Health benefits of Balloon Vine

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Balloon Vine Quick Facts
Name: Balloon Vine
Scientific Name: Monstera deliciosa
Origin Africa, the Caribbean and tropical South America
Colors Green maturing to brown
Shapes Balloon-like, thin-shelled, inflated, angled capsules up to 1.13 in. (3 cm) in diameter containing 3 black seeds each
Taste Grassy, earthy, astringent, bitter
Health benefits Anti-Ulcer benefits, Anti-Diarrheal Properties, Increases Fertility, Anti-Arthritic Activity, Anti-Inflammatory & Antioxidant Properties, Anti-Bacterial Properties, Mosquito Repellent Properties, Anti-Fungal Properties, Anti Convulsant Properties, Anti-Pyretic Properties, Hair Growth, Joint Pain, Cure furunculosis, Cure aphtha
Cardiospermum halicacabum commonly known as Balloon Vine is a deciduous plant belonging to Soapberry family Sapindaceae. The plant is native to Africa (i.e. Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Cameroon, Angola, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa), the Caribbean and tropical South America (i.e. Venezuela, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay). It is also cultivated in the Philippines and Burma. The word Cardiospermum is the combination of the Latin words cardio, meaning heart, and sperma, meaning seed and refers to the white heart-shaped pattern on the seed.  Halicacabum is derived from the Latin word halicacabus, a plant with inflated fruits. Few of the popular common names of the plant are Ambeang baek, Balloon Vine, Love-in-a-puff, Winter cherry, balloonvine heartseed, heart pea, small balloon creeper, small balloon vine, lesser balloonvine, Small balloonvine, blue passionflower, blue passionfruit, Blister creeper and upland Cotton. The plant produces fruits that have the shape of the balloon hence its common name, balloon plant.

Plant Description

Balloon Vine is a long-lived scrambling, deciduous woody, perennial to annual many branched, creeping, or climbing vine that grows up to 10 ft. (3 m) long. The plant is found growing in moist thickets, waste places, riverbanks, gardens, roadsides, disturbed sites, plantations, forest margins, woodland, grassland, floodplains, rocky sites, pastures, cultivated areas, riparian zones and shrub lands. The plant prefers acidic or basic soil. Roots are shallow with a long, woody taproot. Stems are hairy, initially thin and green with ribs often streaked red. In maturity the stem changes to pale brown before thickening to become woody. The plant is woody and has tendrils that are used for climbing. Leaves are alternate on the stem and form nine leaflets in-groups of three with the middle leaflet usually the largest. They are 2-7 cm long, 1-5 cm wide, soft and hairy with broadly toothed edges, obvious veins on both sides and grow on a hairy stalk.

Flower and Fruits

Flowers are small, white, and about 2.5 millimeters long. Sepals are 4, concave, the outer ones small. Petals are 4, two larger ones usually adhering to the sepals and with an emarginated scale above the base, the smaller 2 ones distant from the stamens. Stamens are 8, eccentric, filaments free or connate at the base. Ovary is 3-celled, style 3-fid, ovules solitary. Tendrils are located below the flower head. Flowering normally takes place from July to August. It can flower throughout the year except in prolonged periods of drought.

Fertile flowers are followed by seed capsule that is almost spherical. These capsules are thin-shelled, inflated and angled which measure up to 3cm in diameter. The fruits are initially green and maturing to light brown over autumn. When ripe it splits into three segments each with a single seed. Seeds are black, opaque and smooth with a white, finely porous heart–shaped spot at the micropyle and measures about 5 mm in diameter. The fruits are dispersed by water currents and at times by wind.

Health benefits of Balloon Vine

Listed below are few of the popular health benefits of Balloon Vine

1. Anti-Ulcer benefits

Balloon Vine extract obtained by boiling the leaves in water has mild anti-ulcer properties and people who suffer from acidity will impressively benefit including Balloon Vine in your diet. Try to consume it in the form of soup for better result.

2. Anti-Diarrheal Properties

Water extract of Balloon Vine has anti-diarrheal activity and has been traditionally used for it in certain places in India. This has been proven through research and this is because of the presence of tannins, flavonoids, alkaloids, sterols, triterpenes and saponins present in Balloon Vine.

