Allamanda cathartica L.

Last updated: 07 Apr 2016

Scientific Name

Allamanda cathartica L.


Allamanda aubletii Pohl, Allamanda chelsonii K.Koch [Invalid], Allamanda grandiflora (Aubl.) Lam. [Illegitimate], Allamanda hendersonii W.Bull ex Dombrain, Allamanda latifolia C.Presl, Allamanda linnaei Pohl, Allamanda schottii Hook. [Illegitimate], Allamanda wardleyana Lebas, Allamanda williamsii auct., Echites salicifolius Willd. ex Roem. & Schult., Echites verticillatus Sessé & Moc., Orelia grandiflora Aubl. [Illegitimate]. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Akar chempaka hutan, akar chempaka kuning, bunga akar kuning [2]
English Allamanda, buttercup, common allamanda, golden trumpet vine, golden trumpet, yellow allamanda, yellow bell [2], cherries jubilee allamanda [3]
China Ruan zhi huang chan [2], huang ying [3]
India Allamaande gida, allemandatheega, araba, arasinahu, boothi, haladi hoo, harkakra, sontakka, kanagnee hoo, mittaayi hoo, pilajara, pivli-kanher, saitanapu [2]
Indonesia Alamanda, lame areuy [2]
Thailand Ban buri lueng [2]
Philippines Kampaniliya, kampanero [2]; campanilla, kampanero (Tagalog) [4]
Vietnam Huynh anh, d[aa]y hu[yf]nh [2][4]
Japan Ariake-kazura, ô-bana-ariake-kazura [2]
Caribbean Baruda balli, porcupine batty [2]
Germany Allamande [3]
Spain Copa de oro [3]
Portugal Alamanda-amarela, carolina, dedal-de-dama [3]
Hawaii Nani ali’I, lani ali’I [5].

Geographical Distributions

Allamanda catharthica is native of South America (Brazil), however, due to the beautiful colour of the flowers, the plant has been introduce globally as ornamental. Now, A. cathartica can be find growing in gardens both in the tropical and temperate regions. [6]

Botanical Description

A. cathartica  is a member of the Apocynaceae family. It is a climbing shrub with sticky, white latex. It can grow up to 50m in length. [6]

The leaves are dark-green in colour, tapering at the base with acute drip tip. Length up to 15 cm and are arranged in whorls at the nodes. [6]

The flowers are bell-shaped, brilliant yellow in colour, 5-lobed and measures up to 10 cm long. [6]

The fruits are rarely seen, 7cm, bristly seedpod that splits open to release the flat, brown, winged seeds. [6]


No documentation.

Chemical Constituent

No documentation.

Plant Part Used

No documentation.

Traditional Use

The white latex of A. cathartica  was once used by Columbia to treat worm infestation but the practice has been stopped because of the vomiting and diarrhoea it caused. The Cubans often drink tea made from the leaves as a drastic laxative or to induce vomiting. In India allamanda bark is considered an excellent laxative. [5]

Decoction of the A. cathartica leaves has been used as a purgative or emetic throughout South-East Asia. In Java a steaming infusion is used to relieve coughs and headaches by allowing the patient to breathe in the vapour. In South America, the leaves or latex are used as a purgative while In Peru the bark is used as a febrifuge. In Suriname, a decoction of the root is taken as a remedy for jaundice and enlarged spleen resulting from malaria. In the Philippines, a decoction of the plant is used as an antidote. However, large doses may result in poisoning. [4]

Generally A. cathartica  has been planted and introduce globally as an ornamental plant. [3]

Preclinical Data

No documentation.

Clinical Data

No documentation.


No documentation.

Poisonous Management

Toxic parts

Whole plant. [5][6]


Yet to be identified cathartic. The white, milky fluid in the leaves, stem, and flowers may irritate the skin and eyes [5]. Recently, it has been reported that Plumericin which is a weak gastrointestinal irritant could be the toxic principle in the latex of the plant. [7]

Plumeriede = plumeroside, allamandin are glycosides of iridoid lactone and they are cardiotonic, cardiotoxic and antintumour agents. [8]

The aqueous extract of leaves of A. catharica was found to enhance the propulsive movement of intestinal contents in rats and induce contractions in isolated ileum of guinea pig. The purgative effect was found to be increase in intestinal motility partly via muscurinic receptor activation. [9]

Risk management

A. catharica is a very popular ornamental plant and is planted everywhere both by local authorities, schools, institutions of higher learning and many houses. The attractive colour of the plant makes it a target of many children to collect and play with them.

Due to the fact that the whole plant is poisonous, it is best that this plant be taken off the list of plants used as landscape. [5][6][7]

Poisonous clinical findings

Reported cases of poisoning from A. cathartica developed the following symptoms and signs:

Upon ingestion of the toxic material a person would immediately develop nausea this is followed by vomiting and diarrhoea. When taken in large amount it would cause violent vomiting and diarrhoea. The milder symptoms would eventually lead to fever, swollen lips, dry mouth and thirst. It has been reported that one may develop itchy rashes on the skin when the latex comes in contact with it. In the eyes, the latex has been reported to cause strong burning sensation. Chronic diarrhoea may result from regular drinking of allamanda tea (a common practice in the Caribbean Islands. [5]


Nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea is a self-limiting symptom of poisoning with A. cathartica thus, in mild cases no treatment is required. In severe poisoning the patient should be admitted for supportive treatment in the form of fluid replacement therapy. [5]

If the sap accidently enters the eyes, a thorough eye wash with large amount of water is to be done immediately. If there is persistent burning sensation in the eye or if there is blurring of vision then it is advisable to visit your family doctor for further treatment. [5]

For skin irritation and rashes, the area should be thoroughly washed with soap and water. If the itching is persistent, 1% hydrocortisone cream every 6 hours daily and antihistamine tablets would suffice. [5]

There is no known specific antidote for poisoning with A. cathartica rash or poisoning. Most cases are mild and will respond well with first aid. [5]

For severe cases of gastrointestinal poisoning, activated charcoal is given to patient to ingest and fluid and electrolyte replacement according to requirement. [5]

Line drawing

No documentation.


  1. The Plant List.  Ver1.1. Allamanda cathartica L. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mar 23; cited 2016 Apr 07]. Available from:
  2. Quattrocchi U. CRC world dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plants: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Volume I A-B. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press; 2012. p. 165.
  3. Philippine Medicinal Plants. Kampanilya. Allamanda cathartica Linn. No date [updated 2015 Sept; cited 2016 Apr 13]. Available from:
  4. Rahayu SSB. Allamanda cathartica L. In: van Valkenburg JLCH, Bunyapraphatsara N, editors. Plant resources of South-East Asia No. 12(2): Medicinal and poisonous plants 2. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publishers, 2001; p. 51.
  5. Scott S, Thomas C. Poisonous plants of paradise: First aid and medical treatment of injuries. Hawaii: University of Hawaii Press, 2000; p. 1-3.
  6. Nellis DW. Poisonous plants and animals of Florida and the Caribbean. Sarasota, Florida: Pineapple Press, 1997; p. 138.
  7. Nelson LS, Shih RD, Balick MJ.Handbook of Poisonous and Injurious Plants. New York: Springer, 2007; p. 71.
  8. Oliver-Bever B. Medicinal plants in tropical West Africa. Cambridge: Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge, 1986; p. 13.
  9. Peter AA,  Veronivca NO. Gastrointesitinal Effects of Allamanda cathartica leaf extracts. Pharmaceutical Biology. 1992; 30(3):213 – 217.