Click on Map to see other species coming from the area
Distinguishing features: Distinguished by twining habit; milky latex exuded from damaged stems and leaves; leaves opposite, upper surface green with scattered hairs, lower surface blue-green with very short dense covering of hairs and pearshaped fruit 6–12 cm long and 3–7 cm wide.
Medicinal UsesIn folk medicine, an infusion made from the leaves and fruits, and a decoction from the roots, are drunk by nursing women in order to increase milk secretion (latex from the plant contains the 'lab' ferment). The infusion is drunk immediately; the decoction is often added to the water
for brewing maté. The latex is used as a mouthwash to relieve toothache or to encourage the falling off of teeth (antiodontalgic). In order to stop the spreading of venom, in cases of snakebite, it is recommended to employ the stalks to make tourniquets (Martínez-Crovetto, 1981)
Other UsesIt is cultivated as an ornamental because of its showy flowers and extended blooming period; it's easily propagated from seeds and cuttings. The ripe fruits have been cited as edible, being relished by children (Ragonese et Martínez Crovetto, 1947). According to Hieronymus (1930), the Pajagua indians from Paraguay (the Guarani name [for the plant] 'pajagua tembi'u' means 'food of the Pajagua') eat the fruits after roasting them.
Notes: Garden escape. Climber that smothers shrubs and small trees, depressing their growth. Weed of wasteland and forests adjoining settlement mainly in coastal higher rainfall areas.
Infestation by the Nepean River, NSW
Gathering of seed pods in Motutapu, New Zealand. Image by Bridget Winstone
From Gabriela Ruellan
Now, regarding the uses for Araujia sericifera... I'm quoting (and translating) from this book:
Lahitte, H.B. & J.A. Hurrell (eds.).
Quote from the entry for Araujia sericifera:
"In folk medicine, an infusion made from the leaves and fruits, and a decoction from the roots, are drunk by nursing women in order to increase milk secretion (latex from the plant contains the 'lab' ferment). The infusion is drunk immediately; the decoction is often added to the water
That's the best reference I could find. Obviously the snakebite treatment can't possibly work, but I'm not sure about the galactagogue effect. Personally I haven't seen any of these uses, but my mom remembers from decades ago that it wasn't an unusual practice in our neighbourhood to
On another note, yesterday I got curious about what keeps moth vines from growing out of control over here. Found a reference by local naturalist Ricardo Barbetti, who says that some beetle larvae, and caterpillars, feed on the insides of the stalks, and that would weaken the plants or
And about the original distribution area of A. sericifera... It could be described, I think, as the "River Plate basin", but (though very short and quite precise) this wouldn't work for most people. How about "Paraguay, Uruguay, S of Brazil and NE of Argentina"? (Thankfully there are no
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