinary tract infections. The bark produces dye, a brownish-purple color used for batik weaving, and yellowish dye color extracted from the roots used for dyeing cloths. The seed extraction becomes oil used to treat arthritis, asthma, and upset stomach.

8) Philippine Herbal Medicine: Akapulko (Cassia alala), also known as Ringworm bushy, a herbal plant used for treatment of increase of urine discharge, excessive sweating, and used as purgative purposes. I is used to treat skin fungal infections and ringworm skin diseases.

9) Ampalaya (Bitter Melon or Bitter Gourd)(Momordica Charantia)

Bitter melon or bitter gourd, also known Momordica charantia, a vegetable with bitter taste, is famous in the Philippines as a medicinal plant called ampalaya, and used to treat diabetes, cholesterol and liver disease. Now they produced from ampalaya extract in form of tablets or capsules and tea bags.

10) Garlic or Allium Sativa

The garlic is a specie of onion family, with scientific name Allium sativa. Aside using garlic for cooking, in the Philippines it is used to reduce cholesterol and helps normalized blood pressure, and it is called bawang.

11) Ginger (S.N. Zingiber Officinalel)

The ginger , S.N. Zngiber officinalel are not actually “roots” but are underground stem that often sends out roots and shoots from its nodes. They are sometimes called rootstalk and from the family monocotyledonous perennial plant. This spicy rootstalk can be used in many medicinal treatment like antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antiviral, diuretic and antiseptic.

12) Banaba or Lagerstroemia speciosa

The Lagerstroemia speciosa also called Giant Crape-myrtle, Queen’s Crape-myrtle, Banaba in the Philippines, Jarul in Kolkata, India or Pride of India, the fruits, leaves, roots, flowers and bark of the tree or Banaba extract, are used for treatment for diabetes, purgative and diuretic, natural health supplement, helps regulate blood sugar level, and weight loss. Banaba Tea, is helps dissolve kidney stones and cleanses kidney. Banaba herb are clinically proven as medicinal herbal plant for the relief and treatment of various diseases.

13) Atis or Anona Squamosa

The Anona squamosa or known as Atis or ates in the Philippines, also called sugar apple and sweet sop, is small tree fruit bearing sweet fruits, also used as medicinal plants includes leaves, fruits and seeds for the treatment of diarrhea, dysentery and dizziness.

14) Guava or Psidium guajava

The Guava or Psidium guajava is a common used in the Philippines as medicinal used for disinfectants of wounds (boiling the leaves), mouth wash for infected gum or throat, tooth decay, also athelete’s foot and eczema. The bark is also used to treat chronic diarrhea.

15) Hibiscus Rosa-sinensis Linn or Gumamela

Hibiscus Rosa-sinensis linn or Gumamela plant in the Philippines, China Rose, and hibiscus in the west are used not only as ornamental plants but as medicinal plant used as expectorant for cough, cold, sore throat, fever and bronchitis. The gumamela buds in the Philippines is used to dressed boil by pounding it with dash of salt, and spread it on a clean gauze and cover the boil.

16) Vitex Negundo or Lagundi in the Philippines

Vitex Negundo or Five-leaved Chaste tree, a well known medicinal plants in Asia especially in the Philippines, and called Lagundi. This plant is used for treatment of coughs, asthma, purgative, indigestion, abdominal pain due to spasm, boils, and rheumatism. The roots is used as expectorant and reduces fever.

• Quisqualis Indica or Honey Suckle or Rangoon Creeper

The Quisqualis Indica vine, a known medicinal plant in Asia as purgative by ingesting the seeds and helps eliminate worms such as ascaris and trichina. For children chew 7 dried seeds and 10 seeds for adults after meal. Pound the leaves or roast for diarrhea, fever and skin infections and diseases. In the Philippines it is famously known as nyog-nyogan, Chinese honey suckle and Rangoon Creeper. It is native in Asia like Philippines, Malaysia and India.

• Origanum Vulgare or Oregano

The Origanum vulgare, a perennial plant with aromatic scent, are commonly used in culinary purposes, but also medicinally use for treatment the treatment of arthritis, coughs, colds, asthma, osteoarthritis, upset stomach or dyspepsia. It is widely known as Oregano.

The Cuban Oregano, Mexican Mint, or Indian Borage with scientific name Plectranthus amboinicus, a fleshy aromatic perennial plant used as medicine as cough, colds and fever reliever. Aside from medicinal use, it is used to flavor meats and chicken stuffing.

• Peperomia Pellucida linn

Peperomia pellucida linn or widely known in the Philippines as pansit-pansitan, ulasiman-bato, olasiman-ihalas and tangon-tangon. This shiny herbs grows widely in the garden or flower pots and use for treating arthritis, gout, skin diseases, kidney disorders and abdominal pains. By boiling or pounding or eaten fresh when taken internally. For skin treatment pound and spread the extract into the affected areas of the skin.

• Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera the most popular medicinal plants in Asia and Africa and believed to originate in Sudan. It is also called the true Aloe or medicinal Aloe and popularly known as Sabila in the Philippines commonly seen growing in their home gardens. Sabila as medicine has various usage such as treatment for burns, eczema, cuts or wounds, dandruff and falling hair (the leaves as shown in picture, then rub on scalp and massage, let dry before rinsing it). Aloe Vera are antiviral. antifungal, antioxidant, antibiotic, and anti-parasitic medicinal plants and also used for treatment of sebaceous cysts, fatty acids, diabetes and cholesterol.

• Blumea Balsamifera

Blumea Balsamifera a popular medicinal plant and a traditional medicine in the Philippines and known as Sambong. The sambong leaves produced essential oil and the plant consist of camphor, limonene, borneol, saponin, sesquiterpene and astringent.This medicinal plant is well known for treating kidney disorder, fever, colds, rheumatism, hypertension, diuretic and other diseases. If taken internally, boil the leaves to help urinary stones excreted and also used as edema. In Vietnam it is called tanaka.

17) Clinopodium Douglasii or Yerba Buena

Yerba Buena or Clinopodium Douglasii, a vine plant from the mint family, or known as peppermint. It contains analgesic, and helps for body pain relief and other pains if taken internally. Clean the leaves and boil it or pound the leaves with small amount of water and apply to infected wound areas.

18) Papaya

The Carica Papaya, or commonly called papaya, papaw or pawpaw or in Chinese traditional medicine it is called mugua or mamao, fruta bomba, tree melon, Lechoza in Venezuela, Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic because of its milky sap. Papaya contains high level of vitamins A, C and E. It has several properties of carotenoid, folales and flavonoids and miberals reacting synegistically providing DNA-protection effects and decrease the risk of cancer development and cardiovascular disorder. Ripe Papaya fruit, is also good for constipation. But according to studies, excessive eating of papaya causes carotemia, the yellowing of the palm and sole, although there is no harm effect in the human body.

19) Moringa Oleifera

The Moringa Oleifera commonly grown in Asia and cultivated for vegetable and medicinal purposes. The bark, roots, leaves, flowers, seeds and sap are used for herbal medicine, as antiseptic for venomous animal and insect bites, rheumatism, and anemia and other diseases. The boiled roots are rsiky for pregnant women, it might cause them miscarriages. In the Philippine it is widely known as Malunggay, in Tamil moringa, in Bengal: Shojne, in Telugu: munagkaya, in Rajasthani: Shenano, in Marathi: Shevaga, in Kannada: nuggekai, in Khmer: Morrom, in Vietnamese: Chum nay, in Haiti:benzolive, in Indonesia: kelor and in Malay: Kalor, in Burmese: Dandalum, in Madagascar: ananambo, in Thailand: ma’rum, in Hausa,Nigeria: zogale and sijan in Guyana. Whatever name given to this nutritional plant as long as it helps a lot and are not fatal to human consumption.

• Horseraddish Plant

Armoracia Rusticana, or horseraddish , a vegetable with potassium, calcium, phosporous, magnesium, mustard oil, and diuretic properties. Horseraddish are also used for urinary tract infections, coughs and bronchitis, sinus congestion, and infected ingrown toenails. Grated horseraddish roots mixed with honey will clear clogged nose in few minutes. Horseraddish are poisonous for horses.

20) Ginseng Roots

Ginseng plant a slow-growing perennial plant, is one of the eleven species belonging to genus panax. It is called renshen in Chinese, meaning man root, because it resembles on human legs, jen shen in Cantonese and jin sim in Hokkien. Ginseng roots is a popular medicinal plant in Asia, especially in China, Korea and Japan. In Greek, panax means All heal, and widely used now as muscle relaxant, stimulant, treatment for impotency, high blood pressure and low blood pressure, stress, insomnia and many others. But overdose of ginseng is not good too, it might cause side effects such as chest pain, diarrhea, fatigued, headaches and nose bleeding.

There are many medicinal plants in the world, but most people of modern day prefer to seek for professional medical attention and buy the prescribed medicine. But there are desperate patients, who turn on herbal medicine when they feel that they are not cured with prescribe medicine and feel they are getting worse.

Quisqualis (shi jun zi)

(Acupuncture Today)
What is quisqualis? What is it used for?

Also known as the Rangoon creeper, quisqualis is a type of creeping, climbing vine, with lush, green leaves and shoots, large clusters of fragrant pink or red flowers, and large fruit that turns purple in the late summer and autumn. The name "quisqualis" comes from the Latin words for "who" and "what kind," which indicate that there was originally some question as to whether the plant was a vine or shrub. It can reach a height of 30 feet, and grows throughout the tropical regions of the world. In China, it is found in the Sichuan, Guangdong, Cuangxi and Yunnan provinces. The seeds are used in herbal preparations, and are harvested after the fruit is picked and dried in the sun.

In traditional Chinese medicine, quisqualis has sweet and warm properties, and is associated with the Spleen and Stomach meridians. Its main functions are to kill parasites, strengthen the spleen, and dissolve accumulations in the body. Quisqualis is used to treat roundworms and abdominal distention, and to improve one's appetite. It is sometimes given to infants to relieve indigestion and improve appetite.

How much quisqualis should I take?

The typical dosage of quisqualis is between 4.5 and 12 grams, boiled in water and drunk as a decoction.

What forms of quisqualis are available?

Dried quisqualis seeds can be found at many Asian markets and specialty stores. Some shops also sell quisqualis infusions, decoctions and powders. Many vendors also sell larger formulas that incorporate quisqualis.

What can happen if I take too much quisqualis? Are there any interactions I should be aware of? What precautions should I take?

Prolonged use of large doses may lead to a variety of unwanted conditions, including dizziness and vomiting. However, as of this writing, there are no known drug interactions associated with quisqualis. As always, make sure to consult with a licensed health care provider before taking quisqualis or any other herbal remedy or dietary supplement.

Davao City Council urges residents to grow medicinal plants

By Walter I. Balane (Mindanews)

The resolution, approved on second reading, adopted Project TAMBAL or “Tanom nga Medisina Bahandi sa Lawas,” (Medicinal Plants Precious to the Body) a community-based herbal medicine project aimed to address the “persistent social and health concern on the availability, or the lack of medicines in the health centers”.

