Tinospora sinensis (Lour.) Merr.

Last updated: 20 Jun 2016

Scientific Name

Tinospora sinensis (Lour.) Merr.


Campylus sinensis Lour. [unresolved], Cocculus tomentosus Colebr. [unresolved], Menispermum cordifolium Willd., Menispermum malabaricum Lam., Menispermum tomentosum (Colebr.) Roxb., Tinospora cordifolia (Willd.) Miers, Tinospora malabarica (Lam.) Hook. f. & Thomson, Tinospora tomentosa (Colebr.) Hook. f. & Thomson [1]

Vernacular Name

China Zhong hua qing niu dan [2]
India Amradvalli, amratavalli, amrta, calon, cittamrtu, culavarini [2]
Nepal Gurjo-ko-laharaa [2]
Tibet Le te [2].

Geographical Distributions

Tinospora sinensis is a climbing shrub native to lower elevations in the tropical areas of the Indian subcontinent. T. sinensis grows in many other kinds of soil and climbs numerous trees. [3]

Botanical Description

T. sinensis is a member of the family Menispermaceae [1]. It is a dioecious woody climber measures up to 15 m long, sometimes scandent shrubs, usually entirely glabrous. The stem is woody, with bark often becoming detached on drying, striate when young, becoming tuberculate or warty with raised lenticels, usually glabrous but sometimes puberulous, sometimes producing very long filiform aerial roots [4].

The leaves are arranged spirally, simple and entire (occasionally dentate or 3-lobed), often cordate, palmately veined, and sometimes domatia present in axils of veins beneath. The petiole is swollen, geniculate at base and absent of the stipules. [4]

The inflorescence is axillary or cauliflorous, thyrsoid, pseudopaniculate, pseudoracemose or pseudospicate. The flowers are unisexual, 6-merous. The sepals are usually free with the outer 3 are usually smaller, elliptical, and imbricate. The petals are free, often broadly cuneate-ovate with the lateral edges inrolled, usually fleshy and often glandular-papillose externally towards the base. The male flowers are with 6 free stamens while female flowers with 3 curved-ellipsoid carpels having short-lobed, reflexed stigmas, and 6 subulate staminodes. [4]

The fruit is usually an ellipsoidal drupe with terminal style scar, borne on a short or columnar carpophore; endocarp bony, dorsally convex and often verrucose or tuberculate, ventrally with central aperture or with shallow longitudinal groove. [4]

The seed is usually with ruminate endosperm. [4]


No documentation

Chemical Constituent

T. sinensis has been reported to contain β-sitosterol, clerodane furano, cordifol, cordifolide, columbin. diterpene, diterpenoid furanolactone tinosporidine, heptacosanol, tinosporaside, tinosporide, tinsporine [2], and α-D-glucan. [5]

Plant Part Used

Root, stem. [6]

Traditional Use

In most of the Ayurvedic uses indicate that the fresh plant is far more efficacious than the dried plant. [7] T. sinensis is useful in removing toxins from almost all bodily systems and is used in Ayurvedic practice to treat scorpion stings. [6]

T. sinensis is used for its benefits to the liver [8]. It has been indicated to be useful in treatment of dyspepsia, jaundice and hepatitis, as well as promote general liver health. [3] It has also been used to treat diarrhea and dysentery [7]. Either the fresh juice or the aqueous extract have antipyretic activity, as T. sinensis has been used to treat fevers, including those caused by the common cold and allergic rhinitis [9]. The juice of T. sinensis has been used to treat gonorrhoea [6].

Preclinical Data


Hypoglycemic activity

T. sinensis is very useful in treatment of diabetes, as it has hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic activity [10]. An animal study determined that the ability of T. sinensis to reduce blood glucose levels to may be considered comparable to insulin [11]

Hepatoprotective activity

Numerous studies have indicated the hepatoprotective behavior of T. sinensis, as well at its generally beneficial effects on the liver. A 2002 animal study states that it promotes liver health in addition to its immunomodulatory role. [12] This may be due to its ability to stabilize cell membrane which is useful in treating hepatic disorders. [8]

Antineoplastic activity

T. sinensis also plays a useful role in cancer treatment. It displays chemopreventive and radiopotective ability, and also inhibits lipid peroxidation. [13][14][15][16]

Androgenic activity

Studies have shown that T. sinensis may have androgenic activity [17]. An animal study also suggests that it has beneficial effects on osteoporosis, as it increases estrogen in the bone, but not in reproductive organs of women [18].


No documentation

Clinical Data

Clinical findings

Antiallergic activity

A placebo-controlled study examined the use of T. sinensis as a treatment for allergic rhinitis. Seventy-five patients were divided into two groups and administered either T. sinensis or a placebo for eight weeks and then clinically examined for improvement in regard to the symptoms associated with allergic rhinitis. The group using T. sinensis demonstrated a complete relief from sneezing in 83% of the patients. In the placebo group, 79% of the patients stated that they found no relief. The study also showed a significant reduction in nasal discharge and nasal obstruction for those from the study group. T. sinensis also decreased the eosinophil and neutrophil count while eliminating goblet cells in the nasal cavity [9]. A review study in 2003 also considers T. sinensis for its antiallergic and antipyretic activity [14].

