Argyreia nervosa

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Argyreia nervosa
Elephant creeper (Argyreia nervosa) - 20100808.jpg
Argyreia nervosa flowers (enlarge)
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Solanales
Family: Convolvulaceae
Genus: Argyreia
A. nervosa
Binomial name
Argyreia nervosa
(Burm.f.) Bojer

Argyreia speciosa (L.f.) Sweet
Convolvulus nervosus Burm.f.
Convolvulus speciosus L.f.
Santaloides minus[1] Lettsomia nervosa (Burm.f.) Roxb.

Argyreia nervosa is a perennial climbing vine native to the Indian subcontinent and introduced to numerous areas worldwide, including Hawaii, Africa, and the Caribbean. Though it can be invasive, it is often prized for its aesthetic and medicinal value.[3] Common names include Hawaiian baby woodrose, adhoguda अधोगुडा or vidhara विधारा (Sanskrit), elephant creeper and woolly morning glory. Its seeds are known for their powerful entheogenic value, greater or similar to its varieties from Convolvulaceae family, with the users reporting significant psychedelic and spiritual experiences.[4][5] The two botanical varieties are A. n. var. nervosa described here, and A. n. var. speciosa, which are used in Ayurvedic medicine and have great medicinal values.[3]

Argyreia nervosa seeds contain various ergoline alkaloids such as ergine.[6] A study reported stereoisomers of ergine to be found in the seeds at a concentration of 0.325% of dry weight.[7] A much recent study reported presence of ergometrine, lysergol, lysergic acid and other alkaloids that contribute to its pharmacological effects.[5]


While several other plants in the Convolvulaceae family, such as Rivea corymbosa (ololiuhqui) and Ipomoea tricolor (tlitliltzin), were used in shamanic rituals of Latin America for centuries, A. nervosa was not traditionally used for this purpose. Its properties were first brought to attention in the 1960s.[citation needed]


Where temperatures fall below 13oC (55oF), grow in a warm greenhouse. Elsewhere, grow on an arbour, pergola, or wall, or through a tree. Under glass, grow in a loam-based potting compost (John Innes No. 3) in full light. From spring to autumn, water freely and apply a balanced liquid fertilizer monthly; reduce water in winter. Outdoors, grow in moderately fertile, moist but well-drained soil in full sun. Pruning group 11, in late winter.[8]

Chemical constituents[edit]

The seeds of A. nervosa have been found to contain numerous chemical compounds.[9]


  • Argyroside, (24R)-ergost-5-en-11-oxo-3β-ol-α-D-glucopyranoside, a steroidal glycoside unique to Argyreia nervosa[10]


Ergoline alkaloids of known percentage
Compound name Percentage of dry seed weight constituted Chemical structure
Isoergine 0.188% Ergine structure
Ergine 0.136%
Ergometrine 0.049% Ergometrine structure
Lysergic acid hydroxyethylamide 0.035% Lysergic acid hydroxyethylamide structure
Isolysergic acid hydroxyethylamide 0.024%
Elymoclavine 0.022% Elymoclavine structure
Ergometrinine 0.011% Ergometrinine structure
Chanoclavine 0.016% Chanoclavine structure
Ergoline alkaloids of unknown percentage
Compound name Chemical structure
Agroclavine Agroclavine structure
Festuclavine Festuclavine structure
Chanoclavine II Chanoclavine II structure
Lysergene Lysergene structure
Lysergol Lysergol structure
Setoclavine Isolysergol structure

Hydroxycinnamic acids[edit]

Hydroxycinnamic acids
Compound name Chemical structure
Caffeic acid Caffeic acid structure
Ethyl caffeate Ethyl caffeate structure

Fatty acids[edit]

Fatty acids
Compound name Chemical structure
Myristoleic acid Myristoleic acid structure
Myristic acid Myristic acid structure
Palmitic acid Palmitic acid structure
Linoleic acid Linoleic acid structure
Linolenic acid
Oleic acid Oleic acid structure
Stearic acid Stearic acid
Nonadecylic acid Nonadecyclic acid
Eicosenoic acid
Heneicosylic acid Heneicosylic acid structure
Behenic acid Behenic acid structure
12-methylmyristic acid
15-methylstearic acid
Glycosides of fatty acids
Fatty acid Chemical structure
Palmitic acid Palmitic acid structure
Oleic acid Oleic acid structure
Stearic acid Stearic acid structure
Behenic acid Behenic acid structure
Linoleic acid Linoleic acid structure
Linolenic acid α-Linolenic acid structure