The legislation would “encourage Davaoeños to seek traditional and alternative ways of health care through the use of herbal medicines, which are proven to be effective, safe, cost-efficient, and consistent with government standards of medical practice” according to the report of the council’s committee on health read in the session.

The plants that would be promoted for backyard gardening are Lagundi, Olasimang Bato, Bayabas, Bawang, Herba buena , Sambong, Ampalaya , Niyog-niyogan, Tsa-ang gubat, and Akapulko.

The committee report cited the 10 plants as “well-researched” and scientifically documented by scientists including those from the University of the Philippines College of Medicine.

The Philippine Institute of Traditional and Alternative Health Care (PITACH), an agency under the Department of Health, already created three medicines from the 10 plants, namely Lagundi for asthma, Tsa-ang gubat for abdominal pains, and Sambong for urinary kidney stones.

PITACH produces the herbal medicines from a plant in Davao City and sells them at P2 per tablet using raw materials from a plantation in Tacloban City.

The promotion of the growing of herbal plants in backyards could provide a “buffer” of supply, Anette Atanacio, a pharmacist at PITACH Davao told MindaNews.

Atanacio said there are already groups who are selling them raw materials. She said they have criteria for suppliers of herbal plants like handling and growing.

She said they would likely exchange raw materials from the community with supplies of herbal medicine tablets.

There is a growing demand for the use of herbal medicines in the local market, Atanacio said, citing a 100-percent increase in sales from 2004 to 2005.

But she said the move by the city government would really encourage people to use traditional and alternative ways of health care, and not just provide PITACH buffer supply of medicines.

“With herbal medicines in their backyards, the campaign by the city government would encourage people to learn and patronize indigenous medicines,” she said.

According to the resolution, Project TAMBAL “endeavors to make the different barangays in the City to be self-sustaining, self-reliant, and self-sufficient in their needs for herbal medicines.”

The resolution noted the role of herbal medicine not only in traditional health care but also in the culture, history, heritage, and consciousness of the Davaoeños.

The resolution was based on Republic Act 8423 or the Traditional and Alternative Medicine Act of 1997, which provides for the promotion and advocacy for the use of traditional, alternative, preventive and curative health care modalities.

The law provides for the formulation of policies for the protection of indigenous and natural health resources and technology from unwanted exploitation, for approval and adoption by the appropriate government agencies. It also provides for the formulation of policies to strengthen the role of traditional and alternative health care delivery system.

No implementing guidelines have been released yet but Councilor Gerald Bangoy told the city council on July 11 that the project has been going on in the 3rd district where Councilor Rene Elias Lopez comes from.

Bangoy and Lopez, both physicians, are proponents of the resolution.

Herbal medicine in the philippines

(Steady Health)

Philippines are one of the places in the world in which the modern medicine seem to be working along the indigenous medicine. People on the Philippines have all benefits of modern hospitals, educated doctors and surgeons, but still many turn to alternative treatments or combine Eastern and Western medicine. Herbal remedies and faith healing are also present in this country.

Scientists believe that there are thousands of herbs in the Philippines, waiting to be discovered as cures for different diseases. Many plants are used in traditional Philippine medicine, but only a handful of them are proven to be safe and efficient. Their Department of Health (DOH) authorized only 10 most popular and most used plants as safe and studied.

Herbs for Chronic Diseases

Ampalaya, garlic and pansit-panistant are the remedies frequently used in Philippines to treat chronic medical conditions.

Ampalaya, with its Latin name Momordica charantia, is a cucumber looking fruit, recommended by both Chinese and Philippine traditional medicine. The juice of this plant has been approved by the DOH for the treatment of diabetes mellitus, liver problems and also as the medication used to treat HIV infection.

Pansit-Panistant leaves and stalks are used as the tea or poultice. The tea is supposed to be good for the gout and arthritis, while the poultice should speed up the healing of skin injuries.

Garlic (Allium sativum) is also used in Philippine herbal medicine. They call it bawang and use it against bacterial infections and to lower the cholesterol in the blood.

Herbs against Parasites

Akapulko, also known among herbalists as Cassia alata or ringworm bush is used to treat skin fungal infections in the Philippines.

Niyog-niyogan, Chinese honeysuckle or Quisqualis indica is eaten in the Philippines when you need to get rid of the intestinal worms. Philippine herbalists recommend eating dried seeds of this vine plant, about 2 hours after the meal.

Herbs Used in Western Medicine

Philippine herbalists also use many plants familiar to Western medicine. For instance, they also use carrots and ginger. Grated carrots are considered to be full of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants, and they are used to cleanse the body and regulate menstrual cycle. According to the Philippine herbalists, ginger is beneficial for people suffering from heightened blood cholesterol, but can also be used to ease the nausea.

Caution Measures

Always consult your doctor and certified herbalist about herbs you want to use, because these remedies might provoke side effects or cause allergies and different reactions in or on the body.

Children, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers are not advised to use these or any other herbal remedies.

How can I propagate my beautiful Rangoon creeper?

By Kathy Huber (Houston Chronicle)

Q: My Rangoon creeper is beautiful this year. How can I propagate this plant? — A.H., Houston

A: Results vary among gardeners. Some are lucky; others not. A common form of propagation is stem cuttings. You might try rooting semi-hardwood and soft cuttings to see which works best for you.

Many gardeners have found propagation by root suckers fairly easy. If your vine has produced suckers, look for a rooted segment that has popped up near the mother plant, sever (with roots) and plant elsewhere.

Some have been able to grow Rangoon creeper from seed. The black fruit (seed pod) is oblong with sharp angles and has just one seed.

Summer color that can take the summer heat

By Jill Carroll

While the seemingly endless rains have kept area temperatures lower than usual for the past month or so, make no mistake - the heat is on its way. By the time the first day of summer officially arrives on June 20, we should be well into the hot, sticky 90s on a regular basis. After that, well, it's anyone's guess, but triple-digit heat indexes are common July through September.

Savvy Houston-area gardeners, then, will adjust accordingly and look for those plants that not only survive, but thrive in our tropical heat. The pansies and snapdragons we put in for spring are done. If they're not dead already, go ahead and take them out to free up space for some summer color that will take you through to pumpkin season.

Native plants are a good place to start, mainly because being native means they are genetically accustomed to the conditions of this area and will do well. Purple coneflower and black-eyed Susan are popular drought-tolerant natives that add bright color spots to any garden, either in the ground or in pots. The Texas lantana (Lantana horrida or Lantana urticoides) is another native that provides yellow-gold blooms in a spreading bush that's knee high or taller. Turk's cap is a flowering bush native to Mexico and Texas that produces red blooms with overlapping petals that look like a fez; hence, the plant's name. It does well in shade or partial shade but also can take the hot temps, no problem, and will draw hummingbirds.

Other options include various types of salvia - Mexican bush sage, Autumn sage or some of the bluish-purpley varieties like Black and Blue, or Victoria. These tend to prefer full to part sun and are drought resistant. Vincas and pentas are standard for sunny areas and come in several colors - white, pinks, reds, purples. Blue daze, purslane and portulaca (moss rose) are perfect for sunny borders, pots and hanging baskets. Purslane leaves are edible. Zinnias and cosmos are easy to grow and will reseed themselves for next year. For shade or partial shade, try begonias, impatiens or celosia.

Summer also is a good time for vines. Passion vines come in either red, white or purple. The purple passion vine, sometimes called a maypop, draws the Gulf fritillary butterfly and produces a small round fruit that is edible and contains the active ingredient for popular sedative teas. Bougainvillea and mandevilla offer striking fuchsia blooms all summer. Rangoon creeper will grow along fences, trellises or up nearby tree trunks and produces fragrant blooms that transition from white to deep rose. Potato vines - white and purple varieties - won't offer blooms but do offer nice color contrasting and bed cover when planted alongside each other.

"The most important thing gardeners can remember during these hot summer months is to water their plants and keep an eye on the rain," says Erica Paquin, a buyer for Buchanan's Native Plants in the Heights. "During times of drought, you may need to water more. During periods of rain, water less so you're not drowning your plants."

She adds that blooming plants appreciate the support of a fertilizer high in phosphorus.

"I recommend using an organic pelleted fertilizer such as Microlife or Happy Frog, or an organic liquid such as Microlife, Fox Farm or John's Recipe," Paquin says. "The reason we recommend organic in times of higher heat is because they normally do not burn if you don't have the application rate quite right. Chemical-based fertilizers tend to burn during high heat."

So, don't let your garden wilt in the summer heat. Lots of flowering plants will do well here, and it just takes a few of them - strategically placed between shrubs, in bed corners or in a colorful pot - to brighten up a yard, patio or even the vegetable garden.

The birds, bees and butterflies will love you for offering them food all summer, and you'll enjoy those happy blooms in the early morning and late evenings when the heat isn't so oppressive. Better yet, place your best summer bloomers within eyeshot of your favorite window or easy chair, and enjoy them from the air conditioning. That's really the best way to do summer in Houston.

Propagation by Root Division (Rangoon Creeper)

(Practical Gardening)

The Rangoon Creeper (Quisqualis indica) is a very beautiful and fragrant vine that is difficult to propagate, in my experience. I've tried propagation via stem cuttings to no avail. Thus far, I've only managed to clone a Rangoon Creeper through air-layering.

My experience in air-layering or marcotting a Rangoon Creeper has had very limited success. Out of the thirty or more marcots I air-layered from the rangoon creeper atop our garden gate arch, only two rooted. Out of these two, only one was really healthy and thrived.

If only the rangoon creeper vine had fruits, I would've planted all the seeds I could get and patiently wait for some young seedlings to sprout. But alas, our rangoon creeper vine wouldn't even bear fruit.

Because it's not easy to propagate, I realize now why this vine may be difficult to find. The well-established vines being sold are oftentimes expensive.

So I thought there had to be a way to propagate this beautiful vine.

There is one method - but you'd have to have a mature vine with several branches coming out from the ground or the base of the plant.

Propagation by Suckers by Dividing the Roots

The propagation of rangoon creeper by root division technique in a mother plant is not difficult but you have to carefully plan and decide which roots and branches to cut. Some would call this technique as propagation by suckers.

• Rangoon Creeper with mature branches. The vine shown in the photo below is around three feet high. It has sprawling branches which matured. Apparently the gardener we got it from just kept cutting the top shoots.

• Pruning Shears
• Pruning Saw or Hacksaw
• Soaking Tub or Bin
• Potting Medium or Soil
• Seedling bags or Pots
1. Shown below is the base of the rangoon creeper vine as shown in the above photo. Carefully expose the mature roots at the base of the rangoon creeper. This is so you will see the major root system and decide how best to divide the vine into several plants.
In the sample below, two cuts may be made which divides the plant into three. The two cuts were drawn giving consideration to a group of branches that can be separated from others. Ensure that the root division is balanced out to the branches to be divided.