Immunomodulatory activity

A human study published in 2007 found that T. sinensis was a significant adjuvant in diabetic foot ulcer due to its immunomodulatory action. For 18 months, 45 patients inflicted with diabetic doot ulcer completed a double-blind placebo study in which they were administered T. sinensis in addition to standard treatment. The control group exhibited improved symptoms in 59.1% of patients while the study group showed improvement in 73.9% of the subjects. The wound severity was reduced in addition to improved healing time. T. sinensis has shown to be effective in reducing the number of debridements due to its phagocytic activity [19]. A laboratory study also had results using the chemical (1,4)-α-D-glucan, a constituent isolated from T. sinensis, as an immunomodulatory, stating that it activates macrophages and cytokine production [5].


No documentation.


No documentation.


1-3 g powder, 1-2 g extract, 56-112 mL decoction per dose. [7]

Poisonous Management

No documentation.

Line drawing

No documentation.


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Tinospora sinensis (Lour.) Merr.[homepage on the Internet] .c2013 [updated 2012 Apr 18; cited 2016 Jun 23] Available from: http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/tro-20600675
  2. Quattrocchi U. CRC world dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plants: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms and etymology. Volume V R-Z. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 2012; p. 579.
  3. Premila MS. Ayurvedic Herbs: A clinical guide to the healing plants of traditional Indian medicine. Binghamton, New York: The Haworth Press; 2006.
  4. Yusuf UK, Horsten SFAJ, Lemmens RHMJ. Tinospora Miers In: de Padua LS, Bunyapraphatsara N, Lemmens RHMJ, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 12(1): Medicinal and poisonous plants 1. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publishers, 1999; p. 479-484.
  5. Nair PK, Melnick SJ, Ramachandran R. Mechanism of macrophage activation by (1,4)-alpha-D-glucan isolated from Tinospora cordifolia. Int Immunopharmacol. 2006;6(12):1815-1824.
  6. Nadkarni KM, Nadkarni AK, editors. Dr. K.M. Nadkarni’s Indian materia medica. Volume 2. Mumbai: Popular Parkashan; 1976.
  7. Kapoor LD. CRC Handbook of Ayurvedic medicinal plants. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press; 2001.
  8. Upadhyay L, Mehrotra A, Srivastava AK. An experimental study of some indigenous drugs with special reference to hydraulic permeability. Indian J Exp Biol. 2001;39(12):1308-1310.
  9. Badar VA, Thawani VR, Wakode PT. Efficacy of Tinospora cordifolia in allergic rhinitis. J Ethnopharmacol. 2004;96:445-449.
  10. Stanely MPP, Menon VP. Hypoglycaemic and hypolipidaemic action of alcohol extract of Tinospora cordifolia roots in chemical induced diabetes in rats. Phytother Res. 2003;17(4):410-413.
  11. Wadood N, Wadood A, Shah SA. Effect of Tinospora cordifolia on blood glucose and total lipid levels of normal and alloxan-diabetic rabbits. Planta Med. 1992;58(2):131-136.
  12. Bishayi B, Roychowdhury S, Ghosh S. Hepatoprotective and immunomodulatory properties of Tinospora cordifolia in CCl4 intoxicated mature albino rats. J Toxicol Sci. 2002;27(3):139-146.
  13. Dhanasekaran M, Baskar AA, Ignacimuthu S. Chemopreventive potential of Epoxy clerodane diterpene from Tinospora cordifolia against diethylnitrosamine-induced hepatocellular carcinoma. Invest New Drugs. 2009;27(4):347-355.
  14. Chaudhary R, Jahan S, Goyal PK. Chemopreventive potential of an Indian medicinal plant (Tinospora cordifolia) on skin carcinogenesis in mice. J Environ Pathol Toxicol Oncol. 2008;27(3):233-243.
  15. Goel HC, Prasad J, Singh S, Sagar RK, Agrawala PK, Bala M, Sinha AK, Dogra R. Radioprotective potential of an herbal extract of Tinospora cordifolia. J Radiat Res, 2004;45(1):61-68.
  16. Singh RP, Banerjee S, Kumar PV. Tinospora cordifolia induces enzymes of carcinogen/drug metabolism and antioxidant system, and inhibits lipid peroxidation in mice. Phytomedicine. 2006;13(1-2):74-84.
  17. Kapur P, Pereira BM, Wuttke W. Androgenic action of Tinospora cordifolia ethanolic extract in prostate cancer cell line LNCaP. Phytomedicine. 2009;16(6-7):679-682.
  18. Kapur P, Jarry H, Wuttke W. Evaluation of the antiosteoporotic potential of Tinospora cordifolia in female rats. Maturitas. 2008;59(4):329-338.
  19. Purandare H, Supe A. Immunomodulatory role of Tinospora cordifolia as an adjuvant in surgical treatment of diabetic foot ulcers: A prospective randomized controlled study. Indian J Med Sci. 2007;61(6):347-355.