Hawaiian baby woodrose seeds

Huna shamans used them according to various oral histories.[11] The seeds of Argyreia nervosa produce psychoactive effects. They contain ergot alkaloids varying considerably in concentration with LSA weight ranging between exactly similar looking seeds from 3 μg to 34 μg (avg 17 μg).[12] However, in its effects, LSA is about one tenth as potent as its cousin LSD, making a threshold dose level for LSA about 500 μg.[13] The psychoactive effects of the seeds may therefore be due to other alkaloids present in them and the safe and effective dose may be difficult to predict.


  1. ^ Glossary Of Indian Medicinal Plants
  2. ^ "Argyreia nervosa". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 2010-11-10.
  3. ^ a b "Medicinal uses and biological activities of Argyreia speciosa Sweet (Hawaiian Baby Woodrose) — An Overview". Indian Journal of Natural Products and Resources: 286–291. September 2011.
  4. ^ E. Al-Assmar, Sami (1999). "The Seeds of the Hawaiian Baby Woodrose Are a Powerful Hallucinogen". Arch Intern Med. 159 (17): 2090. doi:10.1001/archinte.159.17.2090.
  5. ^ a b Paulke, Alexander; et al. (2015). "Studies on the alkaloid composition of the Hawaiian Baby Woodrose Argyreia nervosa, a common legal high". Forensic Science International. 249: 281–293. doi:10.1016/j.forsciint.2015.02.011. PMID 25747328.
  6. ^ Halpern, J.H. (2004). "Hallucinogens and dissociative agents naturally growing in the United States". Pharmacology & Therapeutics. 102 (2): 131–138. doi:10.1016/j.pharmthera.2004.03.003. PMID 15163594. Although LSD does not occur in nature, a close analogue, lysergic acid amide (LSA, ‘‘ergine’’) is found in the seeds of Argyreia nervosa (Hawaiian baby woodrose)
  7. ^ Chao JM, Der Marderosian AH (1973). "Ergoline alkaloidal constituents of Hawaiian baby wood rose, Argyreia nervosa (Burmf) Bojer". J. Pharm. Sci. 62 (4): 588–91. doi:10.1002/jps.2600620409. PMID 4698977.
  8. ^ Brickell, Christopher (2016). Royal Horticultural Society: A-Z Encyclopedia Of Garden Plants. Great Britain: Dorling Kindersley. p. 110. ISBN 9780241239124.
  9. ^ Padhi, Milimita; Mahapatra, Sujata; Panda, Jnyanaranjan; Mishra, Nikunja (9 Feb 2013). "Traditional uses and Phytopharmacological Aspects of Argyreia nervosa" (PDF). Journal of Advanced Pharmaceutical Research. 4 (1): 23–32. ISSN 2229-3787. Retrieved 2014-12-29.
  10. ^ Rahman, A.; Ali, M.; Khan, N. Z. (2003). "Argyroside from Argyreia nervosa Seeds". ChemInform. 34 (21). doi:10.1002/chin.200321168. ISSN 0931-7597.
  11. ^ " - Preserving Ancient Knowledge".
  12. ^ Paulke, Alexander; Kremer, Christian; Wunder, Cora; Wurglics, Mario; Schubert-Zsilavecz, Manfred; Toennes, Stefan W. (2014). "Identification of legal highs--ergot alkaloid patterns in two Argyreia nervosa products". Forensic Science International. 242: 62–71. doi:10.1016/j.forsciint.2014.06.025. ISSN 1872-6283. PMID 25036782.
  13. ^ Wasson, R. Gordon; Hofmann, Albert; Ruck, Carl A. P. (2008). The Road to Eleusis: Unveiling the Secret of the Mysteries. North Atlantic Books. ISBN 9781556437526.

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