2. Place the bagged rangoon creeper vine in a bin. The bin collects the dirt coming from the bag. Slip out the seedling bag by sliding its top part downwards.

3. To the point where you can no longer lower the bag, hold the top soil with one hand while tilting the bottom of the bag.
Do this slowly until the contents of the bag, plant and soil, slides into the bin.

4.Carefully break up clumps, if there are any. Sift the soil to expose the roots.

5. Expose the root system so you will see the extent of the roots you inspected earlier. Confirm that the division of the roots with their attached branches will be balanced.

6. In the first cut, a pruning shear sufficed. Cut cleanly, and so it pays to have a sharp pair of pruning shears.

7. Immediately transfer the first severed plant in a prepared seedling bag or pot with potting medium.

8. The remaining part (roots and branches) of the mother plant is still big enough and can be divided in two. Choose the roots to be separated and part them.

9. If the major root to be cut is thick, as in this case, use a hacksaw or pruning saw to cut if a pruning shear is inadequate.
Still holding the roots separated with both hands, have an assistant carefully cut the thick root with the saw.

10. As in a previous step, repot the two newly separated plants.
11. Place all three repotted plants in the bin with water. Soaking tubs can also be used. Put a stick in each pot to prop up the plant. Soak them overnight.

12. The following day, take them out of the bin and put them in a shaded part of the garden until their growth stabilizes. Eventually, remove the stick and replace with homemade support stakes.

There you have it! You now have three new rangoon creeper vines that split from one mature vine via root division.

How to prune Rangoon creeper on pergola?

By Kathy Huber

Q: I have two pergolas with Rangoon creepers growing up each of the supports. The plants have reached the 8-10 foot level and will soon be spreading to the top of the pergola. Do I continue to training the shoots at the bottom of the plant to climb up the poles or do I prune them back to create stronger growth as the vine spreads to cover the pergolas?

--L.A., Houston

A: You don't have to prune anything back to create stronger growth. This vine is vigorous. How you prune depends on the look you want. If you want a fuller look near the base of the vine, leave new shoots emerging from the bottom. This will make for a heavier plant, so make sure your support is sturdy enough to carry the load. If you prefer just one main trunk, allow a strong stem to grow, but clip newer shoots emerging from the base. The top will continue to grow and give you coverage.

Niyog-niyogan (YESTERDAY, TODAY AND TOMORROW) as Herbal Medicine

(Medicinal Herbs 4U)

A vine that is an effective in the elimination of intestinal worms, particularly the Trichina and Ascaris by ingesting its matured dried seeds. Chew (5 to 7 dried seeds for children or 8 to 10 seeds for adults) two hours after eating. Repeat treatment after a week if necessary. Roasted leaves are also used for fever and diarrhea while pounded leaves are used for skin diseases. English name: Chinese honey suckle.

Parts utilized

Seeds (dried nuts) and leaves.

- The taste resembling coconuts.
- Oil from the seeds are purgative.
- Considered anthelmintic, antiinflammatory.
- Study on ascariasis reported the plant to possess anthelmintic properties.
- Excessive dosing reported to cause hiccups.
- Fruit is considered tonic and astringent.
Medicinal Uses

Anthelmintic: Dried seeds preferable for deworming.

• Adults: Dried nuts-chew 8 to 10 small- to medium-sized dried nuts two hours after a meal, as a single dose, followed by a half glass of water. If fresh nuts are used, chew only 4-5 nuts. Hiccups occur more frequently with the use of fresh nuts.
• Children 3-5 years old: 4-5 dried nuts; 6 - 8 years old: 5-6 dried nuts; 9-12 years old: 6-7 dried nuts.
• Roasted seeds for diarrhea and fever.
• Plant used as a cough cure.
• Leaves applied to the head to relieve headaches.
• Pounded leaves externally for skin diseases.
• Decoction of boiled leaves used for dysuria.
• Ifugao migrants use it for headache.
• Ripe seeds roasted and used for diarrhea and fever.
• In Thailand, seeds used as anthelmintic; flowers for diarrhea.
• In India and Ambonia, leaves used in a compound decoction to relieve flatulent distention of the abdomen. Leaves and fruits are reported to be anthelmintic; also used for nephritis.
• In India and the Moluccas, seeds are given with honey as electuary for the expulsion of entozoa in children.
• In Indo-China, seeds are used as anthelmintic and for rickets in children.
• The Chinese and Annamites reported to use the seeds as vermifuge.
• In China, seeds macerated in oil are applied to parasitic skin diseases. Seeds are also used for diarrhea and leucorrheal discharges of children.
• In Amboina compound decoction of leaves used for flatulent abdominal distention.
• In Bangladesh, used for diarrhea, fever, boils, ulcers and helminthiasis.

Adverse reactions - diarrhea, abdominal pain, distention and hiccups - are more likely if nuts are eaten in consecutive days or when fresh nuts are eaten.

Quisqualis indica (Rangoon Creeper Vine, Drunken Sailor, Scarlet Ragoon, Chinese Honeysuckle)

(Jacqueline, jaycjayc)

An extremely spectacular vine that just loves showing off throughout the year in our tropical heat! When in full bloom, this beauty will be dramatically covered with large trusses of tricolored flowers that are very showy and truly a traffic stopper.

Similar to another tricolor beauty, Brunfelsia calycina, the gorgeous flowers of Rangoon Creeper open white, change to pink, then bright red over a 2-3 day period.

Simply remarkable, you get to see the 3 distinct colours altogether as the vine is a constant bloomer!

I’ve always been very attracted to this vine and many a time, I’m so tempted to get one. My beloved half however, would always turn down my request, saying that we just don’t have a good support to carry its heavy load.

Wouldn’t a chainlink fence suffice? Well, you won’t know unless you try, right? Now, having researched for more insights about this vine and knowing that the flowers are sweetly scented, I’m further enticed to add it to our garden. It will be a lovely replacement for our Shower of Golden Climber that rarely blooms.

I can already visualize it being draped over our chain-link fence with its attractive flower clusters and glorious fragrance. Hmm…keeping my fingers crossed that John will soon buckle under.

Plant Profile, Culture and Propagation :
• Botanical Name: Quisqualis indica L. (syn. Quisqualis densiflora)
• Common Name: Rangoon Creeper, Rangoon Creeper Vine, Burma Creeper, Drunken Sailor, Scarlet Ragoon, Chinese Honeysuckle
• Family name: Combretaceae (Indian Almond family)
• Etymology: Quisqualis translated from Latin, means What is that?. Read further about Quisqualis here.
• Origin: Burma, Peninsula Malaysia, New Guinea and the Philippine Islands.
• Plant type: Tropical perennial ornamental vine
• Features: Quisqualis indica, of the genus Quisqualis, is an exceptionally impressive tropical vine, with a few varieties, distinguishable by its flower colour and leaf size. It can reach 21 m in the wild, but generally its length in cultivation ranges between 2-9 m. A large, woody and shrubby climber over pergolas, trellises, etc. and yet can be trained as a specimen shrub.

It is an evergreen (in the tropics) and rambunctious vine, free branching and vigorous-growing, needing sturdy support. Under good growing conditions, it’s typically seen with lush and fresh green foliage on cascading branches with numerous axillary and terminal drooping racemose inflorescence that is simply spectacular. Leaves with distinct venation, are oblong to elliptic, 7-15 cm in length, with acuminate tip and rounded base. They are simple and opposite. It blooms profusely and non-stop too, all year round in the tropics. The original Rangoon Creeper with thorny stems produces single flowers in red while the Thai hybrid has double flowers, and both exude an intoxicating fragrance at night as an added bonus.

• Culture (Care): Since Quisqualis indica or Rangoon Creeper is an easy to grow vining plant, it’s now more popularly and widely cultivated as an ornamental vine in the gardens.
• Light: Prefers full to part sun and blooms best with good sunlight.
• Moisture: Water moderately and regularly, keeping it evenly moist. More water during hot seasons and less in cooler clime. Fairly drought tolerant when established.
• Soil: Fertile humus soil with a mix of sand that can retain water, yet well-drained soil.
• Others: Require regular pruning to keep it within control, as well as to encourage more blooms with new branches as flowers appear on new growth. You’d observe newer shoots emerging from the base of the vine – remove them if you’d rather have one main strong stem continuing its growth at the top, otherwise leave them be to promote bushiness near its base. Require fortnightly or monthly feed with a flowering fertilizer to boost flowering. Relatively free from pests and diseases.
• For subtropical regions: Hardiness: USDA Zone 10-12. A tender evergreen that goes semi dormant or die back in lower temperature, but come back when weather warms up in spring. Flowers all summer and fall. Read what the gardeners have to say at Dave’s Garden
• Propagation: Easily by seeds, cuttings and layering. Suckers that emerge from the parent plant can be used to propagate new plants.
• Usage: Use Rangoon Creeper or Chinese Honeysuckle to cover and decorate garden fences, trellises, arbors and arches.

Quisqualis indica 'Double' (Rangoon Creeper, Burma Creeper), decorating an arch at the house entranceCan be espaliered on walls or pillars at porch/entrance to homes and buildings to add interest and provide garden fragrance too. An ideal landscape vine that can be grown on ground or containers and can be trained as a shrub. An attractant for butterflies and bees, not sure about hummers though. Grow in greenhouses or outdoors in the mildest subtropical regions. Quisqualis indica is used for traditional medicine in certain regions. Leaves can be used to relieve pain caused by fever while the roots to treat rheumatism.

Rangoon Creeper / Quisqualis Indica (Latin )

(My Knick Knacks)

Rangoon Creeper given to me by my ex colleague Nancy. I was first introduced to this fragrant creeper also known Latin as Quisqualis indica which means " What is this " . As a young plant, it resembles a shrub but gradually matures into a vine. Rangoon creeper vine is a woody climbing liana with green to yellow-green lance shaped leaves. The stems have fine yellow hairs with occasional spines forming on the branches and blooms white at onset and gradually darkens to pink, then red as it reaches maturity. The 4-5 inch star shaped aromatic blossoms are clustered together and it gives out a fragrance which is most striking at night and early morning. Grows well in tropical countries.

This creeper creeps upwards in search of the sun. In home garden, Quisqualis can be used as an ornamental over arbors or gazebos, on trellises or over a how I like it to grow over house front wall :) I have one grown in container and with some supportive structure, hopefully it will arch and form large masses of foliage. The vine can be propagated from cuttings.

Care: It requires full sun to partial shade. This creeper survives in a variety of soil conditons provided they are well draining and is pH adaptable. Needs regular watering and full sun with afternoon shade. Avoids fertilizers that are high in nitrogen, they will only encourage foliage growth.

