Facts about Pareira

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +

Pareira Quick Facts
Name: Pareira
Scientific Name: Cissampelos pareira
Origin Florida, although rare or possibly locally extinct
Colors Green when young turning to red or red-orange
Shapes Juicy, globose or slightly laterally compressed hairy drupes 4 to 5 mm in diameter.
Taste Bitter, astringent
Health benefits Beneficial for Bruises, fever, Diarrhea, Dysentery, Malaria, Constipation, Rashes, Swellings, Scorches, Ulcers, Oral ailments, Asthma, Wheezing, Bronchitis, Kidney infections, Hypertension
Cissampelos pareira commonly known as false pareira root, Ice vine, is a species of flowering plant in the family Menispermaceae. The plant is native to Florida, although rare or possibly locally extinct. It is also found throughout tropical Asia and Africa, although it is not clear whether it is native or naturalized there. Midwife’s herb, Nemooka plant, Velvet leaf, Velvetleaf, False pareira root and Ice vine are few of the popular common names of the plant. The genus Cissampelos is derived from the Greek words kissos meaning Ivy and ampelos meaning vine. The name refers to the ivy-like resemblance of the growth of this plant in green rambling branches and the grape-like racemes of fruits. The species pareira is derived from the Portuguese name given to the roots of some wild vine

Pareira herb is widely called the “midwife’s herb” because it used to treat various women’s medicinal problems. The Pareira herb became known throughout the west when it was introduced by Portuguese explorers in the later half of the 17th century. The species is also known as abuta and called laghu patha in Ayurvedic medicine. In Tamil Nadu it is called ponmusutai and it is used for a number of medicinal purposes. Some attention has been paid to it in Kenya, Tanzania, and other places for its purported antimalarial properties in particular, as well as in India for its antiviral properties, especially against Dengue virus.

Plant Description

Pareira is a twinning, perennial and a climbing shrub, supported on trees that grow about 3 to 6 m along the ground or into the crowns of trees. The plant is found growing in roadsides, fence rows, river banks, hammocks, brushy pastures, secondary and remnant forests, orchards, hedges, parks and gardens.   The Pareira herb comes from a woody rain forest vine commonly found in Brazil and Peru but also is found throughout all of Amazonian rain forest. The plant has cylindrical root,  1-1.5  cm  in diameter, light  brown to  yellowish  in  color,  surface rough and at  places rugged  due  to transverse wrinkles,  cracks  and fissures,  fracture  short  and  splintery, odor,  faint  aromatic, taste, bitter. Wood is brown, divided by very broad medullary rays and regular concentric bands of similar texture into small rectangular divisions, each with two to eight small to very large pores. Stem is woody, flexible, and slender reaches a maximum diameter of 1 cm and twines for support. Its barks, root parts are used as medicines by the natives.


The leaves are simple, alternate, and membranous and palmately 4-8 nerved. The leaves are peltate, 2.5–12 cm long, 2.5–11.5 cm broad, triangularly broad-ovate, or orbicular, obtuse, mucronate, base cordate or truncate. Insertion of petiole is slightly away from the margin of the blade. Lamina is dark green outside and grayish underneath with silky-hairy above, hence known as “velvet leaf”. The petiole (4-7 cm long) is pulvinate at both the ends.


Inflorescence is an axillary, umbel-like cyme, solitary or clustered. Male inflorescence is up to 4 cm long, 1–3 together, female inflorescence is arranged in a false raceme 5–10 cm long; bracts up to 1.5 cm in diameter, almost round to kidney-shaped, hairy.


Flowers are green and uni-sexual and small in size, pedicel up to 2 mm long. Male flowers 10 – 12, with 4-5 sepals are clustered in the axil of a small leaf.  These  sepals  are greenish  or  yellowish,  ovate to  obovate, 1.5 mm  X  0.5 mm, keeled  hairy  outside,  corolla  cup  shaped,  1 mm  long, filaments of stamens completely fused; females in pendulous spikes, 7 – 10 cm long, with a little round leaflet at the base of every flower, 1 obtraingular to kidney- shaped petal 1.5 mm x 2  mm,  ovary  superior,  hairy,  1-celled,  style  thick  with spreading,  3-lobed  stigma.  Flowers are probably pollinated by small insects.  Flowering normally takes place from August-October.


Fertile flowers are followed by globose or slightly laterally compressed, short hairy drupe, about 6 mm long and 4 mm broad, densely clothed in short hairs. Fruits are initially green turning to red when fully ripe. Fruit contains one horseshoe-shaped seed, about 4 mm in diameter with testa surface sculptured.  Embryo is elongate, narrow, embedded in endosperm, cotyledons is flattened.