3. Increases Fertility

Balloon Vine has the ability to increase sperm motility and sperm count. Just having Balloon Vine regularly for 30 days increases sperm count significantly and there was increase in serum testosterone level too.

4. Anti-Arthritic Activity

Balloon Vine has been used for treating arthritis and this traditional use has been supported by research. Balloon Vine is given in the form of dosai or rasam to patients suffering from arthritis regularly and it greatly helps reduce the inflammation and pain.

5. Anti-Inflammatory & Antioxidant Properties

Balloon Vine has amazing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The flavonols, glycosides and phenols present in Balloon Vine is liable for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It also has analgesic properties (pain relieving properties) which make it very effective for reducing all kinds of inflammations.

6. Anti-Bacterial Properties

Balloon Vine has powerful anti-bacterial properties and all parts of the plant have anti-bacterial properties and they are effective against five strains of bacteria (Salmonella, Staphylococcus Aureus, Aeromonas, E.coli and Pseudomonas).

7. Mosquito Repellent Properties

Balloon Vine has the ability to repel mosquitoes when applied externally on the skin. For the study, the ethanol leaf extract was used and it repelled mosquito bites of three types of mosquitoes very effectively!

8. Anti-Fungal Properties

Balloon Vine also has powerful anti-fungal properties. Two chemical compounds that were responsible for the most anti-fungal activity of Balloon Vine are luteolin and rutin.

9. Anti Convulsant Properties

Balloon Vine has anti convulsant properties too. Balloon Vine alcohol extract when given to rats that were given electric shock reduced the convulsions greatly. For the extract the whole plant extract was used and the dosage used was 350 mg of extract for a kg of body weight.

10. Anti-Pyretic Properties

Balloon Vine has fever reducing properties too. It is one of the best cures for reducing malaria fever. If you are suffering from fever, cold and headache, try having a cup of warm Balloon Vine soup, it will greatly help reduce the fever and pain.

11. Hair Growth

Balloon Vine can be used for hair to treat itchy scalp and dandruff and for promoting hair growth. We can make homemade oil for treating dandruff using Balloon Vine. To make the oil, boil Balloon Vine with sesame oil and use that oil as massage oil before hair wash.

12. Joint Pain

Along with consuming Balloon Vine internally, if we use it externally we will get results fast. The best way to use it externally is by making a compress out of it. This compress can be made either with only Balloon Vine or along with vada narayan leaves which is also very good for treating joint pain.

This poultice will give very good temporary relief from joint pains and arthritis pain. To make the compress, heat castor oil in a pan and fry the leaves in a very slow flame. Once the leaves are hot enough, take a pure white cotton cloth and place the leaves in the middle and tie it into a bundle.

13. Cure furunculosis

Balloon vine is a commonly used medicine to treat furunculosis in life. After the onset of illness, the fresh whole grass of the balloon vine can be ground into mud-shape, and the appropriate amount of winter honey is added to make the ointment, and then directly applied to the area of furunculosis. The ointment should be used one or two times a day and the symptoms will be considerably improved after three to five days.

14. Cure aphtha

Balloon vine can cure edema and relieve pain, and it can also reduce inflammation. It has a good therapeutic effect on aphtha. During the treatment, the fresh balloon vine leaves can be ground into mud-shape, and the edible salt is mixed up and then applied to the painful area. Patients can spit it out after three to five minutes, with one-to-three-time medication a day, which can speeds up the healing as well as quickly relieving pain.