Note on Fertilizer for Rangoon Creeper

The major three elements are Nitrogen, Phosphorus & Potassium), the secondary elements are calcium, sulfur, magnesium, and other elements are boron, manganese, iron, zinc, copper and molybdenum. When you are picking out a fertilizer for flowers, you don't want anything that is high in nitrogen. Your focus should be something high in phosphorus and potassium.

N = Nitrogen Nitrogen is the first major element responsible for the vegetative growth of plants above ground. With a good supply, plants grow sturdily and mature rapidly, with rich, dark green foliage.

P = Phosphorus The second major element in plant nutrition, phosphorus is essential for healthy growth, strong roots, fruit and flower development, and greater resistance to disease. K = Potassium (Potash) The third major plant nutrient, potassium oxide is essential for the development of strong plants. It helps plants to resist diseases, protects them from the cold and protects during dry weather by preventing excessive water loss.

  • In brief, when you are picking out a fertilizer for flowers, the focus should be something high in [P] phosphorus.

Chinese honeysuckle (Niyog-niyogan) - Scientific name: Quisqualis indica

(Herb Medicine PH)

Chinese honeysuckle or Niog-niogan in Tagalog is a perennial climbing shrub growing to about 2.5-8 meters at maturity. It has egg-shaped leaves, aromatic flowers that may come in white to purple orange in color. The oval-shaped fruit can reach 30-35 mm long when ripe. For medicinal purposes leaves, seeds and roots are used.

Medicinal Uses:

• Dried seeds, when eaten, act as deworming agents.
• Roasted seeds help control diarrhea and fever.
• Boiled leaves used to check difficulty in urinating
• Fruit decoction of fruit, taken as mouthwash, is effective against nephritis.
• Juice made from leaves are used in the treatment of ulcers, boils, and fever-induced headache.
• Decoctions of roots aids in reducing pain due to rheumatism.
• Pounded leaves are used externally for skin diseases.

How to understand the uses for Honeysuckle in Chinese herbal medicine; get expert tips and advice on employing Chinese alternative healing treatments in this free personal health video.

Quisqualis Indica – The Rangoon Creeper

(The Lovely Plants)

I was raised in a big house with plants, vines and trees in abundance. Naturally, I have a lot of childhood memories associated with these plants… and there are some special memories that I still cherish like a big Rangoon Creeper vine loaded with large tufts of white, pink and bright red flowers. It was planted in the ground from where it had climbed up to the third-storey of the house. It used to bear large bunches of flowers that spread intoxicating fragrance in our backyard and attracted bees and butterflies of various colors throughout the year.

As children we used to collect those sweet smelling flowers to decorate our sand houses. This Rangoon Creeper grew in our house until we moved to our new home where we had limited space for plantation but we managed to grow this plant against fences. Since Rangoon Creeper is a fast growing vine, it covered all the fences and started producing flowers quickly.

Now it grows in our small lawn against walls and fences under full sun. Actually, Rangoon Creeper is a nice choice if you want to cover empty spaces, create visual dividers or provide shady cover on a porch, balcony or terrace. It is easy to trim though it requires regular trimming otherwise it grows wild. Rangoon Creeper can be grown in almost all tropical and sub-tropical regions and requires bright sunlight and moderate amount of water.

Flowers of Rangoon Creeper

Rangoon Creeper flowers profusely throughout the year. Flowers open as white trumpet-shaped blooms and then turn to pink and bright red in the next two or three days. You can see all three colors on a single flower stalk of Rangoon Creeper spreading sweet smell all around. Healthy plants bear lush green leaves and abundance of flowers. Hybrid varieties bear more profuse flowers.

Rangoon Creeper is also known as Chinese Honeysuckle, Burma Creeper, Scarlet Rangoon or simply by its botanical name Quisqualis Indica (Quisqualis Indica is a Latin word and translates in English as ‘What is that?’). It is easy to grow and can be planted in containers as ornamental vine. It is said to reach up to 70 meters in length but can be pruned easily. When grown in ground, Rangoon Creeper needs support of a fence, wall or wire.

Growing Rangoon Creeper

Both as container plant or creeping vine planted in the ground, Rangoon Creeper requires bright light, fertile soil and moderate water. It can withstand cold spells of winter but loves the spring season. Rangoon Creeper can be grown by seed though propagation from cutting and layering is easy and quick.

Rangoon Creeper is used in traditional medicine in Pakistan, China and India to relieve diarrhea, nephritis and rheumatism.

Gardening: A trio of vines for those who embrace exuberance

By CHARLES REYNOLDS (Halifax Media Group)

Let’s face it. Most vines aren’t acceptable landscape plants for control freaks. But vines — especially tropical flowering species — are ideal for folks who embrace exuberance both in vitality and color.

My favorite flowering vine is a woody species from the mountains of Southern India that, because of its high-altitude origin, is cold hardy in Central Florida. Although it’s a Thunbergia species and thus related to better-known plants such as sky vine and black-eyed Susan vine, Indian clock vine (T. mysorensis) has startlingly different flowers.

This vine’s yellow-and-red blossoms, dangling in loose, lengthy clusters, slightly resemble the cupped flowers of pitcher plants, and they ooze nectar that tempts butterflies and hummingbirds. Stems, which ascend by twining, can climb at least 20 feet high. Grow Indian clock vine in full or part-day sun on arbors and fences or up low-branched trees. Small plants, which will grow rapidly, are available online, including

Running a close second in my viney hit parade is Rangoon creeper, a spiny and incredibly vigorous plant from tropical Asia. Also called Indian jasmine because its fabulous flowers emit a peachy aroma to attract the fruit bats needed for pollination, this high-climbing beauty bears clusters of trumpet-shaped blossoms that open white, darken to pink and then turn red.

Rangoon creeper (Quisqualis indica) can overrun large areas in tropical climes but is easier to control in Central Florida because of our poor soil and occasional frosts. This almost-ever-blooming, half-hardy species is ideal for growing on fences and arbors, where its multi-colored flowers are conveniently displayed at eye level. Sites shielded from north and northwest winds are preferred.

The most commonly cultivated of the vine threesome we’ll discuss is bower vine, an Australian and Malaysian species that bears multitudes of pink, dark-eyed, funnel-shaped flowers most of the year. Considerably less rampant than Rangoon creeper, bower vine — Pandorea jasminoides, not Podranea, with which it’s often confused — usually climbs less than 15 feet high.

A beguiling and surprisingly hardy plant that’s lovely when grown on an arbor, fence or small tree, bower vine is sometimes available in other varieties, including one with all-white blossoms. Both bower vine and Rangoon creeper are available from online sources.

Rangoon Creeper .. Quisqualis indica

By Madhava Rao

Rangoon Creeper .. Quisqualis indica , also known as Chinese honeysuckle , goes by various names -- Quiscual in Spanish , Niyog - niyogan in Filipino . In Sanskrit it is called Madhumalati , Madhumati in Hindi ,Madhumanjari in Bengali , Radha Manoharam in Telugu , Vilayati chambeli in Marathi , and Irangum malli in Tamil . Its Botanical name is Quisqualis indica / Combretum indicum and belongs to family Combretaceae . The genus translates into Latin for ' what is that  ? ' ... quisqualis . Rangoon Creeper is found in thickets or secondary forests of Philippines , India and Malayasia . It has been cultivated and naturalised in tropical areas .

It is an evergreen perennial rambunctious * and ligneous ** vine , free branching and vigorous growing , needing sturdy support . Under good growing conditions , it is typically seen with lush and fresh green foliage or cascading branches with numerous axillary and terminal drooping racemose inflorescence that is simply spectacular . It is an invasive spiny creeper that grows wild and spread quickly covering the whole area by producing roots and fresh sprouts from creeping stem . A large woody climber over pergolas , trellises , etc and yet can be trained as a specimen shrub . Prefers full to part sun and blooms best with good sunlight .

The plant requires regular pruning to keep it within control , as well as to encourage more blooms with new branches as flowers appear on new growth .

An extremely spectacular vine that just loves showing off throughout the year in tropical heat . When in full bloom , the beauty will be dramatically covered with long trusses of tricoloured flowers that are very showy and truely a traffic - stopper . It blooms profusely and non - stop too , all year round in the tropics . The beautifully coloured flower clusters with pendulous trumpet - shaped flowers open first white , then turn pink and end up deep pink , bright red or reddish purple over a 3 - day period , displaying the various colouring stages altogether on one and the same flower stalk . The flowers exude an intoxicating fragrance at night . The scent is sweet , fruity and unforgettable .

It is widely cultivated as an ornamental plant in gardens . As a large woody and shrubby climber it grows profusely over pergolas , trellises , etc and hence used to cover and decorate garden fences , trellises , arbors and arches in gardens . Grown in gardens for shade because of profused growth . Flowers are sweet scented .

The plant can be espaliered @ on walls or pillars at porch / entrance to homes and buildings . An ideal landscape vine that can be grown on ground or containers and can be trained as a shrub . The flowers are attractant for butterflies and bees and are rich in honey .

Propagation is by seeds , cuttings and layering . Suckers that emerge from the parent plant can be used to propagate new plants .

Traditional medicine

The plant is mainly used for traditional medicine . Decoction of the root , seed or fruit can be used as anthelmintic to expel parasitic worms or for alleviating diarrhea . Fruit decoction can also be used for gargling against toothache . The fruits are used to combat nephritis . Leaves can be used to relieve pain caused by fever . The roots are used to treat rheumatism .

Folkloric medicine

Plant is used as a cough cure . Leaves are applied to the head to relieve headache ; decoction of boiled leaves is used to relieve flatulent distention of the abdomen . Leaves and fruits are reported to be anthelmintic and also used for nephritis .

Dried seeds preferred for deworming and roasted seeds for diarrhea and fever . Seeds are given with honey as electuary ^ for the expulsion of parasitic worms in children . Seeds are vermifuge .. destroys intestinal worms . Seeds macerated in oil are applied for parasitic skin diseases . Seeds are also used for diarrhea and leucorrheal discharge in girl children .

Chemical composition

Plants contain alkaloids , carbohydrates , protein , aminoacids , saponins , glucorides , steroids , flavonoids , and phenolic compounds . Studies show they yield quisqualic acid . Leaves yield rutin , trigonelline , L - proline , L - aspargine , etc . Plants yield a fatty oil , gum and resin . Flower gum yields pelargonidin -3 - glucoside .

Seeds of the related species Q . fructus and Q . chinensis contain the chemical quisqualis acid , which is agonist # for the AMPA receptor , a kind of glutamate receptor in the brain . The chemical is linked to excitotoxicity resulting in cell death .


Flower extracts yield high polyphenol contents and show strong antioxident activity . The methonolic extract of the plant Quisqualis Indica flower dose - dependently inhibited acetylcholinesterase activity -- acetyl - choline is one of the most important neurotransmitters in the nervous system .

It has antipyretic activity and has anti-inflammatory and Immunomodulatory properties . Extracts show larvicidal activity against larvae of Aedes aegypti .