Pareira plant is native from Mexico to Argentina and Peru on the New World mainland and in the West Indies. It is native to Florida, although rare or possibly locally extinct. It is also found throughout tropical Asia and Africa, although it is not clear whether it is native or naturalized there.

Ethno-medical (Traditional) uses of Pareira in India

Plant Part Documented Ethnic Use Route of Administration
Entire Plant It is used for snakebite, where the plant is made into a fine paste and applied to the bite. Also, the juice is poured into the ears, nostrils, and naval cavity. External use
Aerial parts(part of plant exposed to air) The aerial parts of Pareira are used for temporary control of conception Oral
Plant Juice Plant juice of Pareira is used for minor injuries and snakebite. The juice is mixed with egg and jaggery. Oral for minor injuries and external application for snakebite.






Used for pimples, boils, cuts, wounds, and burns.        External use
Leaves are ground and applied on the forehead for fever and common cold.   External use
Also used for coughs, cold, and as a contraceptive medicine.      Oral
Leaf Juice The leaves juice of Pareira plant is used to treat sores, abdominal pain, and eye ailments. External use
Leaf+ Root The paste, made out of leaves + root of Pareira, is used to treat toothache. Oral
Root The root paste of Pareira is used to treat fever, sprains, and cure wounds. External use
The roots of Pareira plant are used as an anti-fertility agent, emmenogogue (a substance that stimulates blood flow in the pelvic area), and as a diuretic. Also, they are used to treat heart troubles, dysentery, asthma, and remove intestinal worms. Hot water extract oral
Pareira roots can be used to treat malarial fever, and colic.                 Oral
The decoction of Pareira roots is used to treat typhoid fever.                 Oral (Decoction)


Worldwide Ethno-medical Uses

Country Disease
Amazonia For childbirth, colic, fever, muscle spasms and pain, nervous children, pinta, snakebite
Argentina For diarrhea, menstrual disorders, respiratory tract infections, urinary tract infections
Brazil For abortions, anemia, asthma, bladder problems, colic, congestion, constipation, contusions, cramps, cystitis, digestive problems, detoxification (by inducing sweating), dysentery, dyspepsia, drowsiness, edema, excessive phlegm and mucous, fever, gallbladder problems (to stimulate bile), hepatitis, inflammation, kidney stones, menstrual disorders, muscle aches, pains and spasms, testicular inflammation, threatened miscarriage, pre-and postnatal pain, rheumatism, snakebite, stomach problems, urinary tract disorders, uterine hemorrhages, water retention
Guatemala For cramps, erysipelas, fever, menstrual disorders, rheumatism, snakebite, water retention, and to increase perspiration
Mexico For bladder problems, dermatitis, diarrhea, dysentery, edema, excessive phlegm and mucous, fever, insect bites, jaundice, menstrual disorders, muscle inflammation, nephritis, pain, pimples, rheumatism, snakebite, urogenital problems, vaginal discharge, water retention, and as a female balancing aid
Nicaragua For bites, fever, skin rash, sores, stings, venereal disease
U.S For hemorrhages and excessive bleeding, constipation, kidney stones, menstrual disorders, muscle spasms, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), testicular inflammation, urinary tract irritation, water retention
Venezuela For bladder problems, kidney stones, snakebite; also used as a diuretic
Elsewhere For abortions, anemia, arrow poisoning, asthma, boil, childbirth, constipation, cough, cystitis, diabetes, diarrhea, dyspepsia, excessive phlegm and mucous, edema, eye problems, fetal growth problems, fever, hemorrhages, hypertension, indigestion, itch, kidney stones, malaria, menstrual disorders, pain, post-menstrual hemorrhages, rheumatism, snakebite, sores, sterility, threatened miscarriage, urogenital inflammation, uterine hemorrhage, venereal disease, water retention, wounds and as a female balancing aid.