Traditional uses and benefits of Balloon Vine

  • It is used to treat rheumatism and fever, as well as tumors.
  • Boiled in water to one-third the starting volume, and the resulting decoction taken with sugar to cure urinary tract disorders and diseases, as well as laryngitis, fever, aches and pains.
  • Liquid from boiling the plant and jaggery cooled, a cloth bundle of five kinds of fennel soaked in the liquid, and roasted salt added; the resulting preparation is taken three times a day for urinary diseases, indigestion and gas, eye disorders, heart disease, uterine ailments, edema, muscle fatigue and aches, throat problems (possibly cancer), and weakness.
  • Leaf decoction can be ingested as a remedy for rheumatism or applied in oil as an embrocation.
  • Juice from the crushed leaves applied around the eyes or mixed with mother’s milk and used as eye drops to treat eye disorders caused by anemia, sore eyes, and cataracts.
  • Juice from the crushed leaves is also used to make thanakha, a paste applied to the face and body to alleviate skin disorders, such as ringworm, discoloration, and acne, as well as rashes related to menstrual irregularities.
  • Equal amounts of powder from the dried leaves and garlic clove are mixed into a paste that is rolled, dried in the sun, and used as an inhalant to clear nasal passages; it is also rubbed on the tongue and inside the mouth to heal sores, to alleviate problems caused by eating the wrong foods or from inhaling cooking fumes, and to treat bronchitis.
  • The same preparation is dissolved in sesame oil and applied topically as a remedy for skin disorders, such as scabies and eczema, edema, varicose veins, anemia, chills, and fever, as well as for thrush, indigestion, and bloating in infants.
  • Root is used as a laxative, diuretic, emetic, purgative, and diaphoretic; also administered to treat catarrh of the bladder and urinary tract.
  • It has been used in the treatment of rheumatism, nervous diseases, stiffness of the limbs and snakebite.
  • Leaves are crushed and made into a tea, which aids itchy skin.
  • Salted leaves are used as a poultice on swellings.
  • Leaf juice has been used as a treatment for earache as well.
  • Decoction of roots used as diaphoretic, and used for catarrh of the bladder in Philippines.
  • Poultice of leaves used for rheumatism, swellings, orchitis, and dropsy.
  • Leaf juice used for meatal discharges.
  • Decoction of root and leaves used for rheumatism, nervous diseases, piles, chronic bronchitis, and phthisis; also used for amenorrhea.
  • Decoction of roots used for piles and amenorrhea.
  • Fried leaves are applied to the pubis to increase menstrual flow in amenorrhea.
  • Leaves boiled in castor oil applied for rheumatism, pains, swellings, tumors of various kinds.
  • Leaves are used for pulmonary complaints in Malabar Coast.
  • In Ayurveda, used for rheumatism, fever and earache.
  • Leaves used to treat male fertility in Sri Lanka.
  • Bruised leaves are used as a cooling compress for nervous headaches in Indonesia.
  • Pills made from a paste of the whole plant are used to treat asthma in Bangladesh.
  • Decoction of the plant is used as a post-surgery wash, and a tea of the leaves is rubbed on itching skin in China.
  • An infusion of the leaves and stalk is applied as an enema to cure diarrhea and dysentery in Southern Africa.
  • Vapor of the crushed leaves is inhaled to relieve headache.
  • It is used in the treatment of rheumatism, nervous diseases, stiffness of the limbs and snakebite.
  • Leaves are rubefacient, they are applied as a poultice in the treatment of rheumatism.
  • Tea made from them is used in the treatment of itchy skin.
  • It is occasionally used in the treatment of rheumatism, lumbago and nervous diseases.
  • Get relieved from Dandruff by applying oil prepared from Balloon vine leaves.
  • The extract of Balloon Vine is a good herbal treatment for Cancer.
  • Herbal tea made from its leaves has a soothing effect on Itchy Skin.
  • If the paste of its leaves is applied on the lower Abdomen of women post-delivery it would help in removal of unwanted products from the Uterus.
  • Mixture prepared from its roots is a good herbal remedy for Hemorrhoids.