The plant besides being an ornamental plant preferred by gardeners , is a good source of medicines for various ailments .

Medicinal use of Rangoon creeper

By (bimbima)

Rangoon creeper or Madhumalti is found in Africa, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea and all over India. It is climber vine and used for ornamental purpose. It can be easily found in gardens, park and open areas. It flowers and leaves are used for treating various ailments.

General Information

Botanical name: Combretum indicum, Quisqualis indica Linn Hindi: Madhu Malti or Madhumalti English: Chinese honeysuckle, Rangoon creeper English: Chinese honeysuckle, Rangoon creeper Marathi: Vilayati chambeli Tamil: Irangun malli

Here are few remedies that can be done at home using Madhu Malti or Rangoon creeper to cure various ailments.

• Spematorrhoea, Weakness
• Take leaves and flower (3 gms) of Rangoon creeper. Wash to clean dirt and then grind to extract juice. Take this juice twice a day empty stomach.
• Leucorrhoea
• For treating white discharge or Shwet pradar drink flowers and leaves juice of Rangoon creeper.
• Diabetes
• Extract 4 ml juice of Rangoon creeper flower or juice of fresh leaves. Drink regularly twice a day. This juice can be added to karela juice.
• Digestive disorders
• Rangoon creeper leaves juice can be drink to cure digestive disorders. Or chew few leaves of this vine few times a day.
• Cold, cough, coryza
• Take Rangoon creeper flowers and leaves (1 gm), tulsi leaves, clove in water and prepare decoction. Drink this decoction few times a day.
• Parasitic worms
• Eat ten seeds of Rangoon creeper two hours before last meal to expel parasite form body. Children should take four seeds only.

Nick's Garden: Time to feed and repot the plants

By Nick Leech

It's official. The summer is finally, thankfully, behind us. Now is the time to look ahead to the new season in all things: fashion, art, music, theatre and, of course, gardening.

I left the gelid, air-conditioned cocoon of my apartment today and, after many weeks, the sun brought a smile to my face. I was happy to finally be able to enjoy its warm embrace.

Poetry aside, there is a whole roster of relatively mundane but important seasonal gardening tasks to do now that the worst of the heat is past. Plants that have been dormant throughout the summer are starting to grow again and will need feeding.

For species that are racing and want to bloom, such as the Rangoon creeper (Quisqualis indica), the orange trumpet vine (Campsis radicans) and bougainvillaea, a fertiliser that is high in phosphorous is best because this mineral encourages rapid growth and the production of flowers.

Despite the differences in packaging, many feeds are a straightforward balance of the three macronutrients necessary for healthy plant growth - nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium - plus a small host of other micronutrients. If you are in any doubt as to what fertiliser is best, tomato plant food is always a safe bet because it is specifically designed to encourage the production of flowers and fruit and, mysteriously, always seems to be available even when other fertilisers are not.

Plants growing in containers will also need a pick-me-up after the summer's intensive irrigation, which will have leached most of the nutrients from their potting compost. Apply a top dressing of fresh compost by removing the top two to five centimetres of the old potting mix and replacing this with a fresh batch, mixed with about 10 per cent coarse sweet sand or an artificial material such as perlite or vermiculite, and lace the new mixture with slow-release fertiliser pellets.

If the leaves of your plants look sickly, pale and discoloured, it might be a sign of a nutritional disorder called iron chlorosis, a condition to which two of the UAE's most popular garden plants, citrus and gardenia, are particularly prone. Chlorosis can result from root damage caused by a lack of oxygen in overwatered or poorly drained soils, which is a particular problem for container gardeners, who struggle to keep their plants alive and end up almost killing them with kindness.

Iron chlorosis is easy to confuse with other nutrient deficiencies. If a plant is iron deficient, its newest leaves are more yellow than its old ones. If it's nitrogen deficient, the old leaves are yellow and the new ones are green. The easiest way to cure iron chlorosis is to apply iron chelate to the suffering specimen. Iron chelate is an organic compound that keeps iron soluble and available to a plant through its roots or leaves. Iron chelate is most commonly available as Sequestrene 138 Fe. This can be diluted and applied as a foliar spray or scattered as dry granules around a plant's drip line and watered in thoroughly so the chelate soaks into soil around its roots. Sickly leaves should start to green up in two to three weeks.

Some plants may require repotting, either because they have outgrown their current container or because of waterlogging. Roots emerging from the drainage holes at the bottom of a container are a sure sign that a plant needs rehousing. Another sign is when a pot drains almost immediately after the plant has been watered. Although the second symptom can result from compost that is so dry that it loses its ability to absorb water in the first place, it is also likely that the plant has become root-bound. In this situation, roots become so tightly packed that they displace the compost around them and there is not enough absorbent material in the root zone to retain water as it soaks through. This is most often a problem with very old plants and houseplants such as the Zanzibar gem (Zamioculcas zamiifolia), which develop thick roots or rhizomes.

While many pot-bound plants will be moved to new containers, it's possible to maintain the status quo by repotting a plant into the same container. This is a good option where custom-built planters are used or when variables such as the cost, age, size or aesthetics of a container dictate its continued use.

This type of repotting is far more risky. Plants have been known to die from shock, so I would only recommend it to more experienced gardeners. Prepare your plant the night before repotting by giving it a thorough watering and by pruning its stems. The following day, remove the plant from its pot and work your way over the root system, removing old compost and carefully teasing out and pruning roots so that the whole root ball is reduced by approximately five centimetres around its sides and bottom.

Once this is accomplished, repot the plant so that it sits several centimetres below the surface of the container, and refill the pot with moistened compost. Then irrigate carefully until water starts to appear from the bottom of the pot.

Allow the plant to dry out slightly before watering again. Keeping repotted plants in a shady, protected spot until they become established will give them the best chance of survival and success. Once they have started to show signs of strong growth, it should also be possible to take cuttings from them for propagation. If you take cuttings between now and the end of the year, new plants will have enough time to establish themselves before cooler weather arrives. They will also be large enough and sufficiently established by next summer to withstand the multiple challenges of drought and heat.

Chinese honeysuckle (Niyog-niyogan) - Scientific name: Quisqualis indica

(Herbal Medicine PH)

Chinese honeysuckle or Niog-niogan in Tagalog is a perennial climbing shrub growing to about 2.5-8 meters at maturity. It has egg-shaped leaves, aromatic flowers that may come in white to purple orange in color. The oval-shaped fruit can reach 30-35 mm long when ripe. For medicinal purposes leaves, seeds and roots are used.

Medicinal Uses:

• Dried seeds, when eaten, act as deworming agents.
• Roasted seeds help control diarrhea and fever.
• Boiled leaves used to check difficulty in urinating
• Fruit decoction of fruit, taken as mouthwash, is effective against nephritis.
• Juice made from leaves are used in the treatment of ulcers, boils, and fever-induced headache.
• Decoctions of roots aids in reducing pain due to rheumatism.
• Pounded leaves are used externally for skin diseases.

In what way is Quisqualis who and which?

(Talking Plants)

Rangoon Creeper is evocative enough as a name but the botanical name for this plant is even more intriguing - Quisqualis indica. The last bit is fairly straight forward, although the species grows throughout the tropics and not just in India.

As for Quisqualis, this is Latin for something like 'any such', 'what way is it now', 'in which way' or perhaps 'Who and what?'. It's one of those words that means je ne sais quoi.

But why would a plant be given such a name? It seems that the author, Georg Eberhard Rumphius, a seventeenth century Dutch East Indies Trading Company merchant and man of good humour, was punning on the local name for the plant, Undani, which sounds a bit like the Dutch word hoedanig, which means something like quis qualis...

All this had a deeper meaning for Rumphius who found it sometimes looking like a shrub or a tree, but then next time a vine. Sometimes the stem was thorny and other times smooth. Like the God Proteus, he said, it takes many forms. His pet name Quis qualis must have appealed to the Swedish botanists Carl Linnaeus who described the genus a half century or so later as Quisqualis.

This charming and charmingly named plant grows luxuriously around one of the pillars near The Terrace cafe in Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne. It can be invasive in more tropical climes, such as southern USA and northern Australia, but I haven't seen any reports of it becoming naturalised in southern Australia.

Other people obviously like the name 'quisqualis' as much as me. There is a website devoted to rare plants carrying this name, which also has a go at explaining why the Rangoon Creeper is called Quisqualis.

Their version has different plant hunters finding different forms of the plant (shrub, creeper, thorny...) and sending them back to home to the confusion of the experts who only get to see fragments of the full story. This site also mentions the change in colour from white to red as the flower ages, one of the appealing aspects of this bush/creeper in horticulture.

The perfume of the flower - 'fruity' or toasted coconut - is as exotic and attractive as its names.

If you want to experience the full splendour of the Rangoon Creeper plant you should use a trellis, pergola or column so that it can do it's thing, whatever that is, with some support.

Note: Quisqualis is sometimes included within a more broadly circumscribed Combretum but I followed a 2011 paper that recommends sticking with Quisqualis for our species. However these kind of taxonomic judgments are not always straight forward and Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne has decided to use Combretum for now. Horticultural botanists Roger Spencer and Rob Cross provided the following background. "The name Quisqualis indica is used, among others, by the Flora of China, Papua New Guinea Checklist, the Queensland checklist and the European Garden Flora (second edition). The name Combretum indicum was adopted in the Gardens Census in 2000 as a result of a series of papers by Jongkind (1991, 1992, 1999). It is also followed by English botanist Stace in a well-respected synoptic work edited by Kubitsky (2007), also in Mabberley (2008) and following a discussion of characters by Tilney (2002). There is clearly a divergence of views on the appropriate genus name for this species.

The paper by Jordaan et al (Bothalia 41(1): 161-169 Generic status of Quisqualis... has been read and noted. It is our view that there is still taxonomic work to be done to warrant the use of the genus name Quisqualis and that we may indeed change back to Quisqualis when this is published. Even Jordaan et al. note that the taxonomic work is not complete. In the meantime we think Combretum is the most appropriate name to use in the Census." Of course I'm sticking with Quisqualis because it makes for a good blog post!

Health Benefits of Niyog Niyogan

(All About Diabetes)

Also known as Chinese honeysuckle, Rangoon Creeper and Quiscual, Niyog-niyogan is a large climbing, woody shrub that is native in Southeast Asian countries including the Philippines that grows up to 20 feet with rounded leaves and fragrant and colorful flowers of white, red, reddish purple, pink red to orange. It also has an edible fruit with black seeds.

Niyog-niyogan is a popular medicinal herb in the Philippines for its deworming properties. Its seeds are dried and taken orally to expel Intestinal Worms and Parasites. However, it also causes adverse reactions such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, distension and hiccups especially if the seeds are eaten consecutively.

