Tylophora indica (Burm.f.) Merr.

Last updated: 21 Mar 2017

Scientific Name

Tylophora indica (Burm.f.) Merr.


Cynanchum indicum Burm.f. [Unresolved]. [1]

Vernacular Name

English Emetic swallow-wort, Indian ipecacuanha [2]
India Aadumuttadasoppu, adumuttada gida, adumuttoda, aiitmula, anantamul, anantamula, ananthamul, antamul, antomul, buidari, damni, damni vel, jangli pikvam, jangli-pikwam, jangli-pikwan, kakapala, kashuthai palai, khodiki raasna, kirumanji, kondachani, kukkapaala, kukkapala, kurinja, mekame yaniku, mekameyani theega, mendi, mulini, nach-churuppam, nanjamurichchaan, nanjaruppan, nanjuruthankodi, nalpalai, nayelate, nayppalai, pitkari, pittamari, rasnabheda, tolyama, vallipaala, vallipal, verri-pala, verripaala [2]

Geographical Distributions

Tylophora indica is originated from the Seychelles through India and Sri Lanka, to Southeast Asia including Malesia. [3]

Botanical Description

T. indica is a member of Apocynaceae family. [1] It is a slender, hairy or smooth branching climber, up to 1.5 m tall. [3]

The rhizomes are short about 3-4 mm thick, knotty, with numerous fine roots. [3]

The leaves are egg-shaped-oblong to orbicular measuring 3-10 cm x 1.5-7 cm. its base is heart-shaped or rounded while the apex is acute or obtuse. Its stalk is 0.5-2 cm long. [3]

The flowers are few too many-flowered umbel-like cymes or sometimes 2 superposed umbellate cymes, shorter than or as long as the leaves. Sepal lobes are 1.5-2.5 mm long and lance-shaped. Petal is 1-1.5 cm in diameter, greenish-yellow out-side but purplish within. Follicles are spindle-shaped with size of 5-10 cm x 1 cm. [3]


T. indica is common along the coast on sandy soils, particularly on stabilized dunes and in sandy coconut plantations, up to 900 m altitude. [3]

Chemical Constituent

No documentation.

Plant Part Used

No documentation.

Traditional Use

No documentation.

Preclinical Data


Immunomodulator activity

Ethanolic extract of T. indica was found to stimulate phagocytic function while inhibiting the humoral component of the immune system. [4]


No documentation.

Clinical Data

Clinical findings

Respiratory activity

Studies suggest that T. indica extract plays a supportive role in the treatment and management in bronchial asthma patients. These effects are due to the ability of T. indica to suppress the immune responses that can trigger asthma. [5][6][7]


This dietary supplement is considered safe when used in accordance with proper dosing guidelines. Do not treat asthma or other serious breathing problems without the advice of a doctor. [8]

Interaction & Depletion

Interaction with drug

Studies report that T. indica may act in the body like some of these medications, which may alter the effects of these medications and possibly the dose needed for treatment. Use with caution. These drugs include albuterol, levalbuterol, salmeterol, ephedrine, theophylline, aminophylline, ipratropium bromide, metaproterenol, formoterol, epinephrine, bitolterol mesylate, pirbuterol, terbutaline, isoproterenol, oxtriphylline, diphylline, and isoetharine. [9]

Interaction with other Herbs

No documentation.


No documentation.


Dosage Range

250-500 mg (standardized extract), 1-3 times a day. [10]

Most Common Dosage

250 mg (standardized extract), 2 times a day. [10]


The most current available medical and scientific literature indicates that this dietary supplement should be standardized to 0.1% tylophorine per dose. [10]

Poisonous Management

No documentation.

Line drawing



Figure 1: The line drawing of T. indica [3].


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Tylophora indica (Burm.f.) Merr. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Apr 18; cited 2017 Mar 21]. Available from: http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/tro-2600131.
  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. 658.
  3. Kiew R. Tylophora indica (Burm.f.) Merr. In: van Valkenburg JLCH, Bunyapraphatsara N, editors. Plant resources of South-East Asia No. 12(2): Medicinal and poisonous plants 2. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publisher, 2001; p. 567-568.
  4. Atal CK, Sharma ML, Kaul A, Khajuria A. Immunomodulating agents of plant origin. I: Preliminary screening. J Ethnopharmacol. 1986;18(2):133-141.
  5. Gupta S, George P, Gupta V, Tandon VR, Sundaram KR. Tylophora indica in bronchial asthma—A double blind study. Indian J Med Res. 1979;69:981-989.
  6. Gore KV, Rao AK, Guruswamy MN. Physiological studies with Tylophora astmatica in bronchial asthma. Indian J Med Res. 1980;71:144-148.
  7. Shivpuri DN, Singhal SC, Parkash D. Treatment of asthma with an alcoholic extract of Tylophora indica: A cross-over, double-blind study. Ann Allergy. 1972;30(7):407-412.
  8. Rao KV, Wilson RA, Cummings B. Alkaloids of tylophora III: New alkaloids of Tylophora indica (Burm) Merrill and Tylophora dalzellii Hook. f. J Pharm Sci. 1971;60(11):1725-1726.
  9. Raina V, Raina S. The responsiveness of leukocyte adenyl cyclise to tylophorine in asthmatic subjects. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1980;94(4):1074-1077.
  10. The Source. Tylophora (Tylophora indica). [homepage on the Internet]. c2011 [cited 2017 Mar 21]. Available from: http://www.thesourcenatural.com/ns/DisplayMonograph.asp?storeID=dhap6v4fb7sr2nm700akhlbd3cmfbxmd&DocID=bottomline-tylophora