Ayurvedic Health benefits of Balloon Vine

  • Cough : Soak some leaves of Balloon Vine in water stored in a mud pot. Drink it frequently.
  • Piles : Soak 8 to 10 Balloon Vine Leaves in a jug of water. Stored in a mud pot. Drink it frequently. OR: Fry some Balloon Vine Leaves in ghee. Apply on the affected area. Bandage.
  • Menstrual Disorders : Fry the leaves of Balloon Vine in Coconut Oil. Tie on lower abdomen for few hours. Repeat twice a day.
  • Skin Diseases: Grind One cup Balloon Vine leaves with half cup of Coconut Oil. Keep the paste in the sun and apply on the affected area.
  • Earache : Put some drops of leaf juice into the ears.
  • Rheumatism: Fry some Balloon Vine leaves in One cup of Gingerly Oil. Let it cool. Apply on the affected area.
  • Female Disorders: Fry some leaves of Balloon Vine in Castor Oil. Foment the Abdominal area with it.
    Take the fried leaves of Balloon Vine in Castor oil. Tie to the Abdomen overnight.
    It is very useful for post-delivery problems in women.
  • Arthritis: Boil leaves of Balloon Vine in Castor oil. Apply it over inflamed joints.
  • Ear Discharge: Crush leaves of Balloon Vine to obtain juice. Use it as an Ear drop.
  • Post Childbirth Problems: Grind the leaves of Balloon Vine to make paste. Apply it over lower Abdomen of the women after delivery. It helps in the expulsion of waste discharge from the Uterus.
  • Constipation: Drink 30 ml decoction of the plant once a day.
  • Hydrocele: Tie the leaves of Balloon Vine on Scrotum.
  • Anti-inflammatory: Cook leaves of Balloon Vine in Castor oil. Grind the residue. Apply it over inflamed areas.
  • Dandruff : Soak leaves of Balloon Vine in water for 4 hours. Then crush these leaves in same water. Use this water to wash your Hair. OR: Heat crushed leaves of Balloon Vine in Castor oil. Massage your scalp with it.
  • Diarrhea: Make an infusion using stem and leaves of Balloon Vine. Take 40 ml once a day when symptoms persist.
  • Dysentery : Boil 500 ml water. Add 250 g crushed leaves and stem of Balloon Vine. Let it leave for 4 hours. Drink 25 ml twice a day.
  • Emetic: Chew 2-3 Balloon Vine leaves. It helps to cause Vomiting. OR: Drink 30 ml root decoction of Balloon Vine once a day.
  • Emmenagogue: Make a root decoction of Balloon Vine. Have a cup of it after the completion of Menstrual Cycle. Take it for three days.
  • Gonorrhea: Prepare a root decoction of Balloon Vine. Consume 20 ml of it twice a day.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis : Warm few leaves of Balloon Vine. Apply Castor oil on them. Bandage them over painful joints.
  • Syphilis: Crush few leaves of Balloon Vine to make paste. Apply this paste over Syphilitic Sores.
  • Tumors: Tie Castor oil coated warm leaves of Balloon Vine over Tumors.
  • Headache: Boil leaves of Balloon Vine in water. Inhale the steam. It will cure your Headache.
  • Piles: Take One tablespoon Balloon Vine seeds, 2 Peppers and 2 tablespoon Conch Grass. Grind with 2 tablespoons Butter. Mix the paste in one glass Butter milk and drink on an empty stomach every morning.
  • Arthritis: Take half cup each of leaves and roots of Balloon Vine. Mix with half tablespoon Cumin, 2 Black Pepper and a small piece of crushed Ginger in an earthen pot. Add 3 glasses of water. Boil till the volume is reduced to one glass. Take half a glass twice a day.
  • Asthma: Mix in a mud pot 6 tablespoons each of Balloon Vine leaves, Climbing Brinjal and a small piece of crushed Galangal root. Add One tablespoon Cumin, 4 Black Peppers and One tablespoon dried Ginger powder. Add 3 glasses of water. Boil till reduced to One glass. Take One tablespoon twice a day.
  • Cough: Mix in a mud pot 6 tablespoons each of Balloon Vine leaves, Climbing Brinjal and a small piece of crushed Galangal root. Add One tablespoon Cumin, 4 Black Peppers and One tablespoon dried Ginger powder. Add 3 glasses of water. Boil till reduced to One glass. Take One tablespoon twice a day.

Other Facts

  • Stems can be used in basket making.
  • The attractive seeds are used as beads.
  • Leaves are reported to be used for washing clothes and the head.
  • Edible oil can be obtained from the seed.
  • Seed oil is said to have insect repellent properties and an anti-feedant action on insects.






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