Aside from this, Niyog-niyogan fruits help ease nephritis or inflammation of the kidneys. It is boiled and applied externally to treat skin ulcers and boils. Its leaves are applied to the head to help relieve headaches. Its fruits can be roasted and eaten for treating diarrhea and fever. It can also be made into tea to relieving dysuria or pain while urinating. Lately, Niyog-niyogan is also believed to help suppress the growth of tumor or anticancer. Decoctions of its roots are also to relieve rheumatism while its fruits are used to relieve toothaches. Other uses of niyog-niyogan which are still under study included its antioxidant properties, Anti-Acetylcholinesterase inhibition, Larvicidal Activity, antipyretic activity, Anti-Inflammatory, Immunomodulatory and Analgesic / Anticonvulsant properties.

The greenskeeper: The odd Rangoon creeper

By Sriram Aravamudan (Bangalore Mirror Bureau)

It really is a bizarre houseplant. It starts off as a cute little leafy creeper that rapidly becomes coarse and bush-like. It then sends out little shoots that take the support of anything around it, and climbs up to form a towering creeper. This strange creeper-shrub-tree behaviour baffled early European plant collectors, who gave it the name Quisqualis (meaning 'Who? What?' in Latin). The plant was first documented in the 17th century by a Dutch trader, Georg EberhardRumphius in present-day Myanmar, though the plant has been flourishing all over South Asia for centuries.

Known as MadhuMalati, RadhaManoharam and Rangoon Mallige around India, this vine is a ubiquitous summer presence. The heady fragrance of its pink, red and white blooms, borne in bunches all over its massive spread, has captivated the imaginations of poets and artists alike. In Chinese medicine, the seeds and roots of the plant are boiled and used as an anti-parasitic and to combat nephritis.

Rangoon creepers grow pretty much anywhere, needing very little tending to. They are perfect to cover ugly fences, rooftops, gateposts and pergolas. The enormous Rangoon creeper covering the breezy verandah of my grandparents' home in Chennai was home to a host of little birds, squirrels and garden critters that used to keep us entertained for days on end. Even more amazing was the tiny little gap near the wall that the giant creeper grew out of, almost like magic!

Want to grow this beautiful creeper at home? Well, why not! All you need is a good healthy twig from an existing creeper. Most city nurseries have saplings in stock as well. Plant the creeper out where it can get at least four hours of sun every day, and can take the support of something to grow and spread. Remember that the best aspect of a Rangoon creeper is from the top, where most of its leaves and blooms appear; the bottom tends to look leggy and thorny over time. So plant your creeper where its crown can be displayed to its best advantage. Ideal spots for Rangoons are along compound walls, or sides of houses. Large pots are okay too, but will eventually restrict the growth of the creeper.

As your sapling grows, it will start turning woody. Water it twice a week or so for a couple of years until it can sustain itself. You can then decide if you want to prune it into a large bush, or train it up onto your roof or fence using a rope or twine. After a while, the plant will learn to use the support of its older stems to send new shoots up. Rangoons enjoy growing wild and free, so don't go overboard with the pruning and training. Fertilize your plant every six months with leafy compost or rich garden soil, and keep an eye out for parasitic plants like dodder, that love to latch on to Rangoons for their nutrition.

So go plant yourself a Rangoon creeper today!

Growing Rangoon Creepers in your Garden


Some want a low-maintenance but beautiful plant for their garden, to suit their busy lifestyles. Rashmi Srinivas, a garden enthusiast from Bangalore introduces Rangoon creepers which seems to able to grow anywhere with relatively no help!

Though it is a hedge plant that grows in the west coast of India, where I hail from, it has suddenly acquired the status of an ornamental creeper in the metropolitan cities like Bangalore.These flowers were my childhood fascination. Unlike Jasmine, they could be made into garlands by using their own tubular portions, without using thread.

The Rangoon creeper, also known as the Chinese honeysuckle, is a sturdy, vigorously growing, profusely flowering, perennial climber that does not need any maintenance. In Kannada, it is known as Akash Mallige. Its Sanskrit name is Madhu Malati. In Konkani, it is called Mumbai Mogri. Botanically, it is known as Quisqualis Indica/ Qusiqualis densiflora/ Combretum Indicum. Quisqualis in Latin means, ‘What is that?’

Tender plants are reddish in color. As they grow, the normal green colour appears. In a mature creeper, the stem becomes woody and thorns appear. Once established, it hardly dies. If it gets proper sunlight and enough water, it flowers profusely in big bunches of 15-30 tubular fragrant flowers in shades of white, pink and red. As soon as the flower blooms in the evening, it is white in colour. The next morning, it acquires a light pink colour and by evening, it turns into dark reddish pink. Since four-five flowers in the bunch bloom every day, it is spectacular scene with tri-colored flowers in the same bunch any day. The drooping bunches give additional beauty to the creeper.

Years ago, when my mother gave me two saplings of this creeper, the house I was living had very little gardening space. The little space I had was already occupied by Orange trumpet creeper, Money Plant, Caesalpinia , etc. I had no other option but to plant the creepers adjacent to my compound wall, literally on the road near the left entrance gate of my house.

At the time, ours was still a mud road and the soil was hard , mixed with lot of pebbles and construction waste like cement and sand.

I covered the plants with thorny dry weeds from the vacant site nearby, to protect them from the grazing cattle and sheep, naughty children from the slum in the neighbourhood and also from scorching hot sun. Since I was still employed and with two little children to take care of , all that I could do for these plants was to water them regularly by somewhat squeezing in time for that.

Determined to Climb

To my surprise, one of the plants survived and grew vigorously with support of the grill which bordered the staircase at the entrance leading to the first floor of my house where I lived. In due course, with proper support provided, it reached the balcony at the second floor and the terrace at the third floor all the while flowering profusely. Numerous bunches of drooping fragrant flowers made a spectacular scene. Bees and butterflies are attracted to these flowers. The sweet fruity smell of the flowers and the partial blind created by the profuse growth of the creeper on the front face of the balcony, gave us an idyllic setting to spend half hour of every evening.

Though the fruits or the seeds were not visible, numerous small seedlings appeared on the ground.

These were given to our friends. Since the stem becomes hardy, the growth of the creeper must be planned in advance and proper support is to be provided.

One year, I achieved five horizontal and five vertical lines of this profusely flowering climber. Had I provided more support, the plant would have continued to grow higher. In due time, the road was asphalted and gutters were made. There was hardly any space between the gutter and my compound. I thought that it was the end of the story for my creeper.

But it survived the crisis and grew in whatever little space there was in the gap and reached the same height. I once saw a parent showing the beautiful flowers on the terrace to his child while pointing out its origin in the tiny little gap at the ground near the compound.

Maintenance Tips

In my house, it bloomed twice every year, once from February to May and again from August to November. Rarely, a fruit may be seen.

This plant is used in traditional medicine in India and Pakistan. Though relatively pest-free , in summer, white flies infect it. With proper spray of insecticide, this can be kept in control.

It is an excellent choice to cover the compound wall, pillar, or make virtual partition, etc in India. I no longer live in that house and the gutter is now covered with stone slabs and suitably cemented.

My tenant is least interested in gardening. Yet, during my recent visit to the place, the scene of the creeper emerging out of the cemented slabs, reminded me of my mother who is no more.

Honeysuckle tea could fight flu


Boiling honeysuckle releases molecule which can help fight influenza virus, study suggests

Drinking honeysuckle tea could help ward off flu, according to a study.

When boiled and drunk the Chinese herb helped suppress the effects of the influenza virus in mice, effectively acting as a "virological penicillin”.

Honeysuckle tea has been drunk for centuries in China to help fight flu, but the study provides the first scientific evidence to support the tradition, researchers said.

Trials showed that it could be effective against several variants of flu which have caused major public health scares in recent years, including H1N1 “Spanish Flu” and H5N1 avian flu.

The team from Nanjing University found that after drinking a “soup” of honeysuckle, mice absorbed a molecule from the plant known as MIR 2911 into their bloodstream and lung tissue.

The molecule was shown to suppress various types of flu virus by blocking two genes which are used by the influenza virus to replicate itself.

Results published in the Cell Research journal showed that it helped reduce death in mice from H5N1 flu and help prevent infection with other flu types including H1N1.

The scientists said their experiment was the first to show that a natural product can directly target a virus, although it has not yet been proven to be effective in humans.

“Since Fleming discovered penicillin nearly a century ago, antibiotics have been developed to target various bacterial infections and have saved the lives of millions of people,” the university said in a statement.”

“For [one] thousand years, Chinese have been drinking honeysuckle decoction to treat influenza viral infections and the results show that honeysuckle decoction has a broad-spectrum antiviral activity.”

Quisqualis Indica Care – Information About Rangoon Creeper Vine

By Amy Grant

Amongst the lush foliage of the world’s tropical forests one will find a predominance of lianas or vine species. One of these creepers is the Quisqualis rangoon creeper plant. Also known as Akar Dani, Drunken Sailor, Irangan Malli, and Udani, this 12-foot long vine is an aggressively fast grower which spreads rapidly with its root suckers.

The Latin name for rangoon creeper plant is Quisqualis indica. The genus name ‘Quisqualis’ means “what is this” and for good reason. Rangoon creeper plant has a form more closely resembling that of a shrub as a young plant, which gradually matures into a vine. This dichotomy flummoxed early taxonomists who eventually gave it this questionable nomenclature.

What is Rangoon Creeper?

Rangoon creeper vine is a woody climbing liana with green to yellow-green lance shaped leaves. The stems have fine yellow hairs with occasional spines forming on the branches. Rangoon creeper blooms white at onset and gradually darkens to pink, then finally red as it reaches maturity.

Flowering in the spring through summer, the 4- to 5-inch star-shaped aromatic blossoms are clustered together. The fragrance of the blooms is most striking at night. Rarely does the Quisqualis fruit; however, when fruiting does occur, it first appears as red in color gradually drying and maturing into a brown, five winged drupe.

This creeper, like all lianas, attaches itself to trees in the wild and creeps upwards through the canopy in search of the sun. In the home garden, Quiqualis can be used as an ornamental over arbors or gazebos, on trellises, in a tall border, over a pergola, espaliered, or trained as a specimen plant in a container. With some supportive structure, the plant will arch and form large masses of foliage.

Quisqualis Indica Care

Rangoon creeper is cold hardy only in the tropics and in USDA zones 10 and 11 and will defoliate with the lightest of frosts. In USDA zone 9, the plant will likely lose its foliage too; however, the roots are still viable and the plant will return as an herbaceous perennial.

Quisqualis indica care requires full sun to partial shade. This creeper survives in a variety of soil conditions provided they are well draining and is pH adaptable. Regular watering and full sun with afternoon shade will keep this liana thriving.

Avoid fertilizers that are high in nitrogen; they will only encourage foliage growth and not flower set. In regions where the plant experiences dieback, flowering will be less spectacular than in tropical climes.

The vine may occasionally be plagued by scale and caterpillars.

The vine can be propagated from cuttings.

