Balloon vine (Cardiospermum halicacabum)

Balloon vine (Cardiospermum halicacabum)

The balloon vine belongs to the family Sapindaceae. This plant is native to tropical regions of Africa, Asia, and Australia where it grows in moist areas such as swamps, grasslands, savannas, and riverbanks. In Nigeria, the leaves are used traditionally to treat malaria, colds, and coughs.

The name Cardiospermum comes from the Greek word meaning heart seed. This refers to the shape of the fruit, which resembles a human heart.

The black seeds are quite unique with a small cream-colored heart shape in the center.

This vine is easy to grow and produces beautiful flowers. But it spreads like wildfire and takes over gardens if left unchecked, making it one of the most invasive species in Australia.

Chemical composition

The chemical composition of Cardiospermum halicacabum includes steroids, saponins, and flavonoids. Steroid compounds include beta-sitosterol, stigmasterol, campesterol, and cycloartenol. Saponins are polysaccharide derivatives containing sugar moieties attached to long chains of alcohols and/or hydrocarbons.

Saponins have been shown to exhibit anti-inflammatory activity. They are also known for their antioxidant properties.

In addition, Cardiospermum halicacabum has been reported to contain alkaloids, tannins, glycosides, anthraquinones, triterpenes, coumarins, essential oils, volatile oil, carbohydrates, proteins, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids.

Uses of balloon vine

A laxative effect is produced by the fruit of Cardiospermum halicacabum. Used in treating cases of constipation. Used in treating cases like rat bites and spider poisonings. Used for treating constipation. Used for treating joint pains. Used for treating skin diseases

Used for treating fever, asthma, stomach problems, diabetes, treating cancer.

Used for treating arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, kidney stones, treating urinary tract infections, liver disorders, hypertension, heart diseases.

This plant has been found to be useful for treating skin conditions including eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, acne, dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, and other fungal infections. It also contains anti-inflammatory agents which may help relieve pain associated with arthritis. The plant's ability to reduce inflammation may also make it helpful in treating inflammatory bowel disease.

It has been reported that the extract from the aerial parts of C. halicacabum can inhibit the growth of cancer cells.

The leaves of this plant are used to prepare an infusion or decoction which is taken orally to treat diarrhea, dysentery, gonorrhea, leprosy, syphilis, tuberculosis, and venereal diseases.

The roots of this plant are used in the preparation of a poultice applied externally to treat boils, abscesses, wounds, ulcers, burns, insect bites, snakebites, and scorpion stings.

The seeds of this plant are used as a purgative.

The bark of this plant is used to prepare a tea that is drunk to treat fever, headaches, toothaches, and rheumatic pains. The juice extracted from the leaves of this plant is applied topically to treat ringworm, athlete's foot, and jock itch.

The root of this plant is used in the treatment of coughs, colds, bronchial complaints, and whooping cough. The sap of this plant is used for preparing a wash which is applied to the eyes to treat conjunctivitis. The stem of this plant is used locally to treat cuts, bruises, sprains, swellings, and warts. The leaves of the plant are chewed to relieve mouth sores.

Seeds of Cardiospermum halicacabum are used for food and medicine. They contain essential oils which are used in perfumes and cosmetics. The seeds also contain protein, carbohydrates, fiber, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, sodium, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, pantothenic acid, biotin, choline, pyridoxine, folic acid, and vitamins A and C.

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Happy Gardening!

Dr. Vandana K.