Traditional uses and benefits of Pareira Plant

  • Paste is made from whole plant and applied locally to treat inflammatory conditions of the eye.
  • Decoction of the roots is used for colic and blennorrhea in Indo-China.
  • Leaves are anti-scabious, also applied to snakebites in Philippines.
  • Decoction of the roots is diuretic, lithontriptic, pectoral, febrifuge, diaphoretic, emmenogogue, tonic, and sedative.
  • It is useful in curbing skin ailments like, Acne.
  • It also helps in curing bruises, rashes, swellings, scorches, ulcers, stings and bites.
  • It is beneficial in treating toothaches and other oral ailments like mouth ulcers.
  • It is helpful in treating respiratory ailments like Asthma, Wheezing, Bronchitis and Cold.
  • It is a good herbal remedy for treating kidney ailments like kidney infections and kidney stone.
  • It takes care of the Liver and helps in keeping the Liver healthy.
  • It is also effective is curing ailments like high fever, diarrhea, dysentery, malaria and constipation.
  • It is a good herbal remedy especially for women.
  • It is beneficial during Menopause.
  • It relieves unbearable pain, bleeding and contraction of muscles.
  • It is also beneficial in curing the trouble of fibroids during menopause.
  • It is helpful in avoiding miscarriage, stillbirth and bleeding from the Uterus post-delivery.
  • It is also effective in curing ailments relating to the reproductive organs.
  • It also protects against urine and urinary tract infections.
  • It helps in maintaining the level of hormones therefore enabling proper functioning of the body.
  • It is also beneficial in treating joint inflammation ailment like, arthritis.
  • Infusion of the bitter rhizome, leaves and stems, are used to cure gastro-intestinal complaints such as diarrhea, dysentery, ulcers, colic, intestinal worms and digestive complaints, and also urogenital problems such as menstrual problems, venereal diseases, infertility, uterine bleeding and threatening miscarriage.
  • Rhizome decoction or pounded leaves are also widely taken or externally applied as a febrifuge and stomachic, and against cough, heart trouble, rheumatism, jaundice, snake bites and skin infections such as sores, boils, scabies and childhood eczema.
  • Rhizome is used as a diuretic and against acute and chronic bladder inflammation, to dissolve urinary calcifications and as an emmenogogue.
  • Rhizome extract mixed with a hot water extract of roots and leaves of Launaea cornuta is given orally to treat epilepsy in Tanzania.
  • Tribal people in India use the plant to prevent pregnancy.
  • Rhizomes were formerly used in the preparation of alcoholic liquors as a bitter in Madagascar.
  • Midwives in the Amazon still carry Pareira with them for menstrual cramps and pre- and postnatal pain, excessive menstrual bleeding, and uterine hemorrhaging.
  • It is also helpful in the treatment of water retention.
  • It helps to regulate the heart beats and tone up the heart muscles.
  • It also lowers the blood pressure and as such is an effective herb for hypertensive patients.
  • It fights against the kidney stones and other gall bladder infections.
  • The Creoles in Guyana soak the leaves, bark, and roots in rum and use it as an aphrodisiac.
  • It is often used for menstrual cramps, difficult menstruation, excessive bleeding and uterine hemorrhages, fibroid tumors, pre- and postnatal pain, colic, constipation, poor digestion, and dyspepsia.
  • Juice form macerated leaves and stem is mixed with a little water and used as anti-conjunctivitis or as a treatment for sore eyes.
  • Leaves and stem are macerated in water and used as an anti-infective agent.

Other facts

  • The Pokot people in Kenya apply crushed rhizomes to treat skin diseases of goats.
  • Rhizome extract is given to poultry against avian malaria in Madagascar.
  • Fibers of the bark are used as a fish poison in Philippines
  • The Pokot people make thin rope from the rhizomes.
  • Cissampelos pareira is commonly planted in orchards, parks and gardens for its ornamental value.
  • Thin rope can be made from the rhizomes.

Recommended Intake of Pareira

For safety and effective use of Pareira, one must always consult a healthcare provider, as there is no proven dose for Pareira.

In children: There is no sufficient scientific evidence about the use of Pareira in children.

In adults: For menstrual problems, 1 – 2 grams of powdered Pareira bark in the form of tablets or capsules are recommended twice daily.


  • Its utilization is not recommended during Pregnancy.
  • It should not be utilized by nursing women.
  • It is recommended to consult the doctor before its consumption.


















Comments are closed.


The information on this website is only for learning and informational purposes. It is not meant to be used as a medical guide. Before starting or stopping any prescription drugs or trying any kind of self-treatment, we strongly urge all readers to talk to a doctor. The information here is meant to help you make better decisions about your health, but it's not a replacement for any treatment your doctor gives you. If you are being treated for a health problem, you should talk to your doctor before trying any home remedies or taking any herbs, minerals, vitamins, or supplements. If you think you might have a medical problem, you should see a doctor who knows what to do. The people who write for, publish, and work for Health Benefits Times are not responsible for any bad things that happen directly or indirectly because of the articles and other materials on this website www.healthbenefitstimes.com