This fruitful jungle is full of rare plants

BY MONICA BRANDIES (Special Correspondent)

I love to visit Ed Musgrave’s garden because it’s even more of a jungle than mine, partly because he has one and a half acres, which is three times the size of my garden. He also has much more experience and knowledge about fruit and rare plants.

Ed’s been growing orchids for 60 years, but he has a new one he can’t identity. He thought I might know what it is. I hate to have to say I don’t know, but it still happens. We’re hoping someone will see the photo and have a name and perhaps some information.

In the meantime, Ed has mounted it on block of wood, all he could find at the time. He floats the wood in water and that’s enough moisture for the plant and he’ll spray it with a fertilizer solution as needed.

We’re both long-term members of the Rare Fruit Council International, which meets at the Tampa Garden Club, 2629 Bayshore Blvd., Tampa, at 2 p.m. the second Sunday of most months.

He and his late and dear wife, Althea, were members of several plant societies, but his gardening is a bit lonesome in the years since she’s been gone. He enjoys showing people around his place and tells great stories about each plant.

Like most plantaholics, he never passes up a seed – or a sad, neglected plant that he doesn’t bring home, doctor and make thrive. Then he multiplies it and gives away the new plants to others.

Within the past year he’s had 21 different kinds of fruiting plants from which to pick and eat, not counting the ones that aren’t old enough to set fruit yet. He has a lychee that’s normal size and an Emperor lychee that produces fewer fruits, but they’re much larger – big enough to fill his whole hand.

Ed has star fruits that are yellow, white, some the usual size and some that grow up to 10-inches long. One variety tastes almost like an apple.

One of his fig trees, still in a large container, had 60 some fruits last year and is starting to fruit again. They get dark and taste quite good. But he recommends Celeste as the sweetest one, even if it’s small.

Many people come to Florida and have never tasted mangoes or avocados. Most of us grow the more common fruits – bananas and plums. Pineapples have been very productive the last two years. But there are many other fruits that are delicious.

Ed is watching his few soursops and has each nearly ripe one in a bag with a wire on the stem so that when it falls, it won’t fall far enough to let any varmints eat it. It’s related to the sugar apple, cherimoya and a few other sweet treats.

And there are many other rare fruits we’re just beginning to know and enjoy.

Today’s pick is the Rangoon creeper, Quisqualis indica, a vine I planted from a nut given me by another council member years ago. I have never since seen any nuts, but the blooms are lovely. They’re white when they first open, turn pink by noon and maroon by evening. They stay on the vine for several days. Ed says they need to get at least 5 feet tall before they bloom. This may well be the reason he and my friend Nancy have plenty of flowers, and I don’t get any. I’ll quit pruning height, just width. They also need full sun most of the day. The plant does spread and has nasty thorns.

Now’s the protect yourself from mosquitoes as much as possible. Dump any standing water; even a cup-full can be a breeding place for hundreds of them. Put gold fish, tadpoles or mosquito dunks in any rain barrels or bucket you use to catch rain and use the water as quickly as you can.

I will have a book and plant sale with the garden open again on July 19 from 9 to 11 a.m. at 1508 Burning Tree Lane, Brandon. All are invited. Come check out my jungle and it’ll make you feel good about your own garden.

Germination of the Rangoon Creeper

By Audrey Stallsmith (Demand Media)

Rangoon creeper's genus name, Quisqualis, means "what?" or "which?" Both are good questions for a plant that can't decide whether it is a bush or a climber. A seedling looks like a small shrub for six months or so, before sending up vines from its base. Rangoon creeper (Quisqualis indica) is also called "drunken sailor," possibly for its tendency to sprawl atop other shrubs instead of standing up properly. Its panicles of tubular and fragrant star-shaped flowers turn from white to pink to red as they age. Rangoon creeper is perennial in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 through 12.

1 Find fresh fruits of Rangoon creeper in late summer or fall, after the plant has finished blooming. Keep in mind that each "fruit" when mature looks something like an oblong nut, with a shell that should be about 1 to 1 1/2 inches long, ridge and brown.
2 Snip off the pointed tip of a shell just enough so water can penetrate it if you wish to speed germination of the kernel inside. If you would like even more rapid germination, use your fingers to peel off the rest of the somewhat brittle shell, being careful not to damage the kernel.
3 Soak the fruits or extracted kernels in a covered container of lukewarm water overnight. Fill seedling pots with a mixture of half seed sowing mix and half sand. Plant one fruit or kernel in each pot one inch deep.
4 Cover the pots with plastic wrap to keep the mix damp. (Place them on a seed-starting heat mat if necessary to provide temperatures in the upper 70s or low 80s Fahrenheit.) Continue to water as necessary to keep the mix consistently moist but not soggy. Watch for sprouts in as little as five days for completely shelled kernels or in as long as six to 12 weeks for those still encased in their fruits.

Things You Will Need

• Rangoon creeper fruits
• Covered container
• Seedling pots
• Seed sowing mix
• Sand
• Plastic wrap
• Seedling heat mat

Scientists Discover First ‘Virological Penicillin’

By Natali Anderson

Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) is a well-known Chinese herb. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, it has been used to effectively treat influenza infection for centuries.

Several previous studies have confirmed that the herb, usually consumed in the form of a tea, can suppress the replication of influenza virus.

However, the active anti-viral components and the mechanism by which they block viral replication have remained unclear.

Now, a team of researchers headed by Dr Chen-Yu Zhang of Nanjing University in China has identified MIR2911 (honeysuckle-encoded atypical microRNA2911) as the first active component directly targeting various influenza viruses, including the swine flu H1N1, highly pathogenic avian H5N1 and H7N9 infections.

MIR2911 represses influenza viruses by targeting PB2 and NS1, two genes that are known to be required for influenza viral replication.

With its broad-spectrum, anti-viral activity against influenza viruses, MIR2911 and MIR2911-containing honeysuckle tea may represent a new effective therapeutic strategy that can be used to subdue deadly infections.

“It is important to note that since Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin nearly a century ago, antibiotics have been developed to target various bacterial infections and have saved the lives of millions of people,” the scientists wrote in a paper published in the journal Cell Research.

“Unfortunately, no natural product that is effective against viral infection has been identified thus far.”

“We suggest that as the first natural product to directly target influenza A viruses, MIR2911 is the ‘virological penicillin’ that serves as a novel therapeutic and preventive agent against not only influenza A, but potentially also other types of viruses.”

Garden Tips: Rangoon creeper a tropical vine that puts on a colorful show

By Carol Cloud Bailey

Rangoon creeper is a tropical vine popular for its color-changing blooms and tough habit. The name of the genus, Quisqualis, is Latin for “what is this?” because early plant explorers would collect the various forms of the plant-shrubby, vine, with or without spines, varying foliage and flower colors. It must have been a frustrated taxonomist who eventually applied the quizzical name.

A large percentage, 90 percent by some accounts, of the world’s vine species are found in tropical rainforest. The seeds of lianas usually sprout on the forest floor and grow to the top of the canopy, seeking life-giving sun by twining around trees, attaching themselves to tree trunks by holdfasts or tendrils, thorns, sticky hairs and roots.

Some interesting lianas include many philodendron species, the rattan palm (yes, there are vining palms) from which we harvest rattan for furniture, Strychnos toxifera, one of the plant sources for the drug curare, Rangoon creeper and pothos.

Rangoon creeper is a large, woody, scrambling or climbing vine or liana. The leaves are arranged on stems opposite each other and are lance- to elliptically shaped ending in a point. The stems have yellow pubescence (fine hairs), mostly on the small branchlets. Sometimes spines form on the branches.

This plant will climb with support or gracefully arch to form large mounds. The leaves are variously green to yellow green.

Fragrant flowers appear on Rangoon creeper spring though summer and sometimes fall. They are grouped on loose, open spikes. Individually, the blooms have very long tubes, 4 to 5 inches and open to five-pointed, starry lobes.

The flower color is white when it first opens and darkens to pink and finally dark red as it matures. Each flower spike may exhibit all stages of the flower color at one time. The fruit is rarely produced, but is red maturing to brown, dry and five-angled or winged.

Use lianas in tall borders, large containers, to fill large open spaces, trained as a standard (tree) for a specimen plant, on trellises, arbors and gazebos. Place them carefully in the landscape; the branches of lianas will find support on any plant or structure, most are aggressive fast growers and spread readily by root suckers.

The scarlet Rangoon creeper


A WIDELY known garden climber, the scarlet Rangoon creeper is a native of Africa which was introduced in the tropics as a popular ornamental. Botanically known as Quisqualis indica, the creeper can often be seen as a hedge plant or covering compound walls.

It is a luxuriant plant with opposite oblong and obvoate leaves which abruptly acuminate apically and are obtuse to basally rounded. The petioles are about six to eight millimetres long and the leaf blades 3.5 centimetres to 15 cm long and 1.5 cm to 5.5 cm wide. The flowers are short, have auxiliary and terminal drooping racemes (that are white first and then rosy and scarlet) with a narrow tube.

The fruit is oblong with sharp angles, glabrous and black, with only one seed.

The plant can be propagated through seeds and rooted cuttings, the latter being the simplest way. The seed and leaves are used in medicine.

The plant flowers between March and May and is noted for its attractive drooping and scarlet flowers. Flowering is profuse and the process emits a mildly fragrant odour, especially attractive to insects.

The plant is ideal to grow, enhancing the aesthetic appeal of buildings and gardens.

Fragrant plants delight senses

By JENNY WARD (Darwin Sun)

IF THERE is anything worthwhile growing in your garden, it is a selection of plants that give off a glorious perfume.

Not only do they pleasantly arouse the senses, but they are an asset visually when planted close enough to seated garden spots or entertainment areas nearer the house.

Gardenias are a good choice for strong perfume, a healthy shrub and an evergreen look throughout the year.

They are one of the most versatile of plants and can be used for screening, hedging or potted specimens. Once a popular flower for inserting in buttonholes on suits, this is rarely seen these days.

All citrus trees have highly perfumed flowers and all are mostly white, and you have the added bonus of picking the fruit for culinary uses or making refreshing lemon squash.

Roses are an old-fashioned favourite globally, and considered the “No. 1 flower”. Although they thrive in cool climates, many varieties grow well up here and you may be surprised just how many people grow roses in the Top End.

Scented favourites are Perfume Delight, Mr Lincoln, Friesa, Bewitched, Blue Moon, Big Purple, Fragrant Plum and Jude the Obscure.

Frangipanis are a great choice for adding fragrance in the garden and are one of the easiest plants to grow.

They will naturally form into a nice shapely tree when left alone, but can be pruned to reduce the size. Or simply cut back protruding branches over walkways.

Frangipanis will generally produce three (sometimes four) stems on each branch. Ensure they grow in well-drained soil for a healthy plant.

As a succulent, they are prone to rot when they become too wet or grow in waterlogged conditions.

Quisqualis indica, or Rangoon creeper, has been around for decades and a double flowering variety has crept into the market with the same strong fragrance, reliable blooming and visual qualities of red/pink/white flowers.

It is a beautiful vine to grow with a lingering scent, but it will require strong support to hold its heavy, rampant growth as it matures.

How Do I Get Pinworm Relief?

By Amanda Kahler

Pinworm infection is a common worm infestation not just among humans but also to animals… but the latter is not our concern. We are more concerned with how this condition will affect the life of an infected person. Pinworm is a type of ‘roundworm’, and along with other types of worms, or helminthes, they tend to live as parasites inside the human intestines. Scientifically known as Enterobius vermicularis, the pinworm infection may also be referred to as enterobiasis and helminthiasis, a more collective term for parasitic worm infection.

Morbidity of Pinworm Infection

Pinworm infection may occur in all age groups, however, as compared with adults, infants and children are more susceptible to developing this parasitic infection. There are several reasons for that—first children tend to put whatever they have inside their mouth, they are also more inclined to eat foods and share it with other people infected with pinworm. This is the reason why this infection is prevalent in school settings, overcrowded locales and poorly sanitized places.

Pinworm can grow fast and will multiply inside the intestines because they feed with the foods that we eat and the nutrients that come with these foods. This can lead to weight loss, malnutrition, and growth retardation, especially among children. In this light, treatment for pinworms should be given a great emphasis.

Medical Treatment for Pinworms

Over the counter treatment for pinworm is available so once you notice your kid or any member of the family who possible suffers from pinworms, be sure to have him or her take anti-parasitic drugs. Albendazole and Mebendazole are two of the most common drug treatments for pinworm infection. These drugs are taken in tablet form and should only be taken in one dosage. These drugs are expected to kill the worms in a span of hours to days, depending on the severity of the pinworm infection.

There are various dosages for adults and children so when buying these drugs, be sure to inform the pharmacy of the age of the person who will take this drug. It is also not impossible for eggs to remain inside the intestines after purging the worms out so to avoid reinfection, the dosage may need to be taken again after three to four weeks.

When a woman is pregnant and possibly suffering from pinworm infection, it is best to consult the gynecologist as it may be dangerous to the pregnancy.

Herbal Treatment for Pinworms

Salt, garlic and papaya seeds are also known to treat parasitic infections. Also, a specific vine fruit found in Asian countries called the Chinese Honeysuckle or Rangoon Creeper is proven to be effective against parasitic infections.

Preventive Treatment for Pinworms

Like any other conditions, it is best to prevent the occurrence of a pinworm infection. Proper hygiene, most especially handwashing, eating and use of personal utensils should be taken into account. Washing clothes, linen, as well as stuffed toys in scalding water is also best in killing eggs which may have come in contact with such items.

Doctors want to fight soft tissue tumors with medicinal herb


Soft tissue sarcoma comprise tumors which are difficult to treat, are largely resistant to treatment methods such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Scientists at the Medical University of Graz have set their sights on a potentially new treatment approach based on an isolated natural substance from a South Asian plant. "The rangoon creeper - Quisqualis indica – is used by traditional Chinese medicine as an analgesic, vermifuge or to treat cancer“, explained Birgit Lohberger of the University Clinic for Orthopaedics and Orthopaedic Surgery.

Soft tissue sarcoma comprise tumors which are difficult to treat, are largely resistant to treatment methods such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Scientists at the Medical University of Graz have set their sights on a potentially new treatment approach based on an isolated natural substance from a South Asian plant.

Chemotherapy only plays a subordinate role in treating sarcoma, and in particular chondrosarcoma, which arises from the cartilage tissue, explained Birgit Lohberger of the University Clinic for Orthopaedics and Orthopaedic Surgery. This is why efforts are being made to search for alternative forms of treatment.

The doctors in Graz consider the use of medicinal herbs and plants to be a potential solution. “Up until today more than 70 percent of all approved tumor medicines are either natural products or were derived from natural products”, Lohberger said. With respect to the treatment of the extremely heterogeneous group of sarcoma, the researcher in Graz encountered the active ingredient of a South Asian wing seed plant.

"The rangoon creeper - Quisqualis indica – is used by traditional Chinese medicine as an analgesic, vermifuge or to treat cancer“, Lohberger added. She investigated the effects of its active substance ADCF on different cell lines of soft tissue sarcoma. This active substance was shown to reduce cell growth in the case of liposarcoma as well as tumors of skeletal muscles (rhabdomyosarcoma).

Moreover, it was shown that cell division was delayed by the reduced expression of cell cycle proteins and the protein Survivin, a key protein in the activation of cell nucleus division, as the Medical University of Graz stated.

Herbal healing back in Manila

By Prosy B. Montesines (The Philippine Inquirer/Asia News Network)

MANILA, Philippines - Something's growing, literally all over Metro Manila: Plants with healing properties.

They're sprouting from even the most unexpected places - roadsides, curbs, cracks on walls and streets and even in patches of earth that don't look like they can sustain life.

Botanists and gardeners say the wind and the birds scatter the seeds and spores that sprout into these plants.

All that the public needs to know now is how to recognize these plants for what they can do: Heal the sick.

The high costs of prescription medicines and the organic, back-to-nature trend have rekindled among urban residents a keen interest in herbal plants, much like the time people ate into the health food boom.

This herbal renaissance has prodded people to learn and understand the benefits of nature in relation to their health and well-being.

Herbal sanctuary

'Life begins the day you start a garden' is a Chinese proverb that rings true for Florencia Gozon Tarriela, a corporate executive and resident of Pasig City.

She works as chair of the board of the Philippine National Bank, but moved by her love and passion for natural farming, she devotes most of her weekends developing an herbal sanctuary in her 5-hectare garden in Antipolo City.

Called Flor's Garden, it serves as a laboratory designed to substantiate a campaign that she and her husband, corporate lawyer Ed Tarriela, wage to help promote healthy living among Filipinos.

They believe that the propagation and development of some 12,000 species of edible and medicinal wild plants growing in the country will reinforce their battle cry: 'No Filipino should go hungry!'

Her own researches on the medicinal potential of wild and common plants are conducted in the 'Hardin ng Buhay' section of her garden.

She gets information from books, seminars, lectures, and meetings with botanists, traditional medicine specialists and farming experts.

She also learns through the ailments of other people, including her workers who experience healing with the use of simple herbal remedies such as poultices, salves and decoctions for wounds, aches, coughs, colds and fever.

According to her, the leaves of the guava tree (Psidium guavaja) and damong maria or mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris Linn.) can be used as poultice for healing wounds. Oregano (Origanum vulgare) has strong antioxidant, antifungal and antiviral properties, while alagaw (Premna odorata Blanco) and lagundi (Vitex negundo) can help relieve fever and colds, cough, bronchitis and gas pains.


Few people are perhaps aware that dusol (Kaempferia galanga L.), that oft-ignored and trampled-upon stemless plant growing along pathways and in open grasslands, have medicinal uses.

Fely Sabio, a coordinator at Flor's Garden, and Tarriela herself witnessed its healing power when a worker accidentally got a wooden splinter embedded in the skin of his hand and suffered an infection.

When a series of medical treatments failed to alleviate the infection and surgery was the only option left, the worker tried using a poultice of dusol. To the amazement of everyone, the tiny but stubborn splinter was finally dislodged and the infection subsided completely.

Dusol leaves are also a folkloric medicine for rheumatism and sore throat. Mixed with oil, it is said to be effective also in the treatment of dandruff.

Mayana (Coleus scutellarioides) is commonly used as an ornamental plant because of its attractive purplish flowers and blotched leaves, but herbalists say this fleshy herb can cure bruises, sprains, headaches and sinusitis.

Katakataka (Bryophyllum pinnatum) is named so because of its astonishing and mysterious characteristic: Even when a leaf is detached from the plant, its edges or notches develop, making the leaf capable of growing on its own when planted in fertile soil. Folks use this juicy herb as a poultice for boils, infections, sprains, eczema, burns and carbuncle.

Takip-kuhol (Centella asiatica), also known as Indian pennyworth or gotu kola (although studies show it has no cola or caffeine content) is said to be rich in vitamin B and commonly used in the treatment of colds, tonsillitis and bronchitis.

Hyssop, an aromatic plant belonging to the mint family, has served as an antiseptic and astringent since the Biblical times, while catmint or kabling (Anisomeles indica Linn) relieves rheumatism, bone pain, fever, abdominal cramps, gas pains, eczema, and toothache.

Rare herbs

Two rare herbs found in Flor Garden are stevia (Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni) or sugar leaf and kadok (Piper sarmentosum). Because the leaves of stevia taste sugar-sweet, people with diabetes or high blood pressure can use it as an alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners, according to Tarriela.

Kadok may be seldom seen in the country, but in Malaysia and Indonesia, it is a common plant used in traditional medicine and cooking (the subtly peppery taste of the heart-shaped and glossy leaves adds zest to omelets and other viands). A study conducted by the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM) shows that extracts from Kadok leaves have anti-oxidant properties.

According to the World Health Organization website, 80 percent of the population in some Asian and African countries count on herbal treatments for their primary health care.

'Arbularyo' stuff

Once dismissed as arbularyo myth, herbal healing has attained a higher cultural status as a healthy alternative to using expensive prescription medicines, even as some medical authorities continue to express reservation about its efficacy and safety.

Clinical researches, however, have shown the potent healing properties of some herbal plants, categorizing them into folkloric and scientifically validated. In fact, the Department of Health has named 10 herbal plants as scientifically validated herbal medicines.

These are sambong (Blumea balsifera) for the treatment of urinary ailment, edema and prevention of the formation of kidney stones; akapulko (Cassia alata L.) for fungal diseases; niyug-niyogan or Chinese honey suckle (Quisqualis indica L.) for intestinal worm; tsaang gubat (Carmona retusa) for diarrhea and stomachache; ampalaya (Momordica charantia) for diabetes mellitus; lagundi (Vitex negundo) for coughs; ulasimang bato or pansit-pansitan (Peperonica pellucida) for rheumatism and gout; garlic (Allium sativum) for high cholesterol and high blood pressure; guava (Psidium guajava L) for diarrhea and as a disinfectant for wounds; and wild mint or yerba buena (Mentha cordifolia Opiz) for nausea and muscle aches.

Now sold in drugstores and health shops, they come in capsules, tablets, teas, syrups, and salves.

Industry of the future

The Chamber of Herbal Industries of the Philippines reportedly targets $1 billion in export of herbal products to the United States and the Middle East by 2010.

With the profusion of edible and medicinal plants in the country, the natural ingredients or raw materials industry promises to be the industry of the future.

Continuing scientific studies on the application, efficacy and safety of folkloric herbal medicines will therefore mean two good things for Filipinos: Good health and wealth.

Like Flor Tarriela, city folks should really think big of getting back into herbs.

Ryan Drum, noted botanist and author of the book 'Planting the Future,' underscores the urgent need to go herbal quite succinctly: 'Down with lawns, up